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The Blue Suit

Frederick Seidel

7 June 2018
... Richard Anderson, master Savile Row tailor, Opens the eleventh-floor hotel room door Wearing a new suit so blue It makes me smile, Something no suit has been able to do for quite a while. Welcome to room ...

The Henry James Show

Ruth Bernard Yeazell

7 January 1988
Henry James: A Life 
by Leon Edel.
Collins, 740 pp., £25, July 1987, 0 00 217870 2
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The Complete Notebooks of Henry James 
edited by Leon Edel and Lyall Powers.
Oxford, 662 pp., £25, March 1987, 0 19 503782 0
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... The practical effect of these revisions is that the sibling rivals of the 1950s have been updated for the 1980s by a touch of incestuous and homo-erotic feeling. Writing in the New Republic in 1979, RichardHall faulted the five-volume biography for manifesting ‘a peculiar timidity at the centre of the work’. What was missing from Edel’s account, according to Hall, was not so much James’s ...

The Real Johnny Hall

Penelope Fitzgerald

3 October 1985
Our Three Selves: A Life of Radclyffe Hall 
by Michael Baker.
Hamish Hamilton, 386 pp., £13.95, June 1985, 0 241 11539 6
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... but overemphatic. The Times Literary Supplement also called it sincere, and Vera Brittain said it was ‘admirably restrained’. It sold quite well, going into a second impression, and Radclyffe Hall, with her lover Una Troubridge, thought of taking a cottage in Rye. She may have felt some disappointment, having planned her novel in a crusader’s spirit. She claimed to have written the first ...
19 July 1984
... of his staff, was that of Godwin Mutatu. He was Rowland’s personal choice as a correspondent in Zimbabwe with a roving commission on the continent – an appointment cutting across the role of RichardHall, the paper’s Africa Correspondent. Nigel Hawkes, then Foreign News Editor, resigned that post in protest. The independent directors did not feel themselves called upon to adjudicate in that ...

At Tate Modern

Anne Wagner: Richard​ Tuttle

6 November 2014
... It’s easy​ to see why Richard Tuttle’s work has a tendency to rile people – in particular people who insist on believing that sculpture, even if it no longer needs to be solid and substantial, should at least cling to ...

Samuel’s Slave

Caroline Moorehead

15 May 1980
Lover on the Nile 
by Richard Hall.
Collins, 254 pp., £7.95, February 1980, 9780002164719
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Nellie: Letters from Africa 
by Elspeth Huxley.
Weidenfeld, 326 pp., £8.95, March 1980, 0 297 77706 8
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Black Country Girl in Red China 
by Esther Cheo Ying.
Hutchinson, 191 pp., £5.95, January 1980, 9780091390808
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... the travellers themselves, from their expectations and their sense of the new. It is what they bring with them, and what, exhausted, exhilarated or astonished, they carry away. Lovers on the Nile is RichardHall’s account of Samuel Baker’s voyage in search of the Mountains of the Moon with his young companion Florence. It is not so much a biography as the story of a seven-year travelling honeymoon ...

Blood on the Block

Maurice Keen: Henry IV

5 June 2008
The Fears of Henry IV: The Life of England’s Self-Made King 
by Ian Mortimer.
Vintage, 480 pp., £8.99, July 2008, 978 1 84413 529 5
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... Returning unbidden from exile in July 1399 to claim his confiscated inheritance as Duke of Lancaster while Richard II was in Ireland, Henry Bolingbroke was greeted tumultuously as the prospective saviour of the realm. Richard, hurrying home, found himself deserted in mid-Wales and faced with no alternative to ...

