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The Miners’ Strike

Michael Stewart, 6 September 1984

... by leading members of the Revolutionary Communist Party, such as Frank Richards and Mike Freeman, but their vague rhetoric about uniting the working class and ‘taking control’ does not carry the menace that Mr Scargill does.* If the Government surrenders to the miners, agreeing to subsidise uneconomic pits indefinitely and to prevent any job ...

Digging up the Ancestors

R.W. Johnson, 14 November 1996

Hugh Gaitskell 
by Brian Brivati.
Cohen, 492 pp., £25, September 1996, 1 86066 073 8
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... despised the very notion of the ‘long term’. Nobody tries to make a case for James Callaghan, Michael Foot or Neil Kinnock as candidates for the pantheon and some of the devotion to the late John Smith derives, no doubt, from a desperate endeavour to find a leader of note somewhere. Hence this book. ‘Hugh Gaitskell was the grandfather of Tony Blair’s ...

Phantom Jacks

John Bayley, 5 January 1989

Jack: C.S. Lewis and His Times 
by George Sayer.
Macmillan, 278 pp., £14.95, November 1988, 0 333 43362 9
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J.B. Priestley 
by Vincent Brome.
Hamish Hamilton, 512 pp., £16.95, October 1988, 9780241125601
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Eddy: The Life of Edward Sackville-West 
by Michael De-la-Noy.
Bodley Head, 341 pp., £16, October 1988, 0 370 31164 7
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... He was cross when Bradford reciprocated the indifference, and delayed making its famous son a freeman of the city, but he was most masterful and most himself when away from his native dales. Not so Lewis, for whom the legacy of Protestant Ireland was probably the most significant thing in his imaginative life, more even than Norse mythology and the epic ...

Why are you still here?

James Meek: Who owns Grimsby?, 23 April 2015

... again, a rhythm that sent pulses of cash-rich fishermen racing to the fleshpots and trinketries of Freeman Street, the backbone of the Victorian town, which ran from the docks to the Marsh districts where the fishermen lived. They would walk away from the cashier at the docks, get into a cab and let the meter run through all their sprees and benders and ...

Christopher Hitchens states a prosecution case

Christopher Hitchens, 25 October 1990

Crossman: The Pursuit of Power 
by Anthony Howard.
Cape, 361 pp., £15.95, October 1990, 0 224 02592 9
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... unqualified support. But then, so did the subsequent resignations of Aneurin Bevan, John Freeman and Harold Wilson, which were in protest at the immediate consequences of that budget. There are, to be sure, regular public and private dishonesties, of the kind that every professional politician is expected to commit, and for which he may hope for ...

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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... future be ‘avoiding scholarship on account of inability’. He noted of a damning review by E.A. Freeman of his Studies on Homer and the Homeric Age that it ‘ought to humble me’. But it didn’t. On the contrary, he went on and on, and then some. His early Church Principles Considered in Their Results, which he described as ‘a work of very sanguine ...

Besieged by Female Writers

John Pemble: Trollope’s Late Style, 3 November 2016

Anthony Trollope’s Late Style: Victorian Liberalism and Literary Form 
by Frederik Van Dam.
Edinburgh, 180 pp., £70, January 2016, 978 0 7486 9955 1
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... quantity, and more for observation than vision. But in 1927, 45 years after Trollope’s death, Michael Sadleir published a reassessment. He argued that Trollope was a writer with the rare gift of being able to produce memorable books without writing memorable sentences, and probe depths without seeming to move beyond the surface. Interest revived; the ...

Ich dien

Michael Neill: Shakespeare and the Servants, 22 October 2009

Shakespeare, Love and Service 
by David Schalkwyk.
Cambridge, 317 pp., £50, June 2008, 978 0 521 88639 0
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... minde,’ Gouge writes, ‘and he is as free as his master: for such a seruant is the Lords freeman … he doth after a manner make his seruice free.’ This is what David Evett in Discourses of Service called ‘volitional primacy’ – a paradoxical variant of Stephen Greenblatt’s celebrated ‘Renaissance self-fashioning’, in which a servant’s ...

