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The Sword is Our Pope

Alexander Murray: Religion in Europe

15 October 1998
The Conversion of Europe: From Paganism to Christianity, 371-1386 AD 
by Richard Fletcher.
HarperCollins, 562 pp., £25, September 1997, 0 00 255203 5
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... is this ensemble, stretching across a millennium and round thousands of miles of coastline, that Richard Fletcher has taken as his subject in The Conversion of Europe. What concerns him is not the conversion of this or that people but all medieval conversions (including conversions between Christianity and its two rival monotheisms, Judaism and ...

Go to the Devil

David Carpenter: Richard II

22 July 2010
Richard II: Manhood, Youth and Politics, 1377-99 
by Christopher Fletcher.
Oxford, 336 pp., £24.95, August 2010, 978 0 19 959571 6
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... By far the most striking image of Richard II is the one found in the great portrait of him, crowned and enthroned, which still survives in Westminster Abbey. Painted in the 1390s, when the king was in his twenties, it gives him a slightly boyish, even feminine appearance, with red cheeks, full lips and a small goatee beard ...

ODQ

Richard Usborne

24 January 1980
The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations 
Oxford, 908 pp., £12.50, November 1980, 9780192115607Show More
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... totally new felicities as well as confirming old ones. But let us raise the hat again to Charles Fletcher who, the 1953 Preface tells us, supplied the first, 1941, book with all its selections from Shakespeare, Milton, Pope, Tennyson and Dryden. Of course the quarter-century gap between the second and third editions has brought in new names. Four hundred and ...

Best Known for His Guzzleosity

Helen Hackett: Shakespeare’s Authors

11 March 2010
Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare? 
by James Shapiro.
Faber, 367 pp., £20, April 2010, 978 0 571 23576 6
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... assumptions that Shakespeare’s world was much like our own, Shapiro quotes the sonneteer Giles Fletcher, who wrote in 1593 that ‘A man may write of love, and not be in love, as well as of husbandry, and not go to the plough, or of witches and be none.’ ‘If Giles Fletcher could compose sonnets to “try” his ...

In Myrtle Bowers

Blair Worden: Cavaliers

30 June 2011
Reprobates: The Cavaliers of the English Civil War 
by John Stubbs.
Viking, 549 pp., £25, February 2011, 978 0 670 91753 2
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... poets: Robert Herrick, who advised us to gather ye rosebuds while we may, and Richard Lovelace, the stone walls of whose incarceration by Parliament did not a prison make. But what is Stubbs’s account of Milton, the spokesman for regicide, doing in the book? Why do we tour the agonised mind of the Scottish Calvinist Sir Archibald ...

Will to Literature

David Trotter: Modernism plc

13 May 1999
Institutions of Modernism: Literary Elites and Public Culture 
by Lawrence Rainey.
Yale, 227 pp., £16.95, January 1999, 0 300 07050 0
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Modernism, Technology and the Body: A Cultural Study 
by Tim Armstrong.
Cambridge, 309 pp., £14.95, March 1998, 0 521 59997 0
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Body Ascendant: Modernism and the Physical Imperative 
by Harold Segel.
Johns Hopkins, 282 pp., £30, September 1998, 0 8018 5821 6
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Solid Objects: Modernism and the Test of Production 
by Douglas Mao.
Princeton, 308 pp., £32.50, November 1998, 0 691 05926 8
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... will to literature received its fullest critical acknowledgment in the period between Richard Ellmann’s 1959 biography of Joyce and Hugh Kenner’s The Pound Era (1971). Kenner’s book, based in part on interviews with Pound, presents itself as a parting glimpse of an age of demi-gods. It marvellously exhibits, by a vivid survey of ...
18 December 1980
Puritanism and Theatre 
by Margot Heinemann.
Cambridge, 300 pp., £12.50, March 1980, 0 521 22602 3
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John Webster: Citizen and Dramatist 
by M.C. Bradbrook.
Weidenfeld, 205 pp., £10, October 1980, 0 297 77813 7
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... possess a kind of social realism absent from the work of Webster, Ford, Massinger, or Beaumont and Fletcher. In their treatment of social mobility and ambition, women and marriage, and in their ethical and religious overtones, they reflect the values of the City and Country as opposed to the Court party. Puritanism and Theatre has been published as a volume in ...

Little Philadelphias

Ange Mlinko: Imagism

25 March 2010
The Verse Revolutionaries: Ezra Pound, H.D. and the Imagists 
by Helen Carr.
Cape, 982 pp., £30, May 2009, 978 0 224 04030 3
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... and drew support from the other players in this drama: the Imagists – H.D. (Hilda Doolittle), Richard Aldington, T.E. Hulme, F.S. Flint, John Gould Fletcher, Amy Lowell – as well as scores more who had a stake in the continuing vitality of literature, including Yeats, Lawrence, Ford Madox Ford, Wyndham Lewis and Henri ...

