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Pudding Time

Colin Kidd: Jacobites, 14 December 2006

1715: The Great Jacobite Rebellion 
by Daniel Szechi.
Yale, 351 pp., £25, June 2006, 0 300 11100 2
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... people believed in witches and fairies, then why not also in the Stuarts as divine right monarchs? Paul Monod’s Jacobitism and the English People 1688-1788 (1989) established the importance of Jacobite allegiance within English political culture. It was no longer convincing to depict Jacobitism as an anachronism which, while capable of enchanting the ...

Race, God and Family

Dan Hancox: Francoism, 2 July 2015

Franco’s Crypt: Spanish Culture and Memory since 1936 
by Jeremy Treglown.
Vintage, 336 pp., £16.99, March 2015, 978 1 78470 115 4
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... for foreign wars and to learn tactics of domestic crowd control. Under Franco, history was, in Paul Preston’s words, ‘the continuation of the war by other means’ – in propaganda, school textbooks, church sermons and through monuments, public holidays and other state-sponsored culture. Schoolchildren were compelled to take a course of political ...

Serial Evangelists

Peter Clarke, 23 June 1994

Thinking the Unthinkable: Think-Tanks and the Economic Counter-Revolution, 1931-83 
by Richard Cockett.
HarperCollins, 390 pp., £25, May 1994, 0 00 223672 9
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... with psychological implications which the author might well have pressed further. As it is, Paul Johnson, still hot (at any rate under the collar) from his editorship of the New Statesman, receives a comment so bland – ‘To Johnson and others, the prophecy of Hayek’s Road to Serfdom was rapidly coming to pass’ – that the unwary reader might ...

Men in Aprons

Colin Kidd: Freemasonry, 7 May 1998

Who’s Afraid of Freemasons? The Phenomenon of Freemasonry 
by Alexander Piatigorsky.
Harvill, 398 pp., £25, August 1997, 1 86046 029 1
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... of 18th-century Masonry, but their tentative conclusions are at odds with Piatigorsky’s thesis. Paul Monod thinks that the message of restoration underpinning Masonic ritual – the rebirth in every Master Mason of King Solomon’s murdered builder Hiram Abiff – proved congenial to English Jacobites, while Philip Jenkins detects a distinctive Jacobite and ...

Young Brutes

R.W. Johnson: The Amerys, 23 February 2006

Speaking for England: Leo, Julian and John Amery: The Tragedy of a Political Family 
by David Faber.
Free Press, 612 pp., £20, October 2005, 0 7432 5688 3
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... knew Sanskrit and could rapidly mug up almost any other language he wanted (chatting away to Paul Kruger in Afrikaans, for example). As a child brought up by a single parent without any of the advantages of aristocratic descent or a wider family network, he embraced wholeheartedly and romantically all the institutions of the establishment, and they in ...

Aids and the Polio Vaccine

Edward Hooper: New evidence, 3 April 2003

... a vaccine at a primitive lab like that. But Kanyama explained that he had started working in Paul Osterrieth’s virology department at LMS on 12 February 1958, and that Osterrieth had already been making polio vaccine before his arrival. He described how Osterrieth would bring the vaccine from his sterile room, after which the assistants would divide it ...


Alan Bennett: What I did in 2014, 8 January 2015

... on a courtesy visit to the USSR, as it then was, in 1988, a party which included Craig Raine, Paul Bailey and Timothy Mo. I don’t remember laughing more on any trip before or since; we were a very silly group, so much so that we often mystified our hosts and sometimes behaved disgracefully. Sue – and I even noticed this in the photo the Guardian used ...

Love, Loss and Family Advantage

Rosalind Mitchison, 1 September 1983

Family Forms in Historic Europe 
edited by Richard Wall.
Cambridge, 606 pp., £37.50, March 1983, 0 521 24547 8
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Servants in Husbandry in Early Modern England 
by Ann Kussmaul.
Cambridge, 245 pp., £22, December 1981, 0 521 23566 9
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The Subversive Family: An Alternative History of Love and Marriage 
by Ferdinand Mount.
Cape, 282 pp., £9.50, July 1982, 0 224 01999 6
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... industrialisation and urban growth. In the earlier volume Michael Anderson showed from a study of Preston in 1851 how this occurred. Early marriage was made possible by the new job structure, and the disappearance of family-based economic activity allowed the young to stay at home longer: meanwhile the lure of urban work brought other kin to lodge with their ...