Relations will stop at nothing

Philip Horne, 5 March 1987

The Whole Family: A Novel by 12 Authors 
by Henry James and William Dean Howells, edited by Elizabeth Jordan, introduced by Alfred Bendixen.
Ungar (USA), 392 pp., $9.95, June 1986, 0 8044 6036 1
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‘Friction with the Market’: Henry James and the Profession of Authorship 
by Michael Anesko.
Oxford, 272 pp., £21.50, January 1987, 0 19 504034 1
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... are worthy of Benjamin Franklin) one asks one’s self what one is doing in that galère.’ Michael Anesko’s strikingly authoritative ‘Friction with the Market’: Henry James and the Profession of Authorship gives a good many detailed and salutary answers in its essential account of exactly what James was doing in his conduct of his career as a ...

The Body in the Library Is Never Our Own

Ian Patterson: On Ngaio Marsh, 5 November 2020

... The Maltese Falcon. That’s the principle of the detective story, the idea that (in the words of Freeman Wills Crofts’s detective, the stolid Inspector French) ‘there’s always something behind everything.’ The thing about the something behind everything is that it’s not easy to see what it is. Which is the reason that, in the wake of ...

Gesture as Language

David Trotter, 30 January 1992

A Cultural History of Gestures: From Antiquity to the Present 
edited by Jan Bremmer and Herman Roodenburg.
Polity, 220 pp., £35, December 1991, 0 7456 0786 1
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The New Oxford Book of 17th-Century Verse 
by Alastair Fowler.
Oxford, 830 pp., £25, November 1991, 0 19 214164 3
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... epitaphs. Thomas James remembers companions lost in the Northern seas, Matthew Stevenson an ‘Old Freeman’: Upon the ground he laid, all weathers, Not as most men, gooselike on feathers. Elizabeth Thomas covers just about all the angles in ‘A Midnight Thought (on the death of Mrs E.H. and Her Little Daughter, Cast away under London ...

Whigissimo

Stefan Collini: Herbert Butterfield, 21 July 2005

Herbert Butterfield: Historian as Dissenter 
by C.T. McIntire.
Yale, 499 pp., £30, August 2005, 0 300 09807 3
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... the dominant narrative of English history, versions of which could be found in Macaulay, Stubbs, Freeman, and on into the 20th century in the writings of such latter-day Whig historians as Trevelyan and, less obviously, Churchill. Butterfield’s attack, however, is directed at the informing assumptions of popular and outline histories. ‘It is perhaps a ...

Our Slaves Are Black

Nicholas Guyatt: Theories of Slavery, 4 October 2007

Inhuman Bondage: The Rise and Fall of Slavery in the New World 
by David Brion Davis.
Oxford, 440 pp., £17.99, May 2006, 0 19 514073 7
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The Trader, the Owner, the Slave 
by James Walvin.
Cape, 297 pp., £17.99, March 2007, 978 0 224 06144 5
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The Forging of Races: Race and Scripture in the Protestant Atlantic World, 1600-2000 
by Colin Kidd.
Cambridge, 309 pp., £16.99, September 2006, 0 521 79324 6
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The Mind of the Master Class: History and Faith in the Southern Slaveholders’ Worldview 
by Elizabeth Fox-Genovese and Eugene Genovese.
Cambridge, 828 pp., £18.99, December 2005, 0 521 85065 7
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... out of which I may not peep, until the protection of this Parliament unlock it, and say, Arise Freeman and walk.’ This petitioner and his desperate associates were not confident that they would be vindicated in their appeals, even though they had one trump card up their sleeves: they were white. The petitioners’ circumstances were unusual: they had ...

‘This in no wise omit’

Tom Bingham: Habeas Corpus, 7 October 2010

Habeas Corpus: From England to Empire 
by Paul Halliday.
Harvard, 502 pp., £29.95, March 2010, 978 0 674 04901 7
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... aforesaid Nicholas is charged, before us at Westminster on Saturday next after eight days of Saint Michael, to undergo and receive whatever our court should then and there happen to order concerning him in this behalf, and this in no wise omit, upon the peril that may befall, and have there this writ. Witness, Sir John Popham, at Westminster, the eleventh day ...

Chianti in Khartoum

Nick Laird: Louis MacNeice, 3 March 2011

Letters of Louis MacNeice 
edited by Jonathan Allison.
Faber, 768 pp., £35, May 2010, 978 0 571 22441 8
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... critically important to a celebrated generation of Northern Irish poets, poets like Derek Mahon, Michael Longley and Muldoon. These writers were led to him by content but stayed for the style. Auden or Eliot’s influence can be overwhelming for a writer, their tone is so settled, their territory staked out so thoroughly. But a novice poet can wander around ...

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