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Good Things

Michael Hofmann, 20 April 1995

Heart’s Journey in Winter 
by James Buchan.
Harvill, 201 pp., £14.99, April 1995, 9780002730099
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... damp and dilapidated house in Italy with dodgy investments and asset sales, in Davy Chadwick; Richard Verey in Slide, after spells in the Foreign Service and on Wall Street, effectively on the run from himself, finally forced back to what he knows best of all after running out of world: ‘I might not be here, in this ridiculous landscape, hurrying down ...

Jabs

Richard Horton, 8 October 1992

Edward Jenner 1749-1823 
by Richard Fisher.
Deutsch, 361 pp., £20, July 1991, 0 233 98681 2
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... of studies – 105 secondary sources are listed in the latest account – that already exist. Richard Fisher, a Yale history graduate, is a ‘full-time writer’ who has ‘found time to take an MSc in brain sciences’, and he has turned Jenner’s life into a hagiographic fairy-tale. Until now, his efforts have largely been directed towards a ...

Blow-Up

Richard Fortey, 2 October 1997

Volcanoes: Crucibles of Change 
by Richard Fisher, Grant Heiken and Jeffrey Hulen.
Princeton, 344 pp., £25, July 1997, 9780691012131
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... devastated the town of St Pierre in Martinique during the eruption of Mont Pelé on 8 May 1902. Fisher and Co show photographs of an archetypal French provincial street, one of a thousand rues Victor Hugo, obliterated by the disaster. Hiroshima is the nearest we surfacedwellers have yet come to duplicating the destruction wrought by magma. Even so, we have ...

New Mortality

Iain McGilchrist, 7 June 1984

The AIDS Epidemic 
edited by Kevin Cahill.
Hutchinson, 175 pp., £3.95, January 1984, 0 09 154921 3
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AIDS: Your Questions Answered 
by Richard Fisher.
Gay Men’s Press, 126 pp., £1.95, April 1984, 0 907040 29 2
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Fighting for Our Lives 
by Kit Mouat.
Heretic Books, 160 pp., £2.50, April 1984, 0 946097 14 3
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... may not lead to restraint: on the contrary, some AIDS patients, according to Richard Fisher, have described becoming reckless, through despair and a sense that there was now little to lose. ‘They throw themselves into sex,’ as he puts it, ‘in every bar, bath and cottage.’ The role of these bath-houses has been crucial in the ...

On Roy Fisher

August Kleinzahler, 29 June 2017

... It’s always​ Roy Fisher who comes to mind when I consider the phenomenon of those who come to know a place, especially a city, through literature, photography, painting, film or music, or all of the above, and then collide with the fact of the place in real time. I wonder, then, whether the idea of the place, the imaginative site, is displaced by the so-called reality of buildings, cars, sidewalks, pedestrians, the particular light, or if the buildings, pedestrians and so on are made to accommodate the contours of the already present idea of the place ...

Not No Longer but Not Yet

Jenny Turner: Mark Fisher’s Ghosts, 9 May 2019

k-punk: The Collected and Unpublished Writings of Mark Fisher 
edited by Darren Ambrose.
Repeater, 817 pp., £25, November 2018, 978 1 912248 28 5
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... Mark Fisher​ killed himself on 13 January 2017, at the house in Felixstowe he shared with his wife and young son. His mental health had been deteriorating, according to the Ipswich Star’s report of the inquest, since the previous May. His wife, Zoe, told the inquest that they had been seeking help for him, but the local NHS trust hadn’t been able to offer anything beyond a telephone chat with a GP ...

Awfully Present

Thomas Jones: The Tambora Eruption, 5 February 2015

Tambora: The Eruption that Changed the World 
by Gillen D’Arcy Wood.
Princeton, 293 pp., £19.95, April 2014, 978 0 691 15054 3
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... could be dismissed as not especially consequential. In Volcanoes: Crucibles of Change (1997), Richard Fisher, Grant Heiken and Jeffrey Hulen devote only half a sentence to it: ‘The dust cloud … lasted less than two years, and its effects upon the environment, though harmful to people, were short-lived.’ But Wood, who intends no hyperbole in his ...
Still the New World: American Literature in a Culture of Creative Destruction 
by Philip Fisher.
Harvard, 290 pp., £18.50, May 1999, 0 674 83859 9
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... by special studies of anonymous or bestselling authors now suitable for academic recovery, Philip Fisher’s Still the New World marks a return in some ways to an older and less suspicious idea of ‘classic American literature’. Fisher is a critic who has written extensively on realist prose and painting, and his ...

What kept Hector and Andromache warm in windy Troy?

David Simpson: ‘Vehement Passions’, 19 June 2003

The Vehement Passions 
by Philip Fisher.
Princeton, 268 pp., £18.95, May 2002, 0 691 06996 4
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... have now come to an end, wrecked or perhaps just beached on the shores of the Postmodern. Philip Fisher’s new book, however, makes a daring case for the continued relevance of pre-Christian ideas about the passions. His argument is that we underestimate the positive potential of the ‘vehement passions’, long understood only as forces that must be ...

