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Who won the Falklands War?

Edward Luttwak, 23 April 1992

One Hundred Days: The Memoirs of the Falklands Battle Group Commander 
by Admiral Sandy Woodward and Patrick Robinson.
HarperCollins, 359 pp., £18, January 1992, 0 00 215723 3
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... If Galtieri’s junta had prepared for war in 1982, even to the minimal extent of equipping Argentinian fighter-bombers properly, Mrs Thatcher’s Enterprise of the Falklands would almost certainly have failed, thereby ensuring that Argentina would still today be ruled by a triumphalist military élite, inept mismanagers of a decaying economy, impotent spectators of the country’s social disintegration, and of course both cruel and corrupt ...

At Tate Britain

Brian Dillon: Patrick Keiller, 7 June 2012

... down another field, diagonally, this time accompanied by a blue tractor. This pairing of views in Patrick Keiller’s 2010 film Robinson in Ruins – glimpsed again as part of his current installation at Tate Britain (on display until 14 October) – is almost too typical to be true and must, among other things, be a joke ...

Bankocracy

John Lanchester: Lehman Brothers, 5 November 2009

The Murder of Lehman Brothers: An Insider’s Look at the Global Meltdown 
by Joseph Tibman.
Brick Tower, 243 pp., £16.95, September 2009, 978 1 883283 71 1
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A Colossal Failure of Common Sense: The Incredible Inside Story of the Collapse of Lehman Brothers 
by Larry McDonald, in collaboration with Patrick Robinson.
Ebury, 351 pp., £7.99, September 2009, 978 0 09 193615 0
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... The collapse of the investment bank Lehman Brothers over the weekend of 13-14 September last year was an event of world-historical magnitude. What was so important about it wasn’t the local havoc it caused, the loss of jobs and livelihoods and savings; it wasn’t even the fact that the US Treasury’s decision to allow the bank to go bankrupt triggered a full-blown stock market collapse, the nauseatingly expensive bail-out of AIG just a few days later, the seizing up of credit markets, the near implosion of the global economy, and then a worldwide recession/ depression ...

The Frisson

Will Self, 23 January 2014

The View from the Train: Cities and Other Landscapes 
by Patrick Keiller.
Verso, 218 pp., £14.99, November 2013, 978 1 78168 140 4
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... With Patrick Keiller’s work a suitable place to begin would seem to be the end – specifically The End (1986), the first film by him to incorporate the subject matter and use the techniques that came to typify his mature style. Seventeen minutes long, and photographed in the autumn of 1983 by Keiller and his sometime collaborator (and full-time partner), Julie Norris, The End consists of what might be termed mises-en-scène trouvées; if by this we are to understand the fortuitous discovery by the camera’s lens of landscapes, cityscapes and their largely spectral human inhabitants ...

Five Feet Tall in His Socks

Patrick Collinson: Farewell to the Muggletonians, 5 June 2008

Last Witnesses: The Muggletonian History, 1652-1979 
by William Lamont.
Ashgate, 267 pp., £55, August 2006, 0 7546 5532 6
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... later in the century the sect was ruled ‘by force of intellect’ rather than wealth by Thomas Robinson, a mostly unemployed shoemaker and recipient of the sect’s charity. Most members belonged to the lower levels of artisanship and trade, neither poor nor rich. They included, as one would expect, many women, whose role in transmitting the faith must not ...

What Charlotte Did

Susan Eilenberg, 6 April 1995

The Brontës 
by Juliet Barker.
Weidenfeld, 1003 pp., £25, November 1994, 0 297 81290 4
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... supplant exotic evils and heroism springs up in surprising places. There was never any doubt that Patrick Brontë was a man of intelligence, principles and courage: it has long been known that he insisted on sleeping in Branwell’s room during his son’s horrific last days lest, drunk and outrageous, Branwell commit some terrible act of violence. Until ...

Kitchen Devil

John Bayley, 20 December 1990

Emily Brontë: A Chainless Soul 
by Katherine Frank.
Hamish Hamilton, 303 pp., £14.99, November 1990, 9780241121993
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... it is made here; and still more interesting is the hypothesis that Branwell’s trouble with the Robinson family, where he went as tutor to the son, and where Anne was already governess, was not quite what he claimed. Did Branwell invent his fatal passion for Mrs Lydia Robinson, a solid matron nearly twenty years older ...

