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Midges

J.I.M. Stewart, 15 September 1983

M.R. James: An Informal Portrait 
by Michael Cox.
Oxford, 268 pp., £14.50, June 1983, 0 19 211765 3
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... that final shifting of tents. Yet Monty’s scholarship was a puzzle to some. One of these, as Michael Cox recounts, was Lord Acton: ‘You know Montague James?’ he asked a King’s man. ‘Yes, I know him.’ ‘Is it true that he is ready to spend every evening playing games or talking with undergraduates?’ ‘Yes, the evenings and ...

Things

Karl Miller, 2 April 1987

The Oxford Book of English Ghost Stories 
by Michael Cox and R.A. Gilbert.
Oxford, 504 pp., £12.95, October 1986, 0 19 214163 5
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The Ghost Stories of M.R. James 
by Michael Cox.
Oxford, 224 pp., £12.45, November 1986, 9780192122551
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Supernatural Tales 
by Vernon Lee.
Peter Owen, 222 pp., £10.95, February 1987, 0 7206 0680 2
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The Penguin Encyclopedia of Horror and the Supernatural 
edited by Jack Sullivan.
Viking, 482 pp., £14.95, October 1986, 0 670 80902 0
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Ghostly Populations 
by Jack Matthews.
Johns Hopkins, 171 pp., £11.75, March 1987, 0 8018 3391 4
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... Ghosts did not go out when electric light came in, though it could be felt at the time that this was bound to happen. They can look like a trick of the moonlight and candlelight of the past: and yet most of the pieces in the Oxford Book of English Ghost Stories are taken from the well-lighted last quarter of the last century and first quarter of this one ...

Modern Virginity

Paul Delany, 27 February 1992

Song of Love: The Letters of Rupert Brooke and Noel Olivier 1909-1915 
edited by Pippa Harris.
Bloomsbury, 302 pp., £17.99, November 1991, 0 7475 1048 2
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... produced an authorised biography that was strictly economical with the truth. Only in 1967 did Michael Hastings start excavating the Brooke monument, in The Handsomest Young Man in England. Pippa Harris’s edition opens up a new area in our knowledge of Brooke and her introduction and notes provide useful background to the letters, without undue deference ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘Miami Vice’, 17 August 2006

Miami Vice 
directed by Michael Mann.
August 2006
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... no world, just the set or the simulation where the conversations take place. When directors like Michael Mann, whose movie version of Miami Vice has just opened, say they want to make episodes of television series as if they were movies, they mean, among other things, that they want to create a world, a location which is a kind of character. This is ...

Something Rather Scandalous

Jean McNicol: The Loves of Rupert Brooke, 20 October 2016

Rupert Brooke: Life, Death and Myth 
by Nigel Jones.
Head of Zeus, 588 pp., £12, April 2015, 978 1 78185 703 8
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Fatal Glamour: The Life of Rupert Brooke 
by Paul Delany.
McGill-Queen’s, 380 pp., £28.99, March 2015, 978 0 7735 4557 1
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The Second I Saw You: The True Love Story of Rupert Brooke and Phyllis Gardner 
by Lorna C. Beckett.
British Library, 216 pp., £16.99, April 2015, 978 0 7123 5792 0
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... ethos encapsulated by Rugby. The group had its own rules, which Brooke recapitulated to Katherine Cox, whom he met when she was treasurer of the Fabians, and with whom he would have an affair that broke these rules. She hadn’t been sure whether she should let Geoffrey Keynes buy a portrait of her by Duncan Grant: ‘We don’t copulate without ...

Make for the Boondocks

Tom Nairn: Hardt and Negri, 5 May 2005

Multitude 
by Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri.
Hamish Hamilton, 426 pp., £20, January 2005, 0 241 14240 7
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... US Defense Shield, Armageddon has retreated further. In The Globalisation of World Politics (2001) Michael Cox pointed out that today ‘nuclear war is far less likely to happen,’ even though there has been an increase in the number of wars. Later in the same volume Andrew Linklater maintained that ‘there is no doubt that globalisation and ...

How long before Ofop steps in?

Patrick Carnegy, 16 March 2000

In House: Covent Garden, 50 Years of Opera and Ballet 
by John Tooley.
Faber, 318 pp., £25, November 1999, 9780571194155
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Never Mind the Moon: My Time at the Royal Opera House 
by Jeremy Isaacs.
Bantam, 356 pp., £20, November 1999, 0 593 04355 3
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... stage mechanics of the new theatre. Isaacs did create one or two wholly new jobs, bringing in John Cox, for example, as director of productions. The hope was that a more carefully thought out approach would result in a better alignment between the House’s musical strengths and the theatrical side. There were, however, serious obstacles, one of which was ...

Elegy for Gurney

Sarah Howe: Robert Edric, 4 December 2008

In Zodiac Light 
by Robert Edric.
Doubleday, 368 pp., £16.99, July 2008, 978 0 385 61258 6
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... invented doctors and inmates, Edric’s Gurney interacts with two historical figures familiar from Michael Hurd’s biography, The Ordeal of Ivor Gurney (1978). The first is Marion Scott, a friend from Gurney’s Royal College days. She would loom large in any account, as the person who collated Gurney’s scattered manuscripts and intervened with his doctors ...

