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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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... when my husband and I used to take weekend refuge from London bombing raids at a pub in the Chiltern village of Fingest. Opposite this was a house where Bernal had for some years been living with MargaretGardiner 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 ...
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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... freedom (from cant, from ideology, from modish nonsense), and for the knowledge (of things, of feelings, of life-in-time). To be ordinary in such company is our privilege. The MacNeice who appears in MargaretGardiner’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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... there is a general supposition even among the educated public that there is something arbitrary about artistic success.’ Neither Wood nor Hepworth suffered such illusions. Hepworth told her friend MargaretGardiner 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 ...
19 November 1992
Epstein: Artist against the Establishment 
by Stephen Gardiner.
Joseph, 532 pp., £20, September 1992, 9780718129446
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...  now Zimbabwe House – in the Strand.) Conceptually and iconographically, his later big bronzes 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 ...

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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... child and a partner, Eileen Sprague, who stubbornly maintained her status as his only legal wife for the remainder of his life. He was to establish a second household with children in the 1930s with MargaretGardiner 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 ...

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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... Some words listed as indecipherable were decoded in Stallworthy’s biography, and in a few places the versions disagree. Writing to Dodds to apologise for a one-night stand with a mutual friend, MargaretGardiner, 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 ...
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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... eyed stare’ lasting two seconds, ‘then he’d pull back within his usual frontiers, as if he’d corroborated some long-held suspicion’. The change could be disturbing for old acquaintances. MargaretGardiner, 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 ...

A Very Active Captain

Patrick Collinson: Henricentrism

22 June 2006
TheKing’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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... well as their politics, although in the case of Reginald Pole the threat amounted to little more than 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 ...

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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... heir, had been shut up soon after the Tudor victory at Bosworth and imprisoned by Henry VII for most 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 ...

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, 978 1 78590 462 2
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... drive them somewhere. At the time, she said, they were ‘an outpost of feminine civilisation in this 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 ...
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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... Mr Knightley, Fanny, Emma and Henry Crawford, not so well for the next best learners, Mrs Norris and 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 ...

‘A Naughty House’

Charles Nicholl: Shakespeare’s Landlord

24 June 2010
... wth one ffra: Williams: they were all 3 in bed together wth her at one tyme’. The other half of 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 ...

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