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The Welfare State Intelligentsia

R.E. Pahl, 17 June 1982

Inner-City Poverty in Paris and London 
by Peter Willmott and Charles Madge.
Routledge, 146 pp., £8.50, August 1981, 0 7100 0819 8
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The Inner City in Context 
edited by Peter Hall.
Heinemann, 175 pp., £12.50, October 1981, 0 435 35718 2
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New Perspectives in Urban Change and Conflict 
edited by Michael Harloe.
Heinemann, 265 pp., £15, December 1981, 9780435824044
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The Politics of Poverty 
by David Donnison.
Martin Robertson, 239 pp., £9.95, December 1981, 0 85520 481 8
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The Politics of Poverty 
by Susanne MacGregor.
Longman, 193 pp., £2.95, November 1981, 0 582 29524 6
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... ameliorate poverty is a strong tradition running from Booth, Rowntree and the Webbs to Titmuss and Townsend. Classically, information is gathered with such thoroughness that ‘the facts’ are said to speak for themselves, and ameliorative policies become an obligation which no humane society can avoid and still hope to hold its head high in the civilised ...

Exceptionally Wonderful Book

John Sutherland, 6 October 1994

Knowledge of Angels 
by Jill Paton Walsh.
Green Bay in association with Colt, 268 pp., £14.99, July 1994, 0 948845 05 8
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... and its language flat and banal.’ That wasn’t the view of the veteran American editor Peter Davison, who liked the book enough to publish it under the Houghton Mifflin imprint some months before a thousand copies of the same printing were imported (at Walsh’s cost) for subsequent publication in the United Kingdom. This order of events raises ...

All hail, sage lady

Andrew O’Hagan: ‘The Crown’, 15 December 2016

... is what it costs these days to make England look like England. The show was created and written by Peter Morgan, its majesty and its wit are his – it would take an American ‘writers’ room’ of a dozen to do wrong what he does right – and a slew of British directing talent led by Stephen Daldry has brought it to the small screen. The British settings ...

Ten Poets

Denis Donoghue, 7 November 1985

Selected Poems 
by Donald Davie.
Carcanet, 124 pp., £2.95, April 1985, 9780856355950
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Collected Poems: 1947-1980 
by Allen Ginsberg.
Viking, 837 pp., £16.95, April 1985, 0 670 80683 8
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Instant Chronicles: A Life 
by D.J. Enright.
Oxford, 58 pp., £4.50, April 1985, 9780019211970
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Selected Poems 
by Edwin Morgan.
Carcanet, 139 pp., £2.95, April 1985, 0 85635 596 8
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Selected Poems 
by Jeffrey Wainwright.
Carcanet, 79 pp., £2.95, April 1985, 0 85635 598 4
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Selected Poems 
by Gillian Clarke.
Carcanet, 112 pp., £2.95, April 1985, 0 85635 594 1
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The Price of Stone 
by Richard Murphy.
Faber, 92 pp., £4, May 1985, 0 571 13568 4
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Selected Poems 
by Iain Crichton Smith.
Carcanet, 121 pp., £2.95, April 1985, 0 85635 597 6
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Selected Poems 
by Sylvia Townsend Warner.
Carcanet, 95 pp., £2.95, April 1985, 0 85635 585 2
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From the Irish 
by James Simmons.
Blackstaff, 78 pp., £3.95, May 1985, 0 85640 331 8
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... lively, colourful selection, entirely welcome, except for one rather trivial poem about TV. Sylvia Townsend Warner was a novelist by profession and a poet at times, so she thought her poems the best of her. They are very fine, especially those which come in forms and manners which Hardy did most to establish and Ransom to guarantee. Like Hardy, she liked ...

At the Hayward

Marina Warner: Tracey Emin, 25 August 2011

... to such earlier romance memoirs and traveller’s tales as Robert Paltock’s The Adventures of Peter Wilkins, the memoirs of the Comtesse d’Aulnoy and the better-known Moll Flanders and Tristram Shandy. But Saunders’s readings lucidly reveal the origins of the continuing, ever growing eagerness of audiences to feel that what they are experiencing has ...

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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... which went back to Cecil Sharpe. And of Whitman, who had taken him ‘at the flood’. Sylvia Townsend Warner, another of Vaughan Williams’s composition students, had just completed her ‘Requiem’, a setting of Whitman for string quartet and voice and, fumbling towards her quite different eventual art, was writing poems of her own. She, too, was ...

World’s End

John Ryle, 13 October 1988

The Missionaries 
by Norman Lewis.
Secker, 245 pp., £10.95, May 1988, 0 436 24595 7
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... the informant and inspiration for a number of other writers, notably the American anthropologists Peter Furst and Barbara Myerhoff. In view of all the anthropological work on the Huichol, Lewis’s account of them is oddly nebulous. He was unable to join Ramon on the Peyote Hunt so we are not told what happens during this elaborate ritual, the locus of ...

Bravo l’artiste

John Lanchester: What is Murdoch after?, 5 February 2004

The Murdoch Archipelago 
by Bruce Page.
Simon and Schuster, 580 pp., £20, September 2003, 0 7432 3936 9
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Rupert Murdoch: The Untold Story of the World’s Greatest Media Wizard 
by Neil Chenoweth.
Crown Business, 416 pp., $27.50, December 2002, 0 609 61038 4
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Autumn of the Moguls: My Misadventures with the Titans, Poseurs and Money Guys who Mastered and Messed up Big Media 
by Michael Wolff.
Flamingo, 381 pp., £18.99, January 2004, 0 00 717881 6
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... DROWN?’ ‘I wouldn’t have pulled it if I was you,’ Murdoch told MacKenzie, according to Peter Chippindale and Chris Horrie’s deathlessly great history of the Sun, Stick It Up Your Punter! ‘Seemed like a bloody good headline to me.’ So ‘gotcha!’ still probably wins the prize, though there is a groundswell of support for the New York ...

Falling in love with Lucian

Colm Tóibín: Lucian Freud’s Outer Being, 10 October 2019

The Lives of Lucian Freud: Youth, 1922-68 
by William Feaver.
Bloomsbury, 680 pp., £35, September 2019, 978 1 4088 5093 0
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... later, Freud cut the Spender poems out of the book, ‘deeming them superfluous’.) Peter Watson, who funded Horizon, also began to enjoy Freud’s company. ‘He helped me very much, looked at my pictures and bought things and gave me money and books,’ Freud said. ‘He had pictures that I liked and learned from, very good things … He had a ...

In Praise of Mess

Richard Poirier: Walt Whitman, 4 June 1998

With Walt Whitman in Camden. Vol. VIII: 11 February 1891-30 September 1891 
by Horace Traubel, edited by Jeanne Chapman and Robert MacIsaac.
Bentley, 624 pp., $99.50, November 1996, 0 9653415 8 5
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With Walt Whitman in Camden. Vol. IX: 11 February 1891-30 September 1891 
by Horace Traubel, edited by Jeanne Chapman and Robert MacIsaac.
Bentley, 624 pp., £99.50, November 1996, 0 9653415 9 3
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... the next year, in another newspaper, he praised Emerson’s ‘Spiritual Laws’. Reminiscing to Townsend Trowbridge in 1860, he admitted that it was Emerson who had ‘brought him to a boil’. Efforts later on to affirm a lonely independence became part of his efforts to depict himself as having always been insufficiently appreciated by his own ...

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