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Paul Driver

9 October 1986
The Beethoven Sketchbook: History, Reconstruction, Inventory 
by Douglas Johnson, Alan Tyson and Robert Winter, edited by Douglas Johnson.
Oxford, 611 pp., £60, January 1986, 0 19 315313 0
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... with the probable exception of Sieghard Brandenburg of the Beethovenhaus in Bonn, who furnished all the information for six chapters, and constantly pops up – as much as Messrs Johnson, Tyson and Winter. They would appear to be beyond criticism – and certainly by me. They have succeeded in relieving the dry tone of their book with an urbane eloquence – the expositions of complex textual history ...
23 January 2003
... slowly – bright sand Tossed over ice and snow. The lack of substantial trees, Markers dating from lumber days – We’re knotted on one side In front of straw rising behind the casket, In front of winter, in front of sitting Past midnight, shelves, and ashtrays, Carpet, the telephone dry, Wires banging against the siding. I wanted to say, the knowledge That we were friends Always made me feel better ...

Coming to France

Robert​ Crawford

17 November 2005
... success. When the going’s tough you show true grit. You stand, Defender of the true faith, with no time For foreign bigots’ fads. Well-balanced France, Your summer’s free from arid heat. Your winter Gives up its bleak excesses at your hearth. No east wind plagues make autumn faces pale, No spring floods drown your farms with fast-thawed ice. France, if for just one instant in my life I cease to ...

Three Poems

Robert​ Crawford

24 June 2004
... rung Metres into Wideford Hill. Nine and Seven bounced and drummed On the capstone over Brough of Birsay’s Pictish well, where a jeweller worked Decades before the Norse sauna. After the sun this winter solstice Does its light work in between The low hills of Hoy, then Nine and Seven Will never be sixteen again. Near Auchtermuchty High in treetopia, on the treetop walk, I stare straight down the ...

The People Must Be Paid

Paul Smith: Capital cities in World War I

7 May 1998
Capital Cities at War: Paris, London, Berlin 1914-1919 
edited by Jay Winter and Jean-Louis Robert.
Cambridge, 622 pp., £60, March 1997, 0 521 57171 5
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... ability to mobilise them in a manner seen to be ‘fair’, the capital cities in question offered a microcosm of the administrative and political efficiency of their respective states. The work of Winter, Robert and their collaborators examines how they dealt with the problems of employment, welfare, food and fuel supply, housing and public health, in an effort to estimate the degree of satisfaction ...

A Winter​ Mind

John Burnside

25 April 2013
... A Scene on the Ice Near a Town’ (c.1615). My particular ideal was a frozen river where, bundled up in whatever came to hand, a newly liberated citizenry ventured onto the ice under a winter sky – and my mind would follow, knowing that this was the closest thing to freedom I could hope for. The skies above those frozen rivers could be translucent, almost blinding, touched with willow ...


Robert​ Crawford

11 March 2010
... talked And talked and talked About his cuckoo clock; How Mrs De Quincey tripped With a bucket of coals; How Coleridge called Then later screamed, Locked In an upstairs room’s Opium dream; How when winter came They skated on the lake, William nicely Getting his skates on To slice His zigzag initials Precisely As he whizzed By on the ice; How, through long nights, They quizzed Friends, Lighting a ...

Four Poems

Robert​ Crawford

4 August 1994
... To renounce fashion long before he wears them. ‘Is that a new jacket?’ ‘Yes,’ he says, ‘it is.’ Loganair Below, a freelance palaeontologist Gets stuck in with his JCB, And here, from the winter airspace of Fife, Coal-dark, nocturnal Burntisland ’s drip-painted with streetlamps, the Forth’s edge Scribbled with motorway lights. You’re invisible. I’m fourteen thousand feet up, Viewing ...

