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Playboy’s Paperwork

Patrick Collinson: Historiography and Elizabethan politics, 11 November 1999

The World of the Favourite 
edited by J.H. Elliott and L.W.B. Brockliss.
Yale, 320 pp., £35, June 1999, 0 300 07644 4
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The Polarisation of Elizabethan Politics: The Political Career of Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, 1585-97 
by Paul Hammer.
Cambridge, 468 pp., £45, June 1999, 0 521 43485 8
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... minister for much of the reign, William Cecil, Lord Burghley, such a favourite? In this volume, Paul Hammer distinguishes his position from that of a courtier-favourite such as, above all, Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, but for Brockliss, Burghley fits the category of ‘minister-favourite’, which, so far as he is concerned, is what this book is all ...

My Dagger into Yow

Ian Donaldson: Sidney’s Letters, 25 April 2013

The Correspondence of Sir Philip Sidney 
edited by Roger Kuin.
Oxford, 1381 pp., £250, July 2012, 978 0 19 955822 3
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... his portrait and send it to him, but the delight is principally because the picture by ‘one Paul of Verona’, when it finally arrives, reminds Languet of what Sidney looks like, not on account of any artistic qualities the portrait may have possessed. Languet attaches the picture to a board, and gazes at it while writing to Sidney, as in a primitive ...


Terry Eagleton, 8 April 1993

No Other Life 
by Brian Moore.
Bloomsbury, 216 pp., £14.99, February 1993, 0 7475 1474 7
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... secular times, it is in the negative theology of these Oedipal offspring of Mother Church, who hammer their fists on her bosom with all the passionate intensity of the true believer. In any case, being a Catholic is as much a cultural as a religious affair: to abandon the church altogether would be like changing your accent or taste for curried eggs. The ...

At Christie’s

Paul Myerscough: Buying Art, 21 February 2008

... eyebrow, each movement more pronounced than the last – and relaxes again only when he brings the hammer down for a sale. There is a constant low hubbub that fades only for the big money. ‘I’ll start at 20 million,’ he announces quietly to open the bidding for Bacon’s Triptych 1974-77, the last of the paintings Bacon made in the wake of the suicide of ...

If you’re not a lesbian, get the hell out

Lidija Haas: Jane Bowles, 25 April 2013

Everything Is Nice: Collected Stories, Sketches and Plays 
by Jane Bowles.
Sort Of, 416 pp., £10.99, December 2012, 978 1 908745 15 6
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... He’s my enemy,’ Jane Auer recalled telling a friend when she first met Paul Bowles. But she immediately followed him to Mexico even so and, though she had been and would always be much more drawn to women, married him less than a year later. The instinct to court an ‘enemy’ rather than an admirer may have been a shrewd one: it seems to have been especially difficult for Bowles’s admirers to do her justice ...

Avoid the Orient

Colm Tóibín: The Ghastly Paul Bowles, 4 January 2007

Paul Bowles: A Life 
by Virginia Spencer Carr.
Peter Owen, 431 pp., £19.95, July 2005, 0 7206 1254 3
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... Long before the sin of Orientalism was discovered, Paul Bowles had frequently been guilty of it, in word, in thought and in deed. In his first stories, for example, the natives are shining examples of naked otherness, created partly to refresh our view concerning the mixture of simplicity, guile and sexual beauty available in remote places ...

At the Whitney

Paul Keegan: Andy Warhol, 7 March 2019

... things look became integral to Warhol’s visual practice, sometimes with striking results. ‘Hammer and Sickle’ (1976) Whatever is going on optically, these ‘late’ works suggest the eventual dangers of scale. It is no coincidence that they are all one-offs: his instincts were surer in serial form, whether as painter or printer. Rather than any ...

Home Stretch

John Sutherland: David Storey, 17 September 1998

A Serious Man 
by David Storey.
Cape, 359 pp., £16.99, June 1998, 9780224051583
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by David Storey.
Vintage, 555 pp., £6.99, June 1998, 0 09 927408 6
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... in which for a few years Storey, a muscle-bound Defarge, earned his bread swinging a 14-pound hammer, pitching and striking tents for the champagne parties of his social superiors (it supplies the setting for his play The Contractor); the Slade School, which appears under various pseudonyms, as does his native Wakefield; the years of poverty before This ...