Protestant Country

George Bernard, 14 June 1990

Humanism, Reform and the Reformation: The Career of Bishop John Fisher 
edited by Brendan Bradshaw and Eamon Duffy.
Cambridge, 260 pp., £27.50, January 1989, 0 521 34034 9
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The Blind Devotion of the People: Popular Religion and the English Reformation 
by Robert Whiting.
Cambridge, 302 pp., £30, July 1989, 0 521 35606 7
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The Reformation of Cathedrals: Cathedrals in English Society, 1485-1603 
by Stanford Lehmberg.
Princeton, 319 pp., £37.30, March 1989, 0 691 05539 4
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Bonfires and Bells: National Memory and the Protestant Calendar in Elizabethan and Stuart England 
by David Cressy.
Weidenfeld, 271 pp., £25, October 1989, 0 297 79343 8
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The Birthpangs of Protestant England: Religious and Cultural Change in the 16th and 17th Centuries 
by Patrick Collinson.
Macmillan, 188 pp., £29.50, February 1989, 0 333 43971 6
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Life’s Preservative against Self-Killing 
by John Sym, edited by Michael MacDonald.
Routledge, 342 pp., £29.95, February 1989, 0 415 00639 2
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Perfection Proclaimed: Language and Literature in English Radical Religion 1640-1660 
by Nigel Smith.
Oxford, 396 pp., £40, February 1989, 0 19 812879 7
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... break with Rome. Only one did so outspokenly – and he was rewarded by a martyr’s death. John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, was executed in June 1535 for refusing (like Thomas More) to take the oath of succession. He was prepared to swear to the succession itself, which he believed that King and nobles were entitled to change, but was unwilling to swear to ...

Always the Same Dream

Ferdinand Mount: Princess Margaret, 4 January 2018

Ma’am Darling: 99 Glimpses of Princess Margaret 
by Craig Brown.
Fourth Estate, 423 pp., £16.99, September 2017, 978 0 00 820361 0
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... that frightfully dreary thing in the East End?’ At the end of Carousel at the National Theatre, Richard Eyre escorts her to the door: ‘I’m glad you enjoyed the show.’ ‘I didn’t, I can’t bear the piece.’ She was just as rude and inconsiderate in private, late to arrive and even later to leave which meant that nobody else could leave ...

With Constantinople as Its Objective

Richard Prior and Trevor Wilson: Lord Kitchener and Winston Churchill, 14 January 2002

Lord Kitchener and Winston Churchill: The Dardanelles Commission Part I, 1914-15 
Stationery Office, 218 pp., £6.99, April 2000, 0 11 702423 6Show More
Defeat at Gallipoli: The Dardanelles Commission Part II, 1915-16 
Stationery Office, 319 pp., £6.99, September 2000, 0 11 702455 4Show More
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... held by some naval experts about the ‘ships alone’ operation. And it rebuked Admiral Fisher, the First Sea Lord, for remaining silent at the Council despite his misgivings over Churchill’s proposal. (What the Commission perhaps failed to divine was that Fisher’s views were so changeable that he was unlikely ...

Serial Evangelists

Peter Clarke, 23 June 1994

Thinking the Unthinkable: Think-Tanks and the Economic Counter-Revolution, 1931-83 
by Richard Cockett.
HarperCollins, 390 pp., £25, May 1994, 0 00 223672 9
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... from the passage above; but Keynes had ‘never said a truer thing’. Here is the theme of Richard Cockett’s study, Thinking the Unthinkable, which has seized on a superb subject. Using archival and oral sources to supplement the published record, it traces the activities of a number of intellectual pressure groups, or think-tanks, in ...

Malice! Malice!

Stephen Sedley: Thomas More’s Trial, 5 April 2012

Thomas More’s Trial by Jury 
edited by Henry Ansgar Kelly, Louis Karlin and Gerard Wegemer.
Boydell, 240 pp., £55, September 2011, 978 1 84383 629 2
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... of the act. Much of the rest of the indictment was taken up with More’s correspondence with John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, also in the Tower awaiting trial and execution; but the letters had been burned and interrogation of More, Fisher and the Tower staff yielded little about their contents. The indictment ...

Making Do and Mending

Rosemary Hill: Penelope Fitzgerald’s Letters, 25 September 2008

So I Have Thought of You: The Letters of Penelope Fitzgerald 
edited by Terence Dooley.
Fourth Estate, 532 pp., £25, August 2008, 978 0 00 713640 7
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... to send her any books she wanted, for a copy of Wild America by Roger Tory Peterson and James Fisher. An account of a 30,000-mile journey around the continent by two naturalists, it was originally published in 1955 and was being reissued in memory of Peterson, who had recently died. Fitzgerald wanted it, however, for the sake of his co-author, who had ...

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