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... talking to her and her son Edgar. ‘Nelson used to come here often,’ said Edgar, ‘along with Oliver Tambo, Walter Sisulu and M.B. Yengwa. They used to talk for hours and hours. With father and Yengwa being Zulus and the other three all Xhosas, they talked mainly in English. When I see Nelson now on TV I can see that the other ANC leaders look to him as ...

Uplift

Nicholas Canny, 24 May 1990

The Emancipist: Daniel O’Connell, 1830-1847 
by Oliver Mac Donagh.
Weidenfeld, 372 pp., £20, October 1989, 0 297 79637 2
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... in his own time. This particular biography calls for even greater respect because its author, Oliver Mac Donagh, has established himself as the most incisive and (with the late F.S.L. Lyons) the most prolific Irish-born historian of his generation. The compound is preferred over the simple adjective to describe Mac Donagh not because there is any doubt ...

Which is worse?

Adam Tooze: Germany Divided, 18 July 2019

Die Getriebenen: Merkel und die Flüchtlingspolitik – Report aus dem Innern der Macht 
by Robin Alexander.
Siedler, 288 pp., €19.99, March 2017, 978 3 8275 0093 9
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Die SPD: Biographie einer Partei von Ferdinand Lassalle bis Andrea Nahles 
by Franz Walter.
Rowohlt, 416 pp., €16, June 2018, 978 3 499 63445 1
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Germany’s Hidden Crisis: Social Decline in the Heart of Europe 
by Oliver Nachtwey, translated by Loren Balhorn and David Fernbach.
Verso, 247 pp., £16.99, November 2018, 978 1 78663 634 8
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Die Schulz Story: Ein Jahr zwischen Höhenflug und Absturz 
by Markus Feldenkirchen.
DVA, 320 pp., €20, March 2018, 978 3 421 04821 9
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... CDU-FDP coalition and opened the possibility of a new progressive alliance. The first Red-Green coalition took office in Hesse in 1985. In shabby trainers, Joschka Fischer, once a street-fighter of the hard left, was sworn in as Hesse’s environment minister. By the end of the 1980s, with the pugnacious Oskar Lafontaine, the prime minister of ...

Adulterers’ Distress

Philip Horne, 21 July 1983

A Nail on the Head 
by Clare Boylan.
Hamish Hamilton, 135 pp., £7.95, July 1983, 0 241 11001 7
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New Stories 8: An Arts Council Anthology 
edited by Karl Miller.
Hutchinson, 227 pp., £8.95, May 1983, 9780091523800
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The Handyman 
by Penelope Mortimer.
Allen Lane, 199 pp., £6.95, May 1983, 0 7139 1364 9
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Open the Door 
by Rosemary Manning.
Cape, 180 pp., £7.95, June 1983, 0 224 02112 5
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A Boy’s Own Story 
by Edmund White.
Picador, 218 pp., £2.50, July 1983, 0 330 28151 8
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... analogies of subject that focus in several instances considerable differences of treatment. Oliver Sacks’s stirring ‘The Leg’, a true story of paralysis which deals in eloquently measured prose with, the author’s loss of the sense of his left leg, and which itself teaches by precise and humane example the ‘conjunction of science and ...

At the Garden Museum

Rosemary Hill: Constance Spry, 9 September 2021

... they were making their way home after an exciting night out. They included brambles and chartreuse green cymbidium orchids in trailing arrangements that brought passers-by to a halt. Spry’s reputation was made. She worked with Cecil Beaton and Oliver Messel and began to acquire her own celebrity clients. When Beaton ...

