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Matthew Reynolds: Dryden

19 July 2007
The Poems of John Dryden: Vol. V 1697-1700 
edited by Paul Hammond and David Hopkins.
Longman, 707 pp., £113.99, July 2005, 0 582 49214 9
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Dryden: Selected Poems 
edited by Paul Hammond and David Hopkins.
Longman, 856 pp., £19.99, February 2007, 978 1 4058 3545 9
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... appealing aggregate of writing has not discouraged academic interest; rather the reverse. Drydenian scholarship flourishes, and its crowning glories are the five volumes of the Poems edited by PaulHammond and David Hopkins and published by Longman between 1995 and 2005. But the pleasures of scholarship are not wholly coextensive with those of reading. Students are probably still encouraged to enjoy ...

Seeing double

Patrick Hughes

7 May 1987
The Arcimboldo Effect 
by Pontus Hulten.
Thames and Hudson, 402 pp., £32, May 1987, 0 500 27471 1
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... Allusion, Antanaclasis and Agnomination. I think he used, in the small, visual puns; and, in the large, personification. In Upon the Pun: Dual Meaning in Words and Pictures (1978), which I wrote with PaulHammond, we proposed that ‘a visual pun is made when someone notices that two different things have a similar appearance, and constructs a picture making this similarity evident.’ Mankind’s ...

Simply too exhausted

Christopher Hitchens

25 July 1991
Edwina Mountbatten: A Life of Her Own 
by Janet Morgan.
HarperCollins, 509 pp., £20, July 1991, 0 00 217597 5
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... a dance, and then motored to Cowes with Bobbie Cunningham-Reid, Conservative Member of Parliament for Warrington and Wilfred’s Parliamentary Private Secretary. Edwina ate ices and danced with PaulHammond, who had come over from America in the Marconi yacht, Elettra.’ ‘Nina, what a lot of parties.’ But how too boring to read a mere chronology of same, as one has to here. And how too sick-making ...
7 September 1995
The Poems of John Dryden: Vol. I, 1649-1681; Vol. II, 1682-1685 
edited by Paul Hammond.
Longman, 551 pp., £75, February 1995, 0 582 49213 0
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... t bother or distract the beginner’s eye, while pointing up vocal emphases and giving the poem a greater acoustic life. This is a small point, however; and any loss is more than made up for by PaulHammond’s splendid notes, easy to read at the foot of the same page, and full of the most fascinating matter. Absalom and Achitophel is a storehouse of social and political history; and this text ...

Agitated Neurons

John Sturrock: Michel Houellebecq

21 January 1999
by Michel Houellebecq, translated by Paul Hammond.
Serpent’s Tail, 160 pp., £8.99, January 1999, 1 85242 584 9
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Les Particules élémentaires 
by Michel Houellebecq.
Flammarion, 394 pp., frs 105, September 1998, 2 08 067472 2
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... lived in variously sleazy ways by the body. His father is a cosmetic surgeon grown rich from the silicone implant business, his mother a narcissistic hippy who may as a girl have danced with Jean-Paul Sartre but has been going downhill ever since, to end as her looks fade amid the fatuities of the New Age. Bruno has begun as a boy in cruel neglect; he can only, as a defeated, no longer erectile ...

Mingling Freely at the Mermaid

Blair Worden: 17th-century poets and politics

6 November 2003
The Crisis of 1614 and the Addled Parliament: Literary and Historical Perspectives 
edited by Stephen Clucas and Rosalind Davies.
Ashgate, 213 pp., £45, November 2003, 0 7546 0681 3
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The Politics of Court Scandal in Early Modern England: News Culture and the Overbury Affair 1603-60 
by Alastair Bellany.
Cambridge, 312 pp., £45, January 2002, 0 521 78289 9
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... of kings remained an argument but not an imaginative spur. When, under Charles II, Dryden tried to repeat the prewar practice of idealising the monarch through masques, the attempt fell flat, as PaulHammond has explained. Dryden shared the unease that Hobbes and Sir William Davenant had expressed after the execution of Charles I about the destructive potential of ‘inspiration’, a quality ...

Short Cuts

Simon Wren-Lewis: Magic Money Trees

12 July 2017
... happy to buy UK government debt – and there is absolutely no reason they shouldn’t be – there is no economic problem with ending austerity.One political problem is that the chancellor, Philip Hammond, recently described the current deficit of 2.5 per cent as ‘not sustainable’. Hammond, probably with support from senior Treasury civil servants, wants to start reducing the government debt to ...

Hard Labour

Frank Kermode: Marvell beneath the Notes

23 October 2003
The Poems of Andrew Marvell 
edited by Nigel Smith.
Longman, 468 pp., £50, January 2003, 0 582 07770 2
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... make little sense if the poet was George Herbert. Long reprinted, Bateson’s preface has now disappeared to be replaced by another, this time by the succeeding general editors, John Barnard and PaulHammond. They claim fidelity to Bateson except where he has come to seem fallible. For instance, he insisted on modernising spelling and punctuation; but why modernise Browning, and why meddle with ...


