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Forever Krystle

Nicholas Shakespeare

20 February 1986
Watching ‘Dallas’: Soap Opera and the Melodramatic Imagination 
by Ien Ang, translated by Della Couling.
Methuen, 148 pp., £10.50, November 1985, 0 416 41630 6
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... Bobby J. Ewing, I don’t believe you.’ The first episode of Dallas began, in 1978, with Pamela’s stilted expression of incredulity. Within two years the city famous for hosting President Kennedy’s assassination was celebrated instead for the attempt on the life of Bobby’s brother, JR. A hundred and twenty million Americans tuned in to see who had shot him – more than had voted in the ...
28 September 1989
The Vision of Elena Silves 
by Nicholas Shakespeare.
Collins, 263 pp., £11.95, September 1989, 0 00 271031 5
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Billy Bathgate 
by E.L. Doctorow.
Macmillan, £11.95, September 1989, 0 333 51376 2
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Buffalo Afternoon 
by Susan Fromberg Schaeffer.
Hamish Hamilton, 535 pp., £12.95, August 1989, 0 241 12634 7
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The Message to the Planet 
by Iris Murdoch.
Chatto, 563 pp., £13.95, October 1989, 0 7011 3479 8
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... and the revisionist ‘dogs’ of Moscow, Albania, Cuba and – above all – China as it has backslidden under Deng Xiaoping. The Senderistas own no allies, hold dialogue with no one. According to NicholasShakespeare, they accept no funds from abroad and their weapons of choice are stolen guns and hand-made beer-can bombs hurled from slings made of llama hair. Theirs will be one revolution without the ...

Kindred Spirits

Chloe Hooper: To be Tasmanian

18 August 2005
In Tasmania 
by Nicholas Shakespeare.
Harvill, 320 pp., £20, November 2004, 1 84343 157 2
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... who overtook us apparently in order to call out abuse. On the final turn-off a car full of teenagers gave one-fingered salutes, honking their horn until we were out of sight. One of the strengths of NicholasShakespeare’s In Tasmania is that he comes from an island far away. He can play the part of a baffled British visitor, asking awkward questions which land him right at the heart of the most ...

Elementary

John Sutherland

8 July 1993
Air and Fire 
by Rupert Thomson.
Bloomsbury, 310 pp., £15.99, April 1993, 0 7475 1382 1
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Dreams of Leaving 
by Rupert Thomson.
Penguin, 435 pp., £6.99, April 1993, 0 14 017148 7
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The Five Gates of Hell 
by Rupert Thomson.
Penguin, 368 pp., £5.99, March 1992, 0 14 016537 1
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... in the Nineties it seems to marry more readily with travel writing – a genre which is currently enjoying a little golden age. Air and Fire, like recent novels by Louis de Bernières and NicholasShakespeare, conveys a powerful sense of faraway places. As with de Bernières and Shakespeare, Thomson’s traveller’s tale gravitates to the Hispanic New World and invokes the tricks of writers like Vargas ...

Father-Daughter Problems

Michael Dobson: Shakespeare’s Bad Daughters

8 May 2008
The Lodger: Shakespeare​ in Silver Street 
by Charles Nicholl.
Allen Lane, 378 pp., £20, November 2007, 978 0 7139 9890 0
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... all those other Henrys in the histories, and all those worryingly ghostly patriarchs looming over the tragedies – Julius Caesar, Old Hamlet, Banquo – you never get very far from paternity in the Shakespeare canon. Nor is fatherhood presented solely as a matter between father and son, in the manner highlighted to the point of overdetermination in the battle scene near York in Act II of Henry VI Part 2 ...

Mr Who He?

Stephen Orgel: Shakespeare’s Poems

8 August 2002
The Complete Sonnets and Poems 
by William Shakespeare, edited by Colin Burrow.
Oxford, 750 pp., £65, February 2002, 9780198184317
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... In his own time, Shakespeare was much better known to the reading public as a poet than as a playwright. Venus and Adonis went through ten editions before his death in 1616, and another six before 1640. His other long narrative ...

Who wouldn’t buy it?

Colin Burrow: Speculating about Shakespeare

20 January 2005
Will in the World: How Shakespeare​ Became Shakespeare 
by Stephen Greenblatt.
Cape, 430 pp., £20, October 2004, 9780224062763
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... As I was reading Stephen Greenblatt’s biography of Shakespeare on the train there was a woman sitting near me doing a deal on the phone. She was getting agitated. ‘But I have to transfer the money to Mr Shakespeare himself,’ she said. ‘No … Listen, I ...

