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The Kentish Hog

Adrian Desmond, 15 October 1987

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. Vol. II: 1837-1843 
edited by Frederick Burkhardt and Sydney Smith.
Cambridge, 603 pp., £30, March 1987, 0 521 25588 0
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The Works of Charles Darwin 
edited by Paul Barrett and R.B. Freeman.
Pickering & Chatto, 10 pp., £470, March 1987, 1 85196 002 3
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The Darwinian Heritage 
edited by David Kohn.
Princeton, 1138 pp., £67.90, February 1986, 0 691 08356 8
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Western Science in the Arab World: The Impact of Darwinism, 1860-1930 
by Adel Ziadat.
Macmillan, 162 pp., £27.50, October 1986, 0 333 41856 5
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Theories of Human Evolution: A Century of Debate 1844-1944 
by Peter Bowler.
Blackwell, 318 pp., £25, February 1987, 0 631 15264 4
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Controversy in Victorian Geology: The Cambrian-Silurian Dispute 
by James Secord.
Princeton, 363 pp., £33.10, October 1986, 0 691 08417 3
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Darwin’s Metaphor: Nature’s Place in Victorian Culture 
by Robert Young.
Cambridge, 341 pp., £30, October 1985, 0 521 31742 8
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... towards Darwinism and the science’s wider nationalistic uses. Uses have never been central to Peter Bowler’s work: indeed, in the past he has had a bone to pick with Edinburgh sociologists who promoted an instrumental approach to science. Nonetheless in his sturdy account of Theories of Human Evolution he, too, looks at the wider cultural and ...

Middle Positions

John Hedley Brooke, 21 July 1983

Archetypes and Ancestors: Palaeontology in Victorian London 1850-1875 
by Adrian Desmond.
Blond and Briggs, 287 pp., £15.95, October 1982, 0 85634 121 5
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Evolution without Evidence: Charles Darwin and ‘The Origin Species’ 
by Barry Gale.
Harvester, 238 pp., £18.95, January 1983, 0 7108 0442 3
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The Secular Ark: Studies in the History of Biogeography 
by Janet Browne.
Yale, 273 pp., £21, May 1983, 0 300 02460 6
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The Descent of Darwin: A Handbook of Doubts about Darwinsm 
by Brain Leith.
Collins, 174 pp., £7.95, December 1982, 0 00 219548 8
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... of Lamarck. The point that Desmond brings out so well – drawing on the work of Martin Rudwick, Peter Bowler and Michael Bartholomew – is that Darwin’s Origin of Species actually caught Huxley on the wrong foot. If the future of scientific naturalism was, after all, to be bound up with an evolutionary theory, there was a respect in which Huxley had ...

At Tate Modern

Peter Campbell: The Futurists, 25 June 2009

... opening at the Bernheim-Jeune Gallery has Marinetti in the centre of a row of artists – all in bowler hats, heavy overcoats and shiny shoes. They look like a gloomy delegation of well turned out travelling salesmen. Umberto Boccioni, ‘Elasticità’ (1912) It is appropriate that Marinetti – a writer, never a painter – is the dominant ...


Mike Marqusee: The Ancient Argument between Bat and Ball, 18 August 1994

... have been tampered with even more than the ball in a vain quest for the perfect balance between bowler and batsman. In the course of the 19th century, the argument between batsmen and bowlers was shaped by cricket’s peculiar division of labour. For the landed élite who dominated the game, bowling was disdained as a species of manual work. These lofty ...

Lords loses out

R.W. Johnson: Basil D’Oliveira and racism in sport, 16 December 2004

Basil D’Oliveira: Cricket and Conspiracy: The Untold Story 
by Peter Oborne.
Little, Brown, 274 pp., £16.99, June 2004, 0 316 72572 2
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Reflections on a Life in Sport 
by Sam Ramsamy and Edward Griffiths.
Greenhouse, 168 pp., £7.99, July 2004, 0 620 32251 9
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... it was impossible to bowl to them. When in 1969-70 this lot, plus the young Pollock brothers, Peter and Graeme, slaughtered the Australians by four tests to nil, you felt that it had been waiting to happen. Years later, my Durban state school, Northlands, had two old boys on opposing sides in a test: Robin Smith for England, Shaun Pollock for South ...

