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Then came the Hoover

Hugh Pennington: The Allergy Epidemic, 22 June 2006

Allergy: The History of a Modern Malady 
by Mark Jackson.
Reaktion, 288 pp., £25, May 2006, 1 86189 271 3
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... other developed countries. Describing, discussing and explaining this phenomenon occupies much of Mark Jackson’s book. He makes a convincing argument that to look on his subject in a straightforward technical/scientific way will not do, and that it’s impossible to understand allergy without placing it in the context of modern medicine: where ...
From Idiocy to Mental Deficiency: Historical Perspectives on People with Learning Disabilities 
edited by David Wright and Anne Digby.
Routledge, 238 pp., £45, October 1996, 9780415112154
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... Nazis were impressed. In England, however, the preferred anti-breeding solution (as is argued by Mark Jackson in his study of the scary Manchester reformer, Mary Dendy) lay in perfecting already existing institutional isolation, identifying the defectives – especially girls with ‘knowledge of evil’ – and securing them permanently in sexually ...

At the Malin Gallery

Adam Shatz: Oliver Lee Jackson, 5 March 2020

... At​ a recent event at the National Gallery in Washington, the painter Oliver Lee Jackson recalled hearing Charlie Parker and Max Roach play at nightclubs in the 1950s. Jackson, who was born in 1935, grew up during the Bebop revolution, and the kinetic language of his canvases echoes the freedom and spontaneity of jazz performance ...

Casino in Small C

Mark Rudman, 8 June 2006

... for Jackson Lears But it was no longer a casino. You could not even dice for drinks in the bar. Malcolm Lowry I missed the turn-off for the capital ‘c’ Casino and couldn’t find a place to turn around and hoped the rocks on this uncombed road battering the bottom of this rented wreck wouldn’t crack an axle when I caught sight of the sign for a second casino somewhere further down the road: not a road – a space hacked out, levelled, cleared ...

‘Très vrai!’

Leah Price, 18 October 2001

Marginalia: Readers Writing in Books 
by H.J. Jackson.
Yale, 324 pp., £19.95, April 2001, 0 300 08816 7
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... the front of the queue by his star-struck parents, a boy begs Sendak not to ‘crap up my book’. Jackson’s central question – are marginalia crap? – has no simple answer, for her study uncovers our passionate ambivalence about unauthorised writing. One might not expect anyone to care enough about marginalia to love them or hate them, but ...

Black and White Life

Mark Greif: Ralph Ellison, 1 November 2007

Ralph Ellison: A Biography 
by Arnold Rampersad.
Knopf, 657 pp., $35, April 2007, 978 0 375 40827 4
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... of Ellison which are useful in quite different ways. Five years ago, the young scholar Lawrence Jackson published Ralph Ellison: Emergence of Genius. It was in effect the first real biography, and not much noticed, though it was a compelling portrait. Jackson chose as his subject-matter only Ellison’s history up to the ...

Adele goes West

Mark Lambert, 17 September 1987

Anywhere but here 
by Mona Simpson.
Bloomsbury, 406 pp., £11.95, June 1987, 0 7475 0017 7
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Herself in Love 
by Marianne Wiggins.
Collins, 184 pp., £9.95, May 1987, 0 00 223147 6
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Journey of the Wolf 
by Douglas Day.
Bodley Head, 235 pp., £10.95, April 1987, 0 370 31064 0
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Spanking the maid 
by Robert Coover.
Heinemann, 102 pp., £8.95, February 1987, 0 434 14289 1
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A Night at the Movies, or, You must remember this 
by Robert Coover.
Heinemann, 187 pp., £12.95, August 1987, 0 434 14390 1
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... it also contains one story which seems to me quite beautiful. This piece, ‘Stonewall Jackson’s Wife’, has to do with the death of, and the mourning of, General Thomas J. Jackson, the Confederate general who has had a sort of quiet following over the years among men and boys (I was one of these boys myself ...

Little Grey Cells

J. Robert Lennon: More Marple than Poirot, 5 March 2020

Big Sky 
by Kate Atkinson.
Black Swan, 356 pp., £8.99, January, 978 0 552 77666 0
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... Kate​ Atkinson’s 12th book, her fifth starring the detective Jackson Brodie, opens with our hero making some kind of escape with a young bride. She tosses her veil and bouquet onto the back seat of Brodie’s car, and they ride off into the sunset. Brodie glances at his companion: ‘He noticed she was cupping the bowl of her belly, where she was incubating an as yet invisible baby ...

A Book of Evasions

Paul Muldoon, 20 March 1980

Visitors Book 
Poolbeg Press, 191 pp., £5.50, November 1979, 0 905169 22 0Show More
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... craftsman, It is 1941. A British ship is torpedoed by a German submarine off the West of Ireland. Mark and Alex and their parents are forced to take to a lifeboat, and are eventually rescued by a destroyer returning from the sinking of the Graf Spee. It’s a ripping yarn told with deftness and economy. MacDonald writes of the blood of a dead gunnery officer ...

