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Hackney

W.G. Runciman, 20 October 1983

Inside the Inner City 
by Paul Harrison.
Pelican, 444 pp., £3.95, August 1983, 9780140224191
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Brighton on the Rocks: Monetarism and the Local State 
Queens Park Rates Book Group, 192 pp., £3.95, May 1983, 0 904733 08 4Show More
The Wealth Report 
edited by Frank Field.
Routledge, 164 pp., £6.95, June 1983, 0 7100 9452 3
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... Paul Harrison is at pains to make clear that his impassioned report on poverty and social conflict in the Borough of Hackney is not an academic survey. It is journalism, and proud of it. It would be totally inappropriate for a reviewer to cavil at the lack of cross-tabulations, or details of the conduct of interviews, or sampling techniques which might have proved that his selection of informants is as representative of the disadvantaged as he says it is ...

Upstaging

Paul Driver, 19 August 1993

Shining Brow 
by Paul Muldoon.
Faber, 86 pp., £5.99, February 1993, 0 571 16789 6
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... take the pains to learn the métier and is lucky enough to find a composer he can believe in’. Paul Muldoon, who ranks with Auden as a poet for whom the intricacies of verse and rhyme are endless and masterable, and who lives in America, as Auden did, has written a libretto for a composer of whom I confess I haven’heard. He is Daron Aric Hagen, and ...

Echoes

Tom Phillips, 2 April 1981

English Art and Modernism 1900-1939 
by Charles Harrison.
Allen Lane, 416 pp., £20, February 1981, 0 7139 0792 4
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... however huge. It is almost as if the younger gallery-goer had already digested Charles Harrison’s salutary and illuminating study of the theory and practice of Modernist art in England, with its detailed clinical case-histories of groups and individuals. Sniffing its moment, this book appears as the tide moves against the uncritical survey books ...

Each of us is a snowball

Susannah Clapp: Squares are best, 22 October 2020

Square Haunting 
by Francesca Wade.
Faber, 422 pp., £20, January, 978 0 571 33065 2
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... In the end, alongside HD, Sayers and Woolf, Wade decided to concentrate on the classicist Jane Harrison and the historian Eileen Power.Woolf is the most obvious motor for Square Haunting. The title tips its hat to ‘Street Haunting’, her essay about a London meander. Its premise – the difficulty and importance for women of securing what was ...

At Tate Britain

T.J. Clark: Paul Nash , 2 February 2017

... Paul Nash​ is as close as we come, many think, to having a strong painter of the English landscape in the 20th century. The uncertainties built into the wording here are part of the point: Nash spent his working life trying to decide if ‘the English landscape’ was something that had an existence, as a value for art, beyond, say, 1918; and what the difference was, in landscape painting, between strength and histrionics; and whether remaining ‘a painter of the English landscape’, with all that followed in terms of a settling of accounts with Constable and Turner, and Blake and Palmer, and Crome and the watercolourists and Ford Madox Brown, was at all compatible with being a painter ‘in the 20th century ...

Delightful to be Robbed

E.S. Turner: Stand and deliver, 9 May 2002

Outlaws and Highwaymen: The Cult of the Robber in England from the Middle Ages to the 19th century 
by Gillian Spraggs.
Pimlico, 372 pp., £12.50, November 2001, 0 7126 6479 3
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... to receive a powerful and enduring new stimulus. In 1830 Edward Bulwer-Lytton published his novel Paul Clifford, featuring ‘one of those accomplished and elegant highwaymen . . . by whom it would have been delightful to have been robbed’, not so much a highway thug as a gentil, parfit knight. The popularity of ...

In Bexhill

Peter Campbell: Unpopular Culture, 5 June 2008

... Chapter titles in Light, Air and Openness, Paul Overy’s new look at modern architecture between the wars, describe the dream that the style underwrote: ‘The City in the Country’, ‘The House of Health’, ‘Built into the Sun’ and so on.* In the recently restored De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill-on-Sea, a rare early example of the international style in England, the Modernist spirit has been so well revived that if more of those whom I saw eating and sunning themselves had been young and bronzed, not old and white-haired, and if the pavilion was not still surrounded by the brick terraces you see in the earliest photographs, you would have guessed that the planner’s dream had been achieved ...

