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Spookery, Skulduggery

David Runciman: Chris Mullin, 4 April 2019

The Friends of Harry Perkins 
by Chris Mullin.
Scribner, 185 pp., £12, March 2019, 978 1 4711 8248 8
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... in 1981 – it was a close-run thing, but it was also the closest he would ever get to the top. Michael Foot, the party leader, was facing the brute realities of the Falklands War and the defection of the so-called Gang of Four to the SDP. The Labour left wasn’t about to have power wrested from it. It was beginning to dribble away. The sense of nostalgia ...

Sex’n’Love

Blake Morrison, 21 February 1991

The Chatto Book of Love Poetry 
edited by John Fuller.
Chatto, 374 pp., £13.99, August 1990, 0 7011 3453 4
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The Faber Book of Blue Verse 
edited by John Whitworth.
Faber, 305 pp., £14.99, October 1990, 0 571 14095 5
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Self-Portrait with a Slide 
by Hugo Williams.
Oxford, 62 pp., £5.95, June 1990, 0 19 282744 8
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The Virago Book of Love Poetry 
edited by Wendy Mulford.
Virago, 288 pp., £6.99, November 1990, 1 85381 030 4
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Erotica: An Anthology of Women’s Writing 
edited by Margaret Reynolds, foreword by Jeanette Winterson .
Pandora, 362 pp., £19.99, November 1990, 9780044406723
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Daddy, Daddy 
by Paul Durcan.
Blackstaff, 185 pp., £5.95, August 1990, 0 85640 446 2
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... without the other. Those who have both will find that, among contemporaries, Christopher Reid and Michael Hofmann are classified as love poets but Craig Raine and Tony Harrison as blue versifiers. Only a few poets make both, including Seamus Heaney, who has two poems unworthy of him in the Whitworth (one about unfreezing a vaginal pump, one about a ...

Keepers

Andrew Scull, 29 September 1988

Mind Forg’d Manacles: A History of Madness in England from the Restoration to the Regency 
by Roy Porter.
Athlone, 412 pp., £25, August 1987, 0 485 11324 4
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The Past and the Present Revisited 
by Lawrence Stone.
Routledge, 440 pp., £19.95, October 1987, 0 7102 1253 4
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Sufferers and Healers: The Experience of Illness in 17th-Century England 
by Lucinda McCray Beier.
Routledge, 314 pp., £30, December 1987, 0 7102 1053 1
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Illness and Self in Society 
by Claudine Herzlich and Janine Pierret, translated by Elborg Forster.
Johns Hopkins, 271 pp., £20.25, January 1988, 0 8018 3228 4
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Medicine and Society in Wakefield and Huddersfield 1780-1870 
by Hilary Marland.
Cambridge, 503 pp., £40, September 1987, 0 521 32575 7
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A Social History of Madness: Stories of the Insane 
by Roy Porter.
Weidenfeld, 261 pp., £14.95, October 1987, 0 297 79223 7
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... their eyes back on the pre-reform era, saw little reason to dispute its unsavoury reputation. Even Michael MacDonald, whose splen did Mystical Bedlam used the casebooks of the astrological physician and divine Richard Napier to illuminate the mental world of the 17th century, and to suggest that mental alienation and distress might then have been dealt with in ...

John McEnroe plus Anyone

Edward Said: Tennis, 1 July 1999

The Right Set: The Faber Book of Tennis 
edited by Caryl Phillips.
Faber, 327 pp., £12.99, June 1999, 0 571 19540 7
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... tenacity and panache had a lasting influence on the game, apparent not only in Boris Becker and Michael Stich (who resembles von Cramm in the sheer fluency of his strokes) but also in the remarkable Wilhelm Bungert, a Wimbledon finalist twenty years before Becker. What is the secret of Czech tennis, what with Drobny and his doubles partner Czernik, leading ...

Cockneyism

Gregory Dart: Leigh Hunt, 18 December 2003

The Selected Writings of Leigh Hunt 
edited by Robert Morrison and Michael Eberle-Sinatra.
Pickering & Chatto, £495, July 2003, 1 85196 714 1
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... work he did during the Examiner period. And the editors of these volumes, Greg Kucich and Jeffrey Cox, have done a superb job of setting it in context, offering a compelling re-evaluative essay by way of an introduction, and prefacing every article with a detailed explanatory note. These articles cover all the major issues of the Regency (Napoleon, the ...

Now to Stride into the Sunlight

Ian Jack: The Brexiters, 14 June 2017

What Next: How to Get the Best from Brexit 
by Daniel Hannan.
Head of Zeus, 298 pp., £9.99, November 2016, 978 1 78669 193 4
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The Bad Boys of Brexit: Tales of Mischief, Mayhem & Guerrilla Warfare in the EU Referendum Campaign 
by Arron Banks.
Biteback, 354 pp., £9.99, June 2017, 978 1 78590 205 5
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All Out War: The Full Story of How Brexit Sank Britain’s Political Class 
by Tim Shipman.
William Collins, 688 pp., £9.99, June 2017, 978 0 00 821517 0
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... his various capacities as think-tank director, Daily Telegraph leader-writer and speechwriter for Michael Howard, he has been agitating against the United Kingdom’s membership of the EU throughout the 25 years since he was a student politician at Oxford. As an MEP he helped persuade David Cameron to withdraw the Tories from the conservative-liberal ...

