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22 May 1986
The Cambridge Music Guide 
edited by Stanley Sadie and Alison Latham.
Cambridge, 544 pp., £15, October 1985, 0 521 25946 0
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Tudor Music 
by David Wulstan.
Dent, 378 pp., £20, October 1985, 0 460 04412 5
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The Music Profession in Britain since the 18th Century: A Social History 
by Cyril Ehrlich.
Oxford, 269 pp., £22.50, January 1986, 0 19 822665 9
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Clara Schumann: The Artist and the Woman 
by Nancy Reich.
Gollancz, 346 pp., £15.95, October 1985, 0 575 03755 5
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Lorenzo Da Ponte: The Life and Times of Mozart’s Librettist 
by Sheila Hodges.
Granada, 274 pp., £12.95, October 1985, 0 246 12001 0
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... that Ehrlich did not make some comparisons with other countries with different social histories. Even so, anyone concerned with British music should read this book and ponder. Like Professor Ehrlich, NancyReich, in her thorough biography of Clara Schumann, throws new light on the position of women in music. The status of the German musician is underlined in the portrait of her father, Friedrich Wieck ...


Ian Gilmour: The Cliveden Set

19 October 2000
The Cliveden Set: Portrait of an Exclusive Fraternity 
by Norman Rose.
Cape, 277 pp., £20, August 2000, 0 224 06093 7
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... but did not then go to South Africa. Apart from Brand, Astor was the only member of the group who often exercised good judgment; he did not display it in 1906, though, when he decided to marry Mrs Nancy Shaw, née Langhorne, from Virginia, who had recently divorced her impossible and drunken husband. She had wanted merely a separation, but had been forced into a divorce by her husband’s family’s ...

Darkness and so on and on

Adam Mars-Jones: Kate Atkinson

6 June 2013
Life after Life 
by Kate Atkinson.
Doubleday, 477 pp., £18.99, March 2013, 978 0 385 61867 0
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... the result is satisfactory. Ursula practises a sort of invisible mending on the family’s fate-cloth, sometimes performing her darning more widely. She learns to forestall the murder of a neighbour, Nancy Shawcross, who if her survival can be contrived will make the ideal mate for one of Ursula’s brothers. It’s hard to remember everything, though, and at least once she uses her knowledge of time ...


Alan Brien

5 December 1985
Orson Welles 
by Barbara Leaming.
Weidenfeld, 562 pp., £14.95, October 1985, 0 297 78476 5
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The Making of ‘Citizen Kane’ 
by Robert Carringer.
Murray, 180 pp., £8.95, October 1985, 0 7195 4248 0
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Spike Milligan 
by Pauline Scudamore.
Granada, 318 pp., £8.95, October 1985, 0 246 12275 7
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Nancy​ Mitford 
by Selina Hastings.
Hamish Hamilton, 274 pp., £12.50, October 1985, 0 241 11684 8
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Rebel: The Short Life of Esmond Romilly 
by Kevin Ingram.
Weidenfeld, 252 pp., £12.95, October 1985, 0 297 78707 1
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The Mitford Family Album 
by Sophia Murphy.
Sidgwick, 160 pp., £12.95, November 1985, 0 283 99115 1
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... nursery, the most victimised of the Mitford Sisters, condemned to suffer not only dyslexia and polio but also a sustained pecking by her rival elder sister, subject of Selina Hastings’s biography, Nancy Mitford. If you are a Mitford girl, you tend to get differentiated by your husband, and all the husbands turn out to be at least high-grade gossip-column material. Even Jessica, to my mind the most ...

On the Sofa

David Thomson: ‘Babylon Berlin’

2 August 2018
... 1933). I could explain that Lang made The Testament as Weimar slid towards Hitler; of how Goebbels banned the film but was so impressed that he offered Lang the role of chief filmmaker for the Reich; and of how, a little more slowly than he liked to claim at first, Lang worked out that it was time to get out of Berlin. This could be a very helpful essay in film history, backed up by eminent ...


Adam Phillips

9 March 1995
Femininities, Masculinities, Sexualities: Freud and Beyond 
by Nancy​ Chodorow.
Free Association, 132 pp., £8.95, July 1994, 1 85343 380 2
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... of sexual satisfaction, that sex can be ecstatic. From the abstraction of contemporary theory it can seem that people are more interested in having a sexual identity than in having a good time. Nancy Chodorow’s concise and informative book is timely because it knows the sense in which psychoanalytic stories about the sexual revolution usually end up with a restoration of the monarchy. If she ...

Why we go to war

Ferdinand Mount

6 June 2019
... The Führer’s rhetoric was all about reuniting the millions of Germans in the Sudetenland with the main body of the Volk. But it was also about reuniting the region’s coal and iron ore with a Reich rich in human energy but poor in the other sort. Wotan’s Forge might have been the powerhouse of Europe, but it was chronically short of raw materials. The quest for Lebensraum was always a quest ...

Issues of Truth and Invention

Colm Tóibín: Francis Stuart’s wartime broadcasts

4 January 2001
The Wartime Broadcasts of Francis Stuart 
edited by Brendan Barrington.
Lilliput, 192 pp., £25, September 2000, 1 901866 54 8
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... It is to follow the fascist chic ethic that art counts above all else,’ he wrote in October 1997. Two month later he returned to the subject: ‘Francis Stuart offered his services to the Third Reich after the outbreak of the Second World War. There would be no controversy had he repented for doing so. Has he repented, clearly and unambiguously? Specifically and precisely: he has not . . . By ...

What a Lot of Parties

Christopher Hitchens: Diana Mosley

30 September 1999
Diana Mosley: A Biography 
by Jan Dalley.
Faber, 297 pp., £20, October 1997, 0 571 14448 9
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... limited sanitary facilities with the lower-class female members of the British Union of Fascists. (This being good old Blighty, some of the other internees were political refugees from the Third Reich, who had been locked up on what you might call general ‘better safe than sorry’ principles.) Dalley evokes the general unease felt by Churchill’s Government – after all, he was a friend and a ...

Bonfire in Merrie England

Richard Wilson: Shakespeare’s Burning

3 May 2017
... öfele writes that ‘in the flicker of their forest campfires the idealistic youths of the Wandervogel’ took poetry for ‘a beacon of hope and a prophecy of national rebirth: the dawning of a New Reich’.* Flower’s brewery advertised Stratford as England’s answer to Bayreuth.‘History will accept Mr Shaw’s view of what seemed to everybody else to be a calamity of first-class magnitude ...

Sorry to be so vague

Hugh Haughton: Eugene Jolas and Samuel Beckett

29 July 1999
Man from Babel 
by Eugene Jolas.
Yale, 352 pp., £20, January 1999, 0 300 07536 7
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No Author Better Served: The Correspondence of Samuel Beckett and Alan Schneider 
edited by Maurice Harmon.
Harvard, 486 pp., £21.95, October 1998, 0 674 62522 6
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... accounts, photographs and documents, recording the realities of the concentration camps and the suffering of German Jews, as part of his mission to confront Germans with the horrific reality of the Reich. Yet at the end, while wondering whether his ‘wearisome voyage through language’ has ended in ruins, he remains weirdly sanguine, as he considers the possibility of ‘a United Europe, a ...

After Kemal

Perry Anderson

25 September 2008
... than ever. Nor is all this merely a legacy of a Kemalist past. The Islamists have continued the same tradition into the present. If Talat’s catafalque was borne by armoured train from the Third Reich for burial with full honours by Inönü in 1943, it was Demirel who brought Enver’s remains back from Tajikistan in 1996, and reburied them in person at a state ceremony in Istanbul. Beside him, as ...

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