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Star-Crossed in the Congo

Mark Hudson: Ronan Bennett

20 August 1998
The Catastrophist 
by Ronan Bennett.
Headline, 313 pp., £14.99, July 1998, 9780747222101
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... At independence from Belgium in June 1960, Patrice Lumumba, the Congo’s first prime minister, inherited a territory the size of India with only 12 African university graduates and no African lawyers, senior civil servants or army officers above the rank of sergeant. Although it was still making vast sums for Belgian commercial interests, the country was bankrupt, and almost immediately it began to ...
7 December 1989
In Trouble Again: A Journey between the Orinoco and the Amazon 
by Redmond O’Hanlon.
Penguin, 368 pp., £3.99, October 1989, 0 14 011900 0
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Our Grandmothers’ Drums: A Portrait of Rural African Life and Culture 
by Mark Hudson.
Secker, 356 pp., £12.95, June 1989, 0 436 20959 4
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Borderlines: A Journey in Thailand and Burma 
by Charles Nicholl.
Secker, 320 pp., £12.95, October 1988, 0 436 30980 7
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... documented communities in the whole world, yet its people are still hungry, and at the mercy now not only of droughts and erratic harvests, but of the demands of the IMF. Our Grandmother’s Drums, MarkHudson’s first book, is a record of the 14 months he spent in the village, not as a member of the Research Council, though he is lent a room in their compound, but as an independent observer. It is ...

North and South

Raphael Samuel

22 June 1995
Coming Back Brockens: A Year in a Mining Village 
by Mark Hudson.
Cape, 320 pp., £16.99, October 1994, 0 224 04170 3
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... clubs along the north-east coast were the cathedrals of their communities, the space where men had their pleasure and their politics. Their homes, however, remained some of the worst in Britain. MarkHudson’s Coming Back Brockens – subtitled ‘A Year in a Mining Village’ – extends this anti-heroic narrative, though from the standpoint of a travel writer and a man of letters rather than ...

Two Poems

Mark​ Rudman

4 February 2016
... other versions of the same group will congregate in several cities at once: the Tiber is a no-brainer, ditto the Seine, but it’s the seamless switch to another country, another river, the Hudson, that will set the first blinks into action, as the same exact events unfold, and no one is put out. The story has them in their grip. All these women, sharing in this concern, and no longer ...

At the Nailya Alexander Gallery

August Kleinzahler: George Tice

11 October 2018
... photographs of Fairmount, Indiana; Dixon, Illinois; and Hannibal, Missouri present us with another America, of main streets, front yards, soft, riverine light: home to James Dean, Ronald Reagan and Mark Twain, three utterly dissimilar characters but emblematic for Tice of a certain idea of America. The images in Lincoln at first seem something else entirely. In fact, through these photographs of ...
20 January 2005
... lit at its highest entablatures, water towers and rooftops, cornice and capital,       smokestack and chimneypot picked out by the glow slanting across the river,       intensified Hudson-light, and warm lamps in the high windows,       neon over the shopfronts flickering on; world of consummate detail,       the city lay back, shambling, corpulent, nude … (why he loves ...
17 September 1998
Shadows on the Hudson 
by Isaac Bashevis Singer, translated by Joseph Sherman.
Hamish Hamilton, 560 pp., £16.99, June 1998, 0 241 13940 6
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Isaac Bashevis Singer: A Life 
by Janice Hadda.
Oxford, 254 pp., £22.50, February 1998, 0 19 508420 9
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... The posthumous English publication of Isaac Bashevis Singer’s mammoth novel Shadows on the Hudson has created such a tumel. Critics have been arguing about the quality of the novel, originally serialised in 1957-58 in the New York Yiddish newspaper the Forward; and about the reasons Singer did ...

