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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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... 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, like the individual sentences, are faultlessly lucid ...

A Winter Mind

John Burnside, 25 April 2013

... 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 pattern blue or peach or an elusive pigeon grey, or the ...

‘Fishing at the Falls’, ‘Scarlet Tanager’

Robert VanderMolen: Poems, 23 January 2003

... 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. But I didn’t. Rather, It was you bumping over the hill ...

Three Poems

Robert Crawford, 24 June 2004

... 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 thick trunk of a beech, Its brontosaural hoof splayed in the ...

Coming to France

Robert Crawford, 17 November 2005

... 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 love you as my patria, Send me straight back to ...

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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... 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 which they were able ...

Four Poems

Robert Crawford, 4 August 1994

... 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 the scan of our unborn child, Nearing you over the ...

Guide

Robert Crawford, 11 March 2010

... 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 candle’s rushlight At both ends; How, fond of good food At ...

Even more immortal

Paul Driver, 8 April 1993

Memories of Beethoven: From the House of the Black-Robed Spaniards 
by Gerhard von Breuning, edited by Maynard Solomon, translated by Henry Mins and Maynard Solomon.
Cambridge, 154 pp., £15.95, November 1992, 0 521 41710 4
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Beethoven: Studies in the Creative Process 
by Lewis Lockwood.
Harvard, 283 pp., £31.95, July 1992, 0 674 06362 7
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... of analytically enlightened sketch-scholars (Alan Tyson, Joseph Kerman, Douglas Johnson, Robert Winter, William Kinderman, Barry Cooper) is to such venal misprisions a corrective of which the beleaguered Beethoven may have hardly dared to ...

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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... 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 provide him with ...

Bad Shepherd

Robert Crawford: James Hogg, 5 April 2001

The Collected Works of James Hogg. Vol. VIII: The ‘Spy’ 
edited by Gillian Hughes.
Edinburgh, 641 pp., £60, March 2000, 9780748613656
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... George Buchanan’s over-the-top ‘Elegy for Jean Calvin’. The volume remains high in some of Robert Fergusson’s sophistic-performative street-talk, Burns’s on-off, rip-roaring ‘Tam o’Shanter’, MacDiarmid’s last trump blawing ‘tootle-ootle-oo’, Edwin Morgan’s Loch Ness Monstering ‘Splgraw fok fok splgrafhatchgabrlgabrl fok ...

Brocaded

Robert Macfarlane: The Mulberry Empire by Philip Hensher, 4 April 2002

The Mulberry Empire 
by Philip Hensher.
Flamingo, 560 pp., £17.99, April 2002, 0 00 711226 2
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... in the following description? London knows no seasons; knows nothing of spring or summer or winter. It knows nothing but two seasons: Dust, and Mud. Now, at this moment, in May, we seem to be getting towards the end of Mud. Mud settled in more than six months ago, and has shown no sign of taking its leave just yet. The streets have settled into their ...

Errant Pinkies

Robert Macfarlane, 1 June 2000

Waiting 
by Ha Jin.
Heinemann, 308 pp., £10, May 2000, 0 434 00914 8
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... which lend a strong sense of place to the novel, show what Jin’s prose is capable of. Winter in Muji was long. Snow wouldn’t disappear until early May. In mid-April when the Songhua River began to break up, people would gather at the bank watching the large blocks of ice cracking and drifting in the blackish-green water. Teenage boys, baskets in ...

Christmas Trees

Alice Spawls, 5 January 2017

... 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 of a distant cathedral just visible in the pinkish ...

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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... 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 Targaryen dynasty rode to power in Westeros hundreds of years ...

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