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18 September 1997
Rare Spirit: A Life of William De Morgan 1839-1917 
by Mark Hamilton.
Constable, 236 pp., £22.50, September 1997, 0 09 474670 2
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... this that he began writing the novels which brought him popular acclaim and financial success beyond anything the ceramics ever achieved. These last ten years of De Morgan’s life occupy almost half MarkHamilton’s book, which has been written in the hope that ‘perhaps the wheel has turned full circle’ and we are ready to appreciate De Morgan again as a writer. Unfortunately this is most ...
6 October 2011
... Richard Hamilton, who died on 13 September at the age of 89, invented the idea of Pop art, along with his colleagues in the Independent Group, more than 50 years ago. In ‘Persuading Image’, a lecture he gave in ...
2 December 1993
Patrick HamiltonA Life 
by Sean French.
Faber, 327 pp., £20, November 1993, 0 571 14353 9
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... Stalinist, alcoholic, sexually ambivalent, Patrick Hamilton had all the prerequisites of a successful Thirties writer. That his success was uneven would seem simply another sign of the times, the mark of an epoch grimly wedded to failure. His work was praised by Greene, Priestley, Lessing, Powell; but if he survives today it is for a couple of memorably macabre dramas – Rope and Gaslight – ...
20 May 1982
by Iain Hamilton.
Secker, 397 pp., £12, April 1982, 0 436 19191 1
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... two excellent works of autobiography, An Arrow in the Blue and The Invisible Writing, and two others, The Spanish Testament and Scum of the Earth, of which the main interest is autobiographical. Mr Hamilton admits to drawing heavily upon these works, but does no more than summarise their contents in a less forceful style than Koestler’s own. His prolongation of the story beyond the year 1940, where ...

Short Cuts

Jeremy Harding: Handwriting

8 November 2012
... with a keyboard would be expected of pupils in its charge. (Schools ‘can continue to teach handwriting if they want’.) Or an interview in the Telegraph with ‘a psychologist called Dr Scott Hamilton’, who suggests that if pupils know how to sign their name in a cursive hand, teachers should leave it at that. ‘The time allocated for cursive instruction,’ Hamilton goes on, ‘could then be ...

Glittering Fiend

Ian Hamilton: John Berryman

9 December 1999
Berryman's Shakespeare 
edited by John Haffenden.
Farrar, Straus, 396 pp., $35, February 1999, 0 374 11205 3
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John Berryman’s Personal Library: A Catalogue 
by Richard Kelly.
Lang, 433 pp., £39, March 1999, 0 8204 3998 3
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... he killed himself, Berryman was still seeking grant-support for the heavily academic book on Shakespeare that he had intermittently toiled on since the Thirties – and this in spite of being told by Mark Van Doren, his one-time professor and lifelong mentor in these matters, that ‘you will never finish the Sh. book ... you have this illusion you are a scholar, but you know damn well that you are ...
24 April 1997
... to hope that our disdainful visitor was spending the day somewhere else. But where? On every side, there seems to be some Toytown farce in progress. What, for instance, would Gore make of Christine Hamilton? What would he make of Martin Bell? Too British to be true, the pair of them, in very different ways. It was a relief to learn that several of Vidal’s hours here have been spent discussing ...
7 November 1985
London Reviews 
edited by Nicholas Spice.
Chatto, 222 pp., £5.95, October 1985, 0 7011 2988 3
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The New Review Anthology 
edited by Ian Hamilton.
Heinemann, 320 pp., £12.95, October 1985, 0 434 31330 0
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Night and Day 
edited by Christopher Hawtree, by Graham Greene.
Chatto, 277 pp., £12.95, November 1985, 0 07 011296 7
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Lilliput goes to war 
edited by Kaye Webb.
Hutchinson, 288 pp., £10.95, September 1985, 9780091617608
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Penguin New Writing: 1940-1950 
edited by John Lehmann and Roy Fuller.
Penguin, 496 pp., September 1985, 0 14 007484 8
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... else to pay them with, so all depends on his moral clout. He must conjure up a sense of mission. It is no coincidence, as the academics say, that what joins Karl Miller, now of the LRB, to Ian Hamilton, some time of the New Review, is a dominant, not to say overbearing, personality. Either man is able, by force of self-belief, to make good contributors expend, on an article, energy that they might ...
19 May 1983
Robert Lowell: A Biography 
by Ian Hamilton.
Faber, 527 pp., £12.50, May 1983, 0 571 13045 3
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... hero bent both on power and mischief and on the blessedness of the meek, so that he’s Prince Myshkin too, and it’s hardly surprising that he should have been a rereader of The Idiot. It is a mark of his poetry that it frets in all childishness, praising and blaming, over the actions and reputations of the great, while managing to make people feel that it is itself the work of a great man ...