Sex’n’Love

Blake Morrison, 21 February 1991

The Chatto Book of Love Poetry 
edited by John Fuller.
Chatto, 374 pp., £13.99, August 1990, 0 7011 3453 4
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The Faber Book of Blue Verse 
edited by John Whitworth.
Faber, 305 pp., £14.99, October 1990, 0 571 14095 5
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Self-Portrait with a Slide 
by Hugo Williams.
Oxford, 62 pp., £5.95, June 1990, 0 19 282744 8
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The Virago Book of Love Poetry 
edited by Wendy Mulford.
Virago, 288 pp., £6.99, November 1990, 1 85381 030 4
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Erotica: An Anthology of Women’s Writing 
edited by Margaret Reynolds, foreword by Jeanette Winterson .
Pandora, 362 pp., £19.99, November 1990, 9780044406723
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Daddy, Daddy 
by Paul Durcan.
Blackstaff, 185 pp., £5.95, August 1990, 0 85640 446 2
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... Christopher Reid and Michael Hofmann are classified as love poets but Craig Raine and Tony Harrison as blue versifiers. Only a few poets make both, including Seamus Heaney, who has two poems unworthy of him in the Whitworth (one about unfreezing a vaginal pump, one about a bride-like, much played-on Victorian guitar), and a couple of much better ones ...

Sisterhoods

Brian Harrison, 6 December 1984

Significant Sisters: The Grassroots of Active Feminism 1839-1939 
by Margaret Forster.
Secker, 353 pp., £12.50, September 1984, 0 436 16113 3
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Stepping Stones to Women’s Liberty: Feminist Ideas in the Women’s Movement 1900-1918 
by Les Garner.
Gower, 142 pp., £15, July 1984, 0 435 32357 1
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Women First: The Female Tradition in English Physical Education 1880-1980 
by Sheila Fletcher.
Athlone, 194 pp., £18, July 1984, 0 485 11248 5
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A Woman’s Place: An Oral History of Working-Class Women 1890-1940 
by Elizabeth Roberts.
Blackwell, 246 pp., £14.95, September 1984, 0 631 13572 3
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... is Elizabeth Roberts. Whereas some ‘oral historians’ of the 1970s saw themselves, in Paul Thompson’s words, as working ‘not simply to celebrate the working class as it is, but to raise its consciousness’, Roberts rightly aims to learn from her informants. ‘As a feminist,’ she writes in her Introduction, ‘in the face of the empirical ...

Dialect does it

Blake Morrison, 5 December 1985

No Mate for the Magpie 
by Frances Molloy.
Virago, 170 pp., £7.95, April 1985, 0 86068 594 2
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The Mysteries 
by Tony Harrison.
Faber, 229 pp., £9.95, August 1985, 9780571137893
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Ukulele Music 
by Peter Reading.
Secker, 103 pp., £3.95, June 1985, 0 436 40986 0
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Hard Lines 2 
edited by Ian Dury, Pete Townshend, Alan Bleasdale and Fanny Dubes.
Faber, 95 pp., £2.50, June 1985, 0 571 13542 0
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No Holds Barred: The Raving Beauties choose new poems by women 
edited by Anna Carteret, Fanny Viner and Sue Jones-Davies.
Women’s Press, 130 pp., £2.95, June 1985, 0 7043 3963 3
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Katerina Brac 
by Christopher Reid.
Faber, 47 pp., £8.95, October 1985, 0 571 13614 1
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Skevington’s Daughter 
by Oliver Reynolds.
Faber, 88 pp., £8.95, September 1985, 0 571 13697 4
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Rhondda Tenpenn’orth 
by Oliver Reynolds.
10 pence
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Trio 4 
by Andrew Elliott, Leon McAuley and Ciaran O’Driscoll.
Blackstaff, 69 pp., £3.95, May 1985, 0 85640 333 4
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Mama Dot 
by Fred D’Aguiar.
Chatto, 48 pp., £3.95, August 1985, 0 7011 2957 3
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The Dread Affair: Collected Poems 
by Benjamin Zephaniah.
Arena, 112 pp., £2.95, August 1985, 9780099392507
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Long Road to Nowhere 
by Amryl Johnson.
Virago, 64 pp., £2.95, July 1985, 0 86068 687 6
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Mangoes and Bullets 
by John Agard.
Pluto, 64 pp., £3.50, August 1985, 0 7453 0028 6
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Ragtime in Unfamiliar Bars 
by Ron Butlin.
Secker, 51 pp., £3.95, June 1985, 0 436 07810 4
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True Confessions and New Clichés 
by Liz Lochhead.
Polygon, 135 pp., £3.95, July 1985, 0 904919 90 0
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Works in the Inglis Tongue 
by Peter Davidson.
Three Tygers Press, 17 pp., £2.50, June 1985
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Wild Places: Poems in Three Leids 
by William Neill.
Luath, 200 pp., £5, September 1985, 0 946487 11 1
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... Poetry written in dialect seems to be undergoing a resurgence. Tony Harrison has made extensive use of Northern idioms. Tom Paulin has been busy raiding Ulster (and, I suspect, Scottish) dictionaries. Craig Raine has produced a manifesto, ‘Babylonish Dialects’, on dialect’s behalf. And several of the books under review here – by Scots, Welshmen and British West Indians – cannot be read without the glossaries which they thoughtfully provide ...
Selected Poems 1964-1983 
by Douglas Dunn.
Faber, 262 pp., £9.95, November 1986, 0 571 14619 8
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Terry Street 
by Douglas Dunn.
Faber, 62 pp., £3.95, November 1986, 0 571 09713 8
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Selected Poems 1968-1983 
by Paul Muldoon.
Faber, 109 pp., £8.95, November 1986, 0 571 14603 1
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Essential Reading 
by Peter Reading and Alan Jenkins.
Secker, 230 pp., £9.95, October 1986, 0 436 40988 7
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Stet 
by Peter Reading.
Secker, 40 pp., £5.95, October 1986, 0 436 40989 5
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... last, with its perception of the links between political and cultural power, reminding one of Tony Harrison. There is something, too, of Harrison’s angle on the familiar in Dunn’s arresting four-line poem, ‘Glasgow Schoolboys, Running Backwards’. The ‘Ballad of the Two Left Hands’, on the unemployed, and a fine ...

