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That sh—te Creech

James Buchan: The Scottish Enlightenment

5 April 2007
The Enlightenment and the Book: Scottish Authors and Their Publishers in 18th-Century Britain, Ireland and America 
by Richard Sher.
Chicago, 815 pp., £25.50, February 2007, 978 0 226 75252 5
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...  ...
6 June 1985
Digging Deeper: Issues in the Miners’ Strike 
edited by Huw Beynon.
Verso, 252 pp., £3.95, March 1985, 0 86091 820 3
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Policing the Miners’ Strike 
edited by Bob Fine and Robert Millar.
Lawrence and Wishart, 243 pp., £4.95, March 1985, 0 85315 633 6
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The Strike: An Insider’s Story 
by Roy Ottey.
Sidgwick, 157 pp., £7.95, March 1985, 9780283992285
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Scargill and the Miners 
by Michael Crick.
Penguin, 172 pp., £2.95, March 1985, 0 14 052355 3
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The Great Strike: The Miners’ Strike of 1984-5 and its Lessons 
by Alex Callinicos and Mike Simons.
Socialist Worker, 256 pp., £3.95, April 1985, 0 905998 50 2
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... In the Economist of 27 May 1978, details were published of a secret report by a Conservative Party policy group on the nationalised industries. Each industry would be allocated a minimum rate of return on capital; managers who failed to achieve this target would be sacked. The report, drafted by the MP Nicholas Ridley, recognised that the pressures to economise would inevitably threaten management-union conflict ...
13 October 1988
A Life 
by Elia Kazan.
Deutsch, 848 pp., £17.95, June 1988, 0 233 98292 2
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... He was a pioneer interpreter of and midwife to theatre work by Clifford Odets, Sam Behrman, Robert Ardrey, Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams, Robert Anderson and William Inge. He did the same in the cinema with Williams, Robert Sherwood, Inge, Steinbeck and Schulberg. Though he ...

You know who

Jasper Rees

4 August 1994
Jim Henson – The Works: The Art, the Magic, the Imagination 
by Christopher Finch.
Aurum, 251 pp., £20, April 1994, 1 85410 296 6
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... In the film Dreamchild, the cinematic meditation on the life of the real Alice directed by Gavin Millar and scripted by Dennis Potter, Henson was the obvious choice to supply the puppets for the sequences set in Wonderland. Later, Henson realised his longstanding ambition to present a series of Greek myths in puppet form. ...

Kindness rules

Gavin Millar

8 January 1987
A Life in Movies 
by Michael Powell.
Heinemann, 705 pp., £15.95, October 1986, 9780434599455
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All Our Yesterdays: 90 Years of British Cinema 
edited by Charles Barr.
BFI, 446 pp., £12.95, October 1986, 0 85170 179 5
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... we can’t altogether accept the claims of his literary Muse, who allows him some felicities – Robert Flaherty was ‘like an Irish Bishop who had turned gangster’ – but more often lets him flounder (‘She was a neat chick’, of a Czech actress of the Thirties), we can at least salute the book’s utter transparency and lack of guile about both ...

Sabotage

Gavin Millar

13 September 1990
Citizen Welles: A Biography of Orson Welles 
by Frank Brady.
Hodder, 655 pp., £18.95, January 1990, 0 340 51389 6
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If this was happiness: A Biography of Rita Hayworth 
by Barbara Leaming.
Weidenfeld, 312 pp., £14.95, September 1989, 0 297 79630 5
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Norma Shearer 
by Gavin Lambert.
Hodder, 381 pp., £17.95, August 1990, 0 340 52947 4
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Ava’s Men: The Private Life of Ava Gardner 
by Jane Ellen Wayne.
Robson, 268 pp., £14.95, November 1989, 0 86051 636 9
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Goldwyn: A Biography 
by Scott Berg.
Hamish Hamilton, 579 pp., £16.95, September 1989, 0 241 12832 3
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The Genius of the System: Hollywood Film-Making in the Studio Era 
by Thomas Schatz.
Simon and Schuster, 514 pp., £16.95, September 1989, 0 671 69708 0
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... pulled the piece in the second edition and admonished the journalist. Even Brady is persuaded that Robert Wise’s defensive protestations about the editing of The Magnificent Ambersons amount to a proven charge of obscurity and indecisiveness on Welles’s part. But the memo from Welles to Wise that he quotes from as evidence is perfectly ...

