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Sacred Peter

Norman MacCaig, 19 June 1980

Sacred Keeper 
by Peter Kavanagh.
Goldsmith Press, 403 pp., £4.40, May 1979, 0 904984 48 6
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Dead as Doornails 
by Anthony Cronin.
Poolbeg Press, 201 pp., £1.75, May 1980, 9780905169316
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The Macmillan Dictionary of Irish Literature 
edited by Robert Hogan.
Macmillan, 815 pp., £2, February 1980, 0 333 27085 1
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... My acceptance of an offer to review the Kavanagh book landed me in a mess of puzzles. Peter Kavanagh, the poet’s brother, starts straight off, sentence one, by announcing: ‘When I write about Patrick Kavanagh I write as a partisan, as his alter ego, almost as his evangelist ...

Not a Damn Thing

Nick Laird: In Yeats’s wake, 18 August 2005

Collected Poems 
by Patrick Kavanagh, edited by Antoinette Quinn.
Allen Lane, 299 pp., £25, September 2004, 0 7139 9599 8
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... twenty years, he should have been getting on just fine. But: Even he seemed to be disgruntled. Kavanagh the ex-poet ran into me soon after I came home, and the following conversation took place exactly as recorded. k: I see you do be writing for a paper called the New Yorker. me: I do. k: I dare say for a piece in a paper like that you might get big ...

No Beast More Refined

James Davidson: How Good Was Nureyev?, 29 November 2007

Rudolf Nureyev: The Life 
by Julie Kavanagh.
Fig Tree, 787 pp., £25, September 2007, 978 1 905490 15 8
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... a distance from that of Serge Lifar, but it was still perhaps too close for comfort. It took Julie Kavanagh a decade to produce her biography of Nureyev. She had the full co-operation of the Nureyev Foundations, and an awful lot of his friends, former friends and acquaintances spoke to her about him with remarkable candour, some of them for the first time. It ...
Selected Literary Criticism of Louis MacNeice 
edited by Alan Heuser.
Oxford, 279 pp., £19.50, March 1987, 0 19 818573 1
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... Northern poets still hope to present MacNeice, not indeed as their Yeats or Joyce, but as their Kavanagh – a poet who seemed inspiring to his juniors, and available to them as Yeats and Joyce never were. Seamus Heaney, for instance, has written of Kavanagh in terms which I can’t see justified by anything ...

How the sanity of poets can be edited away

Arnold Rattenbury: The Sanity of Ivor Gurney, 14 October 1999

‘Severn and Somme’ and ‘War’s Embers’ 
by Ivor Gurney, edited by R.K.R. Thornton.
Carcanet, 152 pp., £7.95, September 1997, 1 85754 348 3
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80 Poems or So 
by Ivor Gurney, edited by George Walter and R.K.R. Thornton.
Carcanet, 148 pp., £9.95, January 1997, 1 85754 344 0
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... those other persons he so loved. Although writing of place-names rather than people, P.J. Kavanagh puts the matter exactly in the introduction to his wonderful Collected Poems of Ivor Gurney (1982): ‘Like most poets, he is dependent on the particular, and on being able to name it.’ Gurney was nonetheless committed and formally certified in 1922 ...

2000 AD

Anne Sofer, 2 August 1984

The British General Election of 1983 
by David Butler and Dennis Kavanagh.
Macmillan, 388 pp., £25, May 1984, 0 333 34578 9
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Militant 
by Michael Crick.
Faber, 242 pp., £3.95, June 1984, 0 571 13256 1
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... of the House of Commons were in revolt, and early in 1986 she was forced to resign in favour of Mr Peter Walker. Traditional “one nation” Toryism reasserted itself.’ The third. ‘The second Thatcher Government set about establishing a police state and mounted savage attacks on socialist local authorities and militant unions like the mine-workers. The ...

Do, Not, Love, Make, Beds

David Wheatley: Irish literary magazines, 3 June 2004

Irish Literary Magazines: An Outline History and Descriptive Bibliography 
Irish Academic, 318 pp., £35, January 2003, 0 7165 2751 0Show More
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... to overturning this stereotype, but the editors of the journals don’t help themselves. Patrick Kavanagh wrote: ‘there is practically no literary public in this country and there has never been a literary tradition,’ a fact that must have slipped his mind when he founded Kavanagh’s Weekly with his brother ...

Diary

Tom Paulin: In Donegal, 8 October 1992

... Cavan and even Monaghan have a less decided orientation. I cannot, for example, think of Patrick Kavanagh as a Northern writer, any more than I would wish to allocate Peadar O’Donnell to the South.’ Donegal is part of the North, yes, but it’s also the place many Northerners go to escape from ‘Norn Ireland’, as we sometimes call it, mimicking one of ...

