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Peter Howarth: Robert Frost’s Prose, 6 November 2008

The Collected Prose of Robert Frost 
edited by Mark Richardson.
Harvard, 375 pp., £25.95, January 2008, 978 0 674 02463 2
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The Notebooks of Robert Frost 
edited by Robert Faggen.
Harvard, 809 pp., £25.95, January 2007, 978 0 674 02311 6
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... and Farm-Poultry as emergency sources of income when his farm was doing badly. They are, as Mark Richardson drily observes, ‘surely the best poultry-stories written by a modern American poet’, but they are less about the hens than the reputations of their owners. This is not the moralist’s New England of isolated farmsteads eking out a ...

Jousting for Peace

Thomas Penn: Henry VIII meets Francis I, 17 July 2014

The Field of Cloth of Gold 
by Glenn Richardson.
Yale, 288 pp., £35, November 2013, 978 0 300 14886 2
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... Anglo-French borderlands south of Calais, into an apotheosis of conspicuous consumption. As Glenn Richardson notes in his minutely detailed book, relatively abundant surviving sources – documenting everything from the designs for the sprawling tent complexes to the provisioning of food and drink for 12,000 guests (particular attention was paid to the beer ...

On the Wall

Nicholas Penny, 7 March 2024

... in the last century was not animated by impulses of this kind. On 10 March 1914 Mary Raleigh Richardson, an educated, high-minded art student (who died a year before Larkin wrote his poem) made an early morning visit to the National Gallery, smashed the glass covering The Rokeby Venus, and slashed the canvas – a protest, she claimed, against the ...

It is still mañana

Matthew Bevis: Robert Frost’s Letters, 19 February 2015

The Letters of Robert Frost, Vol. 1: 1886-1920 
edited by Donald Sheehy, Mark Richardson and Robert Faggen.
Harvard, 811 pp., £33.95, March 2014, 978 0 674 05760 9
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... and confiding in all forms of communication; but he was never as natural as he seemed.’ Sheehy, Richardson and Faggen are keen to set the record straight. Thompson, they write, ‘thought he found the poison of calculation tainting all the letters Frost addressed to editors, anthologists and critics’, but these ‘calculations’, the editors ...

Short Cuts

Nick Richardson: The Classic Apocalypse, 7 January 2021

... cool how one kind of apocalypse prevented us from acting out another). In Capitalist Realism Mark Fisher used them as a metaphor for our mindless nine-to-five-ing: capitalism is a ‘zombie-maker’ and ‘the living flesh it converts into dead labour is ours, and the zombies it makes are us.’ It’s no stretch to imagine either mode of zombification ...

Porringers and Pitkins

Keith Thomas: The Early Modern Household, 5 July 2018

A Day at Home in Early Modern England: Material Culture and Domestic Life, 1500-1700 
by Tara Hamling and Catherine Richardson.
Yale, 311 pp., £40, October 2017, 978 0 300 19501 9
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... other than Marjorie Quennell. This is the intellectual background to Tara Hamling and Catherine Richardson’s ambitious A Day at Home in Early Modern England. Although they are firmly empirical in their approach and never cite Bourdieu or Lefebvre, they are strongly committed to the study of what they call ‘materiality’: Hamling is an authority on the ...

Understanding Forwards

Michael Wood: William James, 20 September 2007

William James: In the Maelstrom of American Modernism 
by Robert Richardson.
Mariner, 622 pp., £15, September 2007, 978 0 618 43325 4
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... philosophical practice are caught in this swift picture. I take these quotations from Robert Richardson’s William James, the most recent in a long run of biographies. Its predecessors were by Ralph Barton Perry (1935), Gay Wilson Allen (1967) and Linda Simon (1998). There are also fine portraits in Jean Strouse’s biography of Alice James (1980) and ...

Short Cuts

Nick Richardson: Aubergines are no longer merely aubergines, 21 April 2016

... !document.querySelector("img.emoji")))twemoji.parse(document.body)}var t=document.createElement("style");t.type="text/css";var m="img.emoji{height:1em;width:1em;margin:0 .05em 0 .1em;vertical-align:-0.1em;}";if(t.styleSheet){t.styleSheet.cssText=m}else{t.appendChild(document.createTextNode(m))}document.getElementsByTagName("head")[0].appendChild(t);var a=document ...