Money Man

Michael Neill: Shakespeare in Company

6 February 2014
Shakespeare in Company 
by Bart van Es.
Oxford, 357 pp., £25, February 2013, 978 0 19 956931 1
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... replica was christened ‘Shakespeare’s Globe’. The possessive might have surprised Richard and Cuthbert Burbage, who between them owned half the Globe, whereas Shakespeare’s portion amounted to a tenth; but that stake was enough to make him a member of the ‘housekeepers’ whose investments set them apart from the mere ‘sharers’ in the ...

Bereft and Beruffed

Michael Dobson: Shakespeare’s Last Plays

6 June 2019
Shakespeare’s Lyric Stage: Myth, Music and Poetry in the Last Plays 
by Seth Lerer.
Chicago, 276 pp., £20.50, November 2018, 978 0 226 58254 2
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... 20-year-old actor Gabriel Spencer instead of being killed by him), but Thomas Middleton and John Fletcher both died in their mid-forties, Francis Beaumont at thirty, while Henry Porter (whose Two Angry Women of Abingdon influenced The Merry Wives of Windsor) may have been still younger when he was killed in a duel by John Day, another playwright, in ...

Matters of Taste

Peter Graham

4 December 1986
On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen 
by Harold McGee.
Allen and Unwin, 684 pp., £20, September 1986, 9780043060032
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The French Menu Cookbook 
by Richard Olney.
Dorling Kindersley, 294 pp., £12.95, September 1986, 0 86318 181 3
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Out to Lunch 
by Paul Levy.
Chatto, 240 pp., £10.95, November 1986, 0 7011 3091 1
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The Good Food Guide 1987 
edited by Drew Smith.
Consumers’ Association/Hodder, 725 pp., £9.95, November 1986, 0 340 39600 8
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... urged a diet containing three pounds of meat a day), masticatory (retired businessman Horace Fletcher recommended 50 chews per mouthful of food and set a fashion for ‘munching parties’), or horticultural (a Twenties book on the supposed virtues of yoghurt was called Intestinal Gardening for the Prolongation of Youth). In the same humorous vein, which ...

A Plumless Pudding

John Sutherland: The Great John Murray Archive Disaster

18 March 2004
... its bibliophile vice-president, Gordon Ray) acquired the literary correspondence of the publisher Richard Bentley and Sons, principal purveyor of the three-decker novel to the Victorian reading public. At the same time, the British Library (with financial assistance from the Friends of National Libraries) took possession of most of Bentley’s ledgers and ...
4 April 1996
The Messiaen Companion 
edited by Peter Hill.
Faber, 581 pp., £40, March 1995, 0 571 17033 1
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Olivier Messiaen: Music and Colour. Conversations with Claude Samuel 
translated by Thomas Glasow.
Amadeus, 296 pp., $29.95, May 1994, 0 931340 67 5
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... performed Eclairs sur l’ audelá. The most interesting of the single-work chapters is by Richard Steinitz on Des canyons aux étoiles, possibly because the author’s enthusiasm is tempered by doubts about the work’s total impact. ‘One has to accept,’ Steinitz says, ‘that the nature of his faith reduces the possibilities of dramatic ...

Physicke from Another Body

Michael Neill: Cannibal Tinctures

1 December 2011
Medicinal Cannibalism in Early Modern English Literature and Culture 
by Louise Noble.
Palgrave Macmillan, 241 pp., £52, March 2011, 978 0 230 11027 4
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Mummies, Cannibals and Vampires: The History of Corpse Medicine from the Renaissance to the Victorians 
by Richard Sugg.
Routledge, 374 pp., £24.99, June 2011, 978 0 415 67417 1
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... is to the investigation of such demonic remedies that the groundbreaking work of Louise Noble and Richard Sugg is devoted. The belief that a wide range of maladies could be cured by the consumption of human remains – principally in the form of so-called ‘mummy’ – persisted in Europe for at least six centuries. Although the administration of such ...

Thank God for Traitors

Bernard Porter: GCHQ

18 November 2010
GCHQ: The Uncensored Story of Britain’s Most Secret Intelligence Agency 
by Richard Aldrich.
Harper, 666 pp., £30, June 2010, 978 0 00 727847 3
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... to read and hear almost every message that passes between us. In his new history of GCHQ Richard Aldrich claims that this surveillance capability constitutes potentially ‘the most insidious threat to personal liberty’ we face today. Bentham’s panopticon was a fiction. The Victorians who came after him would never have permitted anything like ...

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