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Dream On

Katha Pollitt: Bringing up Babies

11 September 2003
I Don't Know How She Does It 
by Allison Pearson.
Vintage, 256 pp., £6.99, May 2003, 0 09 942838 5
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A Life’s Work: On Becoming a Mother 
by Rachel Cusk.
Fourth Estate, 224 pp., £6.99, July 2002, 1 84115 487 3
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The Truth about Babies: From A-Z 
by Ian Sansom.
Granta, 352 pp., £6.99, June 2003, 1 86207 575 1
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What Are Children For? 
by Laurie Taylor and Matthew Taylor.
Short Books, 141 pp., £6.99, January 2003, 1 904095 25 9
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The Commercialisation of Intimate Life 
by Arlie Russell Hochschild.
California, 313 pp., £32.95, May 2003, 0 520 21487 0
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... though, is the sheer over-the-topness, the too-muchness of life with a new baby: ‘I hate babies’; ‘Your piss smells so good I think about bottling it’; ‘We’re obsessed.’ If Laurie Taylor and MatthewTaylor, father and son, had read Rachel Cusk and Ian Sansom, they might not be so vexed by the question they pose in their title. A pop-sociological essay with autobiographical ...

A Smaller Island

Matthew​ Reynolds: David Mitchell

10 June 2010
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet 
by David Mitchell.
Sceptre, 469 pp., £18.99, May 2010, 978 0 340 92156 2
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... and who likes tougher kids than he will ever be; in The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet … well, we’ll come to that. Both protagonists have difficulties in communicating (the 13-year-old Jason Taylor has a stammer, Jacob de Zoet has to learn Japanese); both achieve surprising popularity among their peers by siding with institutional authority (snitching to the headteacher; refusing to collaborate ...


Tobias Jones: The politics of football

7 May 1998
... but by football’s political desire to react to hooliganism by erecting unforgiving steel cages which became coffins’, Colin Ward writes in All Quiet on the Hooligan Front (1996). Lord Justice Taylor produced his interim report on the tragedy on 1 August that year. The chief superintendent in charge, Taylor decided, ‘could not face the enormity of the decision to open the gates and all that ...


Frank Kermode: Being a critic

27 May 1999
... professor, my tone was inappropriate. My reviewing career was as good as over, as far as the learned journals were concerned. But help was unexpectedly at hand. I was asked by the late Basil Taylor to give some talks at the RCA, and somebody must have liked them, for I was soon on the Third Programme, which, as I daresay few remember, did a lot of book reviewing in 20-minute slots, as well as ...

Out of Germany

E.S. Shaffer

2 October 1980
The German Idea: Four English Writers and the Reception of German Thought 1800-1860 
by Rosemary Ashton.
Cambridge, 245 pp., £14.50, April 1980, 0 521 22560 4
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Criticism in the Wilderness. The Study of Literature Today 
by Geoffrey Hartman.
Yale, 314 pp., £11.40, October 1980, 0 300 02085 6
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... German drama in the Scottish periodicals. Too often the genuine ‘finds’ of researchers never leave the excavation site. The earlier period of Mackenzie and Scott needs more attention, and William Taylor of Norwich and the increasing company of provincial Dissenting students of German are too quickly dismissed; the large band of translators of Schiller (apart from Coleridge) is unaccountably ignored ...

The Stamp of One Defect

David Edgar: Jeremy Thorpe

29 July 2015
Jeremy Thorpe 
by Michael Bloch.
Little, Brown, 606 pp., £25, December 2014, 978 0 316 85685 0
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Closet Queens: Some 20th-Century British Politicians 
by Michael Bloch.
Little, Brown, 320 pp., £25, May 2015, 978 1 4087 0412 7
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... of great gifts whose life was tragically ruined by fatal flaws’, or ‘a shallow and unattractive character partly redeemed by some charming qualities’. The prosecutor in Thorpe’s trial, Peter Taylor, described his life as ‘a tragedy of truly Greek or Shakespearean proportions – the slow but inevitable destruction of a man by the stamp of one defect’. Clearly, the plot to kill (or even ...

I can bite anything I want

Matthew​ Bevis: Lewis Carroll

15 July 2015
Lewis Carroll 
by Morton Cohen.
Macmillan, reissue, 577 pp., £30, April 2015, 978 1 4472 8613 4
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The Selected Letters of Lewis Carroll 
edited by Morton Cohen.
Palgrave, reissue, 302 pp., £16.99, March 2015, 978 1 137 50546 0
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Lewis Carroll: The Man and His Circle 
by Edward Wakeling.
Tauris, 400 pp., £35, November 2014, 978 1 78076 820 5
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... to do what you wish, or at least by refusing to tell you where your wishes will lead and what they might mean. When he was trying to find a title for his book, Carroll insisted to the playwright Tom Taylor that ‘in spite of your “morality”, I want something sensational.’ Twenty years later, he was adamant that the books ‘have no religious teaching whatever in them – in fact, they do not ...

