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3 September 1987
... Wright describes how Angleton ingeniously contrived to enjoy simultaneously his three main hobbies of drinking, smoking and fishing. Having bought a stretch of river, he buried bottles of Jack Daniels at regular intervals in the river bed, so that he could always fish with a whisky and a cigarette in hand. Wright himself emerges as a believable source – though caution is perhaps advisable: he is ...

At the Brunei Gallery

Peter​ Campbell: Indian photography

1 November 2001
... from professional conservatism, large format cameras and conventions of picturesque arrangement inherited from the handsome (if inevitably still ‘untrustworthy’) views of topographers like the Daniels. The characteristics which make some pure landscapes seem boringly repetitive are just what architecture needs – these old pictures put many photographs in modern monographs to shame. When they do ...

Versailles with Panthers

James Davidson: A tribute to the Persians

10 July 2003
From Cyrus to Alexander: A History of the Persian Empire 
by Pierre Briant, translated by Peter Daniels.
Eisenbrauns, 1196 pp., $79.50, January 2002, 1 57506 031 0
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Ancient Persia from 550 BC to 650 AD: reissue 
by Josef Wiesehöfer, translated by Azizeh Azodi.
Tauris, 332 pp., £35, April 2001, 1 85043 999 0
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... Handel’s Xerxes begins with a famous largo, ‘Shade as it never was’ (Ombra mai fu), sung by the self-same King of Kings to his beloved: a plane tree. Aelian, a collector of amazing historical facts, provides the fullest account of this bizarre episode: That Xerxes fellow was a clown … he was slavishly devoted to a plane tree, as if the tree was something to be wondered at. At any rate, they ...

Identity Parade

Linda Colley

25 February 1993
People and Places: Country House Donors and the National Trust 
by James Lees-Milne.
Murray, 232 pp., £19.99, October 1992, 0 7195 5145 5
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The Making of the National Poet: Shakespeare, Adaptation and Authorship, 1660-1769 
by Michael Dobson.
Oxford, 266 pp., £30, October 1992, 0 19 811233 5
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Myths of the English 
edited by Roy Porter.
Polity, 280 pp., £39.50, October 1992, 0 7456 0844 2
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Fields of Vision: Landscape Imagery and National Identity in England and the United States 
by Stephen Daniels.
Polity, 257 pp., £39.50, November 1992, 0 7456 0450 1
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... within the boundaries of this island. Yet, as Sir John Seeley argued over a century ago, empire happened not only abroad but also in the minds and imaginations of Britons at home. Neither Stephen Daniels’s collection of essays nor those in Roy Porter’s Myths of the English explore the imperial-domestic connection directly. Yet both books illuminate its importance.To begin with, and as several of ...

In place of fairies

Simon Schaffer

2 December 1982
Stolen Lightning: The Social Theory of Magic 
by Daniel O’Keefe.
Martin Robertson, 581 pp., £17.50, September 1982, 0 85520 486 9
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Scienze, Credenze Occulti, Livelli di Cultura 
edited by Paola Zambelli.
Leo Olschki, 562 pp., April 1982, 88 222 3069 8
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... advice extends to such fields as politics, economics and war: this scope gives some clue both to the structure and to the theme of Stolen Lightning. This is not a book that describes magic – Paul Daniels and his friends in the Magic Circle can rest easy. Instead, it is a book that celebrates a kind of magic, the magical arcana of high social science. As the author frequently points out, modern ...

Do come to me funeral

Mary Beard: Jessica Mitford

5 July 2007
Decca: The Letters of Jessica Mitford 
edited by Peter​ Sussman.
Weidenfeld, 744 pp., £25, November 2006, 0 297 60745 6
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... British threatened to stop all refugee evacuation from the Basque country if they didn’t – but were allowed to marry in the South of France, with both mothers in attendance. The early sections of Peter Sussman’s Decca, a vast collection of Mitford’s letters, cover this period. For those who take pleasure in the ironies of epistolary communication (or non-communication), there are some gems here ...

Into the Gulf

Rosemary Hill

17 December 1992
A Sultry Month: Scenes of London Literary Life in 1846 
by Alethea Hayter.
Robin Clark, 224 pp., £6.95, June 1992, 0 86072 146 9
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Painting and the Politics of Culture: New Essays on British Art 1700-1850 
edited by John Barrell.
Oxford, 301 pp., £35, June 1992, 9780198173922
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London: World City 1800-1840 
edited by Celina Fox.
Yale, 624 pp., £45, September 1992, 0 300 05284 7
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... beyond the artefacts, in no way removes the need to attempt to do the best we can with them, and when it is done with balance and integrity, as it is by John Barrell, Marcia Pointon or Stephen Daniels, writing on Coalbrookdale by Night, then the reader, whether they agree or not, gains by the reading. The history of art cannot be the history of art alone, but it must take the art into account. If ...