Suffocating Suspense

Richard Davenport-Hines, 16 March 2000

Cult Criminals: The Newgate Novels 1830-47 
by Juliet John.
Routledge, 2750 pp., £399, December 1998, 0 415 14383 7
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... was the most distinguished of the sensationally popular Newgate novelists. His closest rival, Harrison Ainsworth, managed nothing more than romantic escapism with a thick accretion of historical allusions. Bulwer-Lytton himself had inaugurated the fashion for this brand of crime fiction with Paul Clifford (1830), and ...

Prize Poems

Donald Davie, 1 July 1982

Arvon Foundation Poetry Competion: 1980 Anthology 
by Ted Hughes and Seamus Heaney.
Kilnhurst Publishing Company, 173 pp., £3, April 1982, 9780950807805
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Burn this 
by Tom Disch.
Hutchinson, 63 pp., £7.50, April 1982, 0 09 146960 0
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... but certainly creditable. And here figure Mairi MacInnes, Miriam Levine (two), Gerry Loose, Paul Coltman, Richard Dankleff, Robin Ivy, Pete Morgan (two), Phyllis Koestenbaum, Barbara Moore, David MacSweeney (one out of two), Randall Garrison, Donald Stallybrass, Ellery Akers, Peter Abbs, John Hodgen, Andrew Motion, Edwin Drummond, Gregory ...

On Keston Sutherland

Ian Patterson: Keston Sutherland, 21 September 2017

... required by the only writer I can think of who achieves comparable effects, the novelist M. John Harrison. The repeated motif of a phrase returning in two other languages also acts to shift the reader’s perception of the linguistic basis of reality by referencing shared experience at the same time as it reminds us of the different ways it can be ...

Tales of Hofmann

Blake Morrison, 20 November 1986

Acrimony 
by Michael Hofmann.
Faber, 79 pp., £8.95, October 1986, 0 571 14527 2
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Idols 
by Stephen Romer.
Oxford, 48 pp., £3.95, September 1986, 0 19 281984 4
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Opia 
by Alan Moore.
Anvil, 83 pp., £4.50, August 1986, 9780856461613
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New Chatto Poets 
edited by Andrew Motion.
Chatto, 79 pp., £4.95, September 1986, 0 7011 3080 6
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A.D. Hope: Selected Poems 
edited by Ruth Morse.
Carcanet, 139 pp., £3.95, April 1986, 0 85635 640 9
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The Electrification of the Soviet Union 
by Craig Raine.
Faber, 69 pp., £8.95, August 1986, 0 571 14539 6
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... event, it ends more amicably, with a group portrait in a thunderstorm, the family trio (like Tony Harrison’s in the poem ‘Illuminations’) forced into a brief moment of intimacy. But the overall tone is certainly parricidal, as the son betrays his need to emulate the father, and the full bickering agony of family life is laid bare. It might be any ...

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