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At Tate Liverpool

Peter Campbell: Gustav Klimt, 3 July 2008

... pubic hair is strongly accented. In some portraits – those of Rose von Rosthorn-Friedmann and Margaret Stonborough-Wittgenstein, for example (the first of these and a study for the second are in the exhibition Gustav Klimt: Painting, Design and Modern Life, until 31 August) – a hint of the imagined type may be preserved, but the faces in his portraits ...

Toshie Trashed

Gavin Stamp: The Glasgow School of Art Fire, 19 June 2014

... curves cut in relief. Mackintosh was an artist as well as an architect. With his future wife, Margaret Macdonald, her sister Frances and her future husband, Herbert McNair, he was one of ‘The Four’, responsible for paintings of attenuated female figures with intense faces, and stylised curvilinear decorative swirls. To their critics, their work ...

Feast of Darks

Christine Stansell: Whistler, 23 October 2003

Whistler, Women and Fashion 
by Margaret MacDonald and Susan Grace Galassi et al.
Yale, 243 pp., £35, May 2003, 0 300 09906 1
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Whistler and His Mother: An Unexpected Relationship 
by Sarah Walden.
Gibson Square, 242 pp., £15.99, July 2003, 1 903933 28 5
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... The most notorious American painter of the late 19th century, a dandy who used his gift for showmanship and his Paris education to make himself the prototype Victorian aesthete, James McNeill Whistler had started out as a dutiful son, following his father to West Point before turning his back on the Army to pursue the artist’s life in Paris. He arrived there in 1855, at the height of the craze for the vie de bohème, and like many other young men, found the newly minted bohemian identity an easy way to ratify a genius that had yet to find expression in real work ...

The Trouble with HRH

Christopher Hitchens, 5 June 1997

Princess MargaretA Biography 
by Theo Aronson.
O’Mara, 336 pp., £16.99, February 1997, 1 85479 248 2
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... in ‘daylight upon magic’. But the damn phrase is inescapable. The fascination of Princess Margaret, I suspect, is that she was the forerunner of the public, vulgar Windsor style: now such a drag but then such a sensation. If you were a commoner of average social mobility in London in the Sixties, Seventies and Eighties, there was a better than ...

Gaiety

Frank Kermode, 8 June 1995

Angus Wilson 
by Margaret Drabble.
Secker, 714 pp., £20, May 1995, 0 436 20038 4
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... At a party given forty-odd years ago by the suddenly-famous Angus Wilson, Dwight Macdonald ‘introduced himself, American-style, to Rose Macaulay, describing himself as an editor of the Partisan Review and founder of his own journal Politics: she stared at him and said, “Have you come all the way across the room to tell me that? How kind ...

Diary

Karl Miller: Football Tribes, 1 June 1989

... to be found in the Middle Ages among the fighting families of the Anglo-Scottish Border, as George MacDonald Fraser’s book The Steel Bonnets makes clear.* His synonymous reivers, raiders or riders used to get off their horses and play the football that became soccer and rugby, and they were not afraid of a few fouls: ‘some quarrel happened betwixt Bothwell ...

Make mine a Worcester Sauce

John Bayley, 23 June 1994

Richard Hughes 
by Richard Perceval Graves.
Deutsch, 491 pp., £20, May 1994, 0 233 98843 2
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... sex around in such a situation, Hughes added the unspecified seduction of the eldest girl, Margaret, who goes to live in the pirates’ quarters and is duly despised by them. Hughes appears to endorse their feeling: the great success of the book must have depended on the way it brought Peter Pan up to date, but not too much up to date. A reader can ...

Appreciating Paisley

Charles Townshend, 22 January 1987

God save Ulster: The Religion and Politics of Paisleyism 
by Steve Bruce.
Oxford, 308 pp., £15, November 1986, 0 19 827487 4
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Children of Wrath: Political Violence in Northern Ireland 
by Michael MacDonald.
Polity, 194 pp., £19.50, September 1986, 0 7456 0219 3
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... One may suspect that not all have done so in a wholly neutral way: the modern use of the term, as Margaret Canovan has lucidly shown (Populism, 1981), is a fearsome shambles. ‘Populism’ all too often appears as a disapproving broad-brush gesture with sinister undertones. Yet for all its weaknesses, it is a concept which does reflect some of the unfocused ...

What did Cook want?

