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Peter McGill: In Japan, 31 March 2011

... Liberation League (BLL) was at the top of a hilly street in central Kobe. At the bottom of the hill was the headquarters of the regional government, which in the days after the quake was surrounded by black limousines and broadcast vans from all the main Japanese media. None of the journalists walked up the hill to ...

Narco Polo

Iain Sinclair, 23 January 1997

Mr Nice: An Autobiography 
by Howard Marks.
Secker, 466 pp., £16.99, September 1996, 0 436 20305 7
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Pulp Election: The Booker Prize Fix 
by Carmen St Keeldare.
Bluedove, 225 pp., £12.99, September 1996, 0 9528298 0 0
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... Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, where, unknown to him, his high-life associate, the film-maker Peter Whitehead, had been taken, after suffering a heart attack. It was one of those mornings of indulgent sunshine, filtered through gauze. Lilies and bell-shaped purple flowers. Twigs. A long pine table which gave Marks plenty of elbow room to roll his herbal ...
... dream Of the death of poets. The boulders Follow him, scoring huge trenches To where he sits on a hill, letting the wind Play his lyre; it was Aeolus who played it And Orpheus fitted words to the improvised music, As I do now, to the jumping figures in the fire That rends and heals, my spliff Balsamic among the books Which wear their animal skins, calves That ...

Ruling Imbecilities

Andrew Roberts, 7 November 1991

The Enemy’s Country: Words, Contexture and Other Circumstances of Language 
by Geoffrey Hill.
Oxford, 153 pp., £19.95, August 1991, 0 19 811216 5
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... On 11 November 1990 Geoffrey Hill published a Remembrance Day poem entitled ‘Carnival’, in the Sunday Correspondent. The occasion, and the appearance in a national newspaper, suggested the sort of work that a poet laureate might be expected to produce, although Hill’s acerbic satire on contemporary Britain was most unlike the arch public lyrics that Ted Hughes has published since his elevation to that role ...

At the British Museum

Peter Campbell: Renaissance Drawings, 27 May 2010

... well-understood elements will be arranged. In Parri Spinelli’s drawing from the mid-1400s of St Peter holding a key, Peter’s cloak, like one of those skirts made of layers of handkerchiefs, hangs down in points. Delicate cross-hatched shadows and curling lines depict overlapping hems that outdo the vestments of even the ...

At the Whitechapel

Rosemary Hill: ‘Black Eyes and Lemonade’, 23 May 2013

... with cinema stills and advertisements, came to be seen as a significant early moment in pop art. Peter Blake, 19 and just out of art school, also visited the Whitechapel and took note. Advertising, tattoos, commercial lettering, a lot of Black Eyes and Lemonade passed rapidly from popular art into pop art by way of Jones’s daring, humorous and too little ...

In Walthamstow

Rosemary Hill: William Morris, 13 September 2012

... reluctant to get into a dispute with the Labour council, accepted redundancy. With the keeper Peter Cormack went thirty years’ knowledge of the collections as well as his reputation as a scholar of Morris and the Arts and Crafts. There was no one left to point out, as Cormack tried to do, that, far from being an imperialist, Morris lost much of his ...

At Pallant House

Rosemary Hill: Victor Pasmore, 20 April 2017

... was brought in to ensure aesthetic standards were maintained. He worked with two architects, Peter Daniel and Franc Dixon, on one of the housing schemes, Sunny Blunts, described by the Twentieth Century Society as ‘visually exciting flat-roof housing with brickwork and factory prefabricated timber infill panels’. The houses were grouped in ...

At Tate Britain

Rosemary Hill: ‘Ruin Lust’, 3 April 2014

... miraculous however closely you look, makes sunlight dapple the stone with tiny shadows of ivy. Peter Van Lerberghe, a lesser artist, catches a lesser, but no doubt more common, scene of Tintern by moonlight aswarm with tourists climbing over it with torches to make the right dramatic shadows before ticking a now hackneyed experience off the to-see ...

Memories of New Zealand

Peter Campbell, 1 December 2011

... of refugees from Germany that did much to transform intellectual life in New Zealand. Her husband, Peter, worked as a statistician in the Education Department. There were also the Dronkes, the Steiners, the people who founded the chamber music society. There was Karl Popper. Mostly they were reduced to doing jobs nothing like as responsible as those they had ...

The butler didn’t do it

Bee Wilson: The First Detectives, 19 June 2008

The Suspicions of Mr Whicher or the Murder at Road Hill House 
by Kate Summerscale.
Bloomsbury, 334 pp., £14.99, April 2008, 978 0 7475 8215 1
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... there were also pseudo clues, leading down blind alleys, pointing away from the truth. The Road Hill House case of 1860, like The Moonstone (1868), which was partly inspired by it, entailed countless clues and pseudo clues. It was one of the nastiest murders of the day, provoking national hysteria and press speculation which rumbled on for years ...

Full-Employment Utopias

Christopher Hill, 16 July 1981

Utopia and the Ideal Society: A Study of English Utopian Writing, 1516-1700 
by J.C. Davis.
Cambridge, 427 pp., £25, March 1981, 0 521 23396 8
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Science and Society in Restoration England 
by Michael Hunter.
Cambridge, 232 pp., £18.50, March 1981, 0 521 22866 2
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... utopias’, which includes Rowland Vaughan (1610), Gabriel Plattes’s Macaria (1641), Peter Chamberlen’s The Poore Mans Advocate (1649), Peter Cornelius Plockhoy (1659), John Bellers’s Proposals for Raising a College of Industry (1695), and two essays by an anonymous Hermeticist, Philadept, published in 1698 ...

On Nicholas Moore

Peter Howarth: Nicholas Moore, 24 September 2015

... Pop songs run through the sequence, sometimes ironically – the ‘green/On the far side of the hill’ that the New Christy Minstrels sing is now tinged with bile – but more because this is the poetry that people actually hear, unlike Moore’s own. One version begins, brilliantly: ‘I’m like The Winner of The Competition/The one who wrote the ...

Utopian about the Present

Christopher Turner: The Brutalist Ethic, 4 July 2019

Alison and Peter Smithson 
by Mark Crinson.
Historic England, 150 pp., £30, June 2018, 978 1 84802 352 9
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Municipal Dreams: The Rise and Fall of Council Housing 
by John Boughton.
Verso, 330 pp., £9.99, April 2019, 978 1 78478 740 0
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... In​ 1972, the architects Alison and Peter Smithson completed Robin Hood Gardens, their only council estate. The couple were famous for projects such as the Mies van der Rohe-inspired Hunstanton School (1954) in Norfolk; the three chamfered, stone-clad towers of the Economist Building (1959-65) in Piccadilly; and the timber-screened Garden Building (1967-70) at St Hilda’s College, Oxford ...

At the British Library

Mary Wellesley: Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms, 22 November 2018

... are likely to be a group of runic inscriptions on three fifth-century cremation urns from Spong Hill in Norfolk. The inscriptions simply read alu, which probably means ‘ale’. Perhaps the early speakers of Old English longed for ale in death as well as life. But, as the British Library’s exhibition Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms (until 19 February) displays, the ...

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