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Patrick Collinson: The Faithful Thomas Cromwell, 29 November 2007

Thomas Cromwell: The Rise and Fall of Henry VIII’s Most Notorious Minister 
by Robert Hutchinson.
Weidenfeld, 360 pp., £20, February 2007, 978 0 297 84642 0
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... David Starkey found no occasion even to mention Cromwell’s name.* Now, with the publication of Robert Hutchinson’s biography of Cromwell, it is as if Beria has come back to haunt us, requiring a further revision of the Encyclopedia. And the analogy is not so far-fetched, since Hutchinson tells us that Cromwell was ...

Horror like Thunder

Germaine Greer: Lucy Hutchinson, 21 June 2001

Order and Disorder 
by Lucy Hutchinson, edited by David Norbrook.
Blackwell, 272 pp., £55, January 2001, 0 631 22061 5
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... his sister Lucy clung fast to the Parliamentarian loyalties of the St Johns. Her husband, John Hutchinson, was one of the signatories of the death warrant of Charles I. Apsley was no poet; his sister, who is best known for her memoir of her husband, an important source for historians of the Civil War period, began writing poetry in her teens. Norbrook ...

Grand Old Man

Robert Blake, 1 May 1980

The Last Edwardian at No 10: An Impression of Harold Macmillan 
by George Hutchinson.
Quartet, 151 pp., £6.50, February 1980, 0 7043 2232 3
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... time avoiding grey caution, is not always easy. In spite of these and other problems Mr George Hutchinson has been remarkably successful in this short and admirably written biography. It is a portrait which is recognisable and vivid, essentially sympathetic but not uncritical. A valuable by-product is the author’s decision to reprint Iain Macleod’s ...

Supersellers

John Sutherland, 8 November 1979

The Devil’s Alternative 
by Frederick Forsyth.
Hutchinson, 479 pp., £5.95
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The Four Hundred 
by Stephen Sheppard.
Secker, 374 pp., £5.25
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... are sown in the national and provincial press during the run-up to publication day. With luck, Robert Robinson or a lesser TV person will be recruited to do a celebratory book programme. In addition to the traditional newspaper, shop-window and point-of-sale displays there will also be extensive coverage on commercial radio. This ...

Royal Pain

Peter Campbell, 28 September 1989

A Vision of Britain: A Personal View of Architecture 
by HRH The Prince of Wales.
Doubleday, 156 pp., £16.95, September 1989, 9780385269032
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The Prince of Wales: Right or Wrong? An architect replies 
by Maxwell Hutchinson.
Faber, 203 pp., £10.99, September 1989, 0 571 14287 7
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... these generalities. It includes Classical buildings – Quinlan Terry’s Richmond scheme and Robert Adam’s computer centre at Dogmersfield Park in Hampshire – as well as jokier numbers – Terry Farrell’s boathouse at Henley and John Outram’s Isle of Dogs pumping-house. It stretches to high technology in Michael Hopkins’s stand at Lord’s ...

What was left out

Lawrence Rainey: Eliot’s Missing Letters, 3 December 2009

The Letters of T.S. Eliot, Vol. I: 1898-1922 
edited by Valerie Eliot and Hugh Haughton.
Faber, 871 pp., £35, November 2009, 978 0 571 23509 4
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... Corrections to the dates of subsequent letters are also duly made. One more example: a letter to Robert McAlmon that was mistakenly assigned to 2 May 1921 in the first edition, but is correctly assigned to 22 May in this one. It matters a lot, because it is written on the same paper used in three other letters written between 9 and 22 May; Eliot also used ...

The big drops start

John Bayley, 7 December 1989

Coleridge: Early Visions 
by Richard Holmes.
Hodder, 409 pp., £16.95, October 1989, 0 340 28335 1
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Wordsworth: Romantic Poetry and Revolution Politics 
by John Williams.
Manchester, 203 pp., £29.95, November 1989, 0 7190 3168 0
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Sara Coleridge, A Victorian Daughter: Her Life and Essays 
by Bradford Keyes Mudge.
Yale, 287 pp., £18.95, September 1989, 0 300 04443 7
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... yet are strangers to your person.’ The occasion was his meeting in the autumn of 1799 with the Hutchinson sisters – Mary, Sara and Joanna – at their brother Tom’s Yorkshire farm. Coleridge laid himself out to charm them and succeeded. The middle sister, Sara, whom he would call Asra, to set her apart from his own wife Sara, became his prime female ...

The Old Feudalist

D.A.N. Jones, 3 July 1986

Out of Africa and Shadows on the Grass 
by Karen Blixen.
Penguin, 351 pp., £3.95, January 1986, 0 14 008533 5
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Out of Africa 
by Karen Blixen.
Century, 288 pp., £14.95, October 1985, 0 7126 1016 2
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Isak Dinesen: The Life of Karen Blixen 
by Judith Thurman.
Penguin, 511 pp., £3.50, April 1986, 9780140096996
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... the Baroness, written under her pseudonym, Isak Dinesen. Here now is another reissue, from Century Hutchinson, hard-backed and elaborately illustrated, striving to connect the book with the film, to encourage sentimental nostalgia about British settlers in Kenya and to strengthen concern about the conservation of African wild life. The much-hyped new movie is ...

