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To King’s Cross Station

Sheila Fitzpatrick: Lenin’s London, 7 January 2021

The Spark That Lit the Revolution: Lenin in London and the Politics That Changed the World 
by Robert Henderson.
I.B.Tauris, 270 pp., £17.99, March 2020, 978 1 78453 862 0
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... heart of the Museum. His favourite seat is said to have been number L13.This last detail is not in Robert Henderson’s book, which leads me to wonder whether it’s wrong. Henderson, a former Russian curator at the British Library, knows everything there is to know about Lenin’s love affair with the BM, and tells it ...

We were the Lambert boys

Paul Driver, 22 May 1986

The Lamberts: George, Constant and Kit 
by Andrew Motion.
Chatto, 388 pp., £13.95, April 1986, 0 7011 2731 7
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... of a reformed sinner castigating his own erstwhile lapses’ – and variously attributed to Robert Henderson and Angus Morrison. Music Ho! is more accurately prophetic, too, than Motion allows. He deems rather improbable the hailing of Sibelius as avatar of the music of the future: yet Sibelius’s symphonic form-building is seen more clearly in ...

Advised by experts

David Worswick, 21 December 1989

The Economic Section, 1939-1961: A Study in Economic Advising 
by Alec Cairncross and Nita Watts.
Routledge, 372 pp., £40, May 1989, 0 415 03173 7
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The Robert Hall Diaries. Vol. I: 1947-1953 
edited by Alec Cairncross.
Unwin Hyman, 400 pp., £40, May 1989, 9780044452737
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... of its committees, on Economic Information, which included Josiah Stamp, Maynard Keynes and Hubert Henderson, continued until the war, making regular reports to the Treasury. As war grew near, the Government asked Lord Stamp to make a survey of the preparations for war being made by the separate departments, and to make recommendations. From this survey there ...

His Bonnet Akimbo

Patrick Wright: Hamish Henderson, 3 November 2011

Hamish HendersonA Biography. Vol. I: The Making of the Poet (1919-53) 
by Timothy Neat.
Polygon, 416 pp., £14.99, May 2009, 978 1 84697 132 7
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Hamish HendersonA Biography. Vol. II: Poetry Becomes People (1954-2002) 
by Timothy Neat.
Polygon, 395 pp., £25, November 2009, 978 1 84697 063 4
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... There are those, even among his friends, who remember Hamish Henderson as a chaotic figure who could most often be found soliloquising in Sandy Bell’s, a favourite pub near Edinburgh University. Was he one of the ‘lowest of men’, spilling whisky and sliding off his stool as he launched into another ballad? Or was he a seer, defying body and convention to ‘soar like an eagle’ in the way of the blessed inebriate in Richard Thompson’s song ‘God Loves a Drunk’ (‘His shouts and his curses they are just hymns and praises/To kick-start his mind now and then’)? Timothy Neat writes not in order to leave his late friend in a heap on the floor, least of all the floor of the hostelry that Henderson had long since helped to establish as ‘the hub of the Scottish Folk Revival ...

Royal Americans

D.A.N. Jones, 4 October 1984

by Gore Vidal.
Heinemann, 657 pp., £9.95, September 1984, 0 434 83077 1
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Stars and Bars 
by William Boyd.
Hamish Hamilton, 255 pp., £8.50, September 1984, 0 241 11343 1
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... be quite so ready to laugh at the farcical communities of Stars and Bars, in the defeated land of Robert E. Lee, where Sherman marched so ruthlessly. William Boyd’s title will suggest Hollywood to some – but a Virginian, seeing me carrying it about, sighed ‘Ah, the old flag’ and became unusually pensive. He began telling me about the Civil ...


Robert Bernard Martin, 4 April 1985

The Collected Letters of William Morris. Vol. I: 1848-1880 
edited by Norman Kelvin.
Princeton, 626 pp., £50.30, April 1984, 0 691 06501 2
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... emotions that a tender letter written in 1876 to console someone in trouble was assumed by Philip Henderson to have been intended to comfort either Edward or Georgiana Burne-Jones, while Kelvin believes that it may have been sent to Jane to commiserate with her on the end of her affair with Rossetti. Perhaps the most moving of the previously unpublished ...

Suck, chéri

E.S. Turner: The history of sweets, 29 October 1998

Sugar-Plums and Sherbet: A Prehistory of Sweets 
by Laura Mason.
Prospect, 250 pp., £20, June 1998, 0 907325 83 1
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... in this book before one’s eye is stopped by the reproduction of an advertisement placed by B. Henderson, of the China Warehouse, Rye Lane, Peckham. Miss (or Mrs) Henderson ‘respectfully informs the Friends of Africa that she has on Sale an Assortment of Sugar Basins, handsomely labelled in Gold Letters: “East India ...