Jon Lawrence: Both ‘on message’ and off, 19 February 2004

The Point of Departure 
by Robin Cook.
Simon and Schuster, 368 pp., £20, October 2003, 0 7432 5255 1
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... centre-left leaders such as Prescott, Blunkett and Hain merged into the Blairite mass or, like Margaret Beckett, Michael Meacher and Kinnock himself, became bit players on the political stage, Cook remained a prominent and prickly reminder of the electoral calculations that had won Blair the leadership in 1994. In this respect, he was undoubtedly helped by ...

Sisterhoods

Brian Harrison, 6 December 1984

Significant Sisters: The Grassroots of Active Feminism 1839-1939 
by Margaret Forster.
Secker, 353 pp., £12.50, September 1984, 0 436 16113 3
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Stepping Stones to Women’s Liberty: Feminist Ideas in the Women’s Movement 1900-1918 
by Les Garner.
Gower, 142 pp., £15, July 1984, 0 435 32357 1
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Women First: The Female Tradition in English Physical Education 1880-1980 
by Sheila Fletcher.
Athlone, 194 pp., £18, July 1984, 0 485 11248 5
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A Woman’s Place: An Oral History of Working-Class Women 1890-1940 
by Elizabeth Roberts.
Blackwell, 246 pp., £14.95, September 1984, 0 631 13572 3
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... suggest the many approaches historians of women can appropriate from other areas of history. Margaret Forster’s is the most conventional of the four. Her subtitle is misleading: her thoughtful and interesting book is not a sociological analysis of rank-and-file provincial feminists, but collects together short biographies of eight well-known women who ...

Diary

W.G. Runciman: On Trade-Unionism, 5 May 1988

... Strike of 1926. Then, if ever, you might expect to have seen legislation enacted which would leave Margaret Thatcher’s industrial relations policy far behind in left field. But as Anderson documents, the 1927 Act is remarkable not for what it includes, but for what it omits: the compromises on which the Committee eventually agreed are as much an echo of the ...

Presto!

James Buchan, 14 December 1995

The Life of Adam Smith 
by Ian Simpson Ross.
Oxford, 495 pp., £25, October 1995, 0 19 828821 2
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... I bet he did). It contains an account of the meeting between Lochiel and Charles Edward at MacDonald of Boradale’s. Lochiel argued long and hard to dissuade the Chevalier, but when he failed, he said: ‘I’ll share the fate of my prince; and so shall every man over whom nature or fortune have given me power.’ The quotation from The Wealth of ...

Diary

W.G. Runciman: You had better look out, 10 December 1998

... cut-the-welfare-bills ‘Labour’ Government whose leader is said to be a serious admirer of Margaret Thatcher? (‘Third Way’? It’s just the sensible, well-tried electoral trick of stealing your opponent’s clothes.) Stephen has recently seen John Redwood, who has so far recovered from post-electoral stress disorder as to be predicting that Blair ...

Umpteens

Christopher Ricks, 22 November 1990

Bloomsbury Dictionary of Dedications 
edited by Adrian Room.
Bloomsbury, 354 pp., £17.99, September 1990, 0 7475 0521 7
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Unauthorised Versions: Poems and their Parodies 
edited by Kenneth Baker.
Faber, 446 pp., £14.99, September 1990, 0 571 14122 6
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The Faber Book of Vernacular Verse 
edited by Tom Paulin.
Faber, 407 pp., £14.99, November 1990, 0 571 14470 5
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... more interesting phenomenon, but is the wording of her dedications interesting or original? ‘To Margaret Rutherford, in admiration’: I share the admiration for Margaret Rutherford, but not the admiration for this as a dedication. There can be no intrinsic objection to such a dedication as Thomas Moore’s, of Lalla ...

Family History

Miles Taylor: Tony Benn, 25 September 2003

Free at Last: Diaries 1991-2001 
by Tony Benn.
Hutchinson, 738 pp., £25, October 2002, 0 09 179352 1
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Free Radical: New Century Essays 
by Tony Benn.
Continuum, 246 pp., £9.95, May 2003, 9780826465962
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... Bennite Left under New Labour underlines the point: stalwarts from the early 1980s – Tony Banks, Margaret Beckett, Jeremy Corbyn, Michael Meacher, Clare Short, Gavin Strang – have been given only walk-on roles in the Cabinet, while younger recruits to Benn’s Campaign Group, such as Paul Boateng and Dawn Primarolo, have not been allowed to speak in their ...

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