Two Americas and a Scotland

Nicholas Everett, 27 September 1990

Collected Poems, 1937-1971 
by John Berryman, edited by Charles Thornbury.
Faber, 348 pp., £17.50, February 1990, 0 571 14317 2
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The Dream Songs 
by John Berryman.
Faber, 427 pp., £17.50, February 1990, 0 571 14318 0
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Poems 1959-1979 
by Frederick Seidel.
Knopf, 112 pp., $19.95, November 1989, 0 394 58021 4
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These Days 
by Frederick Seidel.
Knopf, 50 pp., $18.95, October 1989, 0 394 58022 2
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A Scottish Assembly 
by Robert Crawford.
Chatto, 64 pp., £5.99, April 1990, 0 7011 3595 6
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... while still an undergraduate at Columbia, where Mark Van Doren was his teacher and mentor; and Robert Penn Warren was the editor (at Southern Review) whom he first sought to impress. But if the New Critical aesthetic disciplined Berryman it also inhibited him. It gave him a good technical training, but its insistence on what he later called ‘Eliot’s ...

Her eyes were wild

John Bayley, 2 May 1985

Letters of Dorothy Wordsworth: A Selection 
edited by Alan Hill.
Oxford, 200 pp., £9.95, March 1985, 0 19 818539 1
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Dorothy Wordsworth 
by Robert Gittings and Jo Manton.
Oxford, 318 pp., £12.50, March 1985, 0 19 818519 7
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The Pedlar, Tintern Abbey, The Two-Part Prelude 
by William Wordsworth, edited by Jonathan Wordsworth.
Cambridge, 76 pp., £7.95, January 1985, 0 521 26526 6
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The Ruined Cottage, The Brothers, Michael 
by William Wordsworth, edited by Jonathan Wordsworth.
Cambridge, 82 pp., £7.95, January 1985, 0 521 26525 8
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... beneath his feet. Women whom Wordsworth went to bed with – Annette Vallon, his own wife Mary Hutchinson – instantly conceived. He was a natural magnet for love and fortune, a fertility spirit who himself retained a spirit’s anonymity, the image in the shrine whose passivity is emphasised by the devotion of its cult, the loving women who attend on it ...

Who was he?

Charles Nicholl: Joe the Ripper, 7 February 2008

The Fox and the Flies: The World of Joseph Silver, Racketeer and Psychopath 
by Charles van Onselen.
Cape, 672 pp., £20, April 2007, 978 0 224 07929 7
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... thy remnant shall fall by the sword … Thus will I make thy lewdness to cease from thee.’ Sir Robert Anderson, in charge of the investigation in its early stages, later wrote in his memoir that his chief suspect was a ‘low-class Jew’. But this man, whom he does not name, was almost certainly Aaron Kosminski, who was incarcerated in an asylum though ...

A Pride of Footnotes

Robert M. Adams, 17 November 1983

The Collected Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Vol. VII: ‘Biographia Literaria’ 
edited by James Engell and Walter Jackson Bate.
Routledge/Princeton, 306 pp., £50, May 1983, 0 691 09874 3
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... says nothing; with even better reason, he drops not a hint of his deep and painful love for Sarah Hutchinson. As a biographical narrative, Coleridge’s book of self-explanation is most notable for the things it omits entirely, or alludes to only remotely and in passing. Finally, there is the scandal of the unacknowledged borrowings or unidentified ...

Michael Gove recommends …

Robert Hanks: Dennis Wheatley, 20 January 2011

The Devil Is a Gentleman: The Life and Times of Dennis Wheatley 
by Phil Baker.
Dedalus, 699 pp., £25, October 2009, 978 1 903517 75 8
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... decades into his career, he had 55 books in print, which collectively accounted for one seventh of Hutchinson’s turnover; Arrow, Hutchinson’s paperback imprint, was selling 1,150,000 Wheatleys a year, a quarter of their total output; in 1966, the paperback of The Satanist sold more than 100,000 copies in ten ...

Wives, Queens, Distant Princesses

John Bayley, 23 October 1986

The Bondage of Love: A Life of Mrs Samuel Taylor Coleridge 
by Molly Lefebure.
Gollancz, 287 pp., £15.95, July 1986, 0 575 03871 3
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Jane Welsh Carlyle 
by Virginia Surtees.
Michael Russell, 294 pp., £12.95, September 1986, 0 85955 134 2
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... with a never-failing air of disinterested benevolence, and in the sacred name of friendship. Robert Southey, Sam’s great friend, Sara’s brother-in-law, another promising young man in the media, had already rumbled the Wordsworths. ‘Wordsworth and his sister,’ he was later to observe ‘who pride themselves on having no selfishness, are of all ...

Diary

Giles Gordon: Experimental Sideshows, 7 October 1993

... Angela Carter, Eva Figes, Giles Gordon, Wilson Harris, Rayner Heppenstall, even hasty, muddled Robert Nye, Ann Quin, Penelope Shuttle, Alan Sillitoe (for his last book only. Raw Material indeed), Stefan Themerson, and (coming) John Wheway (stand by): and if only Heathcote Williams would write a novel’. In 1968 Penguin published Writing in England ...

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