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Hallo Dad

Christopher Ricks

2 October 1980
Mr Nicholas​ Sir Henry and Sons Daymare 
by Thomas​ Hinde.
Macmillan, 271 pp., £6.95, August 1980, 0 333 29539 0
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... The last word of the reissue of Mr Nicholas, Thomas Hinde’s exquisitely glum and fearingly funny novel of 1952, is probably a misprint. At least, it is minutely different from the last word in the Penguin book in 1962, the issue which brought Hinde ...
4 April 1996
Oceanic Art 
by Nicholas Thomas.
Thames and Hudson, 216 pp., £6.95, May 1995, 0 500 20281 8
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... of art, and, like Midas’ daughter, they suffered a kind of death. It was hard to pay attention to the ordinary function of things which had acquired stunning power as works of art. Which is why NicholasThomas’s Oceanic Art, despite its ethnographical bias, appears in a World of Art series and why questions of what is and is not art keep intruding. As Thomas points out, over-confident label ...

On Nicholas​ Moore

Peter Howarth: Nicholas​ Moore

23 September 2015
... their own fault, she wondered, or the result of a gigantic ‘failure of nerve’ in British publishing? In the manuscript of her lecture, a cancelled sentence names the missing; first on her list is Nicholas Moore. Not just the publishers, but pretty much everything else had failed for Moore. The son of the Cambridge philosopher G.E. Moore, he had begun to publish poems in his teens. Though his father ...

Powered by Fear

Linda Colley: Putting the navy in its place

3 February 2005
The Command of the Ocean: A Naval History of Britain 1649-1815 
by N.A.M. Rodger.
Allen Lane, 907 pp., £30, September 2004, 0 7139 9411 8
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... discussion of the navy’s public image between 1750 and 1815, Glyndwr Williams’s wonderful book on Lord Anson’s circumnavigation of the world, a significant new biography of Captain Cook by NicholasThomas, and many other substantial works. John Sugden and Andrew Lambert have just produced biographies of Horatio Nelson, and a further biography by R.J.B. Knight is eagerly awaited. The Royal Navy ...

Enisled

John Sutherland: Matthew Arnold

19 March 1998
A Gift Imprisoned: The Poetic Life of Matthew Arnold 
by Ian Hamilton.
Bloomsbury, 241 pp., £17.99, March 1998, 0 7475 3671 6
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... school reports!’) when he began it in 1960. The complete Poems, edited, tidied up and annotated by Kenneth and Miriam Allott, were revised and reissued in 1979. A new edition is on the way from Nicholas Shrimpton. Cecil Lang is up to the second instalment of the Letters (despite fierce crossfire from rival scholars in the letters pages of the TLS). Following the line opened by Lionel Trilling’s ...
5 October 1995
Vale Royal 
by Aidan Dun.
Goldmark, 130 pp., £22.50, July 1995
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... without going on for ever – backwards or forwards from The Waste Land, from Chaucer to Spenser and Shakespeare and Donne, through Milton and Blake and Keats, to David Jones, Gascoyne, Dylan Thomas, Nicholas Moore, to Lee Harwood’s Cable Street, Bill Griffiths’s Whitechapel and Brian Catling’s The Stumbling Block. London infected its interpreters, soliciting contributions to an open-ended ...

Short Cuts

Thomas​ Jones: The biography of stuff

5 July 2001
... as a self-help book. Alain de Botton’s Consolations of Philosophy, a model of its kind, came out in paperback in the spring. Playing, in a manner of speaking, Achilles to de Botton’s tortoise, Nicholas Fearn’s Zeno and the Tortoise: How to Think like a Philosopher is to be published in the autumn. Fearn ‘dusts off 24 great philosophers in 25 miraculously short chapters’, ‘each readable ...

Short Cuts

Thomas​ Jones: Blair on Blincoe?

21 March 2002
... they asked Christine Hamilton to review An Accidental MP, Martin Bell’s account of how he ended up wearing nothing but white suits. And now they’ve got Honor Fraser, a supermodel, to write about Nicholas Blincoe’s latest novel, White Mice (Sceptre, £10.99), because it’s set in the world of fashion. The thinking behind the title is helpfully spelled out on the back of the book (above a picture of ...

