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Year of the Viking

Patrick Wormald

17 July 1980
The Vikings 
by James Graham-Campbell and D. Kidd.
British Museum, 192 pp., £8.95, February 1980, 0 7141 1352 2
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The Viking World 
edited by James Graham-Campbell.
Weidenfeld, 220 pp., £11.95, March 1980, 0 906459 04 4
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The Northern World 
edited by David Wilson.
Thames and Hudson, 248 pp., £15, February 1980, 0 500 25070 7
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Vikings! 
by Magnus Magnusson.
Bodley Head, 320 pp., £10, May 1980, 0 370 30272 9
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The Vikings 
by Johannes Bronsted.
Penguin, 347 pp., £1.95, April 1980, 0 14 020459 8
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Viking Age Sculpture 
by Richard Bailey.
Collins, 288 pp., £10.95, February 1980, 0 00 216228 8
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The Viking Age in Denmark 
by Klaus Randsborg.
Duckworth, 206 pp., £7.95, February 1980, 0 7156 1466 5
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... they should now be considered, at least in part, ‘a good thing’. The first decisive step in this revisionist direction was taken in 1961 by the professional adviser to Magnusson’s series, PeterSawyer. His The Age of the Vikings, one of the few recent studies not reissued this year, was a brilliant essay whose basic purpose was to explain the Viking explosion by arguing that there was ...
22 May 1986
Domesday: 900 Years of England’s Norman Heritage 
edited by Kate Allen.
Millbank in association with the National Domesday Committee, 192 pp., £3, March 1986, 0 946171 49 1
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The Normans and the Norman Conquest 
by R. Allen Brown.
Boydell, 259 pp., £19.50, January 1985, 0 85115 427 1
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The Domesday Book: England’s Heritage, Then and Now 
edited by Thomas Hinde.
Hutchinson, 351 pp., £14.95, October 1985, 0 09 161830 4
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Domesday Heritage 
edited by Elizabeth Hallam.
Arrow, 95 pp., £3.95, February 1986, 0 09 945800 4
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Domesday Book through Nine Centuries 
by Elizabeth Hallam.
Thames and Hudson, 224 pp., £12.50, March 1986, 0 500 25097 9
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Domesday Book: A Reassessment 
edited by Peter Sawyer.
Arnold, 182 pp., £25, October 1985, 0 7131 6440 9
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... relic, a totem, perhaps thereby more potent than in its old function as a documentary instrument of law and state. Dr Hallam’s book sympathetically traces the history of this evolution. Professor Sawyer’s is part of the history of the examination of the monument, and is more concentrated upon problems. Both works are successors and heirs to Galbraith’s ‘The Making of Domesday Book’ (English ...
17 November 1983
The Anglo-Saxons 
edited by James Campbell.
Phaidon, 272 pp., £16.50, July 1982, 0 7148 2149 7
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Anglo-Saxon Art: A New Perspective 
by C.R. Dodwell.
Manchester, 353 pp., £35, October 1982, 0 7190 0861 1
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Anglo-Saxon Poetry 
edited by S.A.J. Bradley.
Dent, 559 pp., £10.95, August 1982, 0 460 10794 1
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The Anglo-Saxon World 
edited by Kevin Crossley-Holland.
Boydell and Brewer, 275 pp., £9.95, November 1982, 0 85115 169 8
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The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles: The Authentic Voices of England, from the Times of Julius Caesar to the Coronation of Henry II 
by Anne Savage.
Heinemann, 288 pp., £14.95, March 1983, 0 434 98210 5
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...  the danger of seeing them as King Alfred and the writers of his court would have us see them. One approach here is to cut the Vikings down to size. This is the method associated with the name of PeterSawyer and it has brought some striking and happily controversial results. An alternative is to exploit hitherto neglected types of evidence, in particular royal charters, in order to look more ...

Barbarians

Stuart Airlie

17 November 1983
Medieval Germany and its Neighbours 900-1250 
by K.J. Leyser.
Hambledon, 302 pp., £18, February 1983, 0 907628 08 7
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The Frankish Kingdoms under the Carolingians 751-987 
by Rosamond McKitterick.
Longman, 414 pp., £9.95, June 1983, 0 582 49005 7
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Ideal and Reality in Frankish and Anglo-Saxon Society: Studies presented to J.M. Wallace-Hadrill 
edited by Patrick Wormald, Donald Bullough and Roger Collins.
Blackwell, 345 pp., £27.50, September 1983, 0 631 12661 9
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... be read as each one casts light upon the others (for example, Michael Wood’s first-rate paper on Aethelstan, ‘An English Charlemagne?’, can be usefully juxtaposed with the papers of Wormald and PeterSawyer). The book ends, fittingly, with Eric John’s evocation of the world of Abbot Aelfric, a scholar of the late Anglo-Saxon era. Fittingly, because that world already contained the seeds of its ...

Fear of Drying

Richard Eyre

4 September 1986
Stage Fright: Its Role in Acting 
by Stephen Aaron.
Chicago, 156 pp., £13.95, July 1986, 0 226 00018 4
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... Miss Sawyer, you listen to me ... and you listen hard. Two hundred people, 200 jobs, $200,000, five weeks of grind and blood and sweat depend on you! It’s the lives of all those people who’ve worked with you ...

A Sad and Gory Land

Claudia Johnson

23 February 1995
Who Will Run the Frog Hospital? 
by Lorrie Moore.
Faber, 148 pp., £14.99, November 1994, 0 571 17310 1
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... American culture has a special attachment to boys’ coming-of-age stories, and from Tom Sawyer to Summer of ’42 readily invests them with mythic import. But girls’ coming-of-age stories, as distinct from tales about courtship and marriage, find no indulgent public. How could they ...

A Whale of a Time

Colm Tóibín

2 October 1997
Roger Casement’s Diaries. 1910: The Black and the White 
edited by Roger Sawyer.
Pimlico, 288 pp., £10, October 1997, 9780712673754
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The Amazon Journal of Roger Casement 
edited by Angus Mitchell.
Anaconda, 534 pp., £40, October 1997, 9781901990010
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... that sort of thing. The Black Diaries first became available in 1959. The Black Diaries: An Account of Roger Casement’s Life and Times, with a Collection of His Diaries and Public Writings, by Peter Singleton-Gates and Maurice Girodias, published by Grove Press in New York and the Olympia Press in Paris, was an extraordinary book. It included potted histories of Ireland, the Congo and the ...

Protocols of Machismo

Corey Robin: In the Name of National Security

19 May 2005
Arguing about War 
by Michael Walzer.
Yale, 208 pp., £16.99, July 2004, 0 300 10365 4
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Chain of Command 
by Seymour Hersh.
Penguin, 394 pp., £17.99, September 2004, 0 7139 9845 8
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Torture: A Collection 
edited by Sanford Levinson.
Oxford, 319 pp., £18.50, November 2004, 0 19 517289 2
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... it is.’ Even if we assume that citizens are routinely given the opportunity to ponder the national interest, the fact is that they seldom, if ever, reach a conclusion about it. As Nye points out, Peter Trubowitz’s exhaustive study of the way Americans defined the national interest throughout the 20th century concluded that ‘there is no single national interest. Analysts who assume that America ...

How We Remember

Gilberto Perez: Terrence Malick

12 September 2013
... still acquit herself as best she can for her part in what she knows to be a frightful tale – all this the author renders with sympathetic accuracy. Malick has compared Holly to Nancy Drew or Tom Sawyer as an ‘innocent abroad’. Badlands was loosely based on the case of Charles Starkweather, who went on a killing spree in Nebraska and Wyoming in the late 1950s together with his teenage girlfriend ...

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