Patricia Craig

19 September 1985
But for Bunter 
by David Hughes.
Heinemann, 223 pp., £8.95, September 1985, 0 434 35410 4
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Bunter Sahib 
by Daniel Green.
Hodder, 272 pp., £8.95, September 1985, 0 340 36429 7
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The Good Terrorist 
by Doris Lessing.
Cape, 370 pp., £9.50, September 1985, 0 224 02323 3
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Unexplained Laughter 
by Alice Thomas Ellis.
Duckworth, 155 pp., £8.95, August 1985, 0 7156 2070 3
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Polaris and Other Stories 
by Fay Weldon.
Hodder, 237 pp., £8.95, August 1985, 0 340 33227 1
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... imaginary dumpling, Hughes goes on gleefully to appropriate some public figures for the rest of the Magnet cast: for instance, we are asked to suppose that Frank Richards (his real name was Charles Hamilton, but Hughes affects not to know this), scouring Eton with a literary purpose in mind, came face to face with a boy called Anthony Eden and put him down on paper as Harry Wharton. (In fact, this isn ...

Magical Orange Grove

Anne Diebel: Lowell falls in love again

10 August 2016
Robert Lowell in Love 
by Jeffrey Meyers.
Massachusetts, 288 pp., £36.50, December 2015, 978 1 62534 186 0
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... In the summer​ of 1935, when he was 18, Robert Lowell and two friends from St Mark’s School – Blair Clark and Frank Parker – rented a house in Nantucket. Under Lowell’s direction, they studied the Bible (with special attention to the Book of Job) and ate cereal with raw ...


Mark​ Ford: Donald Justice

16 November 2006
Collected Poems 
by Donald Justice.
Anvil, 289 pp., £15, June 2006, 0 85646 386 8
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... Vaughn’: I picture the snow as falling without hurry To cover the cobbles and the toppled ashcans completely. It was his story. It would always be his story. Lately he had wandered between St Mark’s Place and the Bowery, Already half a spirit, mumbling and muttering sadly. O the boredom, and the horror, and the glory. All done now. But I remember the fiery Hypnotic eye and the raised voice ...
6 September 2017
... shortage that would increase wages. To this end, he concocts a deadly plague, the Purple Death, but dies before it can be set loose in the world. A Psychical Experiment (1887) by B.F. Cresswell    Mark Darrell cannot decide which of two sisters to marry. One is beautiful but not bright, the other brilliant but plain. His scientist friend Ernest Marshall has invented a technique for transferring ...
30 August 1990
Clever Hearts: Desmond and Molly MacCarthy 
by Hugh Cecil and Mirabel Cecil.
Gollancz, 320 pp., £18.95, July 1990, 0 575 03622 2
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... these things, not was he at all put out when, later on, Molly put him in her novel, A Pier and a Band, as the character Fitzgerald, who ‘seemed to take no pains whatsoever to keep himself up to the mark ... He might have been impressive if he had shown the slightest desire to be so.’ For several years ‘What’s wrong with Desmond?’ was the cry and many similes were strained for: he was like a ...
20 October 1994
Major Major: Memories of an Older Brother 
by Terry Major-Ball.
Duckworth, 167 pp., £12.95, August 1994, 0 7156 2631 0
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... He was 64, and had dropped the Ball, when he fathered our PM. All this seemed fairly promising, but some of it proved difficult to follow up, or even to substantiate. By the time John had made his mark in politics, both of his parents had been dead for several years. So much for visions of double-page spreads of the old troupers in their leotards. The garden-gnome business had gone bust; data on ...

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