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Diarmaid MacCulloch: Inside the KJB, 3 February 2011

The Holy Bible: King James Version, 1611 Text 
edited by Gordon Campbell.
Oxford, 1552 pp., £50, October 2010, 978 0 19 955760 8
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Bible: The Story of the King James Version 1611-2011 
by Gordon Campbell.
Oxford, 354 pp., £16.99, October 2010, 978 0 19 955759 2
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The King James Bible: A Short History from Tyndale to Today 
by David Norton.
Cambridge, 218 pp., £14.99, January 2011, 978 0 521 61688 1
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The King James Bible after 400 Years: Literary, Linguistic and Cultural Influences 
edited by Hannibal Hamlin and Norman Jones.
Cambridge, 364 pp., £25, December 2010, 978 0 521 76827 6
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Begat: The King James Bible and the English Language 
by David Crystal.
Oxford, 327 pp., £14.99, September 2010, 978 0 19 958585 4
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... England and Scotland is exhilaratingly explored by the essayists captained by Hannibal Hamlin and Norman Jones, who scrutinise it severally from linguistic, historical and literary perspectives. What emerges is the importance of the British Empire in cementing the KJB’s reputation. During the later 17th century, KJB language, already self-consciously ...

Short Cuts

Norman Dombey: False Intelligence, 19 February 2004

... them as trucks bought from Marconi for filling balloons with hydrogen. David Kelly and Brian Jones were not the only ones to have doubts about the dossier: similar doubts were expressed by nuclear experts. We shall see what the Butler committee finds. Where were the bogus stories about Iraq’s supposed nuclear programme coming from? In the case of the ...

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Thomas Jones: Unimpressed by good booking men, 24 June 2004

... that he ‘cannot condemn the hundreds of literary agents and publishers’ who turned down Gerard Jones’s ‘rather wonderful memoir’, Ginny Good (Monkfish, $16.95), because being ‘a gifted writer’ is a ‘hard quality to sell’. ‘There is also the matter of precedent . . . I’ve come across quite a few memoirists such as ...

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Thomas Jones: War Talk, 6 February 2003

... America wanted before having to be asked – a view that’s still half appropriate, anyway. Norman Tebbit, capitalising on the current situation in characteristically odious fashion, has been gloating over Powell’s most famously repugnant views. ‘It is now becoming all too likely,’ he asserted in a recent edition of the Sunday Express, that his ...

Horrors and Hidden Money

D.A.N. Jones, 6 February 1986

Jackdaw Cake: ‘An Autobiography’ 
by Norman Lewis.
Hamish Hamilton, 214 pp., £9.95, September 1985, 0 241 11689 9
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... Would we buy a used car from Norman Lewis? He certainly seems to know a lot about them. There is a picture on the dust-cover of the young Lewis (he was born in 1918) proudly at the wheel of a Bugatti, and he describes, too briefly, his dangerous experience with such a machine at Brooklands in 1939, his last adventure in serious motor-racing ...

The Third Suitcase

Thomas Jones: Michael Frayn, 24 May 2012

Skios 
by Michael Frayn.
Faber, 278 pp., £15.99, May 2012, 978 0 571 28141 1
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... the highlights of the Greek cultural calendar’. The guest speaker on this occasion is to be Dr Norman Wilfred, on the subject of ‘Innovation and Governance: The Promise of Scientometrics’. Booking him was the idea of Nikki Hook, Mrs Toppler’s PA, who thinks it was quite a coup, perhaps enough of one to make her the foundation’s next director. The ...

I adore your moustache

James Wolcott: Styron’s Letters, 24 January 2013

Selected Letters of William Styron 
edited by Rose Styron and R. Blakeslee Gilpin.
Random House, 643 pp., £24.99, December 2012, 978 1 4000 6806 7
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... by heap big novelists now facilely grouped as a cetacean school of Great White Males (Styron, Norman Mailer, James Jones, John Updike, Saul Bellow, Gore Vidal, J.D. Salinger, Joseph Heller, the recently retired Philip Roth), whose ghostly father and bearded Neptune disturbing the liquor cabinet deep into the night was ...

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Thomas Jones: Flirtation, Seduction and Betrayal, 5 September 2002

... Hewitt to Henry Kissinger by way of Geoffrey Boycott, Charlton Heston, Dave Lee Travis and Norman Tebbit), but you have to wonder how much of a coincidence it is that men over forty not only ‘make the best subjects’ but also make the best Telegraph readers. Farndale justifies his title by quoting Andrew Billen, ‘who writes interviews for the ...