Trollopiad

John Sutherland

9 January 1992
The Chronicler of Barsetshire: A Life of Anthony Trollope 
by R.H. Super.
Manchester, 528 pp., £29.95, July 1990, 0 472 10102 1
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Anthony Trollope: A Victorian in his World 
by Richard​ Mullen.
Duckworth, 767 pp., £25, July 1990, 0 7156 2293 5
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Trollope: A Biography 
by N. John Hall.
Oxford, 581 pp., £25, October 1991, 0 19 812627 1
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... to carry on his name. Trollope wrote more fiction than most and must also have written a lot of correspondence. But most of it has disappeared. The collected letters are excellently edited by N. John Hall, but they run only to a couple of volumes. Dickens, by contrast, looks like amassing 15 or so fatter volumes in the Pilgrim edition. George Eliot’s eight volumes and Thackeray’s four (soon to be ...
15 May 1980
Cinema: A Critical Dictionary: The Major Film-Makers 
edited by Richard​ Roud.
Secker, 1120 pp., £25, February 1980, 9780436428302
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The Dream that Kicks: The Prehistory and Early Years of Cinema in Britain 
by Michael Chanan.
Routledge, 356 pp., £12.50, January 1980, 0 7100 0319 6
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... of low-grade melodramas by Samuel Fuller. So powerful is fashion, however, that sensible critics feel rather like the nervous citizens in High Noon when the new film schoolmen come riding into town. Richard Roud is a sensible critic, formerly the Guardian’s film reviewer and now Director of the New York Film Festival. ‘I tend to be wary,’ he says, ‘of systematic criticism and of any form of ...

Simply Doing It

Thomas Laqueur

22 February 1996
The Facts of Life: The Creation of Sexual Knowledge in Britain 1650-1950 
by Roy Porter and Lesley Hall.
Yale, 414 pp., £19.95, January 1995, 0 300 06221 4
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... month after month, to reveal ‘The Secrets of Sex in just Ten Minutes’ (this in January’s Cosmopolitan) suggest that maybe there is nothing to tell, only telling itself. Roy Porter and Lesley Hall say they agree with Michel Foucault that ‘sex must be understood as discursively produced.’ (Actually, I don’t think they do agree, but more about that later.) If we take the point, then the ...

Scaling Up

Peter Wollen: At Tate Modern

20 July 2000
... the transformation of the South Bank of the Thames came in 1951 with the Festival of Britain, which established this stretch of riverside as a public space, and brought in its aftermath the Festival Hall, the National Film Theatre and, on the other side of Giles Gilbert Scott’s Waterloo Bridge, the new National Theatre. The next came in 1977, with the foundation of the Coin Street Action Group when ...

Seventeen Million Words

Richard​ Poirier

7 November 1985
The Inman Diary: A Public and Private Confession 
edited by Daniel Aaron.
Harvard, 1661 pp., £35.95, March 1986, 0 674 45445 6
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... for nearly all of his 68 years, and except for brief excursions in his ancient chauffeur-driven Cadillac, he had since 1919 confined himself to an apartment building in downtown Boston named Garrison Hall. For as many as sixteen hours of a normal day he would stay in bed, when not sitting or reading in the bathroom. The rooms he frequented were kept shaded for the same reason his car was painted a ...

A House and its Heads

Christopher Ricks

7 August 1980
Setting the World on Fire 
by Angus Wilson.
Secker, 296 pp., £6.50, July 1980, 9780436576041
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... of the Hell Fire Club, and the Mossons, whose fires had been securely banked. Setting the World on Fire: the theory and practice of catastrophe find their focus in Phaethon. For Vanbrugh’s great hall has charted upon its ceilings and walls the headlong career of Phaethon, whose hideous ruin and combustion had thrilled the young Piers and had terrified the young Tom. Then it is discovered that in ...
23 September 1993
Will Pop Eat Itself? Pop Music in the Soundbite Era 
by Jeremy J. Beadle.
Faber, 269 pp., £7.99, June 1993, 9780571162413
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Present Tense: Rock & Roll and Culture 
edited by Anthony DeCurtis.
Duke, 317 pp., £11.95, October 1992, 0 8223 1265 4
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... In October 1991 Moby baffled Top of the Pops with a performance of ‘Go’, a dance record – a techno dance record – and solo composition by Richard ‘Moby’ Hall, created on his computer at home in New York. During its almost lyric-less six minutes and 30 seconds of fast beats, atonal bleeps and melodic keyboard lines, you hear ‘go’ shouted 37 times ...

Eminent Athenians

Hugh Lloyd-Jones

1 October 1981
The Greek Heritage in Victorian Britain 
by Frank Turner.
Yale, 461 pp., £18.90, April 1981, 0 300 02480 0
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... It is natural to contrast this book with The Victorians and Ancient Greece, by Richard Jenkyns, reviewed by me in the issue of this journal for 21 August-3 September 1980 (Vol. 2, No 16). Mr Jenkyns is a Classical scholar and a smooth and polished writer; I wrote that he ‘offers a ...

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