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False Brought up of Nought

Thomas Penn: Henry VII’s Men on the Make, 26 July 2017

Henry VII’s New Men and the Making of Tudor England 
by Steven Gunn.
Oxford, 393 pp., £60, August 2016, 978 0 19 965983 8
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... Henry VII, the first Tudor king, had died aged 52, in his privy chamber at Richmond Palace. But Richard Empson and Edmund Dudley, though rarely straying from the king’s side in his last disease-ridden and paranoid years, had been away from court and nobody had bothered to tell them. More than that: a faction of the late king’s advisers had decided to ...

Oppressors

V.G. Kiernan, 18 September 1986

What’s happening to India: Punjab, Ethnic Conflict, Mrs Gandhi’s Death and the Test for Federalism 
by Robin Jeffrey.
Macmillan, 249 pp., £25, June 1986, 0 333 40440 8
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Lions of the Punjab: Culture in the Making 
by Richard Fox.
California, 259 pp., £25.50, January 1986, 0 520 05491 1
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... in India in the next twenty years will take place from the bottom up.’ Professor Fox is an anthropologist, well-known in the field of northern Indian studies. His book, equally stimulating in a different way, is not directly concerned with the Punjab crisis, but provides a background that helps to explain it: the two works thus complement ...
Goldenballs 
by Richard Ingrams.
Private Eye/Deutsch, 144 pp., £4.25
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... Sir James’s elevation and his year-long battle to punish Private Eye and jail its editor, Richard Ingrams – an effort which was supported by Wilson and Lady Falkender, both victims of Ingrams’s harassment, and which petered out in a relatively painless settlement in 1976? Ingrams’s theory is that there was such a connection. Goldsmith is no ...

Short Cuts

Tom Crewe: The State of Statuary, 20 September 2017

... Most days​ I eat my lunch sitting under the statue of Charles James Fox in Bloomsbury Square. There are broad steps on each side of the statue, their Portland stone now stained an aqueous green, and I like to sit beneath and between Fox’s feet, looking, with him, down Bedford Place and towards Russell Square ...

Jousting for Peace

Thomas Penn: Henry VIII meets Francis I, 16 July 2014

The Field of Cloth of Gold 
by Glenn Richardson.
Yale, 288 pp., £35, November 2013, 978 0 300 14886 2
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... briefly, Christendom’s centre of gravity lay not in Rome but in London. As Wolsey’s mentor, Richard Fox, acknowledged, the Universal Treaty of London was ‘the best deed that was ever done for the realm of England’. But early the following year, the Treaty came under threat. In January 1519, one of its key signatories, the Holy Roman Emperor ...

Tolerant Repression

Blair Worden, 10 May 1990

Thomas Starkey and the Commonweal 
by Tom Mayer.
Cambridge, 326 pp., £32.50, April 1989, 0 521 36104 4
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Politics and Literature in the Reigns of Henry VII and Henry VIII 
by Alistair Fox.
Blackwell, 317 pp., £35, September 1989, 0 631 13566 9
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The Rise and Fall of Anne Boleyn: Family Portraits at the Court of Henry VIII 
by Retha Warnicke.
Cambridge, 326 pp., £14.95, November 1989, 0 521 37000 0
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English Travellers Abroad 1604-1667 
by John Stoye.
Yale, 448 pp., £12.95, January 1990, 0 300 04180 2
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... it is likely to gather strength from the important books in which Thomas Mayer and Alistair Fox examine the literature and politics of early Tudor England, especially of the reign of Henry VIII. Mayer’s concern is the literature of political theory. His study examines the ideas of Thomas Starkey, the friend of Cardinal Pole and adviser of Thomas ...

The King and I

Alan Bennett, 30 January 1992

... autumn I bought, at Deighton Bell in Trinity Street, a copy of George III and the Politicians by Richard Pares, a book I have still, my name written in it by a friend, as I disliked my handwriting then as I do now. It was a detailed, allusive book, demanding a more thorough knowledge of 18th-century politics than a schoolboy could be expected to have, but I ...

Anthropology as it should be

Robin Fox: Colin Turnbull, 9 August 2001

In the Arms of Africa: The Life of Colin Turnbull 
by Roy Richard Grinker.
St Martin’s, 354 pp., £19.75, August 2000, 0 312 22946 1
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... to Joe’s. Someone must already be writing the screenplay, which would have to be based on Roy Richard Grinker’s comprehensive and moving account. Colin’s heroic and passionate efforts to help death-row inmates, and to campaign against capital punishment in the US in the face of its crushing popularity, mark him out as a humanitarian. But it is the ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Buffy!, 7 March 2002

... 4. (It should not go unremarked that Buffy and The Simpsons are both owned by Twentieth Century Fox; Fox, like Sky, is a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. Channel 4 is said to have paid £15 million per series – £700,000 per episode – in the Simpsons deal. Murdoch’s British enterprises continue to enjoy ...