Come here, Botham

Paul Foot, 9 October 1986

High, Wide and Handsome. Ian Botham: The Story of a Very Special Year 
by Frank Keating.
Collins, 218 pp., £10.95, June 1986, 0 00 218226 2
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... What appears to others as dreary is often just the balance holding steady, with batsmen and bowler unable to shift it in either direction. This claim, trotted out so often as an excuse for taking time off to watch cricket even when the weather is cold and nothing appears to be happening, will not really do, however. All of us who use it know that in the ...


Iain Sinclair: On the Promenade, 17 August 2006

... a believer?’ he asks the dying man. ‘I gave you a Christian name,’ dad replies. ‘He smoked Peter Stuyvesant,’ Mark recalls. ‘His first son’s called Peter after his favourite fag.’ Memory solicits memory. Fill in your own pauses. ‘Wear some new shoes, boys.’ As a youth, doing a paper round, Mark kept out ...


Nicholas Penny: At the races, 6 February 2003

... of what was surveyed on black and white television with an Olympian commentary by Clive Graham and Peter O’Sullevan. ‘Under starter’s orders,’ the public address system boomed. A hush fell over the distant stands. ‘They’re off.’ As the thunder of the hoofs receded, the roar of the punters rose. The Red Cross van lumbered slowly in pursuit. I ...


Mike Selvey: Dumping Gower, 24 September 1992

... in disgracefully cowardly circumstances, when he was ejected by the then chairman of selectors, Peter May. It is necessary to know his approach to captaincy, which, as seen from the periphery, was the equivalent of riding a bike with your feet on the handlebars (he would argue that provided you don’t crash you would still get to the bottom of the hill ...


Keith Thomas: Two Years a Squaddie, 5 February 2015

... keep a sizeable library in my locker (though my reading was not as highbrow as my fellow historian Peter Burke’s during his stint as a pay clerk in Singapore, which in a typical two days, Vinen tells us, included Galileo, Gide and Rimbaud). Although subject to weekly parades and periodic kit inspections, we were excused weapon training and most other ...


Ian Hamilton: Francis Hope, and Tom and Vic, 15 March 1984

... of T. S. Eliot’s first marriage, to Vivien Haigh-Wood, and I had been pretty well put off it by Peter Redgrove’s letter to the TLS: ‘if Eliot’s diagnosis of the ills of our civilisation in prose and poetry had its root in his own sexual distress and inability in his prime to form a personal relationship with the feminine, then we have a right to ...

Making them think

J.I.M. Stewart, 18 September 1986

G.K. Chesterton 
by Michael Ffinch.
Weidenfeld, 369 pp., £16, June 1986, 0 297 78858 2
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... I told over cocoa or mulled wine with devoutly disposed young men, that Savonarola said mass in a bowler, and that he would have done better to wear the conventional biretta? But from the same period I sufficiently recall the Gorgias to know that its author (by Chesterton so oddly bracketed with George Washington) would have regarded with distrust a ...


John Bayley, 9 July 1987

The Songlines 
by Bruce Chatwin.
Cape, 293 pp., £10.95, June 1987, 0 224 02452 3
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... people are an aspect of journeying, as in immortal books like Evelyn Waugh’s Ninety-Two Days, or Peter Fleming’s News from Tartary. Bruce Chatwin’s narrative is divided by pauses for quotation and reflection. He has more than a touch of Rimbaud in him, and indeed he quotes from Une Saison en Enfer: ‘For a long time I prided myself I would possess every ...

How Left was he?

Paul Addison, 7 January 1993

John Maynard Keynes: The Economist as Saviour 1920-1937 
by Robert Skidelsky.
Macmillan, 731 pp., £20, November 1992, 0 333 37138 0
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Maynard Keynes: An Economist’s Biography 
by D.E. Moggridge.
Routledge, 941 pp., £35, April 1992, 9780415051415
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... he returned to Cambridge to resume his fellowship at King’s, he was often to be seen, with his bowler-hat and brief-case, hurrying off to London for a board meeting or an appointment with the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The passionate, and of necessity highly secret, homosexuality of the pre-war days was fading. His last male love was the Cambridge ...

I going England tomorrow

Paul Mendez: ‘The Lonely Londoners’, 7 July 2022

The Lonely Londoners 
by Sam Selvon.
Penguin, 138 pp., £16.99, June 2021, 978 0 241 50412 3
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... for short – within walking distance of Notting Hill. In the 1950s, the area was the domain of Peter Rachman, the Polish-born refugee turned slum landlord who exploited the hostility of the housing market towards Black immigrants, buying up run-down houses in Paddington and North Kensington and renting them to desperate people at extortionate ...

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