London Review of Crooks

Robert​ Marshall-Andrews

15 July 1982
Rough Justice: The Extraordinary Truth about Charles Richardson and his Gang 
by Robert​ Parker.
Fontana, 352 pp., £1.95, October 1981, 0 00 636354 7
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Web of Corruption: The Story of John Poulson and T. Dan Smith 
by Raymond Fitzwalter and David Taylor.
Granada, 282 pp., £12.50, October 1981, 0 246 10915 7
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Inside Boss: South Africa’s Secret Police 
by Gordon Winter.
Penguin, 640 pp., £7.95, October 1981, 9780140057515
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Crime in Wartime: A Social History of Crime in World War II 
by Edward Smithies.
Allen and Unwin, 219 pp., £12.50, January 1982, 0 04 364020 6
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... The claim (in the blurb) that such revelations are ‘staggering’ is perhaps over-enthusiastic. Richardson, like most of his ilk, was naturally right-wing, and having been introduced to George Winter, ex-burglar, crime reporter and BOSS spy, and, more important, to Winter’s wife, Richardson was an obvious recruit for dirty tricks in London. He also plainly believed that his work for BOSS would ...

Christmas Trees

Alice Spawls

5 January 2017
... evergreen makes itself a declaration. Fir trees must have looked to Northern Europeans like the only life left on the earth, all other plants having sent their sap below. Caspar David Friedrich’s Winter Landscape (1811), a version of which is currently on display at the Towner Gallery (until 22 January), shows a snowy post-sunset scene with a group of pine trees in the foreground, and the dark form ...

When did you get hooked?

John Lanchester: Game of Thrones

11 April 2013
A Song of Ice and Fire: Vols I-VII 
by George R.R. Martin.
Harper, 5232 pp., £55, July 2012, 978 0 00 747715 9
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Game of Thrones: The Complete First and Second Seasons 
Warner Home Video, £40, March 2013, 978 1 892122 20 9Show More
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... The Lannisters are their enemies and opposites: rich, ruthless, amoral southerners, barely able to conceal their wish to take over the kingship. As for the king, at the start of the books that is Robert Baratheon, the huge bruiser who, with help from the Starks, deposed the previous king 17 years before the story begins. That monarch, mad King Aerys, was the last Targaryen on the throne; the ...

Frank Auerbach’s London

T.J. Clark: Frank Auerbach

9 September 2015
... Kooning There are tremendous Primrose Hill pictures in the Auerbach show that opens at Tate Britain on 9 October. Several of them bring on the feeling I had back in 1968. Take the painting called Winter Evening, Primrose Hill Study, done over the winter of 1974-75. What struck me as incomprehensible about it on first sight was the raggedness and spikiness of the lines on its surface, like the spokes ...

At Tate Modern

Hal Foster: Robert​ Rauschenberg

1 December 2016
... He has created​ more than any artist after Picasso,’ Jasper Johns said of Robert Rauschenberg, his one-time partner, and the Rauschenberg retrospective now at Tate Modern (until 2 April) fully attests to the sheer abundance of his six-decade career (he died in 2008). There are ...
26 September 1991
The Russian City between Tradition and Modernity, 1850-1900 
by Daniel Brower.
California, 253 pp., £18.95, July 1990, 0 520 06764 9
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St Petersburg between the Revolutions. Workers and Revolutionaries: June 1907-February 1917 
by Robert​ McKean.
Yale, 606 pp., £27.50, June 1990, 0 300 04791 6
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... When the Bolsheviks stormed the Winter Palace on the night of 25 October 1917, they discovered one of the largest wine cellars ever known to the world. During the following days, crowds went on a drunken rampage through St Petersburg ...

Old Gravy

Mark Ford

7 September 1995
Robert​ Graves: Life on the Edge 
by Miranda Seymour.
Doubleday, 524 pp., £20, July 1995, 0 385 40423 9
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Robert​ Graves and the White Goddess 
by Richard Perceval Graves.
Weidenfeld, 618 pp., £25, July 1995, 0 297 81534 2
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Robert​ Graves: His Life and Work 
by Martin Seymour-Smith.
Bloomsbury, 600 pp., £25, June 1995, 0 7475 2205 7
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Robert​ Graves: Collected Writings on Poetry 
edited by Paul O’Prey.
Carcanet, 560 pp., £35, June 1995, 1 85754 172 3
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Robert​ Graves: The Centenary Selected Poems 
edited by Patrick Quinn.
Carcanet, 160 pp., £15.95, April 1995, 9781857541267
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... central narrative to which his life and work were dedicated: There is one story and one story only That will prove worth your telling he declares in one of his best-known poems, ‘To Juan at the Winter Solstice’. Although Graves only began formulating his Muse theories in the mid-Forties, the ‘one story’ of his vocation dominates his entire career. Graves’s ‘poetic principles’ involve a ...

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