Dialect does it

Blake Morrison, 5 December 1985

No Mate for the Magpie 
by Frances Molloy.
Virago, 170 pp., £7.95, April 1985, 0 86068 594 2
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The Mysteries 
by Tony Harrison.
Faber, 229 pp., £9.95, August 1985, 9780571137893
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Ukulele Music 
by Peter Reading.
Secker, 103 pp., £3.95, June 1985, 0 436 40986 0
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Hard Lines 2 
edited by Ian Dury, Pete Townshend, Alan Bleasdale and Fanny Dubes.
Faber, 95 pp., £2.50, June 1985, 0 571 13542 0
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No Holds Barred: The Raving Beauties choose new poems by women 
edited by Anna Carteret, Fanny Viner and Sue Jones-Davies.
Women’s Press, 130 pp., £2.95, June 1985, 0 7043 3963 3
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Katerina Brac 
by Christopher Reid.
Faber, 47 pp., £8.95, October 1985, 0 571 13614 1
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Skevington’s Daughter 
by Oliver Reynolds.
Faber, 88 pp., £8.95, September 1985, 0 571 13697 4
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Rhondda Tenpenn’orth 
by Oliver Reynolds.
10 pence
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Trio 4 
by Andrew Elliott, Leon McAuley and Ciaran O’Driscoll.
Blackstaff, 69 pp., £3.95, May 1985, 0 85640 333 4
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Mama Dot 
by Fred D’Aguiar.
Chatto, 48 pp., £3.95, August 1985, 0 7011 2957 3
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The Dread Affair: Collected Poems 
by Benjamin Zephaniah.
Arena, 112 pp., £2.95, August 1985, 9780099392507
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Long Road to Nowhere 
by Amryl Johnson.
Virago, 64 pp., £2.95, July 1985, 0 86068 687 6
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Mangoes and Bullets 
by John Agard.
Pluto, 64 pp., £3.50, August 1985, 0 7453 0028 6
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Ragtime in Unfamiliar Bars 
by Ron Butlin.
Secker, 51 pp., £3.95, June 1985, 0 436 07810 4
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True Confessions and New Clichés 
by Liz Lochhead.
Polygon, 135 pp., £3.95, July 1985, 0 904919 90 0
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Works in the Inglis Tongue 
by Peter Davidson.
Three Tygers Press, 17 pp., £2.50, June 1985
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Wild Places: Poems in Three Leids 
by William Neill.
Luath, 200 pp., £5, September 1985, 0 946487 11 1
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... officialdom and a description of what seems to be a tank or armoured vehicle – an olive-green van and its four-ways-facing lily strafing the boulevards – suggest that she may be Eastern European, but, as with everything else about Katerina, we cannot be sure. ‘I write poems and make the best of what I have’ is as much as she will tell us. The ...

Orphans

Joan Aiken, 17 July 1980

... the word mortgage had a fearsome ring then, which it may have regained today. There was Anne of Green Gables, straight from the orphanage and received coldly because she had red hair and should have been a boy. There was Tom Sawyer, painting the fence for Aunt Polly. Boys did not seem to work quite so hard as girls. Huck Finn, of course, is the Orphan that ...

Kay Demarest’s War

Penelope Fitzgerald, 17 September 1987

The Other Garden 
by Francis Wyndham.
Cape, 106 pp., £9.95, September 1987, 0 224 02475 2
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The Engine of Owl-Light 
by Sebastian Barry.
Carcanet, 390 pp., £10.95, July 1987, 0 85635 704 9
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A Singular Attraction 
by Ita Daly.
Cape, 144 pp., £10.95, August 1987, 0 224 02438 8
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Cold Spring Harbor 
by Richard Yates.
Methuen, 182 pp., £10.95, July 1987, 0 413 14420 8
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The Changeling 
by Catharine Arnold.
Hodder, 223 pp., £9.95, July 1987, 0 340 40542 2
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... at the end slips clean away from him. But Moran is also Master Owl, poet to a medieval chieftain, Oliver (the same Oliver, it seems, that the book is dedicated to, so I have to leave him to laugh this out with the author), and in this character he talks beguilingly and not unlike Anna Livia Plurabelle: ‘Moll, your hand is ...

