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14 September 1989
A Short Guide to the World Novel: From Myth to Modernism 
by Gilbert Phelps.
Routledge, 397 pp., £30, September 1988, 0 415 00765 8
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The Longman Companion to Victorian Fiction 
by John Sutherland.
Longman, 696 pp., £35, March 1989, 0 582 49040 5
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The Haunted Study: A Social History of the English Novel 1875-1914 
by Peter Keating.
Secker, 533 pp., £30, September 1989, 0 436 23248 0
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... infinity of novels.’ Such a wholesale reading of fiction takes on for many of us, as for Trollope, ‘a terrible aspect’. It doesn’t apparently, though, for Gilbert Phelps, John Sutherland and PeterKeating, surveyors and encyclopedists of the form who in their respective fields have laboured with energetic exhaustiveness and not broken down. Each of these books feels as if it takes in an ...
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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... he could turn on his slow Chinaman, which he bowled better than anyone else in the world. After Sobers, who? Some Australians who grew up when I did argue with some force for Keith Miller. As Frank Keating’s book proves, however, Miller can quickly be rejected for second place. It goes, unquestionably, to Ian Botham. Indeed in one crucial respect, Botham beats even the great Sobers himself. Only 22 ...

Cursing and Breast-Beating

Ross McKibbin: Manning Clark’s Legacy

23 February 2012
An Eye for Eternity: The Life of Manning Clark 
by Mark McKenna.
Miegunyah, 793 pp., £57.95, May 2011, 978 0 522 85617 0
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... Canberra, was attended by much of Australia’s ‘progressive’ elite: the governor-general (Bill Hayden), the prime minister (Bob Hawke), the deputy prime minister and future prime minister (Paul Keating), all of them at one time leaders of the Labor Party, along with much of the federal cabinet, the chief justice of the High Court and six hundred others. Although not a state funeral, it was a very ...

As Astonishing as Elvis

Jenny Turner: Ayn Rand

1 December 2005
Ayn Rand 
by Jeff Britting.
Duckworth, 155 pp., £12.99, February 2005, 0 7156 3269 8
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... the ancient monster … broken loose and … running amuck … in an orgy of self-sacrificing’. Keynote enemies include Gail Wynand, a newspaper mogul who likes to buy up writers and corrupt them; PeterKeating, a charming rival damned by too-easy success; Ellis Toohey, an indescribably evil left-wing journalist and intellectual, based, it is said, on Harold Laski and Lewis Mumford. Another ...

Great Tradition

Robert Barnard

18 December 1980
Plaster Sinners 
by Colin Watson.
Eyre Methuen, 160 pp., £5.95, September 1980, 0 413 39040 3
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by Ngaio Marsh.
Collins, 262 pp., £5.95, September 1980, 0 00 231857 1
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The Predator 
by Russell Braddon.
Joseph, 192 pp., £5.95, October 1980, 0 7181 1958 4
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... or the dazzling deceiver, that Christie was in her prime, but she has several claims to a distinctive place in the tradition: she humanised the gentleman detective (Alleyn’s descent from Lord Peter is clear in the early Enter a murderer), she provided varied, and usually convincing, settings, and she let a consistent good humour (seldom a wit) play over her characters and events – a good ...

Island Politics

Sylvia Lawson: The return of Australia’s Coalition Government

12 November 1998
... and mining rights – brought Australia closer to the standards of racial justice in land management reached by Canada, New Zealand and parts of the US. It was also the former Prime Minister, Paul Keating’s finest moment. He had invested extraordinary persistence, energy and passion into the attainment of Mabo. The opponents of Mabo were powerful; they were complacent and repressive, and it was ...

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