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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... The book rests on interviews with about 160 people of both sexes in Barrow, Lancaster and Preston. Roberts does not tell us how her interviewees were contacted or selected, but she is ‘confident that they are a representative sample of the working class in all three areas.’ She also fails to explain how the interviews were conducted. Was there a ...

What does a chicken know of bombs?

David Thomson: A Key to Brando, 5 December 2019

The Contender: The Story of Marlon Brando 
by William J. Mann.
HarperCollins, 718 pp., £22, November 2019, 978 0 06 242764 9
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... this time the director was less convinced that Brando should be the lead. He considered a young Paul Newman and even Frank Sinatra. Did he reckon Marlon had a soft look, or too much beauty, for Terry Malloy, the failed boxer? Or had he heard that Marlon had been bad-mouthing him because Kazan (after tortured reflection) had in 1952 testified to the House ...


Alan Bennett: A Round of Applause, 7 January 2021

... Dinnerladies was often sentimental, but she caught in the part of the handyman, played by Duncan Preston, the idiom of an old-fashioned working-class man, elaborate, literate and language-loving, which is, or was, more typical of the North than the more clichéd dialect-rich versions.25 September. ‘I am not going to affect the livery of the time’s ...

A Car of One’s Own

Andrew O’Hagan: Chariots of Desire, 11 June 2009

... In some way the crowd did not become them, as it could seem to in Europe. In American movies, in Preston Sturges, in Frank Capra, the crowds whizz past in their comfortable clothes, and each person might be thinking their own thoughts, before one of them, Claudette Colbert or Jimmy Stewart, steps out. And if they seem wildly capable of being themselves, that ...

The smallest details speak the loudest

John Upton: The Stephen Lawrence inquiry, 1 July 1999

The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry 
by Sir William Macpherson.
Stationery Office, 335 pp., £26, February 1999, 0 10 142622 4
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The Case of Stephen Lawrence 
by Brian Cathcart.
Viking, 418 pp., £16.99, May 1999, 0 670 88604 1
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... in law. ‘I don’t normally think it’s right for people to be witch-hunted in this way,’ Paul Foot remarked, ‘but in this case the legal process had run its course and the case against these men was overwhelming.’ Peter Preston, the former editor of the Guardian, concluded that the alternative verdict reached ...

North and South

Raphael Samuel, 22 June 1995

Coming Back Brockens: A Year in a Mining Village 
by Mark Hudson.
Cape, 320 pp., £16.99, October 1994, 0 224 04170 3
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... ruins, the exploration of geographical and social wastelands. Some, following in the footsteps of Paul Theroux’s Kingdom by the Sea, see the Northern towns as horrors. Others, indignant at the haemorrhage of jobs and skills, chart the progress of disindustrialisation. Ian Jack’s Before the Oil Ran Out and Robert Chesshyre’s The Return of a Native ...

Neutered Valentines

David Bromwich: James Agee, 7 September 2006

‘Let Us Now Praise Famous Men’, ‘A Death in the Family’, Shorter Fiction 
by James Agee.
Library of America, 818 pp., $35, October 2005, 1 931082 81 2
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Film Writing and Selected Journalism 
by James Agee.
Library of America, 748 pp., $40, October 2005, 1 931082 82 0
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Brooklyn Is 
by James Agee.
Fordham, 64 pp., $16.95, October 2005, 0 8232 2492 9
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... concedes that he has not seen two of his main examples of the degradation of American culture, Paul Robeson’s Othello and the musical Oklahoma, but that friends he trusts have told him all he needs to know. A second cause of the failure of perception here is the fetish of greatness. ‘Great works of art, and the best hopes of good living’: these ...

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