David Trotter

23 June 1988
The Government of the Tongue: The 1986 T.S. Eliot Memorial Lectures, and Other Critical Writings 
by Seamus Heaney.
Faber, 172 pp., £12.95, June 1988, 0 571 14796 8
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... exacerbated it. For there are moments now when he seems to feel guilty about not feeling guilty. In Belfast, in 1972, Heaney planned to record some poems and songs with his friend, the singer David Hammond. While they were on their way to the studio, a number of bombs exploded in the city: casualties were reported. Hammond decided not to perform: ‘the very notion of beginning to sing at that moment ...

Excessive Guffawing

Gerald Hammond: Laughter and the Bible

16 July 1998
Laughter at the Foot of the Cross 
by M.A. Screech.
Allen Lane, 328 pp., £30, January 1998, 0 7139 9012 0
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... people, from vague origins in the Persian Gulf to post-exilic communities in an increasingly fragmented diaspora, the Old Testament presented the inventors of the new religion, the evangelists and St Paul, with a necessary embarrassment. As the revealed word of God, these Scriptures offered vital support to the idea of a new revelation, but in their unremitting insistence that only the Jews mattered ...
25 April 2002
... for John Minihan Nous nous aimerons tous et nos enfants riront De la légende noire où pleure un solitaire. Paul Eluard The sort of snailmail that can take a week but suits my method, pre-informatique, I write this from the St Louis, rm 14 – or type it, rather, on the old machine, a portable, that I take ...

A Bit Like Gulliver

Stephanie Burt: Seamus Heaney’s Seamus Heaney

11 June 2009
Stepping Stones: Interviews with Seamus Heaney 
by Dennis O’Driscoll.
Faber, 524 pp., £22.50, November 2008, 978 0 571 24252 8
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The Cambridge Companion to Seamus Heaney 
edited by Bernard O’Donoghue.
Cambridge, 239 pp., £45, December 2008, 978 0 521 54755 0
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... of the groop, sluicing it down and rebedding it with clean straw.’ Readers younger than Heaney, especially outside Ireland, may wonder at the gap in sensibility between Heaney (born in 1939) and Paul Muldoon (born in 1951), but to read about Heaney’s first years, his ‘nineteen-fifties/Of iron stoves and kin groups still in place’, is to see that the two poets do come from different ...

Wigs and Tories

Paul​ Foot

18 September 1997
Trial of Strength: The Battle Between Ministers and Judges over Who Makes the Law 
by Joshua Rozenberg.
Richard Cohen, 241 pp., £17.99, April 1997, 1 86066 094 0
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The Politics of the Judiciary 
by J.A.G. Griffith.
Fontana, 376 pp., £8.99, September 1997, 0 00 686381 7
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...  that sentencing is best left to democratic and compassionate judges – was greeted with hollow laughter throughout the prisons. Last January at Leicester Crown Court I sat dumbfounded as Judge Hammond sent Fred Whelan to prison for a year. Whelan was 65 and had never been in trouble with the police. His ‘crime’ had been to take a lump of cannabis into Gartree Prison to afford some comfort to ...
10 January 1991
Stone Alone 
by Bill Wyman and Ray Coleman.
Viking, 594 pp., £15.99, October 1990, 0 670 82894 7
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Blown away: The Rolling Stones and the Death of the Sixties 
by A.E. Hotchner.
Simon and Schuster, 377 pp., £15.95, October 1990, 0 671 69316 6
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Are you experienced? The Inside Story of the Jimi Hendrix Experience 
by Noel Redding and Carol Appleby.
Fourth Estate, 256 pp., £14.99, September 1990, 1 872180 36 1
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I was a teenage Sex Pistol 
by Glen Matlock and Pete Silverton.
Omnibus, 192 pp., £12.95, September 1990, 0 7119 2491 0
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by George Michael and Tony Parsons.
Joseph, 242 pp., £12.99, September 1990, 0 7181 3435 4
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... Drummers are the heart of a group,’ confirms Noel Redding of the Jimi Hendrix Experience: ‘a good one is worth his weight in gold.’ And here is the Sex Pistols’ Glen Matlock on drummer Paul Cook: ‘that steady rhythm of his was the whole backbone of the Pistols’ sound.’ Then you have the singer, the showman – who probably does the lyrics too; and the lead guitarist, who probably ...

Unwritten Masterpiece

Barbara Everett: Dryden’s ‘Hamlet’

4 January 2001
... advance in the arts as dependent on the embrace of difficulty. In fact, in the form of an idea about Dryden’s long-proposed heroic poem, an altogether opposite sense of the poet has been voiced. PaulHammond’s John Dryden: A Literary Life (1991) asserts that Dryden could most certainly have realised his early hope to ‘make the world some part of amends for many ill plays by an heroic poem ...

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