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Life and Death

Philippa Foot, 7 August 1986

The End of Life 
by James Rachels.
Oxford, 196 pp., £12.95, January 1986, 9780192177469
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Voluntary Euthanasia 
edited by A.B. Downing and Barbara Smoker.
Peter Owen, 303 pp., £14.95, February 1986, 0 7206 0651 9
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Moral Dilemmas in Modern Medicine 
edited by Michael Lockwood.
Oxford, 250 pp., £12.95, January 1986, 0 19 217743 5
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... fact that there was no outcry when the Oxford University Press recently published a book by one Michael Tooley whose theme was a defence of infanticide? How else to explain the lack of public reaction to an article published some time ago in which it was suggested that a handicapped child could be killed and ‘replaced’ with one whose chance of happiness ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: The films of Carol Reed, 19 October 2006

Odd Man Out 
directed by Carol Reed.
September 2006
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... Train to Munich (1940) is a sort of ironic remake of The Lady Vanishes, complete with Margaret Lockwood and Naunton Wayne – but Hitchcock is interested in the nightmare of error rather than the death of charity. The Fallen Idol seems a little dated on a new viewing, its images and plot-points signalled too bluntly and too frequently. How often do we need ...


Patricia Lockwood: Insane after coronavirus?, 16 July 2020

... of forgotten classmates – did I, as a second-grader, actually date a pair of hot twins called Michael and Kevin? – so everyone had suffered a falling-out with time. But much of it seemed to be the continuing effects, or after-effects, of the virus itself.One day I realised I couldn’t remember my phone number, another that I couldn’t remember my ...

Watching Dragons Mate

Patricia Lockwood: Edna O’Brien’s ‘Girl’, 5 December 2019

by Edna O’Brien.
Faber, 230 pp., £16.99, September 2019, 978 0 571 34116 0
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... a mother (Lena) who has been to America, who might have had a different life there, and a father (Michael) who periodically folds himself into the arms of the monks to dry out. There is the convent where Edna was educated, and the eyebrows of the nun she loved passionately there. There is also the changeable shape of her first husband, whom she met while ...

Shock Cities

Susan Pedersen: The Fate of Social Democracy, 2 January 2020

Thatcher’s Progress: From Social Democracy to Market Liberalism through an English New Town 
by Guy Ortolano.
Cambridge, 301 pp., £29.99, June 2019, 978 1 108 48266 0
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Me, Me, Me? The Search for Community in Postwar England 
by Jon Lawrence.
Oxford, 327 pp., £25, June 2019, 978 0 19 877953 7
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... as revealed by the records of Raymond Firth’s study of Bermondsey in 1947-49 and 1958-59, and Michael Young and Peter Willmott’s studies of Bethnal Green and Essex in 1953 and 1955. He then turns to Raphael Samuel’s interviews in Stevenage in 1959-60 and John Goldthorpe and David Lockwood’s surveys in Cambridge ...

My Castaway This Week

Miranda Carter: Desert Island Dreams, 9 June 2022

... beg to differ. The early recordings are painfully stagey. The first, from 1951, features Margaret Lockwood (best known for playing feisty period heroines opposite James Mason, who himself did Desert Island Discs in 1961 and 1981) sounding as if she’s narrating a public information film: the Eton boating song ‘conjures up for me a very pleasant English ...

A feather! A very feather upon the face!

Amit Chaudhuri: India before Kipling, 6 January 2000

The Unforgiving Minute 
by Harry Ricketts.
Chatto, 434 pp., £25, January 1999, 0 7011 3744 4
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... David Hare, the Anglo-Portuguese poet and teacher Henry Derozio, the great Bengali poet Michael Madhusudan Dutt. If Kipling had been born fifty years earlier, it would have been impossible for him to write the cheerfully assonantal but bleak lines: ‘O East is East, and West is West/And never the twain shall meet!’ It would have been equally ...

Sorrows of a Polygamist

Mark Ford: Ted Hughes in His Cage, 17 March 2016

Ted Hughes: The Unauthorised Life 
by Jonathan Bate.
William Collins, 662 pp., £30, October 2015, 978 0 00 811822 8
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... to all parties caught up in the Hughesian force field is likely to come across like a hapless Lockwood blundering into Wuthering Heights. Hughes was never a protean poet, one liable to subdue himself, ‘like the dyer’s hand’, to the material he was working on: pretty much any Hughes poem is instantly recognisable as one of his, which is what makes ...

Different Speeds, Same Furies

Perry Anderson: Powell v. Proust, 19 July 2018

Anthony Powell: Dancing to the Music of Time 
by Hilary Spurling.
Hamish Hamilton, 509 pp., £25, October 2017, 978 0 241 14383 4
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... with a publisher with authors like James, Strindberg, Ford and Belloc historically on its list. As Michael Barber, an earlier biographer of Powell, without access to his archives, remarked, it was a period where a little privilege went a long way. There is no reason to doubt that at least in his first year in the capital, Powell felt at sea in London, of ...

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