Best Remain Seated

Jeremy Harding: Travel guides, 1 January 1998

Kenya 
by Hugh Finlay and Geoff Crowther.
Lonely Planet, 376 pp., £11.99, April 1997, 0 86442 460 4
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Borneo 
by Robert Pelton Young.
Fielding, 632 pp., £13.95, December 1995, 1 56952 026 7
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Asia's Top Dive Sites 
edited by Fiona Nichols and Michael Stachels.
Fielding, 228 pp., £13.95, December 1996, 1 56952 129 8
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South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland 
by Jon Murray et al.
Lonely Planet, 658 pp., £13.99, January 1998, 0 86442 508 2
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Southern Africa 
by Richard Cox.
Thornton Cox, 474 pp., £11.95, July 1995, 0 7818 0388 8
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The World's Most Dangerous Places 
by Robert Pelton Young.
Fielding, 1048 pp., £13.95, December 1997, 1 56952 104 2
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South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland 
by Barbara McCrea et al.
Rough Guides, 697 pp., £12.99, October 1997, 1 85828 238 1
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The Good Honeymoon Guide 
by Lucy Horne.
Trailblazer, 320 pp., £11.95, March 1997, 1 873756 12 7
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Amnesty International Report 1997 
Amnesty International, 378 pp., £18, June 1997, 0 86210 267 7Show More
Morocco 
by Barnaby Rogerson.
Cadogan, 596 pp., £12.99, December 1997, 1 86011 043 6
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... to put them to death. The best approach, you’d have thought, would be to switch to the Thornton CoxSouthern Africa, a ‘classic safari guide’. But while it clearly approves of hunting, the guide is discreet, not to say cagey, on the subject, confining itself to a few observations about duties levied on trophies at southern African airports and ...

Delivering the Leadership

Nick Cohen: Get Mandy, 4 March 1999

Mandy: The Authorised Biography of Peter Mandelson 
by Paul Routledge.
Simon and Schuster, 302 pp., £17.99, January 1999, 9780684851754
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... in 1993 fell well for them. (Among the lucky LWT managers, incidentally, were Melvyn Bragg, Barry Cox and Greg Dyke. They provided most of the £79,000 Tony Blair spent on his campaign to become Labour leader. Bragg was ennobled by New Labour, Cox is a senior executive in the ITV network and Dyke’s contributions to Labour ...

Aliens

John Sutherland, 21 January 1982

Brave Old World 
by Philippe Curval, translated by Steve Cox.
Allison and Busby, 262 pp., £6.95, November 1981, 0 85031 407 0
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The Insider 
by Christopher Evans.
Faber, 215 pp., £6.95, November 1981, 0 571 11774 0
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Genetha 
by Roy Heath.
Allison and Busby, 185 pp., £6.95, November 1981, 0 85031 410 0
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From the Heat of the Day 
by Roy Heath.
Allison and Busby, 159 pp., £6.50, October 1979, 0 85031 325 2
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One Generation 
by Roy Heath.
Allison and Busby, 202 pp., £2.50, March 1981, 9780850312546
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Sardines 
by Nuruddin Farah.
Allison and Busby, 250 pp., £7.95, November 1981, 0 85031 408 9
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... Apollo in 1976. In France, ‘Curval’s name is as well-known as Frank Herbert’s in America or Michael Moorcock’s in Britain.’ Brave Old World transports us to ‘Marcom’ – the EEC as it will have developed in the late 21st century. Britain is apparently still in. But since the whole action takes place where France used to be, we are not yet ...

Just Two Clicks

Jonathan Raban: The Virtual Life of Neil Entwistle, 14 August 2008

... to the most amazing woman in the world this summer: Rachel. We met through rowing. She was my cox, I her stroke! She’s from the good ol’ US, Boston to be more specific, Plymouth (the original landing site) if you’re really curious. Living south of the Birmingham border is my only complaint in life. It was a shock to hear him speak in ...

The Problem of Reality

Michael Wood: Primo Levi, 1 October 1998

Primo Levi: The Tragedy of an Optimist 
by Myriam Anissimov, translated by Steve Cox.
Aurum, 452 pp., £25, September 1998, 1 85410 503 5
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... Myriam Anissimov’s biography of Primo Levi, first published in French two years ago, begins with a kind of stutter surrounding the writer’s end. The book’s Introduction, prologue and opening chapter all invoke his death, as if it were a threshold that had to be crossed but couldn’t be crossed without returning. ‘On 11 April 1987 Primo Levi plunged down the stairwell of the house where he was born and had always lived’; ‘It was this man who on an April morning, after a period of dreadful depression, suddenly “exited life by the window”, in the words of the Italian critic Cesare Cases’; ‘One Saturday morning in April 1987, a tragedy disrupted the peace and quiet of the Corso Re Umberto ...

They should wear masks

Paul Foot: Highway Robbery, 7 January 1999

Stagecoach: A Classic Rags-to-Riches Tale from the Frontiers of Capitalism 
by Christian Wolmar.
Orion, 227 pp., £18.99, November 1998, 0 7528 1025 1
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... end up as an oligopoly.’ Souter even criticises right-wing Tories like Ridley, Peter Lilley and Michael Portillo for complaining about his oligopoly. Wolmar dutifully describes this argument as ‘sophisticated’. It does, however, seem a little churlish of Souter to criticise Tory ministers when they handed so many public assets to him on a plate, and his ...

Easter Island Revisited

Tam Dalyell, 27 June 1991

A Green History of the World 
by Clive Ponting.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 352 pp., £16.95, May 1991, 1 85619 050 1
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... of asking ministers questions arising from the document, handed it to the Defence Secretary, Michael Heseltine, and his department. Let no one kid themselves that, in our system, Select Committees of the House of Commons with an in-built Government majority will perform the same investigatory functions as the Committees of Congress. On really delicate ...

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