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Crawling towards God

Jonathan Parry, 10 November 1994

The Gladstone Diaries, with Cabinet Minutes and Prime-Ministerial Correspondence. Vol. XII: 1887-1891 
edited by H.C.G. Matthew.
Oxford, 535 pp., £65, September 1994, 0 19 820463 9
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The Gladstone Diaries, with Cabinet Minutes and Prime-Ministerial Correspondence. Vol. XIII: 1892-1896 
edited by H.C.G. Matthew.
Oxford, 486 pp., £65, September 1994, 0 19 820464 7
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The Gladstone Diaries, with Cabinet Minutes and Prime-Ministerial Correspondence. Vol. XIV: Index 
edited by H.C.G. Matthew.
Oxford, 862 pp., £65, September 1994, 0 19 820465 5
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... a record of his personality; for him the function of autobiography was to present ‘faits vus à travers un tempérament’. Englishmen were not so keen on confessing their passions; they also had a more reliable way of defending their honour, consistency and patriotism, because of the centrality of Parliament to 18th-century politics. It was in public ...

Real Busters

Tom Crewe: Sickert Grows Up, 18 August 2022

Walter Sickert 
Tate Britain, until 18 September 2022Show More
Walter Sickert: The Theatre of Life 
edited by Matthew Travers.
Piano Nobile, 184 pp., £60, October 2021, 978 1 901192 59 9
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Sickert: A Life in Art 
by Charlotte Keenan McDonald.
National Museums Liverpool, 104 pp., £14.99, September 2021, 978 1 902700 63 2
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... as on the outdoor man.’ Sickert enjoyed making pronouncements – his most recent biographer, Matthew Sturgis, calls him ‘a man of strong opinions loosely held’ – and this one should be treated with some scepticism. A more significant factor keeping Sickert indoors was his temperament. A bit-part actor in his early youth, he practised a theatrical ...

Scribing the Pharisees

Hyam Maccoby, 9 May 1991

Jewish Law from Jesus to the Mishnah: Five Studies 
by E.P. Sanders.
SCM, 404 pp., £35, May 1990, 0 334 02455 2
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Paul the Convert: The Apostolate and Apostasy of Saul the Pharisee 
by Alan Segal.
Yale, 368 pp., £22.50, June 1990, 0 300 04527 1
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... to build up a more objective picture of the Pharisees from Jewish sources. These were, notably, Travers Herford, George Foot Moore and James Parkes. The latest in this line of pro-Phaisee Christian scholars is E.P. Sanders, whose brilliant book Paul and Palestinian Judaism (1977) contained an indictment of the one sidedness and partisanship of the school of ...

Finished Off by Chagrin

Michael Ledger-Lomas: Monarchs and Emperors, 21 July 2022

The Last Emperor of Mexico: A Disaster in the New World 
by Edward Shawcross.
Faber, 336 pp., £20, January, 978 0 571 36057 4
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King Leopold’s Ghostwriter: The Creation of Persons and States in the 19th Century 
by Andrew Fitzmaurice.
Princeton, 592 pp., £35, February, 978 0 691 14869 4
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The Kaiser and the Colonies: Monarchy in the Age of Empire 
by Matthew Fitzpatrick.
Oxford, 416 pp., £90, February, 978 0 19 289703 9
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... have sovereignty to give away. At this point Leopold turned for help to the English lawyer Sir Travers Twiss, the subject of Fitzmaurice’s book. Twiss was a leading authority on international law, who adduced precedents for what Leopold was trying to do and rubbished Portugal’s claims. He was an expert member of the British delegation to the 1884-85 ...

Love in a Dark Time

Colm Tóibín: Oscar Wilde, 19 April 2001

The Complete Letters of Oscar Wilde 
edited by Merlin Holland and Rupert Hart-Davis.
Fourth Estate, 1270 pp., £35, November 2000, 1 85702 781 7
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... in the city changed somewhat in 1864 when Oscar was nine. A patient of William’s called Mary Travers claimed that the doctor had given her chloroform and raped her. When Lady Wilde wrote a letter vilifying her, Mary Travers sued for libel. She won a farthing damages; and while the legal costs were high, Wilde won the ...

The Tower

Andrew O’Hagan, 7 June 2018

... together and are buried together.’ Nura had her books with her for her exams. Her chemistry, her Matthew Arnold, all of it going with her, as ‘the moon lies fair/Upon the straits’.Many of the Muslim women I spoke to weren’t keen on retribution. Most of them had no interest in apportioning blame or fighting over compensation. ‘It is all in the hands ...

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