His Fucking Referendum

David Runciman: What Struck Cameron, 10 October 2019

For the Record 
by David Cameron.
William Collins, 732 pp., £25, September 2019, 978 0 00 823928 2
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... putting the finishing touches to a government reshuffle that would see him shunt his old friend Michael Gove from the Department of Education to a new role as chief whip. In effect he was clearing the decks for the following year’s election and he needed one of his most contentious and least popular ministers to be less visible. Still, he discussed it ...

Tacky Dress

Dale Peck, 22 February 1996

Like People in History: A Gay American Epic 
by Felice Picano.
Viking, 512 pp., $23.95, July 1995, 0 670 86047 6
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How Long Has This Been Going On? 
by Ethan Mordden.
Villard, 590 pp., $25, April 1995, 0 679 41529 7
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The Facts of Life 
by Patrick Gale.
Flamingo, 511 pp., £15.99, June 1995, 0 602 24522 2
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Flesh and Blood 
by Michael Cunningham.
Hamish Hamilton, 480 pp., £14.99, June 1995, 9780241135150
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... late Seventies an organisation called the Violet Quill had formed, and its members – Christopher Cox, Robert Ferro, Michael Grumley, Andrew Holleran, Felice Picano, Edmund White and George Whitmore, together with the film critic Vito Russo and the editor and academic George Stambolian – began producing books whose ...

What are we telling the nation?

David Edgar: Thoughts about the BBC, 7 July 2005

Uncertain Vision: Birt, Dyke and the Reinvention of the BBC 
by Georgina Born.
Vintage, 352 pp., £10.99, August 2005, 0 09 942893 8
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Building Public Value: Renewing the BBC for a Digital World 
BBC, 135 pp.Show More
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... by the head of serials, Jonathan Powell, produced by the Birmingham regional drama head, Michael Wearing, and scheduled before Martin had finished the scripts. Third, as a result of its plural structure, the department had gained and kept its reputation as a producer-led, oppositional space, not just for Edge of Darkness, but for Alan Bleasdale’s ...

Cinematically Challenged

Adam Mars-Jones, 19 September 1996

The Cinema of Isolation 
by Martin Norden.
Rutgers, 385 pp., $48, September 1994, 0 8135 2103 3
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... in The Cinema of Isolation nevertheless uses disability themes in a uniquely disorienting way: Michael Mann’s Manhunter (1988), best known as a sort of prequel to The Silence of the Lambs, with Brian Cox doing a turn as Hannibal Lecter. The serial killer in the film is an Obsessive Avenger with a vengeance, murdering ...

Brexit and Myths of Englishness

James Meek: For England and St George, 11 October 2018

... it overrides any moral test for the methods used to carry it out. The murder of the Remainer MP Jo Cox during the referendum campaign by a British nationalist terrorist – she was stabbed 15 times and shot in the head, chest and hand – concerned Farage so little that he said in his victory speech the vote had been won ‘without a single bullet being ...

We Are Many

Tom Crewe: In the Corbyn Camp, 10 August 2016

... as wide as 16 points. Corbyn is the most unpopular opposition leader on record, polling worse than Michael Foot, William Hague, Iain Duncan Smith, Michael Howard and Ed Miliband, all of whom went on to lose general elections by significant margins, or did not get to contest them. There are 230 Labour MPs; on 28 June, 172 of ...

Criminal Justice

Ronan Bennett, 24 June 1993

... Richardson had insisted they were innocent and had been framed by the police. I recalled that Sir Michael Havers, who led for the Crown in the 1975 trial, had reasoned to the jury that if the Four were innocent, a huge conspiracy to pervert the course of justice must have taken place. Where did this leave Havers’s conspiracy? Had the Court of Appeal ...

Where are we now?

LRB Contributors: Responses to the Referendum, 13 July 2016

... or Gove have gone it alone if the other hadn’t been there to provide cover? Did the murder of Jo Cox, counter-intuitively, harden rather than soften the resolve of some Leave voters not to be dictated to by politicians? But there is one ‘what if’ about which I am confident. We would not be in this situation if our electoral system worked on the basis of ...

Iraq, 2 May 2005

Andrew O’Hagan: Two Soldiers, 6 March 2008

... and the heart, causing massive internal bleeding. He had no chance of survival. Captain Andrew Cox dispatched a helicopter to pick up the injured man and bring him back to base. The helicopter carried him to camp Abu Naji where he was ventilated, but his pupils became fixed and at 00.50 hrs on 2 May 2005, surrounded by medical officers, Guardsman Wakefield ...

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