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Delay

Michael Neve

17 October 1985
Hamlet Closely Observed 
by Martin Dodsworth.
Athlone, 316 pp., £18, July 1985, 0 485 11283 3
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Hamlet 
edited by Philip Edwards.
Cambridge, 245 pp., £15, June 1985, 9780521221511
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The Renaissance Hamlet: Issues and Responses in 1600 
by Roland Mushat Frye.
Princeton, 398 pp., £23.75, December 1983, 0 691 06579 9
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... impossible for Hamlet, who instead lives in a prison of sexual fruitlessness, disgust and stasis. In Ophelia’s words: ‘By Cock, they are to blame.’ For Hamlet, ‘this loneliest of heroes’ as PhilipEdwards calls him in his new edition, there is no evolutionary potential within life, since the appearance of the ghost, whoever he may be, condemns him to death. Delay is where Hamlet lives, if that ...

Mulberrying

Andrew Gurr

6 February 1986
Forms of Attention 
by Frank Kermode.
Chicago, 93 pp., £9.95, September 1985, 0 226 43168 1
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Shakespeare: A Writer’s Progress 
by Philip Edwards.
Oxford, 204 pp., £12.50, January 1986, 0 19 219184 5
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Shakespeare’s Lost Play: ‘Edmund Ironside’ 
edited by Eric Sams.
Fourth Estate, 383 pp., £25, January 1986, 0 947795 95 2
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Such is my love: A Study of Shakespeare’s Sonnets 
by Joseph Pequigney.
Chicago, 249 pp., £16.95, October 1985, 0 226 65563 6
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Shakespeare Survey 38: An Annual Survey of Shakespearian Study and Production 
edited by Stanley Wells.
Cambridge, 262 pp., £25, January 1986, 0 521 32026 7
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The Subject of Tragedy: Identity and Difference in Renaissance Drama 
by Catherine Belsey.
Methuen, 253 pp., £13.95, September 1985, 0 416 32700 1
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... from interpretation will readily admit. One of the uses of circularity in the Shakespeare canon is that it enhances the components in it, makes them potent by the share they have in the whole oeuvre. PhilipEdwards, in his concise little survey of the main canon, argues that it ‘is a unity, and the meaning of each part is enlarged by recognising the unity.’ He cites Muriel Bradbrook in support of ...

Missing Elements

Rosalind Mitchison

14 May 1992
Strategic Women: How do they manage in Scotland? 
by Elizabeth Gerver and Lesley Hart.
Aberdeen University Press, 216 pp., £9.95, June 1991, 0 08 037741 6
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A Guid Cause: The Women’s Suffrage Movement in Scotland 
by Leah Leneman.
Aberdeen University Press, 304 pp., £11.95, June 1991, 0 08 041201 7
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Marriage and Property: Women and Marital Customs in History 
edited by Elizabeth Craik.
Aberdeen University Press, 192 pp., £6.95, June 1991, 9780080412054
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A Woman’s Claim of Right in Scotland 
Polygon, 142 pp., £7.95, August 1991, 0 7486 6103 4Show More
Nationalism in the Nineties 
edited by Tom Gallagher.
Polygon, 192 pp., £7.95, August 1991, 0 7486 6098 4
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Cultural Weapons: Scotland and Survival in a New Europe 
by Christopher Harvie.
Polygon, 119 pp., £7.95, March 1992, 0 7486 6122 0
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Literature and Nationalism 
edited by Vincent Newey and Ann Thompson.
Liverpool, 286 pp., £27.50, June 1991, 0 85323 057 9
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The Invention of Scotland: The Stuart Myth of the Scottish Identity, 1638 to the present 
by Murray Pittock.
Routledge, 198 pp., £30, September 1991, 0 415 05586 5
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Scotland: A New History 
by Michael Lynch.
Century, 499 pp., £18.99, August 1991, 0 7126 3413 4
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... for over two centuries because Westminster let sleeping dogs lie. Now there are many models of diffused government which might be found of service. Literature and Nationalism, essays dedicated to PhilipEdwards, comes from the university world of literary studies. Though the book spends some time on Shakespeare’s view of the Welsh and Scots, the main emphasis is on Ireland – understandably ...

The First Consort

Thomas Penn: Philip​ of Spain

5 April 2012
Philip​ of Spain, King of England: The Forgotten Sovereign 
by Harry Kelsey.
I.B. Tauris, 230 pp., £18.99, November 2011, 978 1 84885 716 2
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... It always comes as something of a surprise to remember that thirty years before the Armada, Philip of Spain was king of the country he later attempted to invade. What was more, he had been a new kind of king, the consort of England’s first ruling queen, and one to whom England had violently ...
9 November 1989
Last Voyages. Cavendish, Hudson, Ralegh: The Original Narratives 
edited by Philip Edwards.
Oxford, 268 pp., £25, November 1988, 0 19 812894 0
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The Nagle Journal: A Diary for the Life of Jacob Nagle, Sailor, from the Year 1775 to 1841 
edited by John Dann.
Weidenfeld, 402 pp., £18.95, March 1989, 1 55584 223 2
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Journal of a Voyage with Bering, 1741-1742 
by Georg Wilhelm Steller, edited by O.W. Frost, translated by Margritt Engel and O.W. Frost.
Stanford, 252 pp., $35, September 1988, 0 8047 1446 0
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... In his introduction to Last Voyages Professor Edwards almost apologises for voyages as a form of literature, partly because the New Criticism ignored them; yet he may be battering at an open door, for surely the great mass of readers, who do not give a ...