Institutions

Alan Ryan, 26 November 1987

Ruling Performance: British Governments from Attlee to Thatcher 
edited by Peter Hennessy and Anthony Seldon.
Blackwell, 344 pp., £25, October 1987, 0 631 15645 3
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The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Political Institutions 
edited by Vernon Bogdanor.
Blackwell, 667 pp., £45, September 1987, 0 631 13841 2
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Judges 
by David Pannick.
Oxford, 255 pp., £12.95, October 1987, 0 19 215956 9
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... British polity. To celebrate the launching of the Institute of Contemporary British History, Peter Hennessy and Anthony Sheldon have edited an engaging collection of essays on post-war British governments, starting with Paul Addison on the wartime background to Attlee’s success, and ending with some surprisingly detached reflections on Mrs Thatcher ...

Shakespeares

David Norbrook, 18 July 1985

Political Shakespeare: New Essays in Cultural Materialism 
edited by Jonathan Dollimore and Alan Sinfield.
Manchester, 244 pp., £19.50, April 1985, 0 7190 1752 1
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Alternative Shakespeares 
edited by John Drakakis.
Methuen, 252 pp., £10.50, July 1985, 0 416 36850 6
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Shakespeare and Others 
by S. Schoenbaum.
Scolar, 285 pp., £25, May 1985, 0 85967 691 9
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Illustrations of the English Stage 1580-1642 
by R.A. Foakes.
Scolar, 180 pp., £35, February 1985, 0 85967 684 6
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Shakespeare: The ‘Lost Years’ 
by E.A.J. Honigmann.
Manchester, 172 pp., £17.50, April 1985, 0 7190 1743 2
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... harnessed to official ideologies under Elizabeth and James I. Terence Hawkes, Francis Barker and Peter Hulme (AS), and Paul Brown (PS), link The Tempest with the ideology of colonisation, arguing that the play’s formal involutions reflect, not transcendent truths about illusion and reality, but the ideological strains of legitimising overseas ...

Miracle on Fleet Street

Martin Hickman: Operation Elveden, 7 January 2016

... interest – and his bosses had known what he was doing. In his closing remarks, the prosecutor, Peter Wright, picked out something said by another of the defendants, Ben O’Driscoll, who had been a deputy news editor at the Sun. In 2010, Virginia Wheeler’s ‘Chelsea Copper’ had told her that a singer’s sister had been impaled on railings. ‘She’s ...

The Parliamentary Peloton

Peter Mair: Money and Politics, 25 February 2010

A Very British Revolution: The Expenses Scandal and How to Save Our Democracy 
by Martin Bell.
Icon, 246 pp., £11.99, October 2009, 978 1 84831 096 4
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... operation. On the day of the 1989 general election, as McDonald and Sheridan report, Mark Kavanagh, a wealthy builder, called at Charles Haughey’s house to deliver a cheque and three bank drafts amounting to £100,000: £25,000 was intended for Lenihan’s medical fund and £75,000 for Fianna Fáil. Haughey apparently passed on £25,000 to the party ...

Diary

Tom Paulin: Ulster’s Long Sunday, 24 August 1995

... he was forced to sell his VC for £75 to buy food.    However, when Smithfield dealer Joe Kavanagh realised how much it meant to him, he gave it back on condition Magennis kept it for life.    Bradford, where he later moved, erected a memorial and Gosport also named a street after him.    Magennis died at his Bradford home in 1986, aged ...

Hillside Men

Roy Foster: Ernie O’Malley, 16 July 1998

Ernie O’Malley: IRA Intellectual 
by Richard English.
Oxford, 284 pp., £25, March 1998, 0 01 982059 3
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... attracted an eclectic range of contributors: Elizabeth Bowen, John Hewitt, Louis MacNeice, Patrick Kavanagh, Hubert Butler, Flann O’Brien, Liam O’Flaherty and others. ‘Cannot we all meet, throwing in what we have?’ Bowen wrote in her essay ‘The Big House’, published in the Bell’s first issue. The magazine accordingly stood for pluralism and ...

The Undesired Result

Gillian Darley: Betjeman’s bêtes noires, 31 March 2005

Betjeman: The Bonus of Laughter 
by Bevis Hillier.
Murray, 744 pp., £25, October 2004, 0 7195 6495 6
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... begins, Betjeman was feeling the anxiety of the ageing writer, well expressed by Patrick Kavanagh, a friend of his from wartime Dublin: Give us another poem, he said Or they will think your muse is dead; Another middle-aged departure Of Apollo from the trade of archer. In January 1960 Evelyn Waugh declared that he and Betjeman, along with ...

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