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Life after Life

Jonathan Rée: Collingwood

20 January 2000
An Essay on Metaphysics 
by R.G. Collingwood, edited by Rex Martin.
Oxford, 439 pp., £48, July 1998, 0 19 823561 5
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The New Leviathan 
by R.G. Collingwood, edited by David Boucher.
Oxford, 525 pp., £17.99, March 1999, 0 19 823880 0
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The Principles of History 
by R.G. Collingwood, edited by W.H. Dray and W.J. van der Dussen.
Oxford, 293 pp., £48, March 1999, 0 19 823703 0
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... despite having a covetable job as Waynflete Professor of Metaphysical Philosophy at Oxford, Robin Collingwood disliked college life and despised academic forms of thought and writing, especially in philosophy. If the responsibilities attached to his job were performed expeditiously, it was only because he refused to give them a moment’s more attention than ...

A Few Home Truths

Jonathan Rée: R.G. Collingwood

18 June 2014
R.G. Collingwood‘An Autobiography’ and Other Writings, with Essays on Collingwood’s Life and Work 
edited by David Boucher and Teresa Smith.
Oxford, 581 pp., £65, December 2013, 978 0 19 958603 5
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... An Autobiography​ ’ by R.G. Collingwood must be one of the most popular philosophical books in the English language, but when it was published in 1939, it was not expected to do well. Collingwood warned Oxford University Press that it was ‘destitute of all that makes autobiography saleable ...
16 August 1990
Essays in political Philosophy 
by R.G. Collingwood, edited by David Boucher.
Oxford, 237 pp., £25, November 1989, 0 19 824823 7
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The Social and Political Thought of R.G. Collingwood 
by David Boucher.
Cambridge, 300 pp., £27.50, November 1989, 0 521 36384 5
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... Robin Collingwood (1889-1943) was born 17 years after Bertrand Russell and died 27 years before him. Given the style and content of Collingwood’s philosophical work, this fact ought to seem surprising. For there is no apparent mark of Russell’s influence, nor of those who influenced him, upon Collingwood’s own philosophical corpus ...

No More Scissors and Paste

Mary Beard: R.G. Collingwood

25 March 2010
History Man: The Life of R.G. Collingwood 
by Fred Inglis.
Princeton, 385 pp., £23.95, 0 691 13014 0
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... In February 1938, R. G. Collingwood, then Waynflete Professor of Metaphysical Philosophy at Oxford and aged only 48, suffered a small stroke. It was the first of a series, each one more serious than the last, that would kill him within five years. The usual treatment in the 1930s was less effective than modern medical intervention but rather more enjoyable ...

Examples

Denis Donoghue

2 February 1984
Towards 2000 
by Raymond Williams.
Chatto, 273 pp., £9.95, October 1983, 9780701126858
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Writing in Society 
by Raymond Williams.
Verso, 268 pp., £18.50, December 1983, 0 86091 072 5
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Radical Earnestness: English Social Theory 1880-1980 
by Fred Inglis.
Martin Robertson, 253 pp., £15, November 1982, 0 85520 328 5
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... The writers Inglis presents under this rubric are William Morris, T.H. Green, John Maynard Keynes, R.G. Collingwood, F.R. Leavis, George Orwell, Adrian Stokes, Tony Crosland – as he calls him – Richard Titmuss, Richard Hoggart, Raymond Williams, John Berger, E.P. Thompson and Isaiah Berlin. If you need a stereotype of the English socialist, you may as ...
8 September 1994
A Pitch of Philosophy: Autobiographical Exercises 
by Stanley Cavell.
Harvard, 196 pp., £20.75, July 1994, 0 674 66980 0
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... Despite obvious exceptions – memoirs by John Stuart Mill and R.G. Collingwood, confessions by St Augustine and Jean-Jacques Rousseau – autobiography is not a genre that comes naturally to most philosophers. The typical modern philosopher – the Kant of the three critiques, say, or the Wittgenstein of the Tractatus – seeks perfection in the composition of systematic treatises and closely-argued works of logic, not in the harvesting of personal memories, which (if one is honest) are inherently uncertain, often contradictory, and usually tinged with emotion ...

Is It Glamorous?

David Simpson: Stefan Collini among the Intellectuals

6 March 2008
Absent Minds: Intellectuals in Britain 
by Stefan Collini.
Oxford, 544 pp., £16.99, July 2005, 0 19 929105 5
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... case, especially France between the 1930s and the 1950s, but the British situation should be regarded as ‘one distinctive variant of a larger international pattern’. Germany, Russia, Italy and the United States, among others, share with Britain a set of habits and rhetorical conventions for discussing intellectuals. The term ‘intellectual’ has ...