What’s wrong with that man?

Christian Lorentzen: Donald Antrim, 20 November 2014

The Emerald Light in the Air: Stories 
by Donald Antrim.
Granta, 158 pp., £12.99, November 2014, 978 1 84708 649 5
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... Either way it put me in mind of a passage early in Donald Antrim’s first novel, Elect Mr Robinson for a Better World: I keep seeing Jim’s face, lit red by tail lights, in the long moments before the lines snapped taut, while Bill Nixon tried and retried to start his fume-spewing, out-of-tune Celica. It was all so profoundly uncomfortable; there ...

Sea Changes

Patrick Parrinder, 27 February 1992

Indigo, or Mapping the Waters 
by Marina Warner.
Chatto, 402 pp., £14.99, February 1992, 9780701135317
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Shakespeare’s Caliban: A Cultural History 
by Alden Vaughan and Virginia Mason Vaughan.
Cambridge, 290 pp., £35, January 1992, 0 521 40305 7
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... the real-life adventure of the Scottish sailor Alexander Selkirk. Selkirk’s cave on the beach of Robinson Crusoe island in the Juan Fernandez group is still shown to visitors; the island is rich in vegetation but its population is reported to consist mainly of hoteliers, tourists and a flock of wild goats. How pleasant it would be if the British romance with ...

Diary

Tom Paulin: In Donegal, 8 October 1992

... whereas Cavan and even Monaghan have a less decided orientation. I cannot, for example, think of Patrick Kavanagh as a Northern writer, any more than I would wish to allocate Peadar O’Donnell to the South.’ Donegal is part of the North, yes, but it’s also the place many Northerners go to escape from ‘Norn Ireland’, as we sometimes call ...

Three Weeks Wide

Rosemary Hill: A Psychohistory of France, 7 July 2022

France: An Adventure History 
by Graham Robb.
Picador, 527 pp., £25, March, 978 1 5290 0762 6
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... bicycle tour of France has something of all of these about it. Like Patrick Keiller’s film Robinson in Space (1997), which pursues the ‘problem of England’ through the eyes of an unseen narrator travelling in the spirit of Daniel Defoe along paths since obstructed by nuclear power ...

Someone Else’s

Matthew Reynolds: Translating Cesare Pavese, 6 October 2005

Disaffections: Complete Poems 1930-50 
by Cesare Pavese, translated by Geoffrey Brock.
Carcanet, 370 pp., £14.95, April 2004, 1 85754 738 1
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The Faber Book of 20th-Century Italian Poems 
edited by Jamie McKendrick.
Faber, 167 pp., £12.99, June 2004, 0 571 19700 0
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... for each poet, but they are little help: a poem by Sandro Penna (1906-77) translated by Blake Robinson on page 66 seems close to some lines by Giuseppe Ungaretti (1888-1970) translated by Marcus Perryman and Peter Robinson on page 38: but is there really an echo? If so, which way does it run? And is it in the originals ...

At Tate Britain

Brian Dillon: ‘Phantom Ride’, 4 July 2013

... and tripod. There’s another machine gun among a cluster of Ian Hamilton Finlay’s sculptures. Patrick Keiller’s 2012 installation The Robinson Institute (which also involved the filmmaker trawling the Tate archives) supplies several apposite works, among them Leonard Rosoman’s 1942 painting Bomb Falling into ...

Todd Almighty

Peter Medawar, 16 February 1984

A Time to Remember: The Autobiography of a Chemist 
by Alexander Todd.
Cambridge, 257 pp., £15, November 1983, 0 521 25593 7
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... of anthocyanins (the red and blue colouring matters of flowers) under the brilliant Professor Robinson, a professorial Fellow of Magdalen, where he was treated with undisguised contempt by his fellow Fellow C.S. Lewis, who regarded Robinson as a typical scientist and an object of almost automatic censure. Todd himself ...

At the North Gate

Patrick Cockburn: Exorcising Iraq, 11 October 2018

... T.R. Morris of the Royal Horse Artillery, who died on 13 October 1917, or that of Captain S.O. Robinson, who died on 5 November 1917. In the centre of the cemetery is a monument to General Sir Stanley Maude, who captured Baghdad in 1917 and died of cholera six months later. The long rows of graves carry the message that however bad the current crisis in ...

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