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6 July 1995
Islamic Britain: Religion, Politics and Identity among British Muslims 
by Philip Lewis.
Tauris, 255 pp., £9.99, October 1994, 1 85043 861 7
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TheFailure of Political Islam 
by Olivier Roy, translated by Carol Volk.
Tauris, 238 pp., £14.95, October 1994, 1 85043 880 3
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... a reactive assertiveness crystallises into what he terms ‘Muslim pride’ – an assertiveness that ‘may at times owe as little to religion as political blackness does to the idea of Africa’. PhilipLewis, a resident of Bradford with firsthand knowledge of its complex and often divided Muslim communities, did not anticipate the latest round of troubles to afflict the city. Rather he offers a ...

The Gift

Stephen Knight

19 July 1984
... note (Please acknowledge receipt, Love Mum & Dad) Then fold the wrapping for possible re-use. A breeze laps the posters crusting the wall; Like lily pads, they compete to face the light. I bump into Philip inside the Lodge. He asks to see the gift – another four-sleeved Pullover! Raising it shoulder-high, he Teases me about the additional arms Till I make my excuses and leave him At the pigeonholes ...

The Atheists’ Picnic

Julian Bell: Art and Its Origins

10 June 2010
Conceiving God: The Cognitive Origin and Evolution of Religion 
by David Lewis-Williams.
Thames and Hudson, 320 pp., £18.95, March 2010, 978 0 500 05164 1
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... concepts ‘God’ and ‘man’ first arose? That seems to be the implication when, in the opening pages of Conceiving God: The Cognitive Origin and Evolution of Religion, the archaeologist David Lewis-Williams examines the earliest records of symbolic behaviour. It is unlikely we will ever pinpoint just when the human habit of investing objects with significance took hold. But for the moment ...

Making sentences

Philip​ Horne

21 November 1991
The Jameses: A Family Narrative 
by R.W.B. Lewis.
Deutsch, 696 pp., £20, October 1991, 0 233 98748 7
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Meaning in Henry James 
by Millicent Bell.
Harvard, 384 pp., £35.95, October 1991, 9780674557628
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... Forty-one years after F.O. Matthiessen’s suicide, and 44 after his big book The James Family: A Group Biography, here is R.W.B. Lewis, Matthiessen’s pupil at Harvard, with one on the same subject, nearly as big. Its very title twists a touch awkwardly to avoid repeating that of its precursor, to which Lewis acknowledges a large ...

Whakapapa

D.A.N. Jones

21 November 1985
The Prague Orgy 
by Philip​ Roth.
Cape, 89 pp., £5.95, October 1985, 0 224 02815 4
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Loyalties 
by Raymond Williams.
Chatto, 378 pp., £9.95, September 1985, 0 7011 2843 7
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Cousin Rosamund 
by Rebecca West.
Macmillan, 295 pp., £9.95, October 1985, 0 333 39797 5
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The Battle of Pollocks Crossing 
by J.L. Carr.
Viking, 176 pp., £8.95, May 1985, 0 670 80559 9
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The Bone People 
by Keri Hulme.
Hodder, 450 pp., £9.95, July 1985, 0 340 37024 6
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... Security is the problem that exercises both Philip Roth and Raymond Williams. The sort of ‘security’ I mean is the sort that spreads a feeling of insecurity – a fear of surveillance, bugging, secret cameras, interrogation, the false smile of Mr ...

Full of Glory

John Mullan: The Inklings

19 November 2015
The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings 
by Philip​ Zaleski and Carol Zaleski.
Farrar, Straus, 644 pp., £11.20, June 2015, 978 0 374 15409 7
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... Supplement. The Hobbit was, the anonymous reviewer said, ‘a children’s book only in the sense that the first of many readings can be undertaken in the nursery’. It was to be compared to Lewis Carroll’s Alice stories, as belonging to ‘a very small class of books which have nothing in common save that each admits us to a world of its own’. The ‘fortunate child’ who was given The ...

Diary

Ian Hamilton: Poets Laureate

7 January 1999
... When Cecil Day Lewis was appointed Poet Laureate in 1968, he got – within days of the good news – a letter from his bank manager. ‘The whole Midland,’ it said, ‘rejoices with you.’ And this, it might be felt ...

Dying Falls

John Lanchester

23 July 1987
Temporary Shelter 
by Mary Gordon.
Bloomsbury, 231 pp., £11.95, July 1987, 0 7475 0006 1
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Bluebeard’s Egg 
by Margaret Atwood.
Cape, 287 pp., £10.95, June 1987, 0 224 02245 8
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The Native 
by David Plante.
Chatto, 122 pp., £9.95, May 1987, 0 7011 3247 7
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The March of the Long Shadows 
by Norman Lewis.
Secker, 232 pp., £10.95, May 1987, 0 436 24620 1
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... sense that Atwood has available a whole extra set of gears. David Plante’s new novel – which continues the story of the Francoeur family of Providence, Rhode Island – begins in medias res with Philip Francoeur bursting into the bathroom where his daughter appears to be trying to drown herself. He pulls her out of the bath and throws her onto the floor:   ‘You want to kill yourself, really ...

