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Saints on Sundays, Devils All the Week After

Patrick Collinson: London Burnings, 19 September 2002

The Antichrist’s Lewd Hat: Protestants, Papists and Players in Post-Reformation England 
by Peter Lake and Michael Questier.
Yale, 731 pp., £30, February 2002, 0 300 08884 1
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... Dryasdust has had his day and good riddance. Don’t be deceived by the slick subtitles, however. Peter Lake knows more than anyone else about the religious culture of the secondary and tertiary stages of the English Reformation. This is not only a book of dazzling brilliance and acute intelligence, it has many important things to say about the ...

On a par with Nixon

Stephen Alford: Bad Queen Bess?, 17 November 2016

Bad Queen Bess? Libels, Secret Histories, and the Politics of Publicity in the Reign of Queen Elizabeth I 
by Peter Lake.
Oxford, 497 pp., £35, January 2016, 978 0 19 875399 5
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Elizabeth: The Forgotten Years 
by John Guy.
Viking, 494 pp., £25, May 2016, 978 0 670 92225 3
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... of A.F. Pollard, and so on to John Neale, his pupils and colleagues, and beyond to Peter Lake and John Guy. So often studies of Elizabeth’s reign are impossible to disentangle from the moment when they were written, whether from Victorian and Edwardian confidence in robust parliamentary government, or from post-imperial decline, or the ...

A Frisson in the Auditorium

Blair Worden: Shakespeare without Drama, 20 April 2017

How Shakespeare Put Politics on the Stage: Power and Succession in the History Plays 
by Peter Lake.
Yale, 666 pp., £25, November 2016, 978 0 300 22271 5
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... Does Peter Lake​ ever sleep? Even at 666 pages this is not the longest of his books, which descend on the study of the decades around 1600 like a great waterfall. There are no signs of fatigue, no inanimate sentences. Behind the loosely conversational manner of his prose lies a precision of thought and structure ...

I have written as I rode

Adam Smyth: ‘Brief Lives’, 8 October 2015

‘Brief Lives’ with ‘An Apparatus for the Lives of Our English Mathematical Writers’ 
by John Aubrey, edited by Kate Bennett.
Oxford, 1968 pp., £250, March 2015, 978 0 19 968953 8
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John Aubrey: My Own Life 
by Ruth Scurr.
Chatto, 518 pp., £25, March 2015, 978 0 7011 7907 6
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... A friend​ who teaches in New York told me that the historian Peter Lake told him that J.G.A. Pocock told him that Conrad Russell told him that Bertrand Russell told him that Lord John Russell told him that his father the sixth Duke of Bedford told him that he had heard William Pitt the Younger speak in Parliament during the Napoleonic Wars, and that Pitt had this curious way of talking, a particular mannerism that the sixth Duke of Bedford had imitated to Lord John Russell who imitated it to Bertrand Russell who imitated it to Conrad Russell who imitated it to J ...

At Tate Britain

Peter Campbell: Peter Doig, 6 March 2008

... Peter Doig painted Echo Lake in 1998. A man stands on the far side of a stretch of dark water. He is quite a way off, but you can see that he wears a white shirt and a dark tie. His hands are raised to his face. Is it to keep the light out of his eyes as he looks at you? Or is it to project his voice as he shouts? A police car, lights on, is parked behind him ...

Birth of a Náison

John Kerrigan, 5 June 1997

The Political World of Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford, 1621-41 
edited by J.F. Merritt.
Cambridge, 293 pp., £35, March 1996, 0 521 56041 1
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The British Problem, c. 1534-1707: State Formation in the Atlantic Archipelago 
edited by Brendan Bradshaw and John Morrill.
Macmillan, 334 pp., £13.50, June 1996, 0 333 59246 8
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The Stuart Court and Europe: Essays in Politics and Political Culture 
edited by Malcolm Smuts.
Cambridge, 289 pp., £35, September 1996, 9780521554398
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Mere Irish and Fíor-Ghael: Studies in the Idea of Irish Nationality, its Development and Literary Expression Prior to the 19th Century 
by Joep Leerssen.
Cork, 454 pp., £17.95, November 1996, 1 85918 112 0
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... a distinguished collection of essays on one Stuart minister who advanced British hegemony – Peter Lake urges historians not to link Early Modern crises ‘directly to contemporary concerns about Northern Ireland, the union with Scotland and the European union’. It strikes me that Lake devalues the ...