The Staidness of Trousers

E.S. Turner, 6 June 1996

A Peculiar Man: A Life of George Moore 
by Tony Gray.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 344 pp., £20, April 1996, 1 85619 578 3
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... It depends, as Gray delicately indicates, what you mean by ‘kiss’; and when the unreliable Oliver St John Gogarty says Moore was still a virgin at 80 it depends what you mean by virgin. Moore’s own contribution to the subject (or one of them) runs: Women seemed to me so beautiful and desirable – men so ugly, almost revolting ... I was absorbed in ...

Is that it for the NHS?

Peter Roderick: Is that it for the NHS?, 3 December 2015

... an internal market into the NHS, following on from the ‘options for radical reform’ set out by Oliver Letwin and John Redwood in 1988. It had three pillars: GP fund-holding (delegating budgets to individual GP practices); the replacement of health authorities by ‘NHS trusts’ (self-governing accounting centres with borrowing powers, and their own ...

On Roy Fisher

August Kleinzahler, 29 June 2017

... Nelson Algren’s Division Street; the train station where Louis Armstrong was met by King Oliver’; and the Panther Room of the Sherman Hotel, which was a notable touring venue for musicians in the 1930s and was, when Fisher visited, being demolished. This was Fisher’s first visit to America. He was already fifty. His plane touched down at ...

Torday’s Scorpion

Basil Davidson, 9 April 1992

The African Experience 
by Roland Oliver.
Weidenfeld, 284 pp., £19.99, August 1991, 0 297 82022 2
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A Thousand Years of East Africa 
by John Sutton.
British Institute in Eastern Africa, 111 pp., £8, November 1990, 1 872566 00 6
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When the grass is gone 
edited by P.W.T. Baxter.
Scandinavian Institute of African Studies, 215 pp., December 1991, 91 7106 318 8
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The Scramble for Africa 
by Thomas Pakenham.
Weidenfeld, 738 pp., £20, October 1991, 0 297 81130 4
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... irrelevant, that is, to the proper concerns of history? Some of this still lingers. Professor Oliver’s new summary of sociopolitical development since remote times – above all, since the onset of metal-using technologies – is all the more persuasive for the prudence that has marked his style of work. Not for him the early illuminations of ...

Where the Apples Come From

T.C. Smout: What Makes an Oak Tree Grow, 29 November 2007

Woodlands 
by Oliver Rackham.
Collins, 609 pp., £25, September 2006, 0 00 720243 1
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Beechcombings: The Narratives of Trees 
by Richard Mabey.
Chatto, 289 pp., £20, October 2007, 978 1 85619 733 5
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Wildwood: A Journey through Trees 
by Roger Deakin.
Hamish Hamilton, 391 pp., £20, May 2007, 978 0 241 14184 7
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The Wild Trees: What if the Last Wilderness Is above Our Heads? 
by Richard Preston.
Allen Lane, 294 pp., £20, August 2007, 978 1 84614 023 5
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... Oliver Rackham’s Woodlands is Volume 100 of the New Naturalist series, started by Collins after the Second World War with the aim of making ecology accessible to the increasing numbers of people who visited the countryside and had a serious curiosity about what it contained. It included such early classics as R ...

Get planting

Peter Campbell: Why Trees Matter, 1 December 2005

The Secret Life of Trees: How They Live and Why They Matter 
by Colin Tudge.
Allen Lane, 452 pp., £20, November 2005, 0 7139 9698 6
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... left to themselves, branches would overtop the houses by many metres and form a summer tunnel of green. In other places and at other times the lopped branches would have been a resource. In Trees and Woodland in the British Landscape (1976), Oliver Rackham makes a distinction between wood and timber. Wood, the renewable ...

It starts with an itch

Alan Bennett: ‘People’, 8 November 2012

... As a boy, though, for me its most numinous holding was a large felt hat reputed to be that of Oliver Cromwell with a bullet hole in the crown to prove it. Visiting Temple Newsam was always a treat, as it still is more than half a century later. Back in 1947, though, with the country in the throes of the postwar economic crisis, the push was on for more ...

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