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3 August 1995
The Social Organisation of Sexuality: Sexual Practices in the United States 
by Edward Laumann, John Gagnon, Robert Michael and Stuart Michaels.
Chicago, 742 pp., £39.95, October 1994, 0 226 46957 3
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Sex in America: A Definitive Survey 
by Robert Michael, John Gagnon, Edward Laumann and Gina Kolata.
Little, Brown, 289 pp., £16.99, November 1994, 0 316 91191 7
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Sexual Behaviour in Britain: The National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Life-Styles 
by Kaye Wellings, Julia Field, A.M. Johnson and Jane Wadsworth.
Penguin, 464 pp., £15, January 1994, 0 14 015814 6
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... In the early Eighties, Western governments, notably those of America, Britain and France, were anxious to assess the probable rate of growth and pathways of infection of Aids. They sponsored extensive sex surveys in order to find out, for example, the number of sexual partners an average male had in his lifetime and how many used safe sex. The British survey was carried out by four women, primarily ...

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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... In Michael Korda’s Curtain a thinly disguised Laurence Olivier puts at risk his marriage to a thinly disguised Vivien Leigh by having an affair with (stop me if you’ve heard this one) a no less thinly ...
19 November 2019
... Michael​ Neve died on 9 October. I first met him in 1995, at a funeral. We had been taught Nietzsche by the same lecturer at Cambridge; that had been enough academia for me, but Michael had advanced (or, by his own account, stumbled haplessly) to the position of senior lecturer at the Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at UCL. He had a contract with Penguin for an ...
9 September 1993
The Dead Sea Scrolls Uncovered 
by Robert​ Eisenman and Michael​ Wise.
Element, 286 pp., £14.95, November 1992, 0 85230 368 8
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... of material that could be ‘explosive’, a favourite adjective of Eisenman and Wise’s. This notion of a scholarly conspiracy, hinted at in the text, has recently been trumpeted by the journalists Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh in The Dead Sea Scrolls Deception, which is largely a popularisation of Robert Eisenman’s theories. Unsurprisingly, Baigent and Leigh contribute an effusive blurb to this ...

Broken Nights

Michael​ Hofmann

3 April 2003
... Then morning comes, saying: ‘This was a night.’ Robert Lowell Broken knights. – No, not like that. Well, no matter. Something agreeably Tennysonian (is there Any other kind?) About ‘broken knights’. Sir Bors and Sir Bedivere. In my one-piece ...

Three Poems

Michael​ Hofmann

21 July 1994
... Summer For months the heat of love has kept me marching Robert Lowell I snap my boy’s bow in the morning, wash his stiffy at night, blow my brains out with music, anything from ‘Ballade von der sexuellen Hörigkeit’ to ‘Sexual Healing’. Je te veux ...

Still Defending the Scots

Katie Stevenson: Robert​ the Bruce

10 September 2014
Robert​ the Bruce: King of the Scots 
by Michael​ Penman.
Yale, 443 pp., £25, June 2014, 978 0 300 14872 5
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... a few months ago in a blog for the Telegraph of a Treasury aide who’d said to him that ‘Alex Salmond wants to be William Wallace.’ ‘No,’ Martin corrected him. ‘Alex Salmond wants to be Robert the Bruce.’ Wallace has been cast as ‘the people’s champion’, a role he played in the 1975 novel The Wallace by the prolific Nigel Tranter and, twenty years later, in Braveheart. But Martin ...
18 September 1980
Selected Poems 
by Patricia Beer.
Hutchinson, 152 pp., £5.95, April 1980, 0 09 138450 8
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The Venetian Vespers 
by Anthony Hecht.
Oxford, 91 pp., £3.95, March 1980, 0 19 211933 8
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Nostalgia for the Present 
by Andrei Voznesensky.
Oxford, 150 pp., £3.50, April 1980, 0 19 211900 1
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Reflections on the Nile 
by Ronald Bottrall.
London Magazine Editions, 56 pp., £3.50, May 1980, 0 904388 33 6
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Summer Palaces 
by Peter Scupham.
Oxford, 55 pp., £3, March 1980, 9780192119322
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... that these are only surface interpretations of the meanings of the poems.’ There are occasional delicate passages: as with Mayakovsky, they are mostly about animals. In a poem called ‘Lines to Robert Lowell’, for instance, there are these lines on Arthur Miller’s dog Hugo: You’re not a dachshund, you’re a slipper, a moccasin with a gaping sole, shabby with use. A certain Unknown Being ...