Endgame

John Bayley

17 March 1988
End of a Journey: An Autobiographical Journal 1979-1981 
by Philip​ Toynbee.
Bloomsbury, 422 pp., £25, February 1988, 0 7475 0132 7
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... A critic has a good nose for a natural writer, but he usually pays for it by not being able to write naturally himself. It seems likely that Philip Toynbee would have given anything to be a real novelist and a real poet, but in his ‘experimental’ novels – Tea with Mrs Goodman and The Garden to the Sea – and in the gargantuan poem ...

Dirty Jokes

Julian Symons

13 September 1990
Brief Lives 
by Anita Brookner.
Cape, 217 pp., £12.95, August 1990, 0 224 02747 6
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Deception 
by Philip​ Roth.
Cape, 208 pp., £12.95, September 1990, 0 224 03000 0
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Homeboy 
by Seth Morgan.
Chatto, 390 pp., £12.95, August 1990, 0 7011 3664 2
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... story is told, its placing a small artistic triumph that would have been appreciated by James or Conrad. It is a commonplace that Brookner writes better about women than about men, as the unhappy Lewis Percy testified. The men in Brief Lives are important but they are kept in their right place, which for Brookner is the background, and as background figures they are perfectly convincing. Owen is ...

Wolfish

John Sutherland: The pushiness of young men in a hurry

5 May 2005
Publisher 
by Tom Maschler.
Picador, 294 pp., £20, March 2005, 0 330 48420 6
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British Book Publishing as a Business since the 1960s 
by Eric de Bellaigue.
British Library, 238 pp., £19.95, January 2004, 0 7123 4836 0
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Penguin Special: The Life and Times of Allen Lane 
by Jeremy Lewis.
Viking, 484 pp., £25, May 2005, 0 670 91485 1
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... genius is a household name: most publishers remain invisible. And many of Maschler’s authors weren’t household names in Britain until he published them at Jonathan Cape. His stable has included Philip Roth, García Márquez, McEwan, Martin Amis, Barnes, Rushdie, Vonnegut, Chatwin, Fowles, Deighton and, Maschler does not fear to admit, Jeffrey Archer. The title he was most excited to publish was ...
3 July 1986
The Prose Works of Fulke Greville, Lord Brooke 
edited by John Gouws.
Oxford, 279 pp., £40, March 1986, 0 19 812746 4
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... Four hundred years ago, on 17 October 1586, Sir Philip Sidney died at the age of 31 of a wound sustained in a skirmish at Zutphen, where his forces had fought for the Dutch cause against Spanish domination of the Netherlands. It was one of the great ...

Short Cuts

Simon Wren-Lewis: Magic Money Trees

12 July 2017
... quite happy to buy UK government debt – and there is absolutely no reason they shouldn’t be – there is no economic problem with ending austerity.One political problem is that the chancellor, Philip Hammond, recently described the current deficit of 2.5 per cent as ‘not sustainable’. Hammond, probably with support from senior Treasury civil servants, wants to start reducing the government ...

‘I love you, defiant witch!’

Michael Newton: Charles Williams

7 September 2016
Charles Williams: The Third Inkling 
by Grevel Lindop.
Oxford, 493 pp., £25, October 2015, 978 0 19 928415 3
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... and the things of the world, Williams expressed a creed that justified their position. He prided himself on being the only person who could claim the friendship of those arch-enemies C.S. Lewis and T.S. Eliot. Lewis and Williams both aimed at the disruption of the realist novel though the use of erudite fantasy, drawing on Dante and Plato and Milton; they wanted to make contemporary England ...
17 July 1980
Arguments within English Marxism 
by Perry Anderson.
New Left Books, 218 pp., £3.95, May 1980, 0 86091 727 4
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Capitalism, State Formation and Marxist Theory 
edited by Philip​ Corrigan.
Quartet, 232 pp., £4.95, May 1980, 0 7043 2241 2
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Writing by Candlelight 
by E.P. Thompson.
Merlin, 286 pp., £2.70, May 1980, 0 85036 257 1
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... allow themselves some guarded asides on the psychology of chiliasm, but would reject Norman Cohn’s full-frontal psychopathology of anti-semitism. They probably accept, as true for that decade, Sir Lewis Namier’s vision of the politics of the 1760s as dominated by clique and pique rather than by constitutional principle, but would hesitate about his overarching behavioural conservatism. Call this ...

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