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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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... dust-devils of ideas, a kind of historical News of the World? (All human life is here.) Perhaps. Dryasdust has had his day and good riddance. Don’t be deceived by the slick subtitles, however. PeterLake 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 ...

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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... the influential courtier biographies by Robert Naunton, Froude’s probing critique, the rigorous constitutionalism of A.F. Pollard, and so on to John Neale, his pupils and colleagues, and beyond to PeterLake 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 ...

A Frisson in the Auditorium

Blair Worden: Shakespeare without Drama

19 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 PeterLake​ 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 ...

I have written as I rode

Adam Smyth: ‘Brief Lives’

7 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 PeterLake 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 ...

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 ...

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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... in his cunning knowledge of the . . . weaknesses of the human heart . . . and in a kind of smiling tolerance among his menaces of damnation’. Recent writing on the English Reformation by PeterLake, 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 ...
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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... repeated jolts to its 16th and 17th-century foundations. In The Political World of Thomas Wentworth – a distinguished collection of essays on one Stuart minister who advanced British hegemony – PeterLake 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 ...

At Tate Britain

Peter​ Campbell: Turner's Rigi watercolours

8 March 2007
... The three Rigi paintings are wide scenes of distant objects. Although only 18 inches across they 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 ...

Minnesota Fates

Ferdinand Mount

12 October 1989
We Are Still Married 
by Garrison Keillor.
Faber, 330 pp., £11.99, September 1989, 0 571 14140 4
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... his childhood among the Plymouth Brethren of rural Minnesota much as Thurber would summon up the shades of his aunts in Columbus, Ohio. If Keillor had not said goodbye to his fictional home town of Lake Wobegon quite as irrevocably as, say, Hemingway had shaken off the dust of Oak Park, Illinois, he was at least in a position to say hullo to John Updike in the office corridor. He had put enough ...

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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... as one short step from a Catholic priest, but neither Herbert’s parson nor a Catholic priest would have agreed. The godly were wont to describe anything they disliked as ‘popery’; but, as PeterLake 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 ...

At Tate Britain

Peter​ Campbell: Hamish Fulton

9 May 2002
... set off in the early hours of one morning and finished in the small hours of the next. When I was young 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 ...


Peter​ Campbell: In the Park

19 August 2004
... the raised track of the District Line, on the other by Wimbledon Park golf course, and is laid out in 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 ...

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 ...

At the National Gallery

Peter​ Campbell: Aelbert Cuyp

7 March 2002
... tried to take from him. In an interesting note on Cuyp’s materials in the catalogue, Marika 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 ...

In Bexhill

Peter​ Campbell: Ben Nicholson

20 November 2008
... forced frugality of the 1930s and 1940s artistic interior seems to relate to the aesthetic of many of 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 ...

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