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Celestial Blue

Matthew Coady

5 July 1984
Sources Close to the Prime Minister: Inside the Hidden World of the News Manipulators 
by Michael Cockerell and David Walker.
Macmillan, 255 pp., £9.95, June 1984, 0 333 34842 7
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... administrations, moreover, command a bureaucracy schooled in concealing what the participants in the decision-making process are actually doing. We are in the hands of the manipulators, say Messrs Cockerell, Hennessy and Walker, a trio tried in the ways of Fleet Street and Shepherds Bush. The massage has become the message. The accusation is by no means new, though those principally involved in ...

Real Thing

John Naughton

24 November 1988
Live from Number 10: The Inside Story of Prime Ministers and Television 
by Michael Cockerell.
Faber, 352 pp., £14.95, September 1988, 0 571 14757 7
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... House. A necessary (if not sufficient) condition for electoral success nowadays is that one should ‘come over well’ on television. And fat people, by and large and on the average, do not. Mr Cockerell’s absorbing book might, at first, be seen as a detailed account of how British politics have marched inexorably towards the same grim destination, with only a time-lag separating us from our ...

Cheeky

Norman Page

16 March 1989
Collected Letters of Thomas Hardy: Vol. VI, 1920-1925 
edited by Richard Little Purdy and Michael​ Millgate.
Oxford, 379 pp., £27.50, March 1987, 0 19 812623 9
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Collected Letters of Thomas Hardy: Vol. VII, 1926-1927 
edited by Richard Little Purdy and Michael​ Millgate.
Oxford, 304 pp., £29.50, October 1988, 0 19 812624 7
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Thomas Hardy: The Offensive Truth 
by John Goode.
Blackwell, 184 pp., £17.95, September 1988, 0 631 13954 0
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The Thomas Hardy Journal. Vol. IV: October 1988 
edited by James Gibson.
Thomas Hardy Society, 80 pp., £2.50, October 1988, 0 00 268541 8
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Hardy’s Metres and Victorian Prosody 
by Dennis Taylor.
Oxford, 297 pp., £32.50, December 1988, 9780198129677
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Collected Short Stories 
by Thomas Hardy.
Macmillan, 936 pp., £16.95, October 1988, 0 333 47332 9
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... marmoreal life and letters. To read the letters is to encounter a personality that seems compounded of Mr Pooter and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. On the first page of Volume Six, in a letter to Sydney Cockerell, Hardy appears in the role of the Old Buffer: ‘I have kept all right so far this winter, but won’t brag.’ Three days later, in a note thanking John Middleton Murry for a presentation copy of ...
14 November 1996
Letters of Emma and Florence Hardy 
edited by Michael​ Millgate.
Oxford, 364 pp., £45, April 1996, 0 19 818609 6
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... committing herself to a shy but ambitious novelist. Oddly, not one of the letters she wrote before her marriage, or for many years after it, has survived. She would have been far from pleased with Michael Millgate’s speculations on their disappearance. ‘In her later years she was often regarded as a faintly ludicrous figure, and in her earlier years her status as Miss Emma Gifford or even as Mrs ...

Ghosts

Hugh Haughton

5 December 1985
The Life and Work of Thomas Hardy 
by Thomas Hardy, edited by Michael​ Millgate.
Macmillan, 604 pp., £30, April 1985, 0 333 29441 6
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The Literary Notebooks of Thomas Hardy: Vols I and II 
edited by Lennart Björk.
Macmillan, 428 pp., £35, May 1985, 0 333 36777 4
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Emma Hardy’s Diaries 
edited by Richard Taylor.
Mid-Northumberland Arts Group/Carcanet, 216 pp., £14.95, January 1985, 0 904790 21 5
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The Collected Letters of Thomas Hardy. Vol. V: 1914-1919 
edited by Richard Little Purdy and Michael​ Millgate.
Oxford, 357 pp., £22.50, May 1985, 0 19 812622 0
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The Complete Poetical Works of Thomas Hardy, Vol. III 
edited by Samuel Hynes.
Oxford, 390 pp., £32.50, June 1985, 0 19 812784 7
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Annals of the Labouring Poor: Social Change and Agrarian England 1660-1900 
by K.D.M. Snell.
Cambridge, 464 pp., £30, May 1985, 0 521 24548 6
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Thomas Hardy 
edited by Samuel Hynes.
Oxford, 547 pp., £12.95, June 1984, 0 19 254177 3
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... way of clearing his life’s arrears. All the same, the editors have had plenty of work to do, and soon every scrap of paper that survived the purges at Max Gate will have been through the mill. Michael Millgate calls his new edition of the biography ‘The Life and Work of Thomas Hardy by Thomas Hardy’. Since he has stripped it of the thin marital disguise of his wife’s name and cleared it of ...

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