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17 July 1980
Sir John Seeley and the Uses of History 
by Deborah Wormell.
Cambridge, 233 pp., £15, March 1980, 0 521 22720 8
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... survived as long as the Empire itself, but otherwise Seeley was neglected until in recent years Richard Shannon and Sheldon Rothblatt both identified him as a leading figure in the reorientation of the Victorian élite. Plainly there was scope for an intellectual biography to match the ideas to the man, and the task was undertaken as a PhD by Deborah ...

The Coburg Connection

Richard Shannon

5 April 1984
Albert, Prince Consort 
by Robert Rhodes James.
Hamish Hamilton, 311 pp., £15, November 1983, 0 241 11000 9
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... There have been only four consorts (counting the present incumbent) of reigning English queens. The role is awkward: a ‘lot high and brilliant’, as Prince Albert himself put it, ‘but also plentifully strewn with thorns’. Other states make (or made) sensible provision either to avoid the inherent difficulties or to accommodate them. Most dynasties adopted the so-called ‘Salic’ law of succession among males only ...

Bobbing Along

Ronald Stevens: The Press Complaints Commission

7 February 2002
A Press Free and Responsible: Self-Regulation and the Press Complaints Commission 1991-2001 
by Richard Shannon.
Murray, 392 pp., £25, September 2001, 0 7195 6321 6
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... that it chose an author with no detectable sensitivity to language. Here, for instance, is Richard Shannon (emeritus professor of modern history at Swansea) on the possibility of the European Convention on Human Rights being embodied in British law: ‘What was coming into view now was a swell of opinion wanting to move beyond merely ...
10 January 1983
Benjamin Disraeli Letters: Vol. I 1815-1834, Vol. II 1835-1837 
edited by J.A.W. Gunn, John Matthews, Donald Schurman and M.G. Wiebe.
Toronto, 482 pp., £37.50, June 1982, 0 8020 5523 0
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The Gladstone Diaries: with Cabinet Minutes and Prime Ministerial Correspondence, Vol. VII, January 1869-June 1871, Vol. VIII, July 1871-December 1874 
edited by H.C.G. Matthew.
Oxford, 641 pp., £35, September 1982, 0 19 822638 1
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Disraeli 
by Sarah Bradford.
Weidenfeld, 432 pp., £14.95, October 1982, 0 297 78153 7
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Gladstone: Vol. I 1809-1865 
by Richard Shannon.
Hamish Hamilton, 580 pp., £18, November 1982, 0 241 10780 6
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H.H. Asquith: Letters to Venetia Stanley 
edited by Michael Brock and Eleanor Brock.
Oxford, 676 pp., £19.50, November 1982, 0 19 212200 2
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... series which concerns his finances, letters to his legal adviser, William Pyne, and to his tailor, Richard Culverwell. There has been a long upper-class tradition of owing money to one’s tailor – which, no doubt, explains the inordinate prices charged in those days. Disraeli, characteristically, went a step further and actually borrowed money from his ...

Masses and Classes

Ferdinand Mount: Gladstone

17 February 2005
The Mind of Gladstone: Religion, Homer and Politics 
by David Bebbington.
Oxford, 331 pp., £55, March 2004, 0 19 926765 0
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... his biographers in dismissing them in a page or two as ‘somewhat crackbrained’, to quote Richard Shannon. Shannon’s two-volume life offers a fuller account of Gladstone’s intellectual development than other modern biographies, yet even he allots as much space to Macaulay’s mesmerisingly destructive ...

The Man Who Never Glared

John Pemble: Disraeli

5 December 2013
Disraeli: or, The Two Lives 
by Douglas Hurd and Edward Young.
Orion, 320 pp., £20, July 2013, 978 0 297 86097 6
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The Great Rivalry: Gladstone and Disraeli 
by Dick Leonard.
I.B. Tauris, 226 pp., £22.50, June 2013, 978 1 84885 925 8
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Disraeli: The Romance of Politics 
by Robert O’Kell.
Toronto, 595 pp., £66.99, February 2013, 978 1 4426 4459 5
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... the two protagonists, but updating the story with the recent work of Colin Matthew, Roy Jenkins, Richard Shannon, John Vincent, Sarah Bradford and Stanley Weintraub. Essentially it’s dry-bones parliamentary history – elections, cabinets, reshuffles, bills, budgets, divisions, dissolutions – and its verdict on the falling out hardly deepens our ...

Ripping the pig

Robert Bernard Martin

5 August 1982
The Letters of Alfred Lord Tennyson: Vol. 1 1821-1850 
edited by Cecil Lang and Edgar Shannon.
Oxford, 366 pp., £17.50, February 1982, 0 19 812569 0
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Tennyson: ‘In Memoriam’ 
edited by Susan Shatto and Marion Shaw.
Oxford, 397 pp., £25, March 1982, 0 19 812747 2
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... poet which became an enduring model of the Late Victorian official Life and Letters, according to Richard Altick’s history of literary biography: ‘as a work of biographical art, it is as monstrous and marmoreal as a tomb in Westminster Abbey.’ And even blander than the repainted Laurence portrait. Although, inevitably, there is a good bit of factual ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘The Shape of Water’

22 March 2018
... being probed in the facility, but all that seems to happen in this line is that the agent, Richard Strickland, played by Michael Shannon with fabulously nasty relish, tortures him with a cattle prod – and loses two fingers in the process. The creature is referred to as ‘the asset’, indeed ‘the most sensitive ...
19 April 2017
... the early years his cocoa got a warrant from Queen Victoria but by 1861, when his sons George and Richard took over the factory, now in different premises, the business was on the brink. A new product the Cadburys had been counting on to turn things around, a drink called Iceland Moss, made of cocoa mixed with lichen, failed to find favour with the public.The ...

In the Soup

David Trotter: Air Raid Panic

8 October 2014
The Next War in the Air: Britain’s Fear of the Bomber, 1908-41 
by Brett Holman.
Ashgate, 290 pp., £70, June 2014, 978 1 4094 4733 7
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... state’ has been extensively studied from a variety of angles, most recently in Richard Overy’s The Bombing War: Europe 1939-45, which includes an authoritative account of the evolution into doctrine of the belief that strategic bombing defined the purpose of the modern air force as an instrument capable of transforming warfare. Overy ...
5 December 1985
Black Venus 
by Angela Carter.
Chatto, 121 pp., £8.95, October 1985, 0 7011 3964 1
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Come unto these yellow sands 
by Angela Carter.
Bloodaxe, 158 pp., £12.95, October 1985, 0 906427 66 5
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Mainland 
by Susan Fromberg Schaeffer.
Hamish Hamilton, 285 pp., £9.95, October 1985, 0 241 11643 0
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The Accidental Tourist 
by Anne Tyler.
Chatto, 355 pp., £8.95, October 1985, 0 7011 2986 7
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Arrows of Longing 
by Virginia Moriconi.
Duckworth, 252 pp., £9.95, October 1985, 9780715620694
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... yellow sands’, in which a succession of voices discourse on the fairy painter and parricide Richard Dadd (odd that no one comments on the singular aptness of his surname). Dadd, having taken his father for the devil, went at him in Cobham Park with a spring-knife – a weapon more effective than Christy Mahon’s loy. Poor dad – or, if you like, poor ...

Depicting Europe

Perry Anderson

20 September 2007
... in Paris: Carl Bildt, a founder member of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, along with Richard Perle, William Kristol, Newt Gingrich and others. In the UK, the local counterpart has proudly restated his support for the war, though here, no doubt, the corpses were stepped over in pursuit of preferment rather than principle. Spaniards and Italians ...

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