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Why name a ship after a defeated race?

Thomas Laqueur: New Lives of the ‘Titanic’

24 January 2013
The Wreck of the ‘Titan’ 
by Morgan Robertson.
Hesperus, 85 pp., £8, March 2012, 978 1 84391 359 7
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Shadow of the ‘Titanic’ 
by Andrew Wilson.
Simon and Schuster, 392 pp., £8.99, March 2012, 978 1 84739 882 6
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‘Titanic’ 100th Anniversary Edition: A Night Remembered 
by Stephanie Barczewski.
Continuum, 350 pp., £15.99, December 2011, 978 1 4411 6169 7
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The Story of the Unsinkable ‘Titanic’: Day by Day Facsimile Reports 
by Michael Wilkinson and Robert Hamilton.
Transatlantic, 127 pp., £16.99, November 2011, 978 1 907176 83 8
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‘Titanic’ Lives: Migrants and Millionaires, Conmen and Crew 
by Richard Davenport-Hines.
Harper, 404 pp., £9.99, September 2012, 978 0 00 732166 7
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Gilded Lives, Fatal Voyage 
by Hugh Brewster.
Robson, 338 pp., £20, March 2012, 978 1 84954 179 4
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‘Titanic’ Calling 
edited by Michael Hughes and Katherine Bosworth.
Bodleian, 163 pp., £14.99, April 2012, 978 1 85124 377 8
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... pleasures people could take from contemplating catastrophe were already there to be enjoyed. In 1898 a minor, prolific and, until this centenary, largely forgotten American writer of sea tales called MorganRobertson published Futility, or the Wreck of the ‘Titan’. Fourteen years later he cashed in by changing the tonnage of the fictional ship to nearer that of the real one, and cutting ‘futility ...

Diary

Jenny Turner: ‘T2 Trainspotting’

16 February 2017
... northern Europe. I emailed Welsh to ask more, and he replied to say he was busy with a play about to open in Chicago, but would try to help me. I haven’t heard from him again. I did talk to Roy Robertson, the professor of addiction medicine at Edinburgh University, who has worked as a GP in Muirhouse on the north side of Edinburgh since 1980, and whose study of what is now known as the Edinburgh ...
20 February 1997
Sleaze: The Corruption of Parliament 
by David Leigh and Ed Vulliamy.
Fourth Estate, 263 pp., £9.99, January 1997, 1 85702 694 2
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... of outside pressures on elected representatives. There are few Tory MPs nowadays who have no business interests or consultancies. In 1988, some heroic and anonymous mole at the merchant bank Morgan Grenfell supplied me with a secret memorandum sent to his colleagues by a director of the bank, David Douglas-Home: ‘As you are all aware,’ Douglas-Home wrote, Andrew MacKay MP advises us on our ...
21 January 1988
The Crisis of the Democratic Intellect 
by George Davie.
Polygon, 283 pp., £17.95, September 1986, 0 948275 18 9
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... cultures. The comparative method descends through the collector-novelist Scott not just to Stevenson but also to a remarkable line of Scottish 19th-century anthropologists including McLennan, Lang, Robertson Smith, Frazer – from whom it feeds directly into the cultural and linguistic comparativism of the Modernists, including MacDiarmid. It is odd that, for all his use of the term ‘comparative method ...

The Ironist

J.G.A. Pocock: Gibbon under Fire

14 November 2002
Gibbon and the ‘Watchmen of the Holy City’: The Historian and His Reputation 1776-1815 
by David Womersley.
Oxford, 452 pp., £65, January 2002, 0 19 818733 5
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... but it is hard to identify any group or coterie of ‘philosophers’ in whose activities he supposed he was taking part. His critics were more confident; they set him in the company of Middleton, Morgan, Tindal and Bolingbroke – Hume and Voltaire are also prominent, but the assault on Gibbon as an ‘English Voltaire’ responsible for the French Revolution necessarily belongs to the 1790s more ...

Ghosting

Andrew O’Hagan: Julian Assange

6 March 2014
... told Julian that Boateng was the famous black British suit-maker of Savile Row. ‘That’s great,’ he said. ‘It fits the blacksploitation theme I’m hoping for with the film of my life. I want Morgan Freeman to play me.’ He began stripping off and I saw he had a pair of Tesco’s trackie bottoms under his old suit. He donned each suit in turn and asked us to tell him how he looked. He was ...

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