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Sire of the Poor

Linda Colley, 17 March 1988

Victorian Values and 20th-Century Condescension 
by Gertrude Himmelfarb.
Centre for Policy Studies, 15 pp., £2.20, August 1987, 1 870265 10 6
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Peel and the Victorians 
by Donald Read.
Blackwell, 330 pp., £27.50, August 1987, 0 631 15725 5
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Suicide in Victorian and Edwardian England 
by Olive Anderson.
Oxford, 475 pp., £40, July 1987, 9780198201014
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... a banker, and a landowner? Some answers to these questions are suggested in these recent books by Olive Anderson and Donald Read. Both are excellent pioneering studies. Both are concerned with modes of right and wrong behaviour. Both attempt to pose questions about Victorian England at large. And both enhance our capacity to probe the values of this ...

Guilty Men

Michael Neve, 5 March 1981

The Fate of Mary Rose 
by Caroline Blackwood.
Cape, 208 pp., £5.95, February 1981, 0 224 01791 8
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Darling, you shouldn’t have gone to so much trouble 
by Caroline Blackwood and Anna Haycraft.
Cape, 224 pp., £6.50, November 1980, 0 224 01834 5
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... mercy, emerges again in the appalling clarity of The Fate of Mary Rose. The male narrator, Rowan Anderson, is a historian, albeit one with the right kinds of ‘sympathy’: he is engaged on the biography of a woman engineer who contributed to the war effort against German Zeppelins by developing a powerful arc lamp. ...


Alan Bennett: Fresh Revelations, 20 October 1994

... 13 January. Having supper in the National Theatre restaurant are Lindsay Anderson and Gavin Lambert. ‘I suppose you like this place,’ says Lindsay. I do, actually, as the food is now very good. I say so and Lindsay, who judges all restaurants by the standard of the Cosmo in Finchley Road, smiles wearily, pleased to be reassured about one’s moral decline ...

Land without Prejudice

Perry Anderson: Berlusconi’s Italy, 21 March 2002

... holding company IRI – and had cemented a broad coalition, dubbed with the sturdy image of the Olive Tree, behind him. Berlusconi, on the other hand, had been unable to repair his alliance with the Lega, which fought the election alone. Total votes cast showed an actual increase in support for the Centre Right, but since it was now divided and the Centre ...

An Invertebrate Left

Perry Anderson, 12 March 2009

... one symbol after another from the vegetable kingdom, or thin air – the rose, the oak, the olive, the daisy, the rainbow. Without some glint of metallurgy, it seems unlikely to make much ...

Imagined Territories

Yonatan Mendel: Designing the Occupation, 2 August 2007

Hollow Land: Israel’s Architecture of Occupation 
by Eyal Weizman.
Verso, 318 pp., £19.99, June 2007, 978 1 84467 125 0
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... that renders the landscape “biblical” or “pastoral”’ is the cultivation of terraces, olive orchards, the existence of stone buildings and the presence of livestock, all of which depend on ‘the very people whom the settlers would like to displace’. Here he puts his finger on a crucial question: where and what is Israel and where and what is ...


Jenny Turner: The Deborah Orr I Knew, 20 February 2020

... mother, before returning home to turn steel for the gigantic blades of the coal-cutters made at Anderson Boyes. He stayed there until he was made redundant at the age of 62. Win, Deborah’s mother, was the daughter of an Essex estate worker, and worked as a wages clerk when not a full-time mother. She was, Deborah thinks, horrified by the ...

Daisy Chains

Emma Hogan: Sappho 1900, 20 May 2021

No Modernism without Lesbians 
by Diana Souhami.
Head of Zeus, 464 pp., £9.99, February, 978 1 78669 487 4
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... Harriet Weaver and Dora Marsden, editors of the Egoist, and in New York the lesbians Margaret Anderson and Jane Heap, editors of the Little Review, serialised the novel.) Bryher financially supported her lover H.D. and her husband Robert McAlmon, who published Mina Loy, Djuna Barnes and Ernest Hemingway. There is also the suggestion, never quite ...

Wanting to Be Something Else

Adam Shatz: Orhan Pamuk, 7 January 2010

The Museum of Innocence 
by Orhan Pamuk, translated by Maureen Freely.
Faber, 720 pp., £18.99, December 2009, 978 0 571 23700 5
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... its art, its movies, its soda pop), and invariably coming up short, haunted by what Benedict Anderson has called the ‘spectre of comparison’. On a trip to Venice as the sultan’s ambassador, Enishte Effendi, the uncle of the hero of My Name Is Red, sees a painting of an ‘infidel’ on a palazzo wall and feels as if he’s looking at his own ...

Out of the Cage

Tom Nairn: Popping the bubble of American supremacy, 24 June 2004

After the Empire: The Breakdown of the American Order 
by Emmanuel Todd, translated by C. Jon Delogu.
Constable, 288 pp., £8.99, July 2004, 1 84529 058 5
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Bubble of American Supremacy: Correcting the Misuse of American Power 
by George Soros.
Weidenfeld, 207 pp., £12.99, January 2004, 0 297 84906 9
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... American Enterprise Institute and evangelical tracts such as Thomas Friedman’s The Lexus and the Olive Tree (2000), this religion has led to what Amy Chua has depicted as a ‘World on Fire’ in her book of that title.* She is concerned primarily with the outer reaches of the conflagration, in South-East Asia and Africa, but Todd and Soros emerge onto a ...

Pipe down back there!

Terry Castle: The Willa Cather Wars, 14 December 2000

Willa Cather and the Politics of Criticism 
by Joan Acocella.
Nebraska, 127 pp., £13.50, August 2000, 0 8032 1046 9
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... the classes did not exist.’ Set against the fierce muckraking of Theodore Dreiser or Sherwood Anderson, another critic complained, Cather’s fiction was ‘harmless stuff that “could be read in schools and women’s clubs”’. Her Flaubertian classicism (and concomitant moral irony) went mostly unrecognised, and despite her huge popularity with ...


Andrew O’Hagan: Julian Assange, 6 March 2014

... I’d suspected. Before my eyes, and with no regard for me or my tape recorder, he snapped the olive branch proffered by those he hated. I picked up my papers and went into the dining room with Julian. After a little while, Sarah joined us. I wanted to discuss the book’s structure. Julian said we should consider having a chapter called ‘Women’. ‘I ...

The Satoshi Affair

Andrew O’Hagan, 30 June 2016

... colleague said. Wright was soon 30,000 feet above the Tasman Sea watching the programmer Thomas Anderson (Keanu Reeves) being chased by unknowable agents in The Matrix. Wright found the storyline strangely comforting; it was good to know he wasn’t alone. At Auckland Airport, Wright kept his phone on flight mode, but turned it on to use the airport’s ...

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