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Smuggled in a Warming Pan

Stephen Sedley: The Glorious Revolution, 24 September 2015

The Glorious Revolution and the Continuity of Law 
by Richard Kay.
Catholic University of America, 277 pp., £45, December 2014, 978 0 8132 2687 3
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... In​ 1944, as Richard Kay records, an optimistic litigant challenged the validity of a Victorian statute under which he was being sued, on the ground that Queen Victoria, like all her predecessors since 1689, had had no title to the throne. The argument, which would have wiped the statute book almost clean, was dismissed without much ceremony; but in 1688 and 1689 it occupied the centre of the political and constitutional stage ...

Kay Demarest’s War

Penelope Fitzgerald, 17 September 1987

The Other Garden 
by Francis Wyndham.
Cape, 106 pp., £9.95, September 1987, 0 224 02475 2
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The Engine of Owl-Light 
by Sebastian Barry.
Carcanet, 390 pp., £10.95, July 1987, 0 85635 704 9
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A Singular Attraction 
by Ita Daly.
Cape, 144 pp., £10.95, August 1987, 0 224 02438 8
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Cold Spring Harbor 
by Richard Yates.
Methuen, 182 pp., £10.95, July 1987, 0 413 14420 8
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The Changeling 
by Catharine Arnold.
Hodder, 223 pp., £9.95, July 1987, 0 340 40542 2
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... the inner life of the village he concentrates on the tragedy (it can surely be called that) of Kay Demarest. The Demarests are divorced, and only live together in their house, which looks like a stage-set for an English country hotel, because it saves them money; ‘the war, which was causing so much misery elsewhere by separating lovers and fragmenting ...


Richard Poirier, 20 December 1979

The Powers that Be 
by David Halberstam.
Chatto, 771 pp., £9.95
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... including Life, owned by Henry Luce; the Washington Post and Newsweek, run by Philip and then by Kay Graham; and the Chandler family’s Los Angeles Times. Beginning in the Thirties with President Roosevelt, who, more than any President before him, manipulated the newspapers and the new possibilities of radio (which President Hoover seldom used), the book is ...

Frank Kermode

Mary-Kay Wilmers: On Frank Kermode, 9 September 2010

... say I was moving to Spitzbergen. The central figure in Harrison’s book about millenarianism is Richard Brothers, a late 18th-century reader of signs who believed he was destined to lead the Jews back to the Holy Land (‘sorting out the Jews is often a precondition of the millennium,’ Frank noted in passing). ‘Perhaps the value of knowing about such ...

Saint or Snake

Stefan Collini: Ann Oakley on Richard Titmuss, 8 October 2015

Father and Daughter: Patriarchy, Gender and Social Science 
by Ann Oakley.
Policy, 290 pp., £13.99, November 2014, 978 1 4473 1810 1
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... Descriptions​ of Richard Titmuss often drew on the language of otherworldliness. He was ‘the high priest of the welfare state’ according to an assessment quoted in the ODNB. His entry there considers, though judiciously rejects, his frequent characterisation as a ‘saint’; understandably, it doesn’t cite his LSE colleague Michael Oakeshott’s description of him as ‘a snake in saint’s clothing ...


Walter Nash, 25 April 1991

by Patrice Chaplin.
Methuen, 216 pp., £13.99, February 1991, 0 413 63290 3
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Pious Secrets 
by Irene Dische.
Bloomsbury, 147 pp., £14.99, February 1991, 0 7475 0835 6
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City of the Mind 
by Penelope Lively.
Deutsch, 220 pp., £12.99, March 1991, 0 233 98661 8
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... is allowed to throw herself under a train on page five after which the narrative belongs to kay. (Who is Kay? I am going to tell you. Eat your broccoli.) Kay is a successful woman, a beauty, a cook, a campaigner for justice and a columnist of national acclaim, right? She is ...