No more pretty face

Philip Horne, 8 March 1990

Emotion Pictures: Reflections on the Cinema 
by Wim Wenders, translated by Sean Whiteside and Michael Hofmann.
Faber, 148 pp., £12.99, November 1989, 0 571 15271 6
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Scorsese on Scorsese 
by Martin Scorsese, edited by David Thompson and Ian Christie.
Faber, 178 pp., £12.99, November 1989, 9780571141036
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... of the music; the American actors Harry Dean Stanton and Dean Stockwell as the central Henderson brothers, the French Aurore Clément and the German Nastassia Kinski as their wives. For Wenders, a long-time lover of the Western and of American rock music, it was, as he has since told the French magazine Positif, the closing of a circle, the ...

Baghdad’s Ruling Cliques

Keith Kyle, 15 August 1991

The Iraqi Revolution of 1958: The Old Social Classes Revisited 
edited by Robert Fernea and William Roger Louis.
Tauris, 232 pp., £35, May 1991, 1 85043 318 6
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Instant Empire: Saddam Hussein’s Ambition for Iraq 
by Simon Henderson.
Mercury House, 271 pp., £8.99, June 1991, 1 56279 007 2
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Saddam Hussein: A Political Biography 
by Efraim Karsh and Inari Rautsi.
Brassey, 307 pp., £17.95, April 1991, 0 08 041326 9
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The Gulf Between Us: The Gulf War and Beyond 
edited by Victoria Brittain.
Virago, 186 pp., £5.99, June 1991, 1 85381 386 9
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Under Siege in Kuwait: A Survivor’s Story 
by Jadranka Porter.
Gollancz, 250 pp., £4.99, July 1991, 9780575051850
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... recognition as President in 1979, as the real leader of Iraq, is told in Instant Empire by Simon Henderson of the Financial Times and in Saddam Hussein by Efraim Karsh and Inari Rautsi, an Israeli and a Finnish academic. Both books honestly admit difficulties over sources and make efforts to overcome them; and both can be recommended for the interim purposes ...


Peter Craven: On the Demidenko Affair, 16 November 1995

... a left-wing novelist anticipate almost word for word the attack later made on Demidenko by Gerard Henderson, a leading right-wing columnist, in the Melbourne Age and the Sydney Morning Herald. On 27 June, Henderson described The Hand That Signed the Paper as ‘a loathsome book’, and all the more so because the author had ...

War Poet

Robert Crawford, 24 May 1990

O Choille gu Bearradh/From Wood to Ridge: Collected Poems in Gaelic and English 
by Sorley MacLean.
Carcanet, 317 pp., £18.95, October 1989, 0 85635 844 4
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... treatment of the desert war in the work of such Scottish poets as George Campbell Hay, Hamish Henderson and Edwin Morgan. There is a pained, grim quality to some of MacLean’s verse – seen in the impulse which leads him to translate the first 26 lines of Paradise Lost into Gaelic, appending after the last line (‘And justify the ways of God to ...


Richard Jenkyns, 3 April 1997

Art and the Victorian Middle Class: Money and the Making of Cultural Identity 
by Dianne Sachko Macleod.
Cambridge, 375 pp., £65, October 1996, 0 521 55090 4
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... and details of their occupations, taste and methods of buying. (Surprisingly, she omits Alexander Henderson, subsequently first Lord Faringdon, whose late Victorian collection is a rarity in having survived and being still visible to the public, at Buscot Park.) Some of these figures acquire a larger life in Macleod’s main text: ...

Leading the Labour Party

Arthur Marwick, 5 November 1981

Michael Foot: A Portrait 
by Simon Hoggart and David Leigh.
Hodder, 216 pp., £8.95, September 1981, 0 340 27600 2
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... precedent here): Keir Hardie’s talents were other than those of a Parliamentary chairman; Arthur Henderson was dull; Ramsay MacDonald was both great orator and skilled tactician, though his critics within the Party were numerous well before the First World War broke out. During that war, a number of Labour men served in government (not, of ...

At the Ashmolean

Rosemary Hill: The Capture of the Westmorland, 19 July 2012

... J.H. of a broodingly handsome but unknown young man belonged to a Scottish landowner called John Henderson; a friend of Henderson’s made a poignant though unsuccessful plea for its return on the basis that it was a ‘portrait which he joys’, and was of no intrinsic value to anyone else. The Grand Tour offered a refuge ...

Anglophobe Version

Denton Fox, 2 February 1984

The New Testament in Scots 
translated by William Laughton Lorimer.
Canongate, 476 pp., £17.50, October 1983, 0 900025 24 7
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Scotland and the Lowland Tongue 
edited by J. Derrick McClure.
Aberdeen University Press, 256 pp., £17, September 1983, 0 08 028482 5
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... prose guaranteed its demise. Both Thomas Crawford, writing on 18th-century Scots verse, and Hamish Henderson, on the ballads, stress the interplay between Scots and English. While the poetry Crawford deals with does not, perhaps, travel well outside of Scotland, his sympathetic and honest account of it puts it in a good light; he miraculously manages to ...

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