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Seamus Perry: Dylan Thomas’s Moment

20 November 2014
The Collected Poems of Dylan Thomas: The New Centenary Edition 
edited by John Goodby.
Weidenfeld, 416 pp., £20, October 2014, 978 0 297 86569 8
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Under Milk Wood: The Definitive Edition 
edited by Walford Davies and Ralph Maud.
Phoenix, 208 pp., £7.99, May 2014, 978 1 78022 724 5
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Collected Stories 
by Dylan Thomas.
Phoenix, 384 pp., £8.99, May 2014, 978 1 78022 730 6
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A Dylan Thomas Treasury: Poems, Stories and Broadcasts 
Phoenix, 186 pp., £7.99, May 2014, 978 1 78022 726 9Show More
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... all rocks.’ There are countless others. The​  New Centenary Edition is the first full-dress attempt at a new version of Thomas since the excellent Collected Poems 1934-53 by Walford Davies and RalphMaud in 1988. That edition was based on the canon of works Thomas established in the Collected Poems 1934-52, which gathered, as he said in a prefatory note, ‘most of the poems I have written, and ...

Death for Elsie

Christopher Ricks

7 August 1986
Found in the Street 
by Patricia Highsmith.
Heinemann, 277 pp., £9.95, April 1986, 9780434335244
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Private Papers 
by Margaret Forster.
Chatto, 214 pp., £8.95, February 1986, 0 7011 2987 5
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... is not bent upon the wallet found in the street but upon the person found there in the opening sentences: Elsie Tyler, who is alive, naive, confident of body, staunch of nature, and educable of mind. Ralph Linderman, who found the wallet, and Jack Sutherland, who lost it, vie for her, though neither as a lover exactly: Ralph, to set her apart from the city predators, there in her coffee-bar and in her ...

Ripping Yarns

John Sutherland

8 April 1993
by Michael Thorn.
Little, Brown, 566 pp., £18.99, October 1992, 0 316 90299 3
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by Peter Levi.
Macmillan, 370 pp., £20, March 1993, 0 333 52205 2
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... invariably he shook such megrims off and his characteristic ‘Johnsonian common sense’ broke through. Reading the Memoir gives tantalisingly little enlightenment as to how such tortured works as Maud or In Memoriam came to be. But Hallam Tennyson is the source for almost all the illustrative anecdotes and biographical narrative which subsequent writers are obliged to use. There will always be, it ...
17 March 2011
... as much as a vulnerable condition. There is another moment of transformation in the book, when figures who played one role move into another. It is in the very last chapter, after the death of Ralph Touchett, when Isabel embraces her aunt: She went to her aunt and put her arm around her; and Mrs Touchett, who as a general thing neither invited nor enjoyed caresses, submitted for a moment to ...

Such a Husband

John Bayley

4 September 1997
Selected Letters of George Meredith 
edited by Mohammad Shaheen.
Macmillan, 312 pp., £47.50, April 1997, 0 333 56349 2
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... within. The interesting thing about this famous climax in Meredith’s most notable poem is that it is not only in deadly earnest but soberly true. Compared, say, to the hero of Tennyson’s ‘Maud’, Meredith’s spokesman is fully aware not only of the complexity of his amatory situation but of his absolute need to rhetoricise it, in order to make the complexity itself stand out in bold ...

Adrenaline Junkie

Jonathan Parry: John Tyndall’s Ascent

21 March 2019
The Ascent of John Tyndall: Victorian Scientist, Mountaineer and Public Intellectual 
by Roland Jackson.
Oxford, 556 pp., £25, March 2018, 978 0 19 878895 9
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... order was therefore an individual and a societal imperative. Tyndall’s main inspiration was Thomas Carlyle, along with transcendental idealist philosophers such as Johann Gottlieb Fichte and Ralph Waldo Emerson. (Carlyle was Tyndall’s supporter at his wedding in 1876, Tyndall a pallbearer at Carlyle’s funeral in 1881.) To labour towards higher knowledge wasn’t exactly self-denial in this ...

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