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16 October 1980
George Grove 
by Percy Young.
Macmillan, 344 pp., £12.50, April 1980, 0 333 19602 3
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... out next winter, all 20 volumes, 18,000 pages, 22,500 articles, 7,500 cross-references, over three thousand illustrations, over two thousand five hundred music-type examples – if the dust-cover of PercyYoung’s biography of its founder is to be believed. The New Grove, as it is called, is not really the product of a machine (though rumours of its adventures with computer setting have sometimes ...
18 November 1982
Stranger and Brother: A Portrait of C.P. Snow 
by Philip Snow.
Macmillan, 206 pp., £8.95, October 1982, 0 333 32680 6
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... a blazer with a monogram and ‘was quickly recognised as years ahead of his age’. Philip refers to his brother throughout as ‘Charles’, and it is time to reveal that he was known at home as Percy, and Percy he remained for the first 45 years, ‘distant relatives’ so addressing him even after that. For the world in which he was rising ‘Snow’ was enough – surnames were, after all, then ...
5 May 1988
A Matter of Justice: The Legal System in Ferment 
by Michael Zander.
Tauris, 323 pp., £16.50, February 1988, 1 85043 040 3
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The Coercive State: The Decline of Democracy in Britain 
by Paddy Hillyard and Janie Percy-Smith.
Fontana, 352 pp., £5.95, February 1988, 0 00 637083 7
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... most legal practitioners and many legal theorists believe it is. A literate Martian, for example, would not believe that Michael Zander was writing about the same society as Paddy Hillyard and Janie Percy-Smith, and at the same period of time. There is simply no space in Zander’s world-picture for the possibility that ours is a coercive state or that democracy is in decline here – while if ...
21 February 1980
Hackenfeller’s Ape 
by Brigid Brophy.
Allison and Busby, 125 pp., £5.50, October 1980, 0 85031 314 7
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Flesh 
by Brigid Brophy.
Allison and Busby, 124 pp., £1.95, October 1980, 9780850313185
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The Snow Ball 
by Brigid Brophy.
Allison and Busby, 143 pp., £1.95, October 1980, 0 85031 316 3
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... angels and below the beasts as well. The Park it neither a Garden of Eden nor a concentration camp, though it takes in, besides much middle ground, the milder elements of both. According to the plan, Percy the male ape is to be sent into space as an experimental subject, which is a cause of distress to Professor Darrelhyde, patiently waiting to observe the strange mating ritual of this species, an ...

Ink Blots, Pin Holes

Caroline Gonda: ‘Frankenstein’

28 January 2010
The Original ‘Frankenstein’ 
by Mary Shelley, with Percy​ Shelley, edited by Charles Robinson.
Bodleian Library, 448 pp., £14.99, October 2009, 978 1 85124 396 9
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... Strongly fancied at the start of 1833 to win the Great Doncaster St Leger, Mr Gully’s bay colt Frankenstein (by Young Phantom, out of My Lady) failed to live up to expectations. Beaten into fourth place at the York Spring Meeting by Muley Moloch, Satan and Lot, in October Frankenstein, by now renamed Deceiver ...
7 February 1980
The Windsor Story 
by J. Bryan and Charles Murphy.
Granada, 602 pp., £8.95, November 1980, 0 246 11323 5
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... The Windsor Story, as ‘the greatest love story of the 20th century’ is here conveniently known, is essentially familiar. Whether it is seen as the tale of the fatuous young charmer and the intriguing, ambitious witch, or, as they themselves chose to present it, as the pathetic picture of two orphans of the storm, victimised by the hound Baldwin, the main facts on which ...

Severnside

David Cannadine

21 March 1985
Elgar, the Man 
by Michael De-la-Noy.
Allen Lane/Viking, 340 pp., £12.95, September 1984, 0 7139 1532 3
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Edward Elgar: A Creative Life 
by Jerrold Northrop Moore.
Oxford, 841 pp., £35, June 1984, 0 19 315447 1
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Spirit of England: Edward Elgar in his World 
by Jerrold Northrop Moore.
Heinemann, 175 pp., £10.95, February 1984, 0 434 47541 6
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The Elgar-Atkins Friendship 
by E. Wulstan Atkins.
David and Charles, 510 pp., £15, April 1984, 0 7153 8583 6
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... the man was less important than the music, gave a reticent and discreet account of his private life, and admitted that much of his output probably was as vulgar as his inter-war critics had claimed. PercyYoung believed that the man and his music were inseparable, and presented Elgar as a ‘two-worldly character’, torn between the private poet of Worcestershire (who wrote great music), and the ...