Brave as hell

John Kerrigan

21 June 1984
Enderby’s Dark Lady, or No End to Enderby 
by Anthony Burgess.
Hutchinson, 160 pp., £7.95, March 1984, 0 09 156050 0
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Shakespeare’s Sonnets: A Modern Edition 
edited by A.L. Rowse.
Macmillan, 311 pp., £20, March 1984, 0 333 36386 8
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... In 1964, the quatercentenary of Shakespeare’s birth, two very different books appeared. Anthony Burgess’s tribute to the poet, Nothing Like the Sun, was a boisterous biographical novel full of sugared sack and bawdry, with sombre ...

Lost in the Woods

Nicholas​ Penny: Victorian fairy painting

1 January 1998
Victorian Fairy Painting 
edited by Jane Martineau.
Merrell, 200 pp., £25, November 1997, 1 85894 043 5
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... far more important than whether or not some of the artists took opium and whether or not some of them were – or became – mentally deranged. Most of the early fairy paintings are illustrations to Shakespeare (and it would have been desirable to have the relevant passages included in text panels), but what they bring to mind most often is Victorian poetry, and above all Tennyson with his predilection for ...

Woof, woof

Rosemary Hill: Auberon Waugh

7 November 2019
A Scribbler in Soho: A Celebration of Auberon Waugh 
edited by Naim Attallah.
Quartet, 341 pp., £20, January, 978 0 7043 7457 7
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... to a spectacular climax in 1990 when Powell published a collection of his reviews, many of them from the Telegraph, where he was lead reviewer. Exactly how and why that paper’s literary editor, NicholasShakespeare, came to send Powell’s Miscellaneous Verdicts: Writings on Writers to Waugh remains obscure. As recently as January last year Shakespeare was still trying to explain the course of ...

Dwarf-Basher

Michael Dobson

8 June 1995
Edmond Malone, Shakespearean Scholar: A Literary Biography 
by Peter Martin.
Cambridge, 298 pp., £40, April 1995, 0 521 46030 1
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... Anyone who has ever taken the slightest interest in Shakespeare and his times owes a great deal to Edmond Malone. It was Malone who in a single month, June 1789, discovered not only the papers of the theatrical entrepreneur Philip Henslowe, on which most of our ...

The Old Corrector

Richard Altick

4 November 1982
Fortune and Men’s Eyes: The Career of John Payne Collier 
by Dewey Ganzel.
Oxford, 454 pp., £15, October 1982, 0 19 212231 2
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... those of the 17-year-old Thomas Chatterton, who fabricated poems he attributed to a mythical 15th-century Bristol monk, and the equally immature William Henry Ireland, who forged manuscripts by Shakespeare before which Boswell knelt in adoration, apologists have found a degree of extenuation in claiming that theirs were the follies of ambitious but misguided youth. Still, their guilt remains ...

Unsluggardised

Charles Nicholl: ‘The Shakespeare​ Circle’

18 May 2016
The Shakespeare​ Circle: An Alternative Biography 
edited by Paul Edmondson and Stanley Wells.
Cambridge, 358 pp., £18.99, October 2015, 978 1 107 69909 0
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... upon-Avon when she turned up an old gold signet ring bearing on its bezel the initials ‘W.S.’ It was bought for 36 shillings by Robert Bell Wheler, a local historian, and later donated to the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, where it still resides. When the Romantic painter Benjamin Robert Haydon heard news of the discovery he wrote excitedly to his friend Keats: ‘If this is not Shakespeare who is it ...

Picture in Little

Charles Nicholl: Hilliard’s Trajectory

9 December 2019
Nicholas​ Hilliard: Life of an Artist 
by Elizabeth Goldring.
Yale, 337 pp., £40, February, 978 0 300 24142 6
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... Gutter Lane. The address sounds disreputable but those who visited were not in search of bawdy pleasures: they came to have their portraits painted ‘in little’ by the Elizabethan miniaturist Nicholas Hilliard, who lived and worked on Gutter Lane for 35 years. If you were very posh or very rich Hilliard came to you, but his bread and butter was what he called ‘common’ work – in other words ...

Bonfire in Merrie England

Richard Wilson: Shakespeare’s Burning

3 May 2017
... On Saturday​ , 6 March 1926, the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre at Stratford-on-Avon was closed. But around 11 a.m. a girl called Eileen White noticed ‘an awful lot of smoke’ pouring from the back of the building. When she told her aunt she ...

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