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Diary

Thomas Jones: Death in Florence, 21 June 2012

... British Consulate in Florence on 29 September 1913, a Monday. According to his death certificate, Richard Roberts, a 67-year-old Justice of the Peace and builder, staying at the Hotel Londres & Métropole in Florence, died at the hospital of Santa Maria Nuova on Saturday, 27 September 1913. The consul, Alfred Lemon, was informed of the death by R. Ellis ...

The Right to Protest

Rosa Curling, 9 May 2019

... operated by Cuadrilla. At around 8 a.m. on 25 July 2017, as seven lorries approached the site, Richard Roberts, a piano restorer from London, got through a police cordon and climbed on top of the first lorry, bringing the convoy to a standstill. Rich Loizou, a teacher from Devon, climbed onto the cab of the final lorry. At around 3 p.m. Simon ...

Better off in a Stocking

Jamie Martin: The Financial Crisis of 1914, 22 May 2014

Saving the City: The Great Financial Crisis of 1914 
by Richard Roberts.
Oxford, 320 pp., £20, November 2013, 978 0 19 964654 8
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... has been almost completely forgotten. This act of historical amnesia is one of the themes of Richard Roberts’s Saving the City, the only major book-length treatment of this topic to appear since 1915. On Roberts’s account, people at the time didn’t really distinguish between the distinct crises of August ...

Urban Humanist

Sydney Checkland, 15 September 1983

Exploring the Urban Past: Essays in Urban History by H.J. Dyos 
edited by David Cannadine and David Reeder.
Cambridge, 258 pp., £20, September 1982, 0 521 24624 5
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Themes in Urban History: Patricians, Power and Politics in 19th-Century Towns 
edited by David Cannadine.
Leicester University Press, 224 pp., £16.50, October 1982, 9780718511937
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... to others and captured the collateral advantages of growth. The industrial frontier of which Richard Trainor writes, the Black Country, was a more complex affair. He has two noble families, the Earls of Dartmouth and Dudley, together with their respective towns, West Bromwich and Dudley. The Black Country was a supply area for the metal trades as well as ...

Most Curious of Seas

Richard Fortey: Noah’s Flood, 1 July 1999

Noah’s Flood: The New Scientific Discoveries about the Event that Changed History 
by William Ryan and Walter Pitman.
Simon and Schuster, 319 pp., £17.99, February 1999, 0 684 81052 2
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... challenge what he sees as Creationist nonsense. A group of local fundamentalists, led by one Allen Roberts, claimed to have found ‘scientific’ evidence of the remains of Noah’s Ark. Plimer counter-claimed that this alleged evidence is a natural geological structure, a syncline, located about 20 miles from Mount Ararat in Turkey – not far as the raven ...

How Dirty Harry beat the Ringo Kid

Michael Rogin, 9 May 1996

John Wayne: American 
by Randy Roberts and James Olson.
Free Press, 738 pp., £17.99, March 1996, 0 02 923837 4
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... combined, and John Wayne was in one of them. Orange County is in Southern California, home of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, of Hollywood, Disneyland and John Wayne. Nixon would have lost his home state and the White House in 1968 without his Southern California support. At the 1984 Republican Convention, Reagan, our second Southern California ...

Excessive Bitters

Jenny Diski: The blind man who went around the world, 7 September 2006

A Sense of the World: How a Blind Man Became History’s Greatest Traveller 
by Jason Roberts.
Simon and Schuster, 382 pp., £12.99, August 2006, 0 7432 3966 0
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... Choosing to sit on her bed when the light of the world was dimming was not an option. Jason Roberts describes something of the same behaviour in James Holman who, in 1810, suddenly went blind at the age of 25: Once hope of a cure is extinguished in the newly blind adult, there is typically a period of self-mourning, in which the individual retreats ...

Falling Stars

Alan Coren, 5 November 1981

Richard Burton 
by Paul Ferris.
Weidenfeld, 212 pp., £7.95, September 1981, 0 297 77966 4
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Peter Sellers 
by Alexander Walker.
Weidenfeld, 240 pp., £7.95, September 1981, 0 297 77965 6
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... It is not easy to determine which is the better book. Richard Burton was printed by Butler and Tanner Limited, Peter Sellers by the Fakenham Press, and since the one establishment is in Somerset and the other in Norfolk, it is fair to absolve both of them from the sort of catchpenny opportunist hustling which these days has the publishing world of London by the throat ...

