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Saving the World

Barbara Wootton, 19 June 1980

Sage: A Life of J.D. Bernal 
by Maurice Goldsmith.
Hutchinson, 255 pp., £8.95, May 1980, 9780091395506
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... village of Fingest. Opposite this was a house where Bernal had for some years been living with Margaret Gardiner and their son Martin – then a most undisciplined small boy, but now, I understand, a highly distinguished Chinese scholar living in the USA and certainly heir to his father’s intellectual gifts. Bernal’s marriage to Eileen (which had ...

Like the trees on Primrose Hill

Samuel Hynes, 2 March 1989

Louis MacNeice: A Study 
by Edna Longley.
Faber, 178 pp., £4.95, August 1988, 0 571 13748 2
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Louis MacNeice: Selected Poems 
edited by Michael Longley.
Faber, 160 pp., £4.95, August 1988, 0 571 15270 8
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A Scatter of Memories 
by Margaret Gardiner.
Free Association, 280 pp., £15.95, November 1988, 1 85343 043 9
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... of life-in-time). To be ordinary in such company is our privilege. The MacNeice who appears in Margaret Gardiner’s memoir reminds us of how extraordinary that Ordinary Bloke was. Miss Gardiner is the sort of woman for whom the old social clichés were coined: she knew everybody, she had a genius for ...

The Limit

Rosemary Hill, 2 November 1995

Christopher Wood: An English Painter 
by Richard Ingleby.
Allison and Busby, 295 pp., £25, May 1995, 0 85031 849 1
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Barbara Hepworth: A Life of Forms 
by Sally Festing.
Viking, 343 pp., £20, May 1995, 0 670 84203 6
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... artistic success.’ Neither Wood nor Hepworth suffered such illusions. Hepworth told her friend Margaret Gardiner that from an early age she had realised that the artist must ‘think out a policy, stick to it and then devote oneself to work quite ruthlessly’. No one who thinks such worldly ambition unseemly in an artist will be disappointed by the ...

Can I have my shilling back?

Peter Campbell, 19 November 1992

Epstein: Artist against the Establishment 
by Stephen Gardiner.
Joseph, 532 pp., £20, September 1992, 9780718129446
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... have much more in common with Gilbert or even Frampton (arch anti-Epsteinian and a major figure in Gardiner’s demonology) than with the Modernism of Henry Moore Epstein’s work was made for public places and the liking and loathing it attracted found their way into print. ‘Great New Statue in Cavendish Square’ is not a headline to match ‘Rima Tarred ...

Red Science

Eric Hobsbawm: J.D. Bernal, 9 March 2006

J.D. Bernal: The Sage of Science 
by Andrew Brown.
Oxford, 562 pp., £25, November 2005, 0 19 851544 8
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... the remainder of his life. He was to establish a second household with children in the 1930s with Margaret Gardiner and a third with Margot Heinemann in the 1950s, both of whom also survived him. Though the originality of his mind was astonishing, his progress as a scientist was curiously uneven. Forced to shift from mathematics to physics, he failed to ...

Chianti in Khartoum

Nick Laird: Louis MacNeice, 3 March 2011

Letters of Louis MacNeice 
edited by Jonathan Allison.
Faber, 768 pp., £35, May 2010, 978 0 571 22441 8
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... the versions disagree. Writing to Dodds to apologise for a one-night stand with a mutual friend, Margaret Gardiner, MacNeice says: ‘If however I had done any celebration, I shouldn’t have imagined that she would suffer over it.’ In place of ‘celebration’ Stallworthy has ‘calculation’, which seems to make more sense. Those hoping for ...

That’s what Wystan says

Seamus Perry, 10 May 2018

Early Auden, Later Auden: A Critical Biography 
by Edward Mendelson.
Princeton, 912 pp., £27.95, May 2017, 978 0 691 17249 1
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... corroborated some long-held suspicion’. The change could be disturbing for old acquaintances. Margaret Gardiner, who met Auden in the 1950s for the first time since before the war, was shocked at ‘his face … unimaginably creased and craggy’: ‘it took me some time to rediscover the young face I had known beneath this new mask. Then the two ...

Jane Austen’s Word Process

Marilyn Butler, 25 June 1987

Computation into Criticism: A Study of Jane Austen’s Novels and an Experiment in Method 
by J.F Burrows.
Oxford, 245 pp., £25, February 1987, 0 19 812856 8
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... Mrs Bennet. Once again, other authors fail to match Austen’s remarkable diversity. Forster’s Margaret Schlegel ‘develops’ considerably more than other figures in her world, but less than 14 characters of Austen’s. Mostly, however, it is by comparing Austen characters with one another, often with another figure in the same novel, that Burrows ...

A Very Active Captain

Patrick Collinson: Henricentrism, 22 June 2006

The King’s Reformation: Henry VIII and the Remaking of the English Church 
by G.W. Bernard.
Yale, 736 pp., £29.95, November 2005, 0 300 10908 3
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Writing under Tyranny: English Literature and the Henrician Reformation 
by Greg Walker.
Oxford, 556 pp., £65, October 2005, 0 19 928333 8
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... impotent home thoughts from abroad. The nullification of the Poles culminated in the execution of Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury, a septuagenarian who had to be carried to the scaffold in a chair. Greg Walker calls this ‘the nadir of royal vindictiveness’. Vindictiveness it was. Bernard finds no evidence here for a political and military conspiracy ...

It was sheer heaven

Bee Wilson: Just Being British, 9 May 2019

Exceeding My Brief: Memoirs of a Disobedient Civil Servant 
by Barbara Hosking.
Biteback, 384 pp., £9.99, March 2019, 978 1 78590 462 2
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... remote corner of Africa’. To be in Africa was itself an ‘extraordinary adventure’. As Henry Gardiner, one of the mine’s bosses, remarked, ‘we have the whole of Africa at our disposal.’ The white population in Tanganyika was tiny, so news of Hosking’s bravery at the time of the earthquake quickly spread ‘from airstrip to airstrip’. Hosking ...

The Crowe is White

Hilary Mantel: Bloody Mary, 24 September 2009

Fires of Faith: Catholic England under Mary Tudor 
by Eamon Duffy.
Yale, 249 pp., £19.99, June 2009, 978 0 300 15216 6
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... of his short life. Henry VIII had restored the family fortunes. He had allowed Pole’s mother, Margaret, to succeed to the title of Countess of Salisbury, and had paid for Pole’s upbringing and education at Oxford and Padua. Pole spent the years 1521 to 1527 travelling and studying, making important intellectual and political contacts and impressing ...

‘A Naughty House’

Charles Nicholl: Shakespeare’s Landlord, 24 June 2010

... the bail is posted by one Richard Meade, also of St Giles parish, whose occupation is given as ‘gardiner’. A few days later the procedure is repeated, and two other men stand surety for the fourth defendant, ‘ffrancisca Williams de whitechappell, spinster’. The designation ‘spinster’ is erroneous, for it appears from later entries that she has a ...

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