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Bard of Friendly Fire

Robert Crawford: The Radical Burns, 25 July 2002

Robert Burns: Poems 
edited by Don Paterson.
Faber, 96 pp., £4.99, February 2001, 0 571 20740 5
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The Canongate Burns: The Complete Poems and Songs of Robert Burns 
edited by Andrew Noble and Patrick ScottHogg.
Canongate, 1017 pp., £40, November 2001, 0 86241 994 8
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... Red, Red Rose’. While Paterson’s non-bard is wee enough to fit in a matchbox, Andrew Noble and Patrick ScottHogg offer a bard of Victorian amplitude. The Canongate Burns runs to over a thousand pages, many of them by Noble and Hogg. A lot less stylish, their introduction ...

How Does It Add Up?

Neal Ascherson: The Burns Cult, 12 March 2009

The Bard: Robert Burns, a Biography 
by Robert Crawford.
Cape, 466 pp., £20, January 2009, 978 0 224 07768 2
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... formed his opinions when he was young, and shaped his expectations of the French Revolution. Patrick ScottHogg would like Burns to have been an active member of the Dumfries branch of the radical group Friends of the People in 1793; he may have been, but the proof isn’t there.* Crawford, however, produces a ...

Short Cuts

Rosemary Hill: Successive John Murrays, 8 November 2018

... a list that included some of the best and most popular authors of their day, from Byron and Walter Scott to Patrick Leigh-Fermor and Freya Stark. It was Murray’s reputation for solid, conservative values that led both the geologist Charles Lyell and then Darwin to publish their potentially disruptive theories under its ...

Her way of helping me

Hugo Young, 6 December 1990

Listening for a Midnight Tram: Memoirs 
by John Junor.
Chapmans, 341 pp., £15.95, October 1990, 9781855925014
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... or third hand, that sometimes strain credulity. Carrington lived in the same London square as one Patrick Maitland, to whom, according to Junor, he never deigned to speak. But then Maitland inherited an earldom, and his lordship was evidently on the line on the first day of his neighbour’s succession with the amiable cry, ‘Good morning, ...

Sorry to decline your Brief

Stephen Sedley, 11 June 1992

Judge for yourself 
by James Pickles.
Smith Gryphon, 242 pp., £15.99, April 1992, 1 85685 019 6
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The Barrister’s World 
by John Morison and Philip Leith.
Open University, 256 pp., £35, December 1991, 0 335 09396 5
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Advocates 
by David Pannick.
Oxford, 305 pp., £15, April 1992, 0 19 811948 8
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... by the judge who jailed Michelle Renshaw for being too scared to give evidence and who sent Tracey Scott to prison for six months with her baby for letting her friends take goods through her supermarket check-out. The Renshaw case, as it happens, is the subject of about the only conscious revelation in Pickles’s book. ‘I have not been able to reveal until ...

Our Flexible Friends

Conor Gearty, 18 April 1996

Scott Inquiry Report 
by Richard Scott.
HMSO, 2386 pp., £45, February 1996, 0 10 262796 7
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... The most remarkable aspect of the Scott Report is its simplicity. The famous length and the differing interpretations to which it has been subjected since its publication suggest a learned and complex treatise full of ambiguity and complex allusion, a sort of political bible with Sir Richard Scott in the role of the Yahweh/ Saviour and Robin Cook and Ian Lang fighting it out to play St Paul ...

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