Dark and Deep

Helen Vendler, 4 July 1996

Robert Frost: A Biography 
by Jeffrey Meyers.
Constable, 424 pp., £20, May 1996, 0 09 476130 2
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Collected Poems, Prose and Plays 
by Robert Frost, edited by Richard Poirier and Mark Richardson.
Library of America, 1036 pp., $35, October 1995, 9781883011062
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... was 64, after the death of his wife, he had a long affair with his ‘secretary’, Kathleen (Kay) Morrison, the wife of Theodore (Ted) Morrison, a lecturer in the Department of English at Harvard. Since this fact (documented in Thompson’s ‘Notes’ and now further documented thanks to the co-operation of ...


Keith Kyle, 4 July 1985

Eisenhower. Vol. I: Soldier, General of the Army, President-Elect 1890-1952 Vol. II: The President 1952-1969 
by Stephen Ambrose.
Allen and Unwin, 637 pp., £12.50, February 1984, 0 04 923073 5
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Ike’s Letters to a Friend: 1941-1958 
edited by Robert Griffith.
Kansas, 211 pp., $19.95, October 1984, 0 7006 0257 7
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... 1945 he only saw his wife Mamie once briefly and then rather spoilt the effect by calling her ‘Kay’ after his Irish driver and assistant Kay Summersby of whom she was already madly jealous. Ambrose has carefully investigated the widely believed story that at the end of the war Eisenhower wrote to Marshall asking ...

Lady Rothermere’s Fan

Mary-Kay Wilmers, 7 November 1985

The Letters of Ann Fleming 
edited by Mark Amory.
Collins, 448 pp., £16.50, October 1985, 0 00 217059 0
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... about her own as in previous years she’d said about other people’s. (In 1951, when her nephew Richard Charteris was drowned, she’d begun a letter to the boy’s mother: ‘My Darling Virginia, I should have written sooner but there was a rush of plans for holidays, a promotion party for Noël Coward, a television party ...’) In this she was at least ...

Miracle on Fleet Street

Martin Hickman: Operation Elveden, 7 January 2016

... Sun, which hadn’t even been under investigation. Among the first officials to be arrested were Richard Trunkfield, a prison officer who had sold details about James Bulger’s killer Jon Venables; Alan Tierney, a Surrey police constable who was paid £1250 for passing information that John Terry’s mother had been cautioned for shoplifting, and Ronnie ...


Anthony Thwaite, 27 October 1988

Stevie Smith: A Critical Biography 
by Frances Spalding.
Faber, 331 pp., £15, October 1988, 0 571 15207 4
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... In a long tape-recorded conversation she had with Kay Dick in November 1970 (the best source for the flavour of her speech), Stevie Smith remarked: I’m straightforward but I’m not simple ... In some ways I’m romantic but my basic root is profoundly sensible – profoundly sensible. About everything. There is a balance; I am aware of a balance ...
... I thought I was too grand to do interviews, but then I was asked to interview Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton on the set of some film. So I said, what the hell, I’ll do it. That initited the interviewing period of my life: I remember coming back and thinking. ‘It’s an absolute doddle, interviewing’ – I mean. Elizabeth Taylor was more famous than ...


Alan Bennett: What I did in 2013, 9 January 2014

... the medieval historian Bruce McFarlane, would be much exercised by the discovery of the body of Richard III, though there would be some mild satisfaction in finding the king exactly where the sources said he was. McFarlane wouldn’t have thought the body particularly informative as compared with the real stuff of history, some of the ex-duke of York’s ...

What a Mother

Mary-Kay Wilmers: Marianne Moore and Her Mother, 3 December 2015

Holding On Upside Down: The Life and Work of Marianne Moore 
by Linda Leavell.
Farrar, Straus, 455 pp., $18, September 2014, 978 0 374 53494 3
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... of Poetry, accepted five poems; in April 1915 two of her poems appeared in the Egoist, the paper Richard Aldington edited (‘I am so delighted to have them take me I shouldn’t mind if they charged me’); in August, HD invited her to come to London (she didn’t take up the invitation); and in October Alfred Kreymborg, the editor of Others, took five ...

‘We ain’t found shit’

Scott Ritter, 2 July 2015

... nuclear weapons programme. The team was led by an aggressive IAEA inspector called David Kay, though it was not really an IAEA operation but a US one: the deputy chief inspector, the American diplomat Bob Gallucci, called most of the shots. ‘The team,’ Gallucci said in 2001, ‘was very, very special … we had a lot of team members with special ...

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