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Simply Putting on Weight

Richard Hamblyn: Salmon, 25 February 2010

To Sea and Back: The Heroic Life of the Atlantic Salmon 
by Richard Shelton.
Atlantic, 213 pp., £18.99, October 2009, 978 1 84354 784 6
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... following year when the fish returned as a splendid silver grilse. ‘Smolt’, ‘grilse’: as Richard Shelton observes, salmon are spoken of in a ‘stained-glass language’ of their own, their life stages marked by an ichthyological lexicon unchanged since Chaucer’s time. Born in a ‘redd’, a shallow, gravel-covered depression dug by the ...

Diary

Philip Horne and Danny Karlin: Million Dollar Bashers, 22 June 1989

... a study of Dylan’s lyrics.1 Day was on a panel discussing Dylan’s purported sexism with Richard Brown (Leeds University, Joyce), Neil Corcoran (Sheffield University, modern poetry) and Kath Burlinson, who has just stopped being half of the cabaret act ‘The Wild Girls’ and has settled down to do a PhD in 19th-century women’s poetry. Victorian ...

Southern Discomfort

Bertram Wyatt-Brown, 8 June 1995

The Southern Tradition: The Achievement and Limitations of an American Conservatism 
by Eugene Genovese.
Harvard, 138 pp., £17.95, October 1994, 0 674 82527 6
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... Karl Marx, Karl Barth, Reinhold Niebuhr, the Nashville Agrarians and their latterday apostles, Richard Weaver and Melvin Bradford. Liberals thus find themselves confronting a shrewd scholar who denies them the luxury of easy retort – he lashes out from both right and left to rough up the bourgeois middle. What can one do with a once-loyal Marxist who ...

Brattishness

Colin Burrow: Henry Howard, 11 November 1999

Henry Howard, the Poet Earl of Surrey: A Life 
by W.A. Sessions.
Oxford, 448 pp., £60, March 1999, 9780198186243
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... love for Geraldine. The sonnet was entitled ‘Description and praise of his love Geraldine’ in Richard Tottel’s Songes and Sonnettes written by the ryght honourable Lorde Henry Haward late Earle of Surrey, and others (1557). On the strength of this, Thomas Nashe’s The Unfortunate Traveller turned the relationship between Surrey and Geraldine into a ...

How to Twist a Knife

Colin Burrow: Wolf Hall, 30 April 2009

Wolf Hall 
by Hilary Mantel.
Fourth Estate, 653 pp., April 2009, 978 0 00 723018 1
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... that when Sir Henry Wyatt, father of the poet Sir Thomas Wyatt, was imprisoned in the Tower by Richard III he was fed by a cat which brought him a dead pigeon. In Wolf Hall this piece of family mythology becomes a tale that Sir Henry, on the edge of retirement, relates himself, with a rheumy twinkle of unreliability in his eye. A factually implausible ...

The Ribs of Rosinante

Richard Gott, 21 August 1997

Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life 
by Jon Lee Anderson.
Bantam, 814 pp., £25, April 1997, 0 593 03403 1
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Compañero: The Life and Death of Che Guevara 
by Jorge Castañeda, translated by Marina Castañeda.
Bloomsbury, 480 pp., £20, October 1997, 0 7475 3334 2
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... a World in Action documentary.) At La Esperanza, we found the commander, Major Ralph ‘Pappy’ Shelton, a Korean veteran, in an expansive mood. With a handful of senior American officers he was celebrating the end of the six-month crash course they had organised for the Bolivian Army. A team of 16 Spanish-speaking ‘trainers’ had introduced a battalion ...

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