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The Kentish Hog

Adrian Desmond, 15 October 1987

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. Vol. II: 1837-1843 
edited by Frederick Burkhardt and Sydney Smith.
Cambridge, 603 pp., £30, March 1987, 0 521 25588 0
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The Works of Charles Darwin 
edited by Paul Barrett and R.B. Freeman.
Pickering & Chatto, 10 pp., £470, March 1987, 1 85196 002 3
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The Darwinian Heritage 
edited by David Kohn.
Princeton, 1138 pp., £67.90, February 1986, 0 691 08356 8
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Western Science in the Arab World: The Impact of Darwinism, 1860-1930 
by Adel Ziadat.
Macmillan, 162 pp., £27.50, October 1986, 0 333 41856 5
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Theories of Human Evolution: A Century of Debate 1844-1944 
by Peter Bowler.
Blackwell, 318 pp., £25, February 1987, 0 631 15264 4
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Controversy in Victorian Geology: The Cambrian-Silurian Dispute 
by James Secord.
Princeton, 363 pp., £33.10, October 1986, 0 691 08417 3
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Darwin’s Metaphor: Nature’s Place in Victorian Culture 
by Robert Young.
Cambridge, 341 pp., £30, October 1985, 0 521 31742 8
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... Eunuch Spencer’, as an Italian socialist called him, tend towards the most social approach. Paul Weindling and Pietro Corsi detail the German and Italian ‘transformation’ of Darwinism to suit local needs. Francesco Scudo and Michele Acanfora depict Russian intellectuals downplaying individual competition and decrying the Malthusian component as ‘a ...

More famous than Madonna

T.H. Barrett, 23 April 1992

Genghis Khan: His Life and Legacy 
by Paul Ratchnevsky, translated by Thomas Haining.
Blackwell, 313 pp., £25, November 1991, 0 631 16785 4
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... If anyone could bring us close to the mystery of Genghis Khan’s achievements, it was the late Paul Ratchnevsky. Not only had he been instructed in all the relevant languages by Paul Pelliot, the outstanding figure in the heroic age of French scholarship on Asia, but he had specialised in the laws and customs of the ...

Among the Antimacassars

Alison Light, 11 November 1999

Flush 
by Virginia Woolf, edited by Elizabeth Steele.
Blackwell, 123 pp., £50, December 1998, 0 631 17729 9
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Timbuktu 
by Paul Auster.
Faber, 186 pp., £12.99, June 1999, 0 571 19197 5
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... if only in adult memory, umbilically tied to the past. Virginia Woolf’s life of Flush, Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s cocker spaniel, is part of that historicising, and usually disparaging, take on ‘Victorianism’ which was so much a matter of modern hindsight. Cooped up with his invalid mistress, Flush belongs, with the antimacassars and the ...

Closed Windows

T.H. Barrett, 11 January 1990

The Question of Hu 
by Jonathan Spence.
Faber, 187 pp., £12.99, September 1989, 0 571 14118 8
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... seeks to ease the passions stirred up by his stormy career. He could equally well have followed Paul Rule, the other contemporary expert on Foucquet’s rich (and largely unpublished) manuscript legacy, whose judgment on Foucquet is markedly less sympathetic: as a Jesuit (and Rule was trained as one himself) Foucquet was exceptionally disobedient, with a ...

Wall? I saw no Wall

T.H. Barrett, 30 November 1995

Did Marco Polo Go to China? 
by Frances Wood.
Secker, 182 pp., £14.99, November 1995, 0 436 20166 6
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... her arguments, and battling my way through just one of the notes on Marco Polo by the peerless Paul Pelliot – the one scholar this century who did know all the languages required to solve the riddles raised by his travels – I can understand her occasional note of irritation. But Pelliot was not necessarily more at home in a booklined study than dealing ...