Short Cuts

Thomas​ Jones: The Size of Wales

23 May 2002
... or so well-known authors from 54 countries, not including Isabel Allende, Bob Dylan or Gabriel García Márquez, who admirably declined to vote. The Guardian did a vox pop. New Puritan about town Nicholas Blincoe rather proudly let slip that he’s read 81 of the top 100; smashing Mark Lawson (69) into a measly second place. ‘I think the list is pompous,’ Blincoe said. ‘Authors really do think ...

Short Cuts

Thomas​ Jones: Ukip’s wrinkly glitz

4 November 2004
... noisy enough to make it look as if they matter more than they do. Kilroy-Silk’s bluster about the possibility of Ukip turning into a plausible party of power has been inflated in part by what Nicholas Soames, the Conservative defence spokesman, called the ‘fucking awful’ by-election result in Hartlepool, where Ukip narrowly beat the Tories to third place by 3193 votes to 3044 (10.18 per cent ...

Short Cuts

Thomas​ Jones: Blogged Down

24 January 2008
... up in the late 1990s that didn’t make him a millionaire, Keen is now a self-declared apostate. In The Cult of the Amateur: How Today’s Internet Is Killing Our Culture and Assaulting Our Economy (Nicholas Brealey, £12.99), Keen argues that websites such as YouTube, MySpace and Wikipedia are killing someone or other’s culture and assaulting their economy. As is so often the case with conservative ...

Short Cuts

Thomas​ Jones: Unimpressed by good booking men

24 June 2004
... And if a commissioning editor is finally answerable to an unsympathetic bean-counter in the City, the balance between commercial and literary considerations is increasingly difficult to maintain. Nicholas Clee, the editor of the Bookseller, recently wrote in the Guardian that he ‘cannot condemn the hundreds of literary agents and publishers’ who turned down Gerard Jones’s ‘rather wonderful ...

Bring some Madeira

Thomas​ Keymer: Thomas Love Peacock

8 February 2018
Nightmare Abbey 
by Thomas​ Love Peacock, edited by Nicholas​ A. Joukovsky.
Cambridge, 297 pp., £84.99, December 2016, 978 1 107 03186 9
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Crotchet Castle 
by Thomas​ Love Peacock, edited by Freya Johnston and Matthew Bevis.
Cambridge, 328 pp., £79.99, December 2016, 978 1 107 03072 5
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... of The Misfortunes of Elphin, with Crotchet Castle as a makeweight. In his meticulous edition, part of the complete novels now in progress with Cambridge under the editorship of Freya Johnston, Nicholas Joukovsky locates the fictional Nightmare Abbey in Lincolnshire, ‘somewhere near Skegness’. With nothing to see but ‘a long tract of level sea-coast, and a fine monotony of fens and windmills ...

Purgatory be damned

Diarmaid MacCulloch: The Dissolution of the Monasteries

17 July 2008
The Last Office: 1539 and the Dissolution of a Monastery 
by Geoffrey Moorhouse.
Weidenfeld, 283 pp., £25, March 2008, 978 0 297 85089 2
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... devout Catholic Christians took their cue from the failed monk Erasmus, whose reaction to his failure was to condemn the monastic life as useless. One of Henry’s leading courtiers and fixers was Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk, and he was up to his neck in dissolving monasteries, while being one of the crustiest traditionalists among the peerage. Such men could view what was happening as a ...

Scribblers and Assassins

Charles Nicholl: The Crimes of Thomas​ Drury

31 October 2002
... death was a matter of coincidence or conspiracy remains unresolved. The Council’s warrant does not give a reason for Marlowe’s arrest, but we know it was connected to the arrest of his colleague Thomas Kyd a few days earlier, on a charge of political libelling. During the search of Kyd’s lodgings, a certain ‘vile heretical’ manuscript was found, and under interrogation Kyd ‘affirmed’ that ...

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