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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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... a Ribband or some known tape or thred’ around the tail of a sea-bound smolt, retrieving it the following year when the fish returned as a splendid silver grilse. ‘Smolt’, ‘grilse’: as RichardShelton 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 ...


Philip Horne and Danny Karlin: Million Dollar Bashers

22 June 1989
... The academics included Aidan Day, who lectures at Edinburgh, specialises in Tennyson, and has published 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 ...

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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... of Caroline and John Randolph of Roanoke, Old School Presbyterian defenders of slavery, T.S. Eliot, 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 ...


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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... gives away just enough biographical detail to have been blown into a myth about Surrey’s hopeless 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 ...

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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... in the process of recording. So, to take one of umpteen examples, the papers of the Wyatt family record 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 ...
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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... Santa Cruz de la Sierra. (Granada Television had enlisted me to act as Brian Moser’s consultant on 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 ...

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