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At Norwich Castle Museum

Alice Spawls: ‘The Paston Treasure’, 13 September 2018

... painted around the time of William’s death in 1663 and commissioned either by him or his son Robert. Having existed in obscurity for centuries (on its donation to Norwich Castle Museum, the last owner warned: ‘the painting is very faded, of no artistic value, only curious from an archaeological point of view’), it is now the subject of a huge ...

Robert and Randy

Carey Harrison, 27 June 1991

Curtain 
by Michael Korda.
Chapmans, 415 pp., £14.95, May 1991, 1 85592 005 0
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... fleeting (as Korda draws it) liaison between Olivier and Kaye, the unmistakable originals of ‘Robert Vane’ and ‘Randy Brooks’: and truth in it? And if there were? Do the recent revelations of Lawrence Durrell’s relations with his daughter alter our attitude to Durrell’s books? Our understanding of them? The revelations in question are ...
... There seem to have been several Oliver Norths. There was Oliver North the Patriot, whom Robert McFarlane would describe as ‘an imaginative, aggressive, committed young officer’, Ronald Reagan’s personally approved ‘hero’. There was Oliver North the Man of God, the born-again Christian from the charismatic Episcopal Church of the Apostles who believed that the Lord had healed his wounds and who – in the words of one former associate at the National Security Council – ‘thought he was doing God’s work at the NSC ...

Male and Female

Alex Comfort, 15 May 1980

Sex and Fantasy: Patterns of Male and Female Development 
by Robert May.
Norton, 226 pp., £7.50, February 1980, 0 393 01316 2
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... and differences which are not differences but stereotypes is not operationally feasible. Dr May does not attempt it. He is probably right. As a clinical psychologist, he is concerned with feelings and attitudes, and a feeling or attitude which was not overdetermined by any or all of the possible sources of difference would exist on paper, like an ideal ...
We and They, Civic and Despotic Cultures 
by Robert Conquest.
Temple Smith, 252 pp., £12.50, April 1980, 0 85117 184 2
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The Recovery of Freedom 
by Paul Johnson.
Blackwell, 232 pp., £8.50, August 1980, 0 631 12562 0
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... of King Bomba. The general collapse of the credibility of the Left in all its manifestations may seem to make much of what is said in these two books unnecessary. Are not the authors pushing at an open door? Is not much of what they say common knowledge or a sermon to the converted? This would be a superficial assessment. It is important that those who ...

On Robert Silvers

Andrew O’Hagan: Remembering Robert Silvers, 20 April 2017

... had a knack of making you feel that the thing that might be done could only be done by you. ‘You may be so far ahead with Goldsmith that this book about Swift would not fit well,’ says the typewritten note in the last book he sent me, ‘but it might be mentioned. Goldsmith and Grub Street, then and now, does seem a subject in need of your ...

Some Names for Robert Lowell

Karl Miller, 19 May 1983

Robert Lowell: A Biography 
by Ian Hamilton.
Faber, 527 pp., £12.50, May 1983, 0 571 13045 3
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... Robert Lowell is not difficult to represent as the mad poet and justified sinner of the Romantic heritage. He is the dual personality who breaks the rules, kicks over the traces: he did this in the course of a series of manic highs which came and went from maturity, if not before, until the end of his life in 1977 at the age of 60 ...
... outside attempts to interfere.’ Both statements are false, and calculated to mislead. But they may well flow from a genuine failure on the part of South Africa’s ruling oligarchy to understand the depth and breadth of that country’s continuing crisis. The Government has for several years believed that it could alter South Africa from above, moderating ...

Bastards

James Wood: St Aubyn’s Savage Sentences, 2 November 2006

Mother’s Milk 
by Edward St Aubyn.
Picador, 279 pp., £12.99, January 2006, 0 330 43589 2
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... his early forties, has become a barrister, is married to the selfless Mary, and has two children, Robert and Thomas. Eleanor, Patrick’s mother, has had a stroke, and is immobilised and nearly speechless in a nursing home. But before her decline she was able to stiff her son one last time, by bequeathing the family home in the South of France to a devious ...

Blame Robert Maxwell

Frederick Wilmot-Smith: How Public Inquiries Go Wrong, 17 March 2016

... This is the process, named after a legal battle involving the disgraced media mogul Robert Maxwell, whereby those criticised in the first draft of a report are given an opportunity to respond. Chilcot hoped to begin this process in 2013, but negotiations over the publication of minutes of cabinet meetings and the correspondence between Tony ...

Father and Son

Tony Gould, 23 June 1988

When the fighting is over: A Personal Story of the Battle for Tumbledown Mountain and its Aftermath 
by John Lawrence and Robert Lawrence.
Bloomsbury, 196 pp., £12.95, May 1988, 0 7475 0174 2
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Tumbledown 
by Charles Wood.
Penguin, 80 pp., £3.95, April 1988, 0 14 011198 0
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... was the name of one of the few serious battles in the Falklands campaign and that Robert Lawrence was the platoon commander in the 2nd Battalion, the Scots Guards, who had 40 per cent of his brain removed by a sniper’s bullet after he had earned himself a Military Cross by his bravery. Even before the film was shown on BBC television on 31 ...

Bard of Friendly Fire

Robert Crawford: The Radical Burns, 25 July 2002

Robert Burns: Poems 
edited by Don Paterson.
Faber, 96 pp., £4.99, February 2001, 0 571 20740 5
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The Canongate Burns: The Complete Poems and Songs of Robert Burns 
edited by Andrew Noble and Patrick Scott Hogg.
Canongate, 1017 pp., £40, November 2001, 0 86241 994 8
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... philosopher Thomas Blackwell was writing that Homer was a ‘stroling indigent Bard’. Robert Burns liked that idea. In ‘Love and Liberty’ a bard sings alongside prostitutes and tinkers, and pronounces himself ‘Homer like’. Burns’s footnote (Burns enjoyed footnotes) points out cheekily that ‘Homer is allowed to be the oldest ...

Jesus Christ endorses the new Hillman Imp

Robert Crawford, 5 August 1993

... And families whom its air-cooled rear engine Will power to school. I’m saying this That you may take a pride in your work.’ Nervous execs whooshed him away For a photo session.                                        I lost my job In the first redundancies. ‘Does the daffodil have an income allocation ...

Speaking in Tongues

Robert Crawford, 8 February 1996

The Poetry of Scotland: Gaelic, Scots and English 1380-1980 
edited and introduced by Roderick Watson.
Edinburgh, 752 pp., £19.95, May 1995, 0 7486 0607 6
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... its scope had to be limited. Surrounded by the barbed wire of polemic, MacDiarmid’s anthology may have seemed an angry piece of book-making. In retrospect what stands out is its inclusiveness. Here (in English translation) are the great Latinist George Buchanan and the Gaelic poet Alexander Mac-Donald. Duncan Ban MacIntyre’s expansive 18th-century ...

Fashville

Robert Tashman, 9 March 1995

Prêt-à-Porter 
directed by Robert Altman.
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... a big business, but not, as it is now, a corporate power that crosses national and class borders. Robert Altman’s new film, Prêt-à-Porter, is like La Dolce Vita grafted onto Funny Face. The unaffected and trusting Hepburn and Astaire would be marginalised or crushed in the fashion world portrayed here. Altman has never enjoyed a sustained period of ...

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