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20 February 1986
Music and Civilisation: Essays in Honour of Paul Henry Lang 
edited by Edmond Strainchamps, Maria Rika Maniates and Christopher Hatch.
Norton, 499 pp., £35, March 1985, 0 393 01677 3
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The Farthest North of Humanness: Letters of Percy Grainger​ 1901-1914 
edited by Kay Dreyfus.
Macmillan, 542 pp., £25, December 1985, 0 333 38085 1
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by Joseph Kerman.
Collins/Fontana, 255 pp., £10.95, March 1985, 0 00 197170 0
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... for the work some kind of spuriously innate ‘Russian’ identity, but rather to highlight Stravinsky’s achievement by defining its origins and thereby showing how it has transcended them. If PercyGrainger transcended much more than the boundaries of good taste, it would be difficult to tell from The Farthest North of Humanness. The philistine reaction to flagellation and sexual experiment was ...
22 October 1992
Stephen Spender: A Portrait with Background 
by Hugh David.
Heinemann, 308 pp., £17.50, October 1992, 0 434 17506 4
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More Please: An Autobiography 
by Barry Humphries.
Viking, 331 pp., £16.99, September 1992, 0 670 84008 4
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... Mrs Bird’s bookshop, where the proprietor usually had a sherry-sipping priest on hand, but would turn to recommend him The Green Hat, South Wind, or M.G. Lewis’s The Monk. Then there was the PercyGrainger Museum, which housed an enormous collection of letters to and from the composer. A disdainful young female archivist cataloguing them was once observed holding an envelope at arm’s length ...


Malcolm Bull

6 January 1994
The Road to Wellville 
by T. Coraghessan Boyle.
Granta, 476 pp., £14.99, October 1993, 9780140142419
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The Collected Stories 
by T. Coraghessan Boyle.
Granta, 621 pp., £9.99, October 1993, 9780140140767
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... for the wealthy, who flocked to Michigan to benefit from the sanitarium’s offer of ‘Organised Rest’. As the visitors included celebrities such as John D. Rockefeller Jr, Upton Sinclair, PercyGrainger and the explorer Roald Amundsen, becoming a patient at the sanitarium held a social as well as a therapeutic attraction. Kellogg fostered this aspect of Battle Creek life by organising a constant ...

Can you close your eyes without falling over?

Hugh Pennington: Symptoms of Syphilis

11 September 2003
Pox: Genius, Madness and the Mysteries of Syphilis 
by Deborah Hayden.
Basic Books, 379 pp., £20.99, January 2003, 0 465 02881 0
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... tabes is to see whether the patient falls down if he closes his eyes when standing with his feet together (90 per cent of tabetics are men). The Treponema dealt harshly with Delius, but, helped by PercyGrainger, Philip Heseltine and Eric Fenby, he went on composing. Spes syphilitica, perhaps. In a sense he was lucky: syphilis did not carry him off in his prime. Consider the 19th-century Scottish ...

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