Laertes has a daughter

Bee Wilson: The Redgraves, 6 June 2013

The Redgraves: A Family Epic 
by Donald Spoto.
Robson, 361 pp., £25, November 2012, 978 1 84954 394 1
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The House of Redgrave: The Lives of a Theatrical Dynasty 
by Tim Adler.
Aurum, 336 pp., £20, July 2012, 978 1 84513 623 9
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... was ‘agony for me’ when Larry ‘thinks I’m no good’. Such a public breakdown might well mark the end of an actor’s career, but while Redgrave never quite recovered the shine of his glory days, he continued to work. In 1965 he directed and acted in Turgenev’s A Month in the Country in Guildford opposite Ingrid Bergman. Reviews were not ...

Clarissa and Louisa

Karl Miller, 7 November 1985

Clarissa, or the History of a Young Lady 
by Samuel Richardson, edited with an introduction by Angus Ross.
Viking, 1533 pp., £19.95, August 1985, 0 670 80829 6
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Memoire of Frances, Lady Douglas 
by Lady Louisa Stuart, edited by Jill Rubenstein.
Scottish Academic Press, 106 pp., £9.50, August 1985, 0 7073 0358 3
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... constructions of the biographer of a friend. The first is the more than a million words of Samuel Richardson’s novel Clarissa, whose first edition has been issued by Penguin in the guise of a slab of gold bullion. The second is by an admirer of Richardson’s novels, two generations later – Lady Louisa Stuart, whose ...

Unreasoning Vigour

Stefan Collini: Ian Watt, 9 May 2019

Ian Watt: The Novel and the Wartime Critic 
by Marina MacKay.
Oxford, 228 pp., £25, November 2018, 978 0 19 882499 2
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... deft and thoughtful study. In 1957 Watt published The Rise of the Novel: Studies in Defoe, Richardson and Fielding. Few works of criticism from the second half of the 20th century have been more influential. The Rise of the Novel, MacKay reports, ‘continues to be amplified, supplemented or attacked – it must somehow be reckoned with – by every ...

Ruin it your own way

Susan Pedersen, 4 June 2020

Tastes of Honey: The Making of Shelagh Delaney and a Cultural Revolution 
by Selina Todd.
Chatto, 304 pp., £18.99, August 2019, 978 1 78474 082 5
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A Taste of Honey 
by Shelagh Delaney.
Methuen, 112 pp., £14.44, November 2019, 978 1 350 13495 9
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... her own money (which the Littlewoods managed), she sold the film rights to John Osborne and Tony Richardson’s production company for the very substantial sum of £20,000 (the equivalent of around half a million pounds today).In September 1960 Richardson directed a production of A Taste of Honey in Los Angeles; in October ...

Nate of the Station

Nick Richardson: Jonathan Coe, 3 March 2016

Number 11 
by Jonathan Coe.
Viking, 351 pp., £16.99, November 2015, 978 0 670 92379 3
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... Hilary, the inflammatory tabloid columnist, who rails against Arthur Scargill and the NUM; and Mark, the arms dealer, purveyor of Zyklon B to Saddam Hussein. What a Carve Up! ends as Number 11 begins, with Britain wading into war in Iraq. The Winshaws don’t make many appearances in Number 11, but rather like the ghost of David Kelly they haunt its ...

The Man Who Wrote Too Much

Nick Richardson: Jakob Wassermann, 7 March 2013

My First Wife 
by Jakob Wassermann, translated by Michael Hofmann.
Penguin, 275 pp., £16.99, August 2012, 978 0 14 138935 6
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... a state of constant production. ‘I am sorry to say that an edition of two thousand copies for 75 mark cannot at all satisfy me,’ he wrote to one of his publishers in 1932. ‘Sooner I would decide to make a present than to sell the copyrights for such alms.’ Hofmann says that Wassermann ‘wrote too much, too quickly, too chaotically and ...

Dark and Deep

Helen Vendler, 4 July 1996

Robert Frost: A Biography 
by Jeffrey Meyers.
Constable, 424 pp., £20, May 1996, 0 09 476130 2
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Collected Poems, Prose and Plays 
by Robert Frost, edited by Richard Poirier and Mark Richardson.
Library of America, 1036 pp., $35, October 1995, 9781883011062
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... river beach With mortal longing may beseech; It cannot speak as far as this. It is the mark of the truly capacious poet that he shows us something new each time we leaf through his pages. The large poet resembles nature, in that every ramble leads to new botanical specimens. Frost passes this test. And how are we to think of Frost? He had the ...

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