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9 September 1993
Entrepreneurial Politics in Mid-Victorian Britain 
by G.R. Searle.
Oxford, 346 pp., £40, March 1993, 0 19 820357 8
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... Negotiating the commercial treaty of 1860 with France, Richard Cobden, he later revealed, felt ‘humiliated’ by the contrast between the rational system of measurement in force across the Channel and the weird complication of its British counterpart. Metrication and decimalisation would not only smooth the conquering path of British commerce but contribute to the harmony of nations ...

Kinsfolk

D.A.N. Jones

12 July 1990
A Sort of Clowning: Life and Times, 1940-59 
by Richard Hoggart.
Chatto, 225 pp., £14.95, June 1990, 0 7011 3607 3
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Tilting at Don Quixote 
by Nicholas Wollaston.
Deutsch, 314 pp., £14.95, June 1990, 0 233 98551 4
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Finger Lickin’ Good: A Kentucky Childhood 
by Paul Levy.
Chatto, 202 pp., £13.95, May 1990, 0 7011 3521 2
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How Many Miles to Babylon? 
by Adewale Maja-Pearce.
Heinemann, 154 pp., £13.95, June 1990, 0 434 44172 4
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... of escape’ – escape from society. Finally (and to be taken foremost) is A Sort of Clowning by Richard Hoggart, perhaps the most usefully class-conscious English writer of our time. He created an accepted general idea of the British ‘working class’ in 1957, with The Uses of Literacy. He developed his concept, most recently, in his memoir, A Local ...

A Lethal Fall

Barbara Everett: Larkin and Chandler

11 May 2006
... retrospectively – to condition his or her subject’s story by reading in from the work itself. Richard Bradford’s recent life of Larkin, First Boredom, Then Fear, seems to illustrate the belief that the man who wrote ‘Mr Bleaney’ and ‘High Windows’ must have lived like Mr Bleaney but with higher windows: ...

Forty-Eighters

Peter Pulzer

4 September 1986
Little Germany: Exile and Asylum in Victorian England 
by Rosemary Ashton.
Oxford, 304 pp., £17.50, July 1986, 0 19 212239 8
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... little difficulty in integrating into their communities, especially outside London. In Manchester, Bradford, Glasgow and Belfast they left a considerable economic and cultural mark: they founded Goethe and Schiller societies, became magistrates and Lord Mayors and were the main force behind the formation of the Halle Orchestra. Charles Halle himself was a ...

Cityphobia

John Lanchester: The Crash

23 October 2008
... and wild-westish the process became, take a look at a book by a former Texas mortgage broker, Richard Bitner, called Confessions of a Sub-Prime Lender.† The invention which made it possible for the lending to become so reckless was securitisation: the process by which loans were added together and sold on to other institutions as packages of debt. This ...

The Man Who Never Glared

John Pemble: Disraeli

5 December 2013
Disraeli: or, The Two Lives 
by Douglas Hurd and Edward Young.
Orion, 320 pp., £20, July 2013, 978 0 297 86097 6
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The Great Rivalry: Gladstone and Disraeli 
by Dick Leonard.
I.B. Tauris, 226 pp., £22.50, June 2013, 978 1 84885 925 8
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Disraeli: The Romance of Politics 
by Robert O’Kell.
Toronto, 595 pp., £66.99, February 2013, 978 1 4426 4459 5
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... the two protagonists, but updating the story with the recent work of Colin Matthew, Roy Jenkins, Richard Shannon, John Vincent, Sarah Bradford and Stanley Weintraub. Essentially it’s dry-bones parliamentary history – elections, cabinets, reshuffles, bills, budgets, divisions, dissolutions – and its verdict on the ...

