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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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... at a new version of Thomas since the excellent Collected Poems 1934-53 by Walford Davies and Ralph Maud 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 all, up to the present year, that I wish to ...

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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... 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 seems, areas of impenetrable obscurity. ‘Of Tennyson’s ...

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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... 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 shared rooms; Jack, to ...

Human Origami

Adam Mars-Jones: Four-Dimensional Hinton, 4 March 2021

by Mark Blacklock.
Granta, 290 pp., £8.99, April, 978 1 78378 521 6
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... now teaching at the University of Minnesota and the couple spend a holiday in California, visiting Ralph Radcliffe Whitehead and his wife, Jane, wealthy idealists seeking to set up a utopian community. The dialogue here strikes a number of false notes, with ‘trial’ used as a verb (a piece of organisational jargon not cited by the OED before 1981) and an ...

The Importance of Aunts

Colm Tóibín, 17 March 2011

... 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 this one, rising, as might be, to take it. But she was stiff ...

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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... 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 relief, and be melodramatically visible. Posturing is needed to ...

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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... 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 conception, for the prize was to be a hero, a great ...

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