Menagerie of Live Authors

Francesca Wade: Marys Shelley and Wollstonecraft

7 October 2015
Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley 
by Charlotte Gordon.
Hutchinson, 649 pp., £25, April 2015, 978 0 09 195894 7
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... There were​ high hopes for the son of Percy Bysshe and Mary Shelley, the grandson of William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft, but the boy told his mother that all he wanted was a quiet life and a sailing boat. She wasn’t wholly disappointed ...

Bard of Tropes

Jonathan Lamb: Thomas Chatterton

20 September 2001
Thomas Chatterton and Romantic Culture 
by Nick Groom.
Palgrave, 300 pp., £55, September 1999, 0 333 72586 7
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... to the hegemony of Received Standard English. As several essays here make clear, he is the poet who, above all others, forced the early historians of English literature such as Thomas Warton, Thomas Percy and Samuel Johnson to review the grounds of their judgments. He is at the same time the lonely outsider commemorated by Coleridge, Keats, Shelley and (more cannily) Wordsworth. David Fairer maintains ...

Diary

Philip Horne: Common Assault

2 March 1989
... In October 1922 a young man called Freddy Bywaters lurked in the dark front garden of a corner house in Ilford. When his mistress and her husband came along, he emerged from the garden and, with or without premeditation ...
14 September 1989
Lewis Percy 
by Anita Brookner.
Cape, 261 pp., £11.95, August 1989, 0 224 02668 2
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Sexing the cherry 
by Jeanette Winterson.
Bloomsbury, 167 pp., £12.95, September 1989, 0 7475 0464 4
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Fludd 
by Hilary Mantel.
Viking, 186 pp., £11.95, September 1989, 0 670 82118 7
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... of everyday compromise. Nevertheless, she too has thought deeply about the need to rewrite fairy stories. Her new novel is a searching study of innocence, and the limitations of innocence. Lewis Percy, an anxiously clever boy, has had a reclusive upbringing with his widowed mother. In an uncharacteristically adventurous move, he leaves her to pursue postgraduate research in Paris. He is working on ...
3 July 1997
The Gunpowder Plot: Terror and Faith in 1605 
by Antonia Fraser.
Weidenfeld, 347 pp., £20, August 1996, 9780297813484
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... on 20 May at the Duck and Drake, off the Strand, the lodgings of his cousin and the disciple, Thomas Wintour. Three other men were invited: Jack Wright, a swordsman friend of Catesby’s; Thomas Percy, Wright’s brother-in-law and man of business to his kinsman, the magnate and Councillor the Earl of Northumberland; and Guido Fawkes, a phlegmatic and reliable soldier brought over from Catholic ...

A Very Smart Bedint

Frank Kermode: Harold Nicolson

17 March 2005
Harold Nicolson 
by Norman Rose.
Cape, 383 pp., £20, February 2005, 0 224 06218 2
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... Such truths as they may contain are only half-truths’). Sixty years on, I had forgotten everything about the book except its incidental allusions to Nicolson’s admired friend Lord Eustace Percy, a minor character, but of special interest to me because at the time he was my boss. I, too, admired this courteous scion of the great Northumberland dukedom, partly because of the divinatory powers ...
27 January 1994
A.J.P. Taylor: A Biography 
by Adam Sisman.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 468 pp., £18.99, January 1994, 1 85619 210 5
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A.J.P. Taylor: The Traitor within the Gates 
by Robert Cole.
Macmillan, 285 pp., £40, November 1993, 0 333 59273 5
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From Napoleon to the Second International: International Essays on the 19th Century 
by A.J.P. Taylor, edited by Chris Wrigley.
Hamish Hamilton, 426 pp., £25, November 1993, 0 241 13444 7
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... before deploying it on others. Perhaps he thought that Southerners, in their lax and ignorant way, would conflate the industrial grime of Stockport with the sea breezes of genteel Southport, where young Alan was actually brought up. Grandfather Taylor had made his money in the cotton trade – he claimed to be a millionaire – and Alan’s father Percy worked in the family business, lighting his ...

Teeth of Mouldy Blue

Laura Quinney: Percy​ Bysshe Shelley

21 September 2000
The Complete Poetry of Percy​ Bysshe Shelley: Volume I 
edited by Donald Reiman and Neil Fraisat.
Johns Hopkins, 494 pp., £58, March 2000, 0 8018 6119 5
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... Atheism’ (though he wavered about acknowledging his authorship of the pamphlet); he broke with his family, and fell into a depression; in his loneliness, he persuaded Harriet Westbrook, a pleasant young woman, to elope with him, and then established an unsatisfactory triangulated household with her older sister, Eliza; they wandered about, visiting, among other places, Ireland, where Shelley tried ...

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