Unaccommodated Man

Christopher Tayler: Adventures with Robert​ Stone

18 March 2004
Bay of Souls 
by Robert​ Stone.
Picador, 250 pp., £16.99, February 2004, 0 330 41894 7
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... Robert Stone was born in August 1937, nine months after Don DeLillo and three – we’re told – after Thomas Pynchon. Dog Soldiers, his second novel, made his name in the mid-1970s, and since then he has ...

War within wars

Paul Addison

5 November 1992
War, Strategy and International Politics: Essays in Honour of Sir Michael​ Howard 
edited by Lawrence Freedman, Paul Hayes and Robert​ O’Neill.
Oxford, 322 pp., £35, July 1992, 0 19 822292 0
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... As he looks forward to his 70th birthday Sir Michael Howard can also look back over a distinguished career which began with Wellington, Christ Church and the Coldstream Guards. In 1943, as Lieutenant Howard, fresh from the University, he led his ...

At Dia:Beacon

Hal Foster: Fetishistic Minimalist

5 June 2003
... Field, a vast grid of 400 stainless-steel poles staked out by de Maria on a New Mexico plain in 1977. Dia now also oversees the mother of all earthworks, Spiral Jetty, a great coil of rocks built by Robert Smithson into the Great Salt Lake in Utah in 1970. Initially directed by Heiner Friedrich, a German dealer who had exhibited such artists in Cologne and in New York, Dia was funded by his wife ...

Coats of Every Cut

Michael​ Mason

9 June 1994
Robert​ Surtees and Early Victorian Society 
by Norman Gash.
Oxford, 407 pp., £40, September 1993, 0 19 820429 9
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... one of the few words which mean nothing without quotes’. Such scepticism about the capacity of fiction to report on the world is still very fashionable, and in that sense Norman Gash’s book on Robert Surtees goes against the grain of present-day literary analysis. It does not go against the traditional grain of writing about Surtees, a novelist who has almost always been praised simply as a ...

Athenian View

Michael​ Brock

12 March 1992
Public Moralists: Political Thought and Intellectual Life in Britain, 1850-1930 
by Stefan Collini.
Oxford, 383 pp., £40, September 1991, 0 19 820173 7
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... aims’ would motivate, ‘Victorian intellectuals found social work an antidote to doubt.’ This is an important insight: but in the area of loss of faith Dr Collini’s touch is not sure. Robert Elsmere rightly receives his attention. Mrs Humphry Ward was Matthew Arnold’s niece, her place in the circle being given posthumous confirmation by her husband’s History of the Athenaeum. Robert ...

The Other Half

Robert​ Melville

4 July 1985
Kenneth Clark: A Biography 
by Meryle Secrest.
Weidenfeld, 310 pp., £12.95, September 1984, 9780297783985
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... else was in the gallery. I was standing in front of a big Pasmore and Clark was coming to look at it. Suddenly I thought: ‘My God, he’s going to speak to me!’ ‘Am I right in thinking you’re Robert Melville?’ he said. ‘My name is Clark.’ ‘Indisputably, Sir Kenneth,’ I answered. I remember the word I used, because as soon as I said it I realised that it was ludicrously inappropriate ...

Ediepus

Michael​ Neve

18 November 1982
Edie: An American Biography 
by Jean Stein and George Plimpton.
Cape, 455 pp., £9.95, October 1982, 0 224 02068 4
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Baby Driver: A Story About Myself 
by Jan Kerouac.
Deutsch, 208 pp., £7.95, August 1982, 0 233 97487 3
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... seems hollow, and menacing, without a history. Even the streets of Stockbridge seem empty. No one is around. They are, no doubt, in their cars, and another poet of weirdness, New England weirdness, Robert Lowell, knew also about cars: ‘A savage servility slides by on grease.’ There are antique shops in Stockbridge, where antique seems to mean the day before yesterday. And grand white wooden houses ...

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