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Thomas Jones: Telly, 9 August 2001

... reviewing Thackara’s first novel, said he couldn’t ‘write “Bum” on a wall’. At least Norman Mailer did head-butt Gore Vidal. Anyway, two hours with the Yellow Dragons is all it takes, and that’s offered at the knock-down price of £10 (two-thirds off): ‘It’s not worth putting yourself … at risk for that small amount of money.’ We have ...

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Thomas Jones: How to Type like a Man, 10 May 2007

... Auster, Bram Stoker, William Burroughs, David Cronenberg, Mark Twain, Jack Kerouac, Truman Capote, Norman Mailer, J.G. Ballard and Hunter S. Thompson: in other words, men. He says more than once that he’s less interested in typewriters as machines (once upon a time the word also referred to the people, usually women, who used the machines) than in ...

In Bayeux

Thomas Jones, 2 August 2018

... was busy with American tourists. The D-Day landings seem to be as much of a draw these days as the Norman Conquest. A poster showed a New Yorker cover from July 1944, depicting the events of Operation Overlord in the style of the Bayeux Tapestry. (A piece of anti-Macron graffiti on another wall showed Marx’s face with the slogan ‘En Marx!’) There were at ...

Doctor, Doctor

D.A.N. Jones, 19 April 1984

The Merry-Go-Round in the Sea 
by Randolph Stow.
Secker, 276 pp., £8.95, April 1984, 0 436 49734 4
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The Suburbs of Hell 
by Randolph Stow.
Secker, 165 pp., £7.95, April 1984, 0 436 49735 2
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Kingsley’s Touch 
by John Collee.
Allen Lane, 206 pp., £6.95, March 1984, 0 7139 1633 8
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A Suitable Case for Corruption 
by Norman Lewis.
Hamish Hamilton, 185 pp., £8.95, April 1984, 0 241 11178 1
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... these novels might almost be called thrillers, their plots resembling sensational news items. With Norman Lewis we read of plans to assassinate statesmen in Egypt and Libya, with evil American agents blackmailing honest Britishers. John Collee tells of a wonder cure for cancer devised by a Hindu mystic in a Scottish city where surgeons’ knives are used too ...

Megalomaniac and Loser

Norman Hampson, 21 March 1985

Beyond the Terror: Essays in French Regional and Social History 1794-1815 
edited by Gwynne Lewis and Colin Lucas.
Cambridge, 276 pp., £22.50, October 1983, 0 521 25114 1
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Chouannerie and Counter-Revolution: Puisaye, the Princes and the British Government in the 1790s 
by Maurice Hutt.
Cambridge, 630 pp., £60, December 1983, 0 521 22603 1
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Britain and Revolutionary France: Conflict, Subversion and Propaganda 
edited by Colin Jones.
Exeter, 96 pp., £1.75, June 1983, 0 85989 179 8
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... slow to learn the new language, were something for Sundays or, in 1793-94, for Décadis. Colin Jones shows how the noble intention of the revolutionaries to substitute a national policy of bienfaisance for the erratic charity of the Ancien Régime fell victim to the consequences of expropriating the Church and the insatiable demands of total war. This ...

What he meant by happiness

Patricia Beer, 11 June 1992

The Wreck of the Deutschland 
by Sean Street.
Souvenir, 208 pp., £15.99, March 1992, 0 285 63051 2
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Hopkins: A Literary Biography 
by Norman White.
Oxford, 531 pp., £35, March 1992, 0 19 812099 0
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... Martin’s book, published last year, summarises the information in two competent pages. In Norman White’s Hopkins: A Literary Biography his comments on what happened, scattered passim through the relevant chapter, are even more cursory. Obviously neither of them is of the school which thinks, say, that a knowledge of what Maud Gonne put into ...

Plague Fiction

Charles Nicholl, 23 July 1987

The Darker Proof 
by Adam Mars-Jones and Edmund White.
Faber, 250 pp., £3.95, July 1987, 0 571 15068 3
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... couldn’t turn the telly on without seeing someone rolling a condom over their thumb. There was Norman Fowler in San Francisco. And there was Princess Di holding hands with a sufferer, as if even in the Eighties, kingship’s healing magic might still somehow work. It may be too much too late, but no one can blame the Government for not trying. It’s only ...

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