Round the (Next) Bend

Simon Adams: Sir Walter Ralegh

6 July 2000
The Letters of Sir Walter Raleigh 
edited by Agnes Latham and Joyce Youings.
Exeter, 403 pp., £45, July 1999, 0 85989 527 0
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... In the summer of 1618, Diego Sarmiento de Acuna, Count of Gondomar, Ambassador of Philip III to the Court of James I had a clever idea. For four years the proposal that James’s son Prince Charles should marry the Infanta Maria had been batted to and fro between London and Madrid in an ...

Something about Mary

Diarmaid MacCulloch: The First Queen of England

18 October 2007
Mary Tudor: The Tragical History of the First Queen of England 
by David Loades.
National Archives, 240 pp., £19.99, September 2006, 1 903365 98 8
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... chief friend. More than any other English monarch between Henry II and Charles II, Mary was preoccupied with a country beyond the sea, or rather a dynasty beyond the sea. She married Charles’s son Philip, and once she was married she was desperate to secure a Catholic future by having his child. That child might with the right quirks of genealogy have ruled half the known world, and a good deal of it ...
9 May 1996
John Wayne: American 
by Randy Roberts and James Olson.
Free Press, 738 pp., £17.99, March 1996, 0 02 923837 4
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... the popular judgment, film critics polled this year by Sight and Sound chose John Ford’s The Searchers as one of the five best movies ever made; it starred John Wayne, as the Indian-hating Ethan Edwards. John Wayne casts his shadow over far more than Orange County and Hollywood. Eric Bentley, the Brecht scholar and editor of a volume of testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee ...

Crypto-Republican

Simon Adams: Was Mary Queen of Scots a Murderer?

11 June 2009
Burghley: William Cecil at the Court of Elizabeth I 
by Stephen Alford.
Yale, 412 pp., £25, May 2008, 978 0 300 11896 4
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... sympathy for her in advance of this trial that Cecil arranged the publication of the Casket Letters. The current controversy over the Ridolphi Plot was initiated by the Jesuit historian Francis Edwards, who published a reconstruction of it, The Marvellous Chance, in 1968. Edwards claimed that Ridolphi was an English double agent employed by Cecil to entrap Mary and Norfolk. He went on to argue, in ...

Faber Book of Groans

Christopher Ricks

1 March 1984
Required Writing: Miscellaneous Pieces 1955-1982 
by Philip​ Larkin.
Faber, 315 pp., £4.95, November 1983, 0 571 13120 4
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... How,’ asked Dr Leavis, vaulting into his review of T. S. Eliot’s On Poetry and Poets, ‘can a book of criticism be at once so distinguished and so unimportant?’ Of Philip Larkin’s comparable and incomparable ‘miscellaneous pieces’, it might be asked: How can a book of criticism be at once so un-‘distinguished’ and so important? But then how can this Faber ...

Turncoats and Opportunists

Alexandra Walsham: Francis Walsingham

5 July 2012
The Queen’s Agent: Francis Walsingham at the Court of Elizabeth I 
by John Cooper.
Faber, 400 pp., £9.99, July 2012, 978 0 571 21827 1
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... two years after they married in 1564, and then in 1566 to the widow Ursula Worseley, with whom he had two children. His sole surviving daughter, Frances, married the poet and Protestant courtier Sir Philip Sidney. Cooper acknowledges the problems these gaps in the record pose to a biographer, but doesn’t shy away from sifting Walsingham’s motives and gauging the nature and depth of his religious ...

Silent Pleasures

A.W.F. Edwards

15 July 1982
... mind a quarter of a century ago? ‘Worry’ has been changed to ‘despair’ and ‘beauty’ has been deleted altogether. Are modern times really so terrible? If The Soaring Pilot was our bible, Philip Wills was our bard. That remarkable man had started gliding in 1933 (how close to the Wright brothers that is beginning to seem!), and by 1939 had not only established himself as the leading British ...

Menswear

Philip​ Booth

20 July 1995
Drag: A History of Female Impersonation in the Performing Arts 
by Roger Baker.
Cassell, 284 pp., £35, December 1994, 0 304 32836 7
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... Theatre, and imperial Rome, Shanghai or wherever, all at once. The audience have come to watch the performers, but may find the performers watching them. In the Sixties, Eric Sykes and Jimmy Edwards were doing something like this in a ground-breaking show called Big Bad Mouse, only without the frocks. At the time, we laughed over the dismantling of theatrical conventions, but through the lens of ...
5 June 1986
... two alternative suggestions and the reasons for which they fail. The first is the group, as argued by Carr-Saunders in 1922 and then 40 years later, in relation to animal populations, by Wynne-Edwards. Carr-Saunders’s claim that ‘those groups practising the most advantageous customs will have an advantage in the constant struggle between adjacent groups over those that practise less ...

At the Hop

Sukhdev Sandhu

20 February 1997
Black England: Life before Emancipation 
by Gretchen Gerzina.
Murray, 244 pp., £19.99, October 1995, 0 7195 5251 6
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Reconstructing the Black Past: Blacks in Britain 1780-1830 
by Norma Myers.
Cass, 162 pp., £27.50, July 1996, 0 7146 4576 1
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... in 1948 and the beginnings of postwar immigration. It was in the wake of increased immigration that academics started taking an interest in the history of blacks in Britain. In the Sixties, Paul Edwards, originally a specialist in Old Icelandic, produced editions of the two most important African-British writers of the 18th century, Ignatius Sancho and Olaudah Equiano. In the Seventies, the Black ...

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