Dirty Linen

Lorna Scott Fox, 6 April 1995

Days of Obligation: An Argument with My Mexican Father 
by Richard Rodriguez.
Penguin, 230 pp., £6.99, November 1994, 0 14 009622 1
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... At the end of Hunger of Memory, Richard Rodriguez’s 1982 account of becoming an American, he tells how his mother came across one of his articles and was moved to write to him. Her letter begins tenderly, urging Rodriguez not to blame himself, as he appears to do, for giving up Mexican culture in order to ‘make it ...

The devil has two horns

J.G.A. Pocock, 24 February 1994

The Great Melody: A Thematic Biography and Commented Anthology of Edmund Burke 
by Conor Cruise O’Brien.
Minerva, 692 pp., £8.99, September 1993, 0 7493 9721 7
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... There is a case for thinking that the crucial conversion was that of Edmund Burke’s father Richard, and that Burke grew up knowing that his father had publicly renounced as an ignoble superstition the Catholic religion which Edmund’s Nagle mother, and later his Nugent wife, continued to practise. O’Brien eloquently and convincingly argues that ...

Superpriest

Denton Fox, 21 January 1988

Robert Grosseteste: The Growth of an English Mind in Medieval Europe 
by R.W. Southern.
Oxford, 337 pp., £30, July 1986, 9780198264507
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Politics, Policy and Finance under Henry III, 1216-1245 
by Robert Stacey.
Oxford, 284 pp., £27.50, July 1987, 0 19 820086 2
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... some people above him, and superior to him, and others below, and inferior. The story is told that Richard of Clare, Earl of Hertford and Gloucester, asked Grosseteste how he, a man of humble birth, could have such courtesy. Grosseteste acknowledged that his parents were humble, but said that he had lived his life among really great men – the men in the ...

Schadenfreude with Bite

Richard Seymour: Trolling, 15 December 2016

This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things: Mapping the Relationship between Online Trolling and Mainstream Culture 
by Whitney Phillips.
MIT, 256 pp., £10, September 2016, 978 0 262 52987 7
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Gendertrolling: How Misogyny Went Viral 
by Karla Mantilla.
Praeger, 280 pp., £32, August 2015, 978 1 4408 3317 5
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Bad Clowns 
by Benjamin Radford.
New Mexico, 188 pp., £12, February 2016, 978 0 8263 5666 6
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Trolls: An Unnatural History 
by John Lindow.
Reaktion, 60 pp., £9.99, August 2015, 978 1 78023 565 3
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... gain most from the demolition of the truth. Phillips describes the symbiotic relationship between Fox News and internet trolls: Fox stokes the moral panic while at the same time supplying the cultural agar on which the trolls thrive. The radical right has always been acutely sensitive to the conative part of ...

Midwinter

J.B. Trapp, 17 November 1983

Thomas More: History and Providence 
by Alistair Fox.
Blackwell, 271 pp., £19.50, September 1982, 0 631 13094 2
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The Statesman and the Fanatic: Thomas Wolsey and Thomas More 
by Jasper Ridley.
Constable, 338 pp., £12.50, October 1982, 9780094634701
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English Reformation Literature: The Tudor Origins of the Protestant Tradition 
by John King.
Princeton, 539 pp., £30.70, December 1982, 0 691 06502 0
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Seven-Headed Luther: Essays in Commemoration of a Quincentenary, 1483-1983 
edited by Peter Newman Brooks.
Oxford, 325 pp., £22.50, July 1983, 0 19 826648 0
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The Complete Works of St Thomas More. Vol. VI: A Dialogue concerning Heresies. Part 1: The Text, Part 2: Introduction, Commentary, Appendices, Glossary, Index 
edited by T.M.C. Lawler, Germain Marc’hadour and Richard Marius.
Yale, 435 pp., £76, November 1981, 0 300 02211 5
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... the time that Erasmus was writing, he had already put into words the Tudor image of a villainous Richard III. Though this was not printed either in English or in Latin until after his death, the work may once have been intended as an aid to the consolidation of the dynasty into whose service he had entered. Here was one kind of political activity, besides ...

Oxford University’s Long Haul

Sheldon Rothblatt, 21 January 1988

The History of the University of Oxford. Vol. I: The Early Oxford Schools 
edited by J.I. Catto.
Oxford, 684 pp., £55, June 1984, 0 19 951011 3
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The History of the University of Oxford. Vol. III: The Collegiate University 
edited by James McConia.
Oxford, 775 pp., £60, July 1986, 9780199510139
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The History of the University of Oxford. Vol. V: The 18th Century 
edited by L.S. Sutherland and L.G. Mitchell.
Oxford, 949 pp., £75, July 1986, 0 19 951011 3
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Learning and a Liberal Education: The Study of History in the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge and Manchester, 1880-1914 
by Peter Slee.
Manchester, 181 pp., £25, November 1986, 9780719018961
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... subject to delays. The obscure origins of the University are carefully reconstructed. In Sir Richard Southern’s distinction, Oxford was not ‘created’ – it ‘emerged’. The contributors explain the significance of its geographical location and its importance as a centre of legal activity. They discuss how it separated from the town and the ...

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