Hew their bones in sunder

Eamon Duffy: Lancelot Andrewes, 3 August 2006

Lancelot Andrewes: Selected Sermons and Lectures 
edited by Peter McCullough.
Oxford, 491 pp., £90, November 2005, 0 19 818774 2
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... smiling tolerance among his menaces of damnation’. Recent writing on the English Reformation by Peter Lake, Nicholas Tyacke and others has exploded Eliot’s account of Andrewes as the voice of a tranquil via media, a man whose confidence sprang from the settled possession of ‘a formed visible church behind him’. His early religious opinions took ...

Runagately Rogue

Tobias Gregory: Puritans and Others, 25 August 2011

The Plain Man’s Pathways to Heaven: Kinds of Christianity in Post-Reformation England, 1570-1640 
by Christopher Haigh.
Oxford, 284 pp., £32, September 2009, 978 0 19 921650 5
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... would have agreed. The godly were wont to describe anything they disliked as ‘popery’; but, as Peter Lake has observed, that doesn’t mean they were right. Their use of the label was often inaccurate – a phenomenon that my graduate students at a Catholic university notice with amusement. The Plain Man’s Pathways to Heaven leaves local and ...

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.’ And if you think that’s a dubious basis for a biography, what about this? As far as possible I shall avoid writing of him as a brother since my interest in him was mainly as a poet ...

At the House of Mr Frog

Malcolm Gaskill: Puritanism, 18 March 2021

The Puritans: A Transatlantic History 
by David D. Hall.
Princeton, 517 pp., £20, May 2021, 978 0 691 20337 9
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The Journey to the Mayflower: God’s Outlaws and the Invention of Freedom 
by Stephen Tomkins.
Hodder, 372 pp., £12.99, February 2021, 978 1 4736 4911 8
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... to understanding puritanism. Collinson thought so, and so do his disciples Alexandra Walsham, Peter Marshall and Peter Lake. The inner turmoil of a man like Wigglesworth should make puritans natural subjects for the ‘emotional turn’ in history. Puritans, we now acknowledge, wept as sermons melted their hearts ...

At Tate Britain

Peter Campbell: Turner's Rigi watercolours, 8 March 2007

... are monumental. The mountain, like a great wedge of cheese (it is fifteen miles away), rises above Lake Lucerne, which fills the middle distance. Shore details – jetty, waterfowl, boats – mark the foreground but read as being hundreds of yards away. Taken together, the three pictures can be thought of as a study of the way light modulates a view, at ...


Peter Campbell: In the Park, 19 August 2004

... sports pitches and a running track. But it’s a good place to throw a ball about and does have a lake where, once in a while, I check out the wildfowl.Over the years the population has changed. Canada geese came years ago; now there are also Egyptian geese, and what I think are pink-foot geese. One winter I watched shoveller duck swimming round after each ...

At Tate Britain

Peter Campbell: Hamish Fulton, 9 May 2002

... in New Zealand the best walk I did was a ten-day trip (they call them ‘tramps’ there) from Lake Wanaka to Lake Wakatipu, over the Olivine ice plateau. We didn’t meet a soul. I was in the South Island again this year and spent a few hours walking in the Travers Valley – similar country, but we were following what ...

In Bexhill

Peter Campbell: Ben Nicholson, 20 November 2008

... the earlier paintings, just as the late reliefs relate to the look of the modern, white house on Lake Maggiore that he moved to in 1961. August 1956 (Val d’Orcia), the big still life that won the Guggenheim International Painting Prize in 1956, has white shapes – a table and table legs – over which curved black and red-brown slices of colour suggest ...

At the National Gallery

Peter Campbell: Aelbert Cuyp, 7 March 2002

... Spring explains how the fugitive properties of one pigment essential to these effects – yellow lake – have affected the look of the paintings. Fine though they are, we don’t see the pictures as he left them.Then there are the cows. Horses – even when their anatomy is not quite understood and the foreshortening a little suspect (which is sometimes the ...

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