Many Andies

Andrew O’Hagan

16 October 1997
Shoes, Shoes, Shoes 
by Andy Warhol.
Bulfinch Press, 35 pp., $10.95, May 1997, 0 8212 2319 4
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Style, Style, Style 
by Andy Warhol.
Bulfinch Press, 30 pp., $10.95, May 1997, 0 8212 2320 8
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Who is Andy Warhol? 
edited by Colin MacCabe, Mark Francis and Peter Wollen.
BFI, 162 pp., £40, May 1997, 9780851705880
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All Tomorrow’s Parties: Billy Name’s Photographs of Andy Warhol’s Factory 
by Billy Name.
frieze, 144 pp., £19.95, April 1997, 0 9527414 1 5
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The Last Party: Studio 54, Disco and the Culture of the Night 
by Anthony Haden-Guest.
Morrow, 404 pp., $25, April 1996, 9780688141516
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... for a laugh, than have to put up with one more word on the subject from the contributors to Who is Andy Warhol?, a book so deeply off you wouldn’t feed it to Oscar de la Renta’s dogs. Here’s Matthew Tinkcom. ‘Camp is the alibi for gay-inflected labour to be caught in the chain of value-coding within capitalist political economies... I would suggest that Camp is more productively seen in ...

New-Model History

Valerie Pearl

7 February 1980
The City and the Court 1603-1643 
by Robert Ashton.
Cambridge, 247 pp., £10.50, September 1980, 0 521 22419 5
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... of Spanish silver through London and Dover rather than through Genoa. This greater availability of silver greatly benefited the East India Company. The silver trade through Dover was also, as Mr Taylor and Mr Kepler have shown, of vital importance for the reexport business: this brought a new height of prosperity to the Levant traders and others in the 1630s. The Goa treaty with Portugal in 1635 ...
21 August 1980
The Victorians and Ancient Greece 
by Richard Jenkyns.
Blackwell, 386 pp., £15, June 1980, 0 631 10991 9
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... Plato, which in Germany received a powerful impetus from the work of Schleiermacher. The first English thinker to reflect the Continental trend was Coleridge (although the isolated figure of Thomas Taylor had pointed the way in the 18th century). The early Utilitarians were too philistine to take much notice of Plato, but Mill studied him effectively, and Grote made him the subject of an important ...


John Sutherland

8 June 1995
Empire of Words: The Reign of the ‘OED’ 
by John Willinsky.
Princeton, 258 pp., £19.95, November 1994, 0 691 03719 1
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... Such renovation raises sharp strategic and financial issues. How radical should the Press be? With the Oxford Shakespeare, they attempted a ground-up, total remodelling job. Stanley Wells and Gary Taylor were recruited into the Press for a substantial portion of their scholarly careers. The expenditure must have been huge. The results, judging by reviews of the edition, may not have been entirely ...

Masses and Classes

Ferdinand Mount: Gladstone

17 February 2005
The Mind of Gladstone: Religion, Homer and Politics 
by David Bebbington.
Oxford, 331 pp., £55, March 2004, 0 19 926765 0
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... if now more often couched in secular terms, and it is still being tossed around, as Bebbington points out, by communitarians and others on both sides of the Atlantic, notably Amitai Etzioni, Charles Taylor and Alasdair MacIntyre. Utilitarianism is not enough. If solidarity is to be a real presence in our lives rather than a hollow slogan, then there must be some shared focus of – I can’t think of a ...

Pork Chops and Pineapples

Terry Eagleton: The Realism of Erich Auerbach

23 October 2003
Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature 
by Erich Auerbach.
Princeton, 579 pp., £13.95, May 2003, 9780691113364
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... The idea that everyday life is dramatically enthralling, that it is fascinating simply in its boundless humdrum detail, is one of the great revolutionary conceptions in human history, which Charles Taylor in Sources of the Self claims as Christian in inspiration. The modern equivalent of Moll Flanders in this respect is EastEnders. Auerbach’s Mimesis, one of the great works of literary scholarship ...

On Trying to Be Portugal

Geoffrey Wheatcroft: Zionist Terrorism

6 August 2009
‘A Senseless, Squalid War’: Voices from Palestine 1945-48 
by Norman Rose.
Bodley Head, 278 pp., £20, March 2009, 978 0 224 07938 9
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Major Farran’s Hat: Murder, Scandal and Britain’s War against Jewish Terrorism 1945-48 
by David Cesarani.
Heinemann, 290 pp., £20, March 2009, 978 0 434 01844 4
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... planned to infect the London water supply with cholera. Meanwhile the great game of international politics was played out. Reviewing Nicholas Bethell’s The Palestine Triangle 30 years ago, A.J.P. Taylor said that no Englishman could contemplate the story of the last years of Mandatory Palestine without some sense of shame. And he added, just as truly, that ‘the role of the American administration ...

Kill your own business

Deborah Friedell: Amazon’s Irresistible Rise

5 December 2013
The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon 
by Brad Stone.
Bantam, 384 pp., £18.99, October 2013, 978 0 593 07047 5
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... King sold online would be no better or worse than those sold in shops. But no actual shop was big enough to offer all the three million-plus books in print. Two distributors, Ingram and Baker & Taylor, handled distribution for most American publishers: Bezos wouldn’t have to make separate deals with each publishing house. Books also came assigned with International Standard Book Numbers and were ...

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