So Much Smoke

Tom Shippey: King Arthur

20 December 2018
King Arthur: the Making of the Legend 
by Nicholas Higham.
Yale, 380 pp., £25, October 2018, 978 0 300 21092 7
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... whole source of the trouble is the deep attachment to the image of King Arthur, Sir Lancelot, Sir Gawain and their comrades as mounted knights in armour, preferably shining. That is how they were presented from the 12th century onwards, when armoured cavalry ruled the battlefield and acted as patrons of poets and chroniclers. But were there any in Britain ...

Victorian Piles

David Cannadine

18 March 1982
The Albert Memorial: The Monument in its Social and Architectural Context 
by Stephen Bayley.
Scholar Press, 160 pp., £18.50, September 1981, 0 85967 594 7
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Victorian and Edwardian Town Halls 
by Colin Cunningham.
Routledge, 315 pp., £25, July 1981, 9780710007230
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... The English were not very good at commemorating their great men during the first three-quarters of the 19th century. The competition to select designs for the Nelson memorial was not held until 1838, and another three decades elapsed before the Trafalgar ensemble was completed with the addition of Landseer’s lions ...
23 February 1995
Edward Gibbon: The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vols I-VI 
edited by David Womersley.
Allen Lane, 1114 pp., £75, November 1994, 0 7139 9124 0
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... be consulted and corrected by the historian of late Antiquity, who read him to see where he was right and where wrong. Bury therefore retained Gibbon’s footnotes, but reinforced them with notes of his own – provoking R.G. Collingwood, for whom Gibbon was himself a phenomenon of living history, to remark that this ...
25 January 2001
A Vision of the Middle East: An Intellectual Biography of Albert Hourani 
by Abdulaziz Al-Sudairi.
Tauris, 221 pp., £12.99, January 2000, 9781860645815
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... and write about the modern Middle East in this country were taught by Albert Hourani. He encouraged the historians he supervised to take an interest in developments in anthropology and sociology. More than anyone else, he was responsible for challenging the notion that the Ottoman period was a dark age of political and cultural stagnation for the ...

Builder of Ruins

Mary Beard: Arthur Evans

30 November 2000
Minotaur: Sir Arthur Evans and the Archaeology of the Minoan Myth 
by J.A. MacGillivray.
Cape, 313 pp., £20, August 2000, 0 224 04352 8
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... exposed to our consideration are earlier than the last twenty years, and it is impossible to disregard the suspicion that their painters have tempered their zeal for accurate reconstructions with a somewhat inappropriate predilection for covers of Vogue’. It seems to have been relatively easy for Waugh, visiting soon after the paintings’ restoration, to ...
17 July 1997
W.H. Auden: Prose 1926-38, Essays and Reviews and Travel Books in Prose and Verse 
edited by Edward Mendelson.
Faber, 836 pp., £40, March 1997, 0 571 17899 5
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... a note on Surrealism in New Verse – ‘My only knowledge of Surrealism is derived from Mr Gascoyne’s books, a few French writers like Breton and Aragon, some paintings of Dali, Ernst and others, and from the pages of the Minotaur’). The writing is slick and smooth, well-egged and oiled, with a tang and a hint ...

Sagest of Usurpers

Ian Gilmour: Cromwell since Cromwell

21 March 2002
Roundhead Reputations: The English Civil Wars and the Passions of Posterity 
by Blair Worden.
Allen Lane, 387 pp., £20, November 2001, 9780713996036
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... of the execution of Charles I, it was drawn on a sledge together with the corpses of two other regicides to Tyburn, where the three carcases were hung on the triple tree till sunset. They were then taken down, their heads cut off, their trunks thrown into a deep pit under the gallows, and their heads placed on poles and set on the top of Westminster ...

Works of Art

Peter Lamarque

2 April 1981
Art and Its Objects 
by Richard Wollheim.
Cambridge, 270 pp., £12.50, November 1980, 0 521 22898 0
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Works and Worlds of Art 
by Nicholas Wolterstorff.
Oxford, 372 pp., £20, December 1980, 0 19 824419 3
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... art are. Are they physical objects, ideas, universals, classes, or what? There is perhaps no better guide to the dauntingly complex issues involved in these questions than Richard Wollheim’s Art and Its Objects. First published over twelve years ago, this concise, elegant and wide-ranging book has established itself as an indispensable text for ...

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