Cough up

Thomas Keymer: Henry Fielding

20 November 2008
Plays: Vol. II, 1731-34 
by Henry Fielding, edited by Thomas Lockwood.
Oxford, 865 pp., £150, October 2007, 978 0 19 925790 4
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‘The Journal of a Voyage to Lisbon’, ‘Shamela’ and ‘Occasional Writings’ 
by Henry Fielding, edited by Martin Battestin, with Sheridan Baker and Hugh Amory.
Oxford, 804 pp., £150
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... mock pomposity in Joseph Andrews. In a work published just days after the fall from office of Sir Robert Walpole – ‘prime minister’ in a sense that had no constitutional legitimacy at the time, and implied an alarming concentration of power – there was nothing innocent about the joke. Walpole’s self-promotion was a standard target, but Fielding’s ...
3 March 1988
Benjamin Disraeli: Letters 1838-1841 
edited by M.G Wiebe, J.B. Conacher, John Matthews and M.S. Millar.
Toronto, 458 pp., £40, March 1987, 0 8020 5736 5
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Salisbury: The Man and his Policies 
edited by Lord Blake and Hugh Cecil.
Macmillan, 298 pp., £29.50, May 1987, 0 333 36876 2
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... moment in a verbal contest, a gaudy, point scoring mockery against the serious-mindedness of Sir Robert Peel or, later, Gladstone. Byron’s is itinerant, physical, and (perhaps most distinctively) shuns the maternal and the doting for the anti-familial, for the generosity of pure sexual scandal. Disraeli, hermaphroditically gliding between his exotic ...

Whig History

Sheldon Rothblatt

21 January 1982
A Liberal Descent: Victorian Historians and the English Past 
by J.W. Burrow.
Cambridge, 308 pp., £19.50, October 1981, 0 521 24079 4
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... of A Liberal Descent are Macaulay, Freeman, Stubbs and Froude. The deuteragonists are Hallam, John Millar, Green and George Brodie. Carlyle appears, as do Hume and Gibbon. The stage is full. The theatre is Shakespearean in its range and variety rather than confined and unified as in Classical drama. The action cannot be completely co-ordinated, for the Whigs ...
18 October 1984
The Companion to Gaelic Scotland 
edited by Derick Thomson.
Blackwell, 363 pp., £25, December 1983, 0 631 12502 7
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Experience and Enlightenment: Socialisation for Cultural Changes in 18th-Century Scotland 
by Charles Camic.
Edinburgh, 301 pp., £20, January 1984, 0 85224 483 5
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Knee Deep in Claret: A Celebration of Wine and Scotland 
by Billy Kay and Cailean Maclean.
Mainstream, 232 pp., £9.95, November 1983, 0 906391 45 8
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Education and Opportunity in Victorian Scotland: Schools and Universities 
by R.D. Anderson.
Oxford, 384 pp., £25, July 1983, 0 19 822696 9
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Scotland: The Real Divide 
edited by Gordon Brown and Robin Cook.
Mainstream, 251 pp., £9.95, November 1983, 0 906391 18 0
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Wealth and Virtue: The Shaping of Political Economy in the Scottish Enlightenment 
edited by Istvan Hont and Michael Ignatieff.
Cambridge, 371 pp., £35, November 1983, 0 521 23397 6
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... under 18th-century mortality levels. At some point in their lives Adam Smith, John Miller, William Robertson and David Hume began to question the theology in which they had been reared: Camic is convinced that ‘their revolution was a union of circumstances’ – in other words, that it was their rearing which freed them for it. That Adam Ferguson did less ...
23 January 1986
English Society 1688-1832 
by J.C.D. Clark.
Cambridge, 439 pp., £30, November 1985, 0 521 30922 0
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Virtue, Commerce and History 
by J.G.A. Pocock.
Cambridge, 321 pp., £25, November 1985, 0 521 25701 8
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... to the textbook view that John Locke’s contractual theory of government simply demolished Robert Filmer’s efforts at assimilating the authority of kings and fathers, Locke’s Two Treatises of Government did not drive patriachal ideas out of circulation. Indeed, it was Locke who was hardly read in the early 18th century: his ideas struck no ...

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