Damsons and Custard

Paul Laity: Documentary cinema’s unsung poet, 3 March 2005

Humphrey Jennings 
by Kevin Jackson.
Picador, 448 pp., £30, October 2004, 0 330 35438 8
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... auxiliary fire brigade similarly represents a diverse people working together at a time of crisis: Barrett, a posh advertising copywriter, is new to the brigade, but soon bonds with Jacko, a newsagent, and the others (all played by ‘real’ auxiliary firemen). Having finished their daytime preparations, the men nervously anticipate nightfall – a full moon ...

Out of the closet

Tom Paulin, 29 October 1987

Emily Dickinson 
by Helen McNeil.
Virago, 208 pp., £3.50, April 1986, 0 86068 619 1
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Emily Dickinson: Looking to Canaan 
by John Robinson.
Faber, 191 pp., £3.95, August 1986, 0 571 13943 4
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Emily Dickinson: A Poet’s Grammar 
by Christanne Miller.
Harvard, 212 pp., £15.95, July 1987, 0 674 25035 4
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Emily Dickinson: The Poet on the Second Story 
by Jerome Loving.
Cambridge, 128 pp., £20, April 1987, 0 521 32781 4
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... for role models among famous women writers of her day – George Eliot, the Brontës, Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Yet as Christanne Miller points out, Dickinson didn’t actively support the political campaign for women’s rights ‘or, apparently, sympathise with women generally’. It is in the radical new language of the poems themselves that the battle ...

What the Japanese are saying

T.H. Barrett, 10 March 1994

Central Asia in World History 
by S.A.M. Adshead.
Macmillan, 291 pp., £42.50, February 1993, 0 333 57827 9
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Japan’s Orient: Rendering Pasts into History 
by Stefan Tanaka.
California, 331 pp., £30, July 1993, 0 520 07731 8
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... because the only European scholar with the same range of concerns as Shiratori, the remarkable Paul Pelliot (1878-1945), could read most of the languages of Inner and East Asia but not Japanese. Perhaps because the fashion had already been set by contemporary European scholars like Pelliot, Shiratori was willing to publish a vast range of empirical ...

Female Heads

John Bayley, 27 October 1988

Woman to Woman: Female Friendship in Victorian Fiction 
by Tess Cosslett.
Harvester, 211 pp., £29.95, July 1988, 0 7108 1015 6
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Sentiment and Sociability: The Language of Feeling in the Eighteenth Century 
by John Mullan.
Oxford, 261 pp., £25, June 1988, 0 19 812865 7
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The Early Journals and Letters of Fanny Burney. Vol. I: 1768-1773 
edited by Lars Troide.
Oxford, 353 pp., £45, June 1988, 9780198125815
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... with her own self, or non-self, as a male dream preserve, the woman’s refuge might be, as St Paul said, in silence. And, ironically, it is the most ‘sensitive’ males who could be, in this context, the most exasperating. Feminism is surely right to be particularly resentful of male attempts to create, in however full a degree of sympathy, the ...

Embourgeoisement

Michael Burns, 23 February 1995

Animals and Human Society: Changing Perspectives 
edited by Aubrey Manning and James Serpell.
Routledge, 199 pp., £35, February 1994, 0 415 09155 1
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The Beast in the Boudoir: Pet-Keeping in 19th-Century Paris 
by Kathleen Kete.
California, 200 pp., £22.50, August 1994, 0 520 07101 8
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... from ancient hunters and herdsmen. Following domestication, write James Serpell and Elizabeth Paul, religious and secular ideologies reinforced ‘hierarchical notions of human separateness and superiority’, and the idea of animals as somehow equal with humans gave way to the world described in the Book of Genesis. Evolutionists and creationists may ...