Pop your own abscess

Rory Scothorne: Definitions of Poverty

22 February 2018
The New Poverty 
by Stephen Armstrong.
Verso, 242 pp., £12.99, October 2017, 978 1 78663 463 4
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Poverty Safari 
by Darren McGarvey.
Luath, 244 pp., £7.99, November 2017, 978 1 912147 03 8
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... practice and she couldn’t afford private care or the journey to the nearest emergency clinic in Bradford. A week later, in ‘indescribable’ pain, she went to the Real Tooth Project, a ‘pay as you feel’ dental clinic that had been set up in Dewsbury with the support of DentAid, an international NGO. DentAid’s UK operations began in 2015, providing a ...
1 August 1985
Diplomacy and Intelligence during the Second World War: Essays in Honour of F.H. Hinsley 
edited by Richard Langhorne.
Cambridge, 329 pp., £27.50, May 1985, 0 521 26840 0
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British Intelligence and the Second World War. Vol. I: 1939-Summer 1941, Vol. II: Mid-1941-Mid-1943, Vol. III, Part I: June 1943-June 1944 
by F.H. Hinsley, E.E. Thomas, C.F.G. Ransom and R.C. Knight.
HMSO, 616 pp., £12.95, September 1979, 0 11 630933 4
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... CIA was a Soviet spy. After such sleuthing it is a relief to find in this book of essays edited by Richard Langhorne an article on the Cambridge spies by a don, and it is by far the most sensible account so far written. It is the best because Christopher Andrew is a historian at Corpus Christi, Cambridge who has become the leading authority on the Intelligence ...
20 August 1998
... all too close who also stages something in the nature of a magical disappearing act. Here is Richard Gere interviewed – although that is not quite the right word – by Cameron Docherty in the Independent last June: He is as elusive as smoke. Restless and edgy, he paces around the marble floor of his Malibu home wondering why people are always curious ...

Who will stop them?

Owen Hatherley: The Neo-Elite

22 October 2014
The Establishment and How They Get Away with It 
by Owen Jones.
Allen Lane, 335 pp., £16.99, September 2014, 978 1 84614 719 7
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... the centre-right think tank Policy Exchange, in a report suggesting that Liverpool, Sunderland and Bradford were ‘beyond revival’ and that their residents should be moved south. Jones was absolutely right: the targets are well chosen, the cause is just, the point is made. But again the nagging voice asks whether something isn’t being left out. For ...

The Politics of Translation

Marina Warner: Translate this!

11 October 2018
This Little Art 
by Kate Briggs.
Fitzcarraldo, 365 pp., £12.99, September 2017, 978 1 910695 45 6
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Translation as Transhumance 
by Mireille Gansel, translated by Ros Schwartz.
Les Fugitives, 150 pp., £10, November 2017, 978 0 9930093 3 4
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Sympathy for the Traitor: A Translation Manifesto 
by Mark Polizzotti.
MIT, 168 pp., £17.99, May 2018, 978 0 262 03799 0
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The 100 Best Novels in Translation 
by Boyd Tonkin.
Galileo, 304 pp., £14.99, June 2018, 978 1 903385 67 8
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The Work of Literary Translation 
by Clive Scott.
Cambridge, 285 pp., £75, June 2018, 978 1 108 42682 4
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... text. The Tate, which owns a set of the prints, says that Hockney found a copy of the poems in Bradford public library in 1960, but it doesn’t say who the translator was. Many contenders have tried to render Cavafy, but the edition Hockney came across must be John Mavrogordato’s, published by the Hogarth Press in 1951 (Rex Warner wrote the ...

From the Motorcoach

Stefan Collini: J.B. Priestley

19 November 2009
English Journey 
by J.B. Priestley.
Great Northern Books, 351 pp., £25, July 2009, 978 1 905080 47 2
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... and its author, and perhaps about the genre as a whole, turns out to be more complicated. Born in Bradford in 1894, Priestley, after extensive service in the First World War and three years at Cambridge, had embarked in the early 1920s on the precarious career of a man of letters, turning his hand to criticism, essays and novels, all written in haste, none ...

Let’s call it failure

John Lanchester: The Shit We’re In

3 January 2013
... accounting to do with the transfer of Royal Mail pension liabilities, state ownership of the Bradford and Bingley building society, and interest credit from the Bank of England’s quantitative easing scheme.1 All the tweaky accounting is in the government’s favour, obviously. (The Royal Mail transfer is a particular goody: the pension fund’s £28 ...

Deeper Shallows

Stefan Collini: C.S. Lewis

20 June 2013
C.S. Lewis: A Life 
by Alister McGrath.
Hodder, 431 pp., £20, April 2013, 978 1 4447 4552 8
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... famous episode of Lewis’s life, especially as represented, and perhaps somewhat travestied, in Richard Attenborough’s 1993 film Shadowlands. In 1952 Lewis met and developed some form of relationship with (was single-mindedly pursued by?) a noisy, unhappily married, not very successful, American freelance writer 16 years younger than he was. In 1955 Joy ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: What I did in 2016

5 January 2017
... I suppose because the rasping quality in his voice echoed Auden’s harsh tones. However, because Richard Griffiths was available and indeed anxious to play the part, the role went to him. Emergency casting sessions such as the one Gambon knew we were holding are always mildly hysterical and often very funny as assorted names (often wildly unsuitable) are put ...

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