Hogshit and Chickenshit

Michael Rogin, 1 August 1996

Washington Babylon 
by Alexander Cockburn and Ken Silverstein.
Verso, 316 pp., £31.95, May 1996, 1 85984 092 2
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... Diane Sawyer, as she moves from ‘Henry K’s lap’ to the former Assistant Secretary of State Richard Holbrooke to her current husband, Hollywood director, Mike Nichols. Sawyer, also circulating from the Nixon White House to CBS’s 60 Minutes to ABC’s Prime Time, earns almost as much in a single day as is earned in a year by the mother she berated on ...

At the Imperial War Museum

Gaby Wood: Lee Miller, 17 December 2015

... any earlier grouping of her photographs. The exhibition has been rigorously conceived by Hilary Roberts, who has done excellent work in the past on the photographic history of World War One, and on the war work of Miller’s nemesis Cecil Beaton. Roberts has assembled a collection to prove her contention that most of ...

Diary

Ian Hamilton: Sport Poetry, 23 January 1986

... about half an hour I was beginning to feel some of the old tension and contentment. Then Graham Roberts struck. With the ball nowhere in sight, Spurs’ neanderthal defender followed through on Charlie Nicholas with such force that the Scot was hurtled over the groundside hoardings into about the fifth row of the concrete enclosure. He was lucky to escape ...

Zigzags

John Bossy, 4 April 1996

The New Oxford History of England. Vol. II: The Later Tudors 
by Penry Williams.
Oxford, 628 pp., £25, September 1995, 0 19 822820 1
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... and Myres, and Stenton) and Taylor’s. I doubt if the new one will fare any better. John Roberts, the general editor, does not show his hand in detail, and we must keep our fingers crossed about the whole being greater than the parts by giving ‘an account of the development of our country in time’ – ‘our country’ meaning something different ...

Some Sad Turtle

Alison Light: Spinsters and Clerics, 29 July 2021

The Adventures of Miss Barbara Pym: A Biography 
by Paula Byrne.
William Collins, 686 pp., £25, April, 978 0 00 832220 5
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... be smitten with Skipper, a gay man eighteen years her junior. A good-looking, rich white Bahamian, Richard Roberts strung her along, joining in her flirtatious games, then swiftly offloaded her. Her sister Hilary told her to ‘grow up’, in other words, to give up.Byrne convinced me that Pym loved and suffered. ‘Pouring out her heart’ in her novels ...

Grail Trail

C.H. Roberts, 4 March 1982

The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail 
by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln.
Cape, 445 pp., £8.95, January 1982, 0 224 01735 7
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The Foreigner: A Search for the First-Century Jesus 
by Desmond Stewart.
Hamish Hamilton, 181 pp., £9.95, October 1981, 0 241 10686 9
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Satan: The Early Christian Tradition 
by Jeffrey Burton Russell.
Cornell, 258 pp., £14, November 1981, 0 8014 1267 6
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... In 1891, Bérenger Sauniere, curé of Rennesle-Château, a remote village in the Cevennes, discovered hidden in the structure of his church four parchments, two of them written in the 18th century and partly in code, two earlier and containing genealogies (still not published). There were references to Dagobert II, the Merovingian king, to Sion, and to treasure said to be Merovingian ...

English Butter

David Trotter, 9 October 1986

Englishness: Politics and Culture 1880-1920 
edited by Robert Colls and Philip Dodd.
Croom Helm, 378 pp., £25, June 1986, 0 7099 0849 0
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The Character Factory: Baden-Powell and the Origins of the Boy Scout Movement 
by Michael Rosenthal.
Collins, 335 pp., £15, August 1986, 0 00 217604 1
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Oxford and Empire: The Last Lost Cause? 
by Richard Symonds.
Macmillan, 366 pp., £29.50, July 1986, 0 333 40206 5
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... the shadow of that period, and its meanings, that we still live.’ They choose as their epigraph Richard Shannon’s claim that ‘the characteristic “Englishness” of English culture was made then very much what it is now.’ The essays they have collected aim to describe the institutions, policies and symbols by and through which that characteristic ...

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