Stephen Sharp: The ‘Belgrano’ and Me

7 May 2014
... Francis Pym said, ‘Guns fire from Number 10’ on the Sarah Kennedy show. I took this to mean the PM had given the order to sink the Belgrano. But Mr Pym was speaking in a different context. Paul Daniels, who was also a guest, said: ‘Something strange is going to happen.’ From that day on all the radio and TV channels seemed to be talking about me. Convinced I was already a celebrity I thought a ...
7 March 1996
Leaving Las Vegas 
directed by Mike Figgis.
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... the-carpet attitude to alcohol in the deftly judged opening scene. Looking haggard, unshaven and wobbly, Ben Sanderson, played by Nicolas Cage, enters an exclusive Beverly Hills bar and approaches Peter Brackman, an agent he knows, to borrow a few dollars. Plainly worried about his reputation, Brackman gives Ben the money but adds: ‘I think it would be best if you didn’t contact me again.’ The ...

Hiatus at 4 a.m.

David Trotter: What scared Hitchcock?

3 June 2015
Alfred Hitchcock 
by Peter​ Ackroyd.
Chatto, 279 pp., £12.99, April 2015, 978 0 7011 6993 0
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Alfred Hitchcock: The Man Who Knew Too Much 
by Michael Wood.
New Harvest, 129 pp., £15, March 2015, 978 1 4778 0134 5
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Hitchcock à la carte 
by Jan Olsson.
Duke, 261 pp., £16.99, March 2015, 978 0 8223 5804 6
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Hitchcock on Hitchcock: Selected Writings and Interviews, Vol. II 
edited by Sidney Gottlieb.
California, 274 pp., £24.95, February 2015, 978 0 520 27960 5
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... The most substantial biography to date, by Patrick McGilligan, includes plenty of anecdotes about fear, but supplies little by way of evidence of its ultimate cause, and draws no conclusions. Peter Ackroyd, however, is firmly of the Truffaut school. His Hitchcock trembles from the outset: ‘Fear fell upon him in early life.’ At the age of four (or 11, or …), his father had him locked up ...
22 February 1990
Thomas Reid’s ‘Inquiry’: The Geometry of Visibles and the Case for Realism 
by Norman Daniels.
Stanford, 160 pp., £25, May 1989, 0 8047 1504 1
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Common Sense 
by Lynd Forguson.
Routledge, 193 pp., £30, November 1989, 0 415 02302 5
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Thomas Reid and the ‘Way of Ideas’ 
by Roger Gallie.
Reidel, 287 pp., £42, July 1989, 0 7923 0390 3
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Philosophy and Science in the Scottish Enlightenment 
edited by Peter​ Jones.
John Donald, 230 pp., £20, October 1989, 0 85976 225 4
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Studies in the Philosophy of the Scottish Enlightenment 
edited by M.A. Stewart.
Oxford, 328 pp., £37.50, January 1990, 0 19 824967 5
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Thomas Reid 
by Keith Lehrer.
Routledge, 311 pp., £35, September 1989, 0 415 03886 3
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... the content of our sensations; and something about his relation to Hume. I will say nothing about his strong claim to be the discoverer of non-Euclidean geometry, which is ably defended by Norman Daniels in his book Thomas Reid’s ‘Inquiry’ (now reissued with a useful new Afterword); nor about many of the finer details of his epistemology and metaphysics, such as his most excellent defence of ...


Ian Penman

1 July 2015
Sinatra: London 
Universal, 3 CDs and 1 DVD, £40, November 2014Show More
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... be prissy, neurotic, remote. Even into late middle age, even for his closest buddies, carousing with Sinatra was a serious three-line whip: beg off early, fall asleep, order a coffee instead of Jack Daniels, and you risked expulsion, exile, the Antarctica of his disaffection. He could not abide the ends of days: it was one thing he had no control over. So he made an enemy of the clock, of merely human ...
19 April 2017
... other Quaker confectionery giant, Rowntree. The main commercial threat was the technology and business nous of the Swiss – Henri Nestlé, Rodolphe Lindt, Jean Tobler, Philippe Suchard and Daniel Peter, the inventor of milk chocolate. Just before the end of the First World War, Cadbury and Fry undertook a defensive merger to protect themselves against takeover by Nestlé. It turned out Fry was ...

Memoirs of a Pet Lamb

David Sylvester: A Memoir

5 July 2001
... New Party. There’s a photograph of a weekend gathering at Mosley’s country house in which he is seated on the lawn as one of an assorted company, including John Strachey, Harold Nicolson, Peter Howard and Professor Joad, of prospective Parliamentary candidates. Three years later, when Mosley was starting to move towards Fascism, there were some letters, which are extant, in which my father ...

The Tower

Andrew O’Hagan

7 June 2018
... about the safety of the building for years and, standing outside wrapped in a blanket, friends say he seemed numb. Two of the people on his floor mentioned to me by Hamid – Sheila, 84, and Joseph Daniels, an Indian air force veteran, 69 – didn’t make it to the stairs. Several people said they thought the firefighters had gone in to get them.Those coming from the 16th floor passed Sabah Abdullah ...

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