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Guilty Men

Michael Neve

5 March 1981
The Fate of Mary Rose 
by Caroline Blackwood.
Cape, 208 pp., £5.95, February 1981, 0 224 01791 8
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Darling, you shouldn’t have gone to so much trouble 
by Caroline Blackwood and Anna Haycraft.
Cape, 224 pp., £6.50, November 1980, 0 224 01834 5
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... Philip Larkin’s lines have taken hold over the years, calling to them the confirmatory evidence of family histories, uniting disparate and apparently unconnected offspring under their aegis. Few authors ...

In Memory of Eustache-Hyacinthe Langlois

Rosemary Hill: Where is Bohemia?

6 March 2003
Bohemians: The Glamorous Outcasts 
by Elizabeth Wilson.
Tauris, 288 pp., £11.99, October 2002, 1 86064 782 0
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Quentin & Philip 
by Andrew Barrow.
Macmillan, 559 pp., £18.99, November 2002, 0 333 78051 5
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... gentrification. Conversely, it may flourish in unlikely places, in country towns and even suburbs. The subjects of Barrow’s ‘double portrait’, his friends Quentin Crisp and the surrealist poet Philip O’Connor, were both children of the Home Counties. Crisp, who began life as Denis Pratt, found his way to bohemia from the Pooterland of Egmont Road, Sutton. O’Connor spent a significant part of ...

Why aren’t they screaming?

Helen Vendler: Philip​ Larkin

6 November 2014
Philip​ Larkin: Life, Art and Love 
by James Booth.
Bloomsbury, 532 pp., £25, August 2014, 978 1 4088 5166 1
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... Twenty​ years ago, Andrew Motion, one of Philip Larkin’s literary executors, wrote a scholarly and comprehensive authorised biography of the poet, whom he had known well; it was subtitled ‘A Writer’s Life’. Motion informed his readers that ...

Battle of Britain

Patrick O’Brian

7 July 1988
The Spanish Armada 
by Colin Martin and Geoffrey Parker.
Hamish Hamilton, 296 pp., £15, April 1988, 0 241 12125 6
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Armada 1588-1988 
by M.J. Rodriguez-Salgado.
Penguin and the National Maritime Museum, 295 pp., £12.95, April 1988, 0 14 010301 5
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Armada: A Celebration of the 400th Anniversary of the Defeat of the Spanish Armada 1588-1988 
by Peter Padfield.
Gollancz, 208 pp., £14.95, April 1988, 0 575 03729 6
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Froude’s ‘Spanish Story of the Armada’, and Other Essays 
edited by A.L. Rowse.
Sutton, 262 pp., £5.95, May 1988, 0 86299 500 0
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Ireland’s Armada Legacy 
by Laurence Flanagan.
Sutton, 210 pp., £9.95, April 1988, 9780862994730
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The Armada in the Public Records 
by N.A.M. Rodger.
HMSO, 76 pp., £5.95, April 1988, 0 11 440215 9
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The Spanish Armada: The Experience of War in 1588 
by Felipe Fernandez-Armesto.
Oxford, 300 pp., £14.95, June 1988, 0 19 822926 7
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... first thought of the word, shortly after the event). They differ very much in approach, in emphasis, and even in conclusion – Mia Rodrigues-Salgado, for example, feels that the enterprise increased Philip II’s reputation, particularly in the north – but they all of course agree in trying to place the disastrous voyage in its context. Yet it is exceedingly difficult to know just where the borders ...

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 ...
5 February 1981
... we were due to record the play in the studio, the BBC management called a halt to production: exactly why, and why we could not have been consulted first, I am unlikely now ever to discover. Mr Philip Sidey, Head of Network Centre, the administrative head of BBC Birmingham, objected strongly to the play, and Mr Shaun Sutton, Head of Drama Group, Television, effected the ban. At a meeting with the ...

It’s him, Eddie

Gary Indiana: Carrère’s Limonov

22 October 2014
Limonov: A Novel 
by Emmanuel Carrère, translated by John Lambert.
Allen Lane, 340 pp., £20, October 2014, 978 1 84614 820 0
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... a twenty-page abstract. In at least one sense, Limonov is truly innovative: never before, as far as I know, has paraphrase been taken this seriously as a literary form. As in his pseudo-biography of Philip K. Dick, I Am Alive and You Are Dead (2004), Carrère has largely relied on already published sources, Limonov’s extensive self-portraiture first and foremost. He seldom questions Limonov’s ...

Musical Chairs with Ribbentrop

Bee Wilson: Nancy Astor

20 December 2012
Nancy: The Story of Lady Astor 
by Adrian Fort.
Cape, 378 pp., £25, October 2012, 978 0 224 09016 2
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... the guest list – both at Cliveden and in St James’s Square – had evolved. Now, the Astors frequently invited Geoffrey Dawson, editor of the Times, Nevile Henderson, ambassador to Germany, and Philip Kerr, the Marquess of Lothian, a Christian Scientist like Nancy, and one of several to express the view that in marching into the Rhineland, Germany was merely walking into its own backyard. Nancy ...

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