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Who was David Peterley?

Michael Holroyd, 15 November 1984

... but their fears of becoming the dupes of a sinister literary plot now seem exaggerated. Philip Toynbee, for example, who declared that he had never really been taken in for a minute, his scepticism having been awakened early on by the frontispiece (you can’t get much earlier in a book than its frontispiece), obviously had been taken in and felt ...

Alas! Deceived

Alan Bennett: Philip Larkin, 25 March 1993

Philip Larkin: A Writer’s Life 
by Andrew Motion.
Faber, 570 pp., £20, April 1993, 0 571 15174 4
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... My mother is such a bloody rambling fool,’ wrote Philip Larkin in 1965, ‘that half the time I doubt her sanity. Two things she said today, for instance, were that she had “thought of getting a job in Woolworth’s” and that she wanted to win the football pools so that she could “give cocktail parties” ...

The devil has two horns

J.G.A. Pocock, 24 February 1994

The Great Melody: A Thematic Biography and Commented Anthology of Edmund Burke 
by Conor Cruise O’Brien.
Minerva, 692 pp., £8.99, September 1993, 0 7493 9721 7
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... but in England he was a patron of radical Dissenter intellectuals (Richard Price and Joseph Priestley), and there is something here about Burke’s increasingly vehement support of the Church of England of which O’Brien seems determined to take no notice. George III took his revenge after Rockingham’s death, by the ruthless effectiveness with which ...

The Darwin Show

Steven Shapin, 7 January 2010

... time: Galileo, Scheiner and several others on sunspots; Leibniz and Newton on the calculus; Priestley and Scheele on oxygen; Steven Weinberg and Abdus Salam on electroweak gauge theory; and, of course, Darwin and the undercelebrated Alfred Russel Wallace on evolution by natural selection. Every instance of what has been called ‘simultaneous ...

The Uncommon Reader

Alan Bennett, 8 March 2007

... la Mare; nothing much she could have said to them, but she had met T.S. Eliot, too, and there was Priestley and Philip Larkin and even Ted Hughes, to whom she’d taken a bit of a shine but who remained nonplussed in her presence. And it was because she had at that time read so little of what they had written that she could ...

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