Danger-Men

Tom Shippey

2 February 1989
A Turbulent, Seditious and Factious People: John Bunyan and his Church 
by Christopher Hill.
Oxford, 394 pp., £19.50, October 1988, 0 19 812818 5
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The Premature Reformation: Wycliffite Texts and Lollard History 
by Anne Hudson.
Oxford, 556 pp., £48, July 1988, 0 19 822762 0
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... after 1660. But people can be stubbornly resistant to mere proximity, however much scholars like to forge connections. It is striking to note, for instance – to take an example from Anne Hudson’s book – that Margery Kempe, about whose orthodoxy there was at least considerable doubt, had as her parish priest William Sawtry, the first man to be burnt to death for Lollardy. If the ...
25 February 1993
Divided we stand: Britain, the US and the Suez Crisis 
by W. Scott Lucas.
Hodder, 399 pp., £25, September 1991, 0 340 53666 7
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Blind Loyalty: Australia and the Suez Crisis 
by W.J. Hudson.
Melbourne, 157 pp., £12.50, November 1991, 0 522 84394 8
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... in the case of Israel a word of caution is called for by his speculations concerning the role of an elaborate deception plan labelled ‘Esau’. These are ingenious but probably overshoot the mark. It is certainly true that there was an Israeli contingency plan called ‘Esau’ in existence before the Sèvres conference with the British and French, designed to make it appear that Britain’s ...
16 November 1995
... in the basement of Big Pink, a couple of months into fooling with old tunes, moving across a common landscape, new songs now coming in a rush; almost three decades later, you can still hear Garth Hudson snap the switch.He clicks on the tape-recorder for the second take of the afternoon. The first time they’d been pressing through the number, the piano, bass, and acoustic guitar piling the rhythm ...

Miss Lachrymose

Liz Brown: Doris Day’s Performances

11 September 2008
Doris Day: The Untold Story of the Girl Next Door 
by David Kaufman.
Virgin, 628 pp., £29.95, June 2008, 978 1 905264 30 8
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... Detail. A staff assistant called her Janie O. Gene Kelly called her Brunhilda. Bob Hope called her J.B. – for Jut Butt. Jerry Lewis called her Sylvia, but James Garner called her Sylvia-honey. Rock Hudson called her Eunice and sometimes Maude; she called him Ernie. Her son called her Sis. The character actor Billy de Wolfe called her Clara Bixby, and this is still what her friends call her. Marty ...

Poor Darling

Jean McNicol

21 March 1996
Vera Brittain: A Life 
by Paul Berry and Mark​ Bostridge.
Chatto, 581 pp., £25, October 1995, 0 7011 2679 5
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Vera Brittain: A Feminist Life 
by Deborah Gorham.
Blackwell, 330 pp., £20, February 1996, 0 631 14715 2
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... in the Times of a mother who said to her hesitating son: “My boy, I don’t want you to go, but if I were you I should.” ’ Vera was equally keen for her brother to join up and Paul Berry and Mark Bostridge believe that her reliance on what they describe as a ‘sentimentalised conception’ of war affected her relationship with Roland Leighton, who was sent to the Front in March 1915 ...

Morality in the Oxygen

E.S. Turner: Tobogganing

14 December 2000
How the English Made the Alps 
by Jim Ring.
Murray, 287 pp., £19.99, September 2000, 0 7195 5689 9
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Killing Dragons: The Conquest of the Alps 
by Fergus Fleming.
Granta, 398 pp., £20, November 2000, 1 86207 379 1
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... Douglas. The chaplain decided to bury what there was of the other three in the snow and read over them the 90th Psalm, from a prayer-book found in the pocket of the dead divine, the Rev. Charles Hudson. Unsurprisingly, the Swiss authorities were displeased about corpses being committed to their snows by English clergymen – Switzerland was not yet an English colony, though beginning to look like ...

Likeable Sage

Sheldon Rothblatt

17 September 1981
Matthew Arnold: A Life 
by Park Honan.
Weidenfeld, 496 pp., £9.95, August 1981, 0 297 77824 2
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... Matthew Arnold, even the aging, egregiously corpulent Matthew Arnold, was a dandy who enjoyed titles, women in smart attire, the company of a Rothschild, the compliments of Disraeli, the wealth of a Hudson River estate (where in 1883 he went to see Delanos and Astors), and yes, it mattered to him that his famous lecture tour of the United States netted upwards of £1000, since he was perpetually in ...

Erasures

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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... to ‘Sestina on Six Words by Weldon Kees’ runs: There is no way to ease the burden. The voyage leads on from harm to harm, A land of others and of silence. When Kees’s father read this poem in Hudson Review, he was convinced it contained some clue to his son’s whereabouts, and was disappointed to be told by its author that the poem was just a poem. Justice was, however, eventually able to ...

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