Born in a Land where Yoghurt Rules the Roost

Paul Driver: Sibelius, 26 November 1998

Sibelius. Vol. III: 1914-57 
by Erik Tawaststjerna, edited by Robert Layton.
Faber, 384 pp., £30, January 1997, 0 571 19085 5
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... an account of the genesis of the Fifth Symphony. This highly popular piece with its ‘Thor’s hammer blow’ finale is often seen as a retreat from the dissonance of its predecessor, but in it he developed the technique of structural accelerando to compact four movements into three and thus prepared the way for the Seventh Symphony. The Fifth ...

Screwdriver in the Eye

Paul Mendez: David Keenan, 7 October 2021

by David Keenan.
White Rabbit, 168 pp., £14.99, November 2020, 978 1 4746 1705 5
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Monument Maker 
by David Keenan.
White Rabbit, 808 pp., £25, August, 978 1 4746 1709 3
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... they discovered that their father carried a weapon wherever he went, even on holiday: he used a hammer on a man trying to do an old lady out of her pennies in an arcade. They weren’t much older when they were shown, by their grinning father, their paternal grandfather’s dead body in its open casket. And they were still young – ‘all scared like ...

Beatrix and Rosamond

Daniel Soar: Jonathan Coe, 18 October 2007

The Rain before It Falls 
by Jonathan Coe.
Viking, 274 pp., £17.99, September 2007, 978 0 670 91728 0
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... else is going on. Take the satire. In The Closed Circle it turns out that The Rotters’ Club’s Paul Trotter, who at the age of nine was a precocious admirer of Mrs Thatcher and a rabid free-marketeer, has grown up to become a New Labour MP. Spot on, perhaps, as a characterisation of the Blairite hidden agenda. But this is where the satire ends: ...

Dr Love or Dr God?

Luc Sante: ‘The Man in the Red Coat’, 5 March 2020

The Man in the Red Coat 
by Julian Barnes.
Cape, 280 pp., £20, November 2019, 978 1 78733 216 4
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... you’ve seen the painting – which was for a long time held by his family, and then by Armand Hammer (it has been at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles since 1991) – you have probably never heard of Dr Pozzi. That is because, unlike his friends, who tended to be ...

I jolly well would have

Paul Foot, 20 August 1992

Claire clairmont and the Shelleys 
by Robert Gittings and Jo Manton.
Oxford, 281 pp., £20, April 1992, 0 19 818594 4
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Mab’s Daughters 
by Judith Chernaik.
Pan, 229 pp., £5.99, July 1992, 0 330 32379 2
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... the rides to drink milk at the estate saw mills, those who had ears might have heard the clang of hammer and sickle.’ Nor was she hoodwinked or hypnotised, as Mary was, by the apparent security and comforts of middle-class Early Victorian England. She saw, understood and supported what was happening down below. While Mary and her friends fled London or ...

Unmuscular Legs

E.S. Turner, 22 August 1996

The Dictionary of National Biography 1986-1990 
edited by C.S. Nicholls.
Oxford, 607 pp., £50, June 1996, 0 19 865212 7
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... who rose from private in the Honourable Artillery Company, was a devout Christian who launched the Hammer House of Horror (Sir James Carreras). All demonstrated that a spell in uniform, as the sovereign’s trusty and well-beloved, never cramped a creative talent, and perhaps that a creative talent never cramped a military one. The singularity of their careers ...

Lucky Hunter-Gatherers

T.J. Clark: Ice Age Art, 21 March 2013

Ice Age Art: Arrival of the Modern Mind 
British Museum, 7 February 2013 to 26 May 2013Show More
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... always a background tinge of alarm: in front of the cases these brain-states come and go. Paul de Man, glossing Rousseau, points out helpfully that ‘giant’, as we have the word now, is a kind of back-formation from (normal-proportion) ‘man’, and that the original fear-filled figure for the Other-that-is-ourself which Rousseau had in mind would ...

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