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Try It on the Natives

James C. Scott: Colonial Intelligence Agencies, 9 October 2008

Empires of Intelligence: Security Services and Colonial Disorder after 1914 
by Martin Thomas.
California, 428 pp., £29.95, October 2007, 978 0 520 25117 5
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... and British intelligence services in the Middle East and North Africa that are the subject of Martin Thomas’s immensely informed, meticulous and close-grained study not only had an interest in finding activities – unrest, subversion, proto-nationalism – which they then might surveil and suppress: they sought out precisely those activities that ...

At the Wallace Collection

Inigo Thomas: East India Company Commissions, 19 December 2019

... even their names very often went unrecorded. The patrons have clearer identities. One, Claude Martin, was a vinegar distiller’s son from Lyon, who joined the Compagnie des Indes only to desert the French for the British East India Company. He made a fortune – exactly how hasn’t been established – and built himself palaces, amassed a large library ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Amis Biz, 19 April 2001

... Martin Amis’s memoir, Experience, was recently published in paperback. The banned ads have returned to the Underground, now that the offending image of the boy Amis ‘smoking’ in short trousers – never mind that the cigarette was unlit – has been overlaid by a minimalist design of red and white text stamped on a wash of black, intimating No Logo chic ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Dream On, 27 June 2002

... But then again, it may just be that in a past life I helped sell rhinos to the ancient Greeks. Martin Amis, whatever he may have been in a past life, is currently turning into Gyles Brandreth. Blazoned across the Daily Telegraph on 13 June were pictures of the eminent novelist in sports kit that David Beckham might not be ashamed to be seen in. Pilates, we ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Dead Babies, 16 November 2000

... to place some higher example before the world. Carp would have been appalled by the goings-on in Martin Amis’s Dead Babies – all kinds of sex, all kinds of drugs, all kinds of violence, if little or no arson – which was written a mere fifty years later, and has just been adapted for the cinematograph and directed by William Marsh. It’s due for ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Hatchet Jobs, 11 September 2003

... Martin Amis doesn’t like journalists (if you didn’t know that already, you will now, having read Christopher Tayler’s review a few pages ago). This doesn’t stop journalists from loving Martin Amis. When the Man Booker Prize longlist was announced last month, reporters were delighted to see his name on it ...

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Thomas Jones: Flirtation, Seduction and Betrayal, 5 September 2002

... 1928, literary editor of the New Statesman, and a relatively undistinguished one at that. Kingsley Martin described Roberts (in Father Figures, his first volume of autobiography) as the ‘only writer on the NS whose contributions I could not stomach – I found his writing intolerable.’ Clifford Sharp, Martin’s ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: What’s in a name?, 19 October 2000

... for using his name without permission. There are no less than four limited companies called Thomas Jones, with or without sons and various parenthetical geographical locations. While de Bernières is just going to have to get used to sharing his name, other novelists can indulge themselves for a bit longer. The Companies House website, at ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Blair on Blincoe?, 21 March 2002

... in an inspired piece of commissioning, they asked Christine Hamilton to review An Accidental MP, Martin Bell’s account of how he ended up wearing nothing but white suits. And now they’ve got Honor Fraser, a supermodel, to write about Nicholas Blincoe’s latest novel, White Mice (Sceptre, £10.99), because it’s set in the world of fashion. The thinking ...

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Thomas Jones: A Quick Bout of Bardiness, 6 June 2002

... Sven-Göran Eriksson should direct; and if Tony Blair is too busy to play the Fool, perhaps Martin Amis, who has been tentatively sticking up for the Royals in the New Yorker, might oblige. And – who knows? – maybe the Prince of Wales will even be tempted to look into manufacturing and marketing his own organic vile ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Tintin, 15 April 2004

... name was later changed to Bohlwinkel). The curator of the exhibition in Greenwich, Kristian Martin, defends Hergé on the grounds that he had clearly displayed his hatred of extreme politics in the 1930s, and continued to work during the war in order to keep Belgian morale up with a bit of escapism. Throughout his fifty-year career – his inglorious ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Boris Johnson’s ‘Spectator’, 25 January 2001

... letters responding to Coleman. There is, however, a reply to Johnson’s article: a piece in which Martin Mears ‘takes Boris Johnson to task for having deviated from a right-wing orthodoxy on the Lawrence report’. Audi alteram partem? If ...

Cough up

Thomas Keymer: Henry Fielding, 20 November 2008

Plays: Vol. II, 1731-34 
by Henry Fielding, edited by Thomas Lockwood.
Oxford, 865 pp., £150, October 2007, 978 0 19 925790 4
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‘The Journal of a Voyage to Lisbon’, ‘Shamela’ and ‘Occasional Writings’ 
by Henry Fielding, edited by Martin Battestin, with Sheridan Baker and Hugh Amory.
Oxford, 804 pp., £150
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... nowhere more than in the comedies and farces of the 1730s, eight of which appear in this volume of Thomas Lockwood’s edition of Fielding’s drama. A third and final volume of plays is in preparation, and will complete the Wesleyan Edition of the Works of Henry Fielding – a heroic project, begun in the 1960s, which has now outlived all but three members of ...

Guantanamo Bay

Martin Puchner: A state of exception, 16 December 2004

... in the 1920s by the political and legal scholar Carl Schmitt. Having written on dictatorship, Thomas Hobbes, and political Romanticism, Schmitt turned his attention to the newly established liberal democracy of the Weimar Republic. He disliked the regime, and in particular he disliked the constitution, though he did not want to see it abandoned ...

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