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Ramadhin and Valentine

J.R. Pole, 13 October 1988

A History of West Indies Cricket 
by Michael Manley.
Deutsch, 575 pp., £17.95, May 1988, 0 233 98259 0
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Sobers: Twenty Years at the Top 
by Garfield Sobers and Brian Scovell.
Macmillan, 204 pp., £11.95, June 1988, 0 333 37267 0
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... on socialism, Richard Crossman’s Bagehot, would hardly have come out of Whitehall, and Michael Manley would not have found time to write a history of West Indian cricket which encompasses the social, economic and regional problems of the Caribbean if he had been engaged in trying to resolve them in their present manifestations. There is no way ...

Goings-on in the Tivoli Gardens

Christopher Tayler: Marlon James, 5 November 2015

A Brief History of Seven Killings 
by Marlon James.
Oneworld, 688 pp., £8.99, June 2015, 978 1 78074 635 7
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... in the country’s history, contested by two sons of the light-skinned post-independence elite: Michael Manley, the leader of the social democratic People’s National Party, and Edward Seaga, the leader of the conservative Jamaica Labour Party. The Jamaican system of ‘garrisons’ – social housing estates, usually built over bulldozed ...

Down from the Mountain

Greg Grandin: What Happened to Venezuela?, 29 June 2017

Chávez: My First Life 
by Hugo Chávez and Ignacio Ramonet, translated by Ann Wright.
Verso, 544 pp., £30, August 2016, 978 1 78478 383 9
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... of the New Left in the region, subsidising Jamaica under its social democratic prime minister Michael Manley, and Nicaragua after the Sandinista revolution in 1979. But by 1983 oil prices had collapsed and Venezuela’s two-party system had begun its long unravelling.Chávez, then, is best understood as an heir to the ideals of the NIEO, and its ...

Embarrassed

Graham Hough, 7 October 1982

Thomas Hardy: A Biography 
by Michael Millgate.
Oxford, 637 pp., £15, June 1982, 0 19 211725 4
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The Collected Letters of Thomas Hardy. Vol. III: 1902-1908 
edited by Richard Purdy and Michael Millgate.
Oxford, 367 pp., £19.50, July 1982, 0 19 812620 4
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The Neglected Hardy: Thomas Hardy’s Lesser Novels 
by Richard Taylor.
Macmillan, 202 pp., £17.50, May 1982, 0 333 31051 9
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Good Little Thomas Hardy 
by C.H. Salter.
Macmillan, 200 pp., £15, August 1982, 0 333 29387 8
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Thomas Hardy and Women: Sexual Ideology and Narrative Form 
by Penny Boumelha.
Harvester, 178 pp., £18.95, April 1982, 0 7108 0018 5
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Illustration and the Novels of Thomas Hardy 
by Arlene Jackson.
Macmillan, 151 pp., £15, October 1981, 0 333 32303 3
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... a nail gets knocked in so thoroughly that no one need touch it again, and this is the case with Michael Mill-gate’s biography, which is surely, if the word means anything, definitive. Millgate has been in a strong position to make it so. He has already written a detailed study of the novels, he is evidently a close student of the poetry, and with Purdy is ...

Christina and the Sid

Penelope Fitzgerald, 18 March 1982

Christina Rossetti: A Divided Life 
by Georgina Battiscombe.
Constable, 233 pp., £9.50, May 1981, 0 09 461950 6
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The Golden Veil 
by Paddy Kitchen.
Hamish Hamilton, 286 pp., £7.95, May 1981, 0 241 10584 6
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The Little Holland House Album 
by Edward Burne-Jones and John Christian.
Dalrymple Press, 39 pp., £38, April 1981, 0 9507301 0 6
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... in a rage, Christina could be a ripper and a smasher. The elder sister, Maria, and loyal William Michael were the ‘calms’. On ‘My heart is like a singing bird’ William’s editorial comment was: ‘I have more than once been asked whether I could account for the outburst of exuberant joy evidenced in this celebrated lyric; I am unable to do ...