Lost Daughters

Tessa Hadley: Kate Atkinson’s latest, 23 September 2004

Case Histories: A Novel 
by Kate Atkinson.
Doubleday, 304 pp., £16.99, September 2004, 0 385 60799 7
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... jacket. I inspected his ears (clean, shell-like), his fingernails (dirty, bitten), the faint tide-mark of grime on his neck, the ingrained oil on his mechanic’s hands, inhaled the faint aroma of marijuana on his breath.’ Atkinson’s novels tend to concern family networks held together by women, with the men participating more or less reluctantly. There ...

Thinking Persons

John Ellis, 14 May 1992

Addressing Frank Kermode: Essays in Criticism and Interpretation 
edited by Margaret Tudeau-Clayton and Martin Warner.
Macmillan, 218 pp., £40, July 1991, 9780333531372
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The Poverty of Structuralism: Literature and Structuralist Theory 
by Leonard Jackson.
Longman, 317 pp., £24, July 1991, 0 582 06697 2
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Inconvenient Fictions: Literature and the Limits of Theory 
by Bernard Harrison.
Yale, 293 pp., £25, September 1991, 0 300 05057 7
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Reading Minds: The Study of English in the Age of Cognitive Science 
by Mark Turner.
Princeton, 298 pp., £18.99, January 1992, 0 691 06897 6
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Mikhail Bakhtin: Creation of a Prosaics 
by Gary Saul Morson and Caryl Emerson.
Stanford, 530 pp., $49.50, December 1990, 0 8047 1821 0
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... literary critics think that they either could of should follow in such ugly footsteps? Leonard Jackson begins his The Poverty of Structuralism with the bald statement: ‘Modern literary theory is very strange.’ Indeed it is, but it is easier to see this than to pin down just how and why it is strange. In Addressing Frank Kermode Kermode prefers on this ...

Pugin’s Law

Mark Swenarton, 4 December 1980

The Work of Sir Gilbert Scott 
by David Cole.
Architectural Press, 244 pp., £25, May 1980, 0 85139 723 9
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Lutyens Country Houses 
by Daniel O’Neill.
Lund Humphries, 167 pp., £8.95, May 1980, 0 85331 428 4
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A Revolution in London Housing: LCC Housing Architects and their Work 1893-1914 
by Susan Beattic.
GLC/Architectural Press, 127 pp., £6.95, July 1980, 0 85139 560 0
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... the social relationships (master to servant, husband to wife, family to outsiders) which, as Mark Girouard has shown, were crucial in determining the form of the country house are omitted altogether. Mr O’Neill is not interested in the life of the building after construction is completed, but only in its architectural conception and birth – a ...

Divinely Ordained

Jackson Lears: God loves America, 19 May 2011

A World on Fire: An Epic History of Two Nations Divided 
by Amanda Foreman.
Penguin, 988 pp., £12.99, June 2011, 978 0 14 104058 5
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... broad canvas, populated by a fascinating array of characters. Mythic figures (Lincoln, Grant, Lee, Jackson), seen afresh, acquire sharper outlines. Second-tier players have their moment in the limelight: the secretary of state William Seward drinks too much and blusters about invading Canada; the US ambassador Charles Francis Adams keeps a stiff and chilly ...

Old Gravy

Mark Ford, 7 September 1995

Robert Graves: Life on the Edge 
by Miranda Seymour.
Doubleday, 524 pp., £20, July 1995, 0 385 40423 9
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Robert Graves and the White Goddess 
by Richard Perceval Graves.
Weidenfeld, 618 pp., £25, July 1995, 0 297 81534 2
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Robert Graves: His Life and Work 
by Martin Seymour-Smith.
Bloomsbury, 600 pp., £25, June 1995, 0 7475 2205 7
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Robert Graves: Collected Writings on Poetry 
edited by Paul O’Prey.
Carcanet, 560 pp., £35, June 1995, 1 85754 172 3
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Robert Graves: The Centenary Selected Poems 
edited by Patrick Quinn.
Carcanet, 160 pp., £15.95, April 1995, 9781857541267
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... the Spanish Civil War, they had attempted a second Holy Circle on a farm owned by Schuyler and Kit Jackson in New Hope, Pennsylvania. Riding immediately set about appropriating Schuyler Jackson – who nurtured philosophical and literary ambitions – which of course necessitated banishing his wife. Kit, she insinuated, was ...

When to Read Was to Write

Leah Price: Marginalia in Renaissance England, 9 October 2008

Used Books: Marking Readers in Renaissance England 
by William Sherman.
Pennsylvania, 259 pp., £29.50, April 2008, 978 0 8122 4043 6
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... rare-book rooms, bags are searched for food, pens are confiscated, hands are gloved. And as H.J. Jackson pointed out in Marginalia: Readers Writing in Books, one result of the growth in the number of ‘career library books’ that remain in reading-rooms from which drink or even ink is excluded is that we are left with a thinner record of ...

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