In the bright autumn of my senescence

Christopher Hitchens, 6 January 1994

In the Heat of the Struggle: Twenty-Five Years of ‘Socialist Worker’ 
by Paul Foot.
Bookmarks, 288 pp., £12.50, November 1993, 0 906224 94 2
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Why You Should Join the Socialists 
by Paul Foot.
Bookmarks, 70 pp., £1.90, November 1993, 0 906224 80 2
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... we organised a ‘Confront the racists’ mass meeting where the main address was given by Terry Barrett, a Tilbury stevedore with a voice like a foghorn. He denounced the evil and stupidity of racism in terms I can still recall, at a time when many better-bred radicals were running for cover. Later in the year, when the Warsaw Pact invaded ...

Never Seen a Violet

Dinah Birch: Victorian men and girls, 6 September 2001

Men in Wonderland: The Lost Girlhood of the Victorian Gentleman 
by Catherine Robson.
Princeton, 250 pp., £19.95, June 2001, 0 691 00422 6
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... he had become an editor, and with the Nonconformist zeal that shaped the writing of Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Her protest poem ‘The Cry of the Children’, whose sensational success helped to prepare the ground for the Factory Act of 1844, was influenced by Horne’s investigative work. Here, only death can make a girl happy: If you listen by that ...

Cardigan Arrest

Robert Potts: Poetry in Punglish, 21 June 2007

Look We Have Coming to Dover! 
by Daljit Nagra.
Faber, 55 pp., £8.99, February 2007, 978 0 571 23122 5
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... both forms of cultural atavism? In ‘Yobbos!’, Nagra complicates these issues further. Reading Paul Muldoon’s ‘sharp lemon-skinned/Collected Poems’ on the train home, he is abused by a racist passenger: ‘Some Paki shit, like,/eee’s loookin into!’ Finding Muldoon’s use of names like ‘Badhbh’, ‘Cailidin’ (both Gaelic) and ...

Thinking without a Banister

James Miller, 19 October 1995

Hannah Arendt/Martin Heidegger 
by Elzbieta Ettinger.
Yale, 139 pp., £10.95, October 1995, 0 300 06407 1
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Essays in Understanding, 1930-1954: Uncollected and Unpublished Works 
by Hannah Arendt, edited by Jerome Kohn.
Harcourt Brace, 458 pp., $39.95, May 1994, 0 15 172817 8
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Hannah Arendt: A Reinterpretation of Her Political Thought 
by Margaret Canovan.
Cambridge, 298 pp., £12.95, September 1995, 0 521 47773 5
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Between Friends: The Correspondence of Hannah Arendt and Mary McCarthy 
edited by Carol Brightman.
Secker, 412 pp., £25, July 1995, 0 436 20251 4
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Hannah Arendt/Karl Jaspers: Correspondence, 1926-1969 
edited by Lotte Kohler and Hans Saner, translated by Robert and Rita Kimber.
Harcourt Brace, 821 pp., $49.95, November 1992, 0 15 107887 4
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... the letters that Ettinger quotes, professed her undying loyalty (in words borrowed from Elizabeth Barrett Browning): ‘If God choose, I shall but love thee better after death.’ In 1929, Jaspers helped Arendt publish her first book (and dissertation), The Concept of Love in Augustine. For the next few years, she lived in Frankfurt and Berlin, where she ...

Acts of Violence in Grosvenor Square

Christopher Hitchens: Memoirs of a Revolutionary, 4 June 1998

1968: Marching in the Streets 
by Tariq Ali and Susan Watkins.
Bloomsbury, 224 pp., £20, May 1998, 0 7475 3763 1
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The Beginning of the End: France, May 1968 
by Angelo Quattrocchi and Tom Nairn.
Verso, 175 pp., £10, May 1998, 1 85984 290 9
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The Love Germ 
by Jill Neville.
Verso, 149 pp., £9, May 1998, 1 85984 285 2
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... administered a spanking. (For all I know, this is one of the many triggers that may have set Paul Johnson off.) Tariq Ali was the moving spirit of that rally and this book – which includes the spanking picture – brings it all back with exquisite vividness. It’s hard to recall what a hate-figure he was in those days. I had a friend, a moustachioed ...

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