English Butter

David Trotter, 9 October 1986

Englishness: Politics and Culture 1880-1920 
edited by Robert Colls and Philip Dodd.
Croom Helm, 378 pp., £25, June 1986, 0 7099 0849 0
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The Character Factory: Baden-Powell and the Origins of the Boy Scout Movement 
by Michael Rosenthal.
Collins, 335 pp., £15, August 1986, 0 00 217604 1
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Oxford and Empire: The Last Lost Cause? 
by Richard Symonds.
Macmillan, 366 pp., £29.50, July 1986, 0 333 40206 5
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... We are told, for example, that Robert Bridges’s editing of the proto-Modernist poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins accommodated their dangerous excess to a ‘prevailing orthodoxy’, and ‘muffled’ their ‘critique of industrialisation’. Brooker and Widdowson associate the literary radicalism of these ‘occluded’ experiments with a letter of 1871, in ...

Self-Made Women

John Sutherland, 11 July 1991

The Feminist Companion to Literature in English: Women Writers from the Middle Ages to the Present 
edited by Virginia Blain, Isobel Grundy and Patricia Clements.
Batsford, 1231 pp., £35, August 1990, 0 7134 5848 8
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The Presence of the Present: Topics of the Day in the Victorian Novel 
by Richard Altick.
Ohio State, 854 pp., $45, March 1991, 0 8142 0518 6
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... back at Ian Watt’s book, for instance, to find that no woman novelist figures in his account. In Michael McKeon’s voluminous The Origins of the English Novel, 1600-1740 Eliza Haywood, Delarivier Manley and Mary Davys are disposed of in a couple of pages at the end of the ‘Stories of Virtue’ section (Jane Barker is ...

In Fiery Letters

Mark Ford: F.T. Prince, 8 February 2018

Reading F.T. Prince 
by Will May.
Liverpool, 256 pp., £75, December 2016, 978 1 78138 333 9
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... to which Prince had converted around five years earlier. As so often happens in Gerard Manley Hopkins – whose ‘Epithalamion’ perhaps lurks in the hinterland of this poem – the religious meaning and the sensual details presented come to feel part of a complex balanced equation: the earnest efforts made to explain the war in relation to ...

Confounding the Apes

P.N. Furbank, 22 August 1996

The Divine Comedy 
by Dante Alighieri, translated by Allen Mandelbaum.
Everyman, 798 pp., £14.99, May 1995, 1 85715 183 6
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The Inferno of Dante. A New Verse Translation 
by Robert Pinsky, illustrated by Michael Mazur.
Dent, 427 pp., £20, February 1996, 9780460877640
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Dante’s Hell 
translated by Steve Ellis.
Chatto, 208 pp., £15.99, March 1994, 0 7011 6127 2
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... hands, here, there,/fending away the fresh firefalls’ – which is not bad, but is sub-Gerald Manley Hopkins. The shining virtue of Robert Pinsky’s translation is that he has created a verse-line which catches the rhythmic pulse – grave and at the same time springy, even at times dancing – of Dante’s original. His version carries one along with a ...

I want to love it

Susan Pedersen: What on earth was he doing?, 18 April 2019

Eric Hobsbawm: A Life in History 
by Richard J. Evans.
Little, Brown, 800 pp., £35, February 2019, 978 1 4087 0741 8
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... He read Cicero and Virgil, Gibbon and Congreve, Goethe and Nestroy, Machiavelli and Hobbes, Gerard Manley Hopkins and Thomas Hardy, Mikhail Sholokhov and T.E. Lawrence, Baudelaire and Rimbaud, F.R. and Q.D. Leavis, Elizabeth Bowen and Virginia Woolf – this is just a small sampling. Basically, he read his way through the Marylebone public library. He ...

Secrets are best kept by those who have no sense of humour

Alan Bennett: Why I turned down ‘Big Brother’, 2 January 2003

... be kept green against the possible arrival of the men in white coats. 19 January. Watch a video of Michael Powell’s A Matter of Life and Death (1946), the first time, I think, that I have watched it all the way through since I saw it as a child at a cinema in Guildford. Then its particular interest was that the village scenes featuring the local doctor ...

The Playboy of West 29th Street

Colm Tóibín: Yeats’s Father in Exile, 25 January 2018

... many suggestions he made that evening was that, when I was in Dublin again, I should go and see Michael Yeats, the son of the poet, who might be glad to meet someone who was interested in his grandfather as much as his father – and to spend time with someone who was brought up, as I was, in a Fianna Fáil family (Fianna Fáil being at the time the main ...

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