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Spot the Gull

Peter Campbell: The Academy of the Lincei, 20 March 2003

The Eye of the Lynx: Galileo, His Friends and the Beginnings of Modern Natural History 
by David Freedberg.
Chicago, 513 pp., £35, December 2002, 0 226 26147 6
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... of Federico Cesi, along with his library and scientific collections. In 1603, Cesi (eventually Prince of Acquasparta), then 18 years old, founded a body he called the Academy of the Lincei. Although the Academy is now remembered (if at all) because Cesi became Galileo’s devoted and ardent supporter, the energies of its members were directed as much ...

Smart Girls

Emma Tennant, 17 July 1980

‘Clever Gretchen’ and Other Forgotten Folktales 
by Alison Luire.
Heinemann, 128 pp., £3.50, May 1980, 0 434 94899 3
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... and goes wandering in a countryside devastated by war. Finding herself in the castle of her lost prince’s betrothed, a sinfully ugly bride who sprains her ankle on the wedding-day, Maid Maleen exchanges identity with her and goes, protected by the veil, to the church. Nettles in the path are instructed to recognise Maleen as the true wife; the ...

On Nicholas Moore

Peter Howarth: Nicholas Moore, 24 September 2015

... what poetry always does. So the singing clowns who fail to amuse Baudelaire’s bored young prince reappear in Moore as Elvis, Charlie Chaplin, Dylan Thomas, Louis Armstrong, Brenda Lee or Spike Milligan. It’s now the Ku Klux Klan, the Nazis, Biafra, Mosley and the fashionable dramas of ‘Kitchen-Sink Sade-Marats’ whose atrocious crimes fail to ...

Pooka

Frank Kermode, 16 October 1997

Jack Maggs 
by Peter Carey.
Faber, 328 pp., £15.99, September 1997, 9780571190881
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... darker and less furiously though still adequately inventive. Its economy may shock some folk, for Peter Carey is known to be an exuberant novelist, copious, various and fantastic. It is possible to admire his books for their lack of respect for boundaries, for the qualities they share with the work of modern Latin American novelists. However, they are always ...

Diary

Vesna Goldsworthy: In Montenegro, 17 February 2000

... was Europe’s closest approximation to Tibet – a theocracy, ruled by celibate orthodox prince-bishops selected from the boys of the Njegusi tribe, who live in the stony valleys south of the former capital, Cetinje. The last of the prince-bishops and the greatest Romantic poet in the Balkans was Petar II ...

Sunflower

Peter Burke, 20 March 1986

Velazquez: Painter and Courtier 
by Jonathan Brown.
Yale, 322 pp., £35, March 1986, 0 300 03466 0
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El Greco and his Patrons: Three Major Projects 
by Richard Mann.
Cambridge, 164 pp., £35, February 1986, 0 521 30392 3
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... that it included a copy of that indispensable guide to survival and success in the presence of a prince, Castiglione’s Courtier. Whether he needed Castiglione’s advice or not, Velazquez was certainly a success at the court of Philip IV. Indeed, from our point of view he might be described as too much of a success, for as Brown well shows, from the early ...

Tick-Tock

Malcolm Bull: Three Cheers for Apocalypse, 9 December 1999

Conversations about the End of Time 
by Umberto Eco and Stephen Jay Gould.
Allen Lane, 228 pp., £14.99, September 1999, 0 7139 9363 4
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Apocalypses: Prophesies, Cults and Millennial Beliefs throughout the Ages 
by Eugen Weber.
Hutchinson, 294 pp., £18.99, July 1999, 0 09 180134 6
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Messianic Revolution: Radical Religious Politics to the End of the Second Millennium 
by Richard Popkin and David Katz.
Allen Lane, 303 pp., £18.99, October 1999, 0 7139 9383 9
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... It was in 1982 that the artist then still known as Prince first invited us to ‘party like it’s 1999’, and in those days everyone quickly grasped what he meant. The Cold War made people edgy (‘Mommy, why does everybody have a bomb?’) and it seemed quite possible that we might wake up one morning and find that we were ‘out of time ...

An Interview with Jean-Bertrand Aristide

Peter Hallward: An interview with Haiti's former president, 22 February 2007

... Aristide was a parish priest working in an impoverished and embattled district of Port-au-Prince. He became the spokesman of a growing popular movement against the series of military regimes that ruled Haiti after the collapse in 1986 of the Duvalier dictatorship. In 1990 he won the country’s first democratic presidential election, with 67 per cent ...

Puffed up, Slapped down

Rosemary Hill: Charles and Camilla, 7 September 2017

Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life 
by Sally Bedell Smith.
Michael Joseph, 624 pp., £25, April 2017, 978 0 7181 8780 4
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The Duchess: The Untold Story 
by Penny Junor.
William Collins, 320 pp., £20, June 2017, 978 0 00 821100 4
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... At the age​ of 23 Prince Charles embarked with no great enthusiasm on a six-week training course at the Royal Naval College at Dartmouth. The course had been reduced from the usual three months for him, but it was long enough for Charles to realise that seafaring was yet another area in which he and his father had nothing in common ...

In Pursuit of an Heiress

Nicholas Penny: Hermann von Pückler-Muskau, 16 June 2016

Letters of a Dead Man 
by Hermann von Pückler-Muskau, edited and translated by Linda Parshall.
Dumbarton Oaks, 753 pp., £55.95, May 2016, 978 0 88402 411 8
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... In​ 1811, at the age of 26, Prince Hermann von Pückler-Muskau inherited the estate of Muskau (nearly 200 square miles in size, annexed to Saxony in 1806 but allotted to Prussia by the Congress of Vienna and partly absorbed by Poland in the 20th century), together with the smaller estate of Branitz. He was determined not only to carry out improvements but to create a landscape park on the English model ...

In Brighton

Peter Campbell: Free associating on stucco, 23 May 2002

... and those under ‘Fashion and Style’, which show fashion-driven items from the Prince Regent’s own dressing-gown to shoes by Jimmy Choo and an outfit by Issey Miyake, are all interestingly close to the life of the town. Similarly, ‘World Art’ – drawn from the fifteen thousand items in the Museum’s ethnographical collection ...

At Dulwich Picture Gallery

Peter Campbell: David Wilkie, 31 October 2002

... for the financier John Julius Angerstein (who paid 800 guineas) The Village Holiday; for the Prince Regent Blind Man’s Buff (finished 1813). Wilkie became an associate and then a member of the Royal Academy while very young; he was knighted and made a painter to the King. He was well-rewarded as a portraitist. Personally he was unprepossessing. This ...

At Chantilly

Peter Campbell: Horses, 21 September 2006

... than the 19th-century château itself. They were built to a design by Jean Aubert for the seventh prince de Condé in the early 1700s. He believed he would be reincarnated as a horse. That story, which wanders from guidebook to guidebook, seems to offer as good an insight as one is going to get into the prince’s mind. In ...

At Tate Britain

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

... glaciers. The discordant presence of the English tourists becomes central to the story when the prince is shocked by the meanness of the smart, rich English, listening on the hotel balcony but giving no money to the itinerant musician who sings to them about climbing Mount Rigi. Turner, illustrator of travel books as well as painter, benefited from the ...

At the V&A

Peter Campbell: The Ballets Russes, 4 November 2010

... orchestra pit as it were, not as it was revealed to the audience when the fire curtain went up. Prince Alexander Schervashidze, Diaghilev’s scene painter, who made this enlarged version from Picasso’s little panel, did the job in less than 24 hours, and did it well. You can tell because there is a replica of Picasso’s picture nearby. (Today it would ...

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