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The Raphael Question

Lawrence Gowing, 15 March 1984

Raphael 
by Roger Jones and Nicholas Penny.
Yale, 256 pp., £15.95, May 1983, 0 300 03061 4
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The Drawings of Raphael 
by Paul Joannides.
Phaidon, 271 pp., £65, July 1983, 0 7148 2282 5
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Drawings by Raphael from English Collections 
by J.A. Gere and Nicholas Turner.
British Museum, 256 pp., £8.95, November 1983, 0 7141 0794 8
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... the favourite of Herbert Read (who escaped few of the Romantic traps), is missing altogether from Jones and Penny, the new and dependable source for knowledge of the artist.Deciding where the emphasis in Raphael’s achievement is to lie, historians must make choices which imply a view of history and a theory of genius. If they make no decision and offer an ...

Mantegna’s Revenge

Nicholas Penny, 3 September 1987

Mantegna 
by Ronald Lightbown.
Phaidon/Christie’s, 512 pp., £60, July 1986, 0 7148 8031 0
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The Sistine Chapel: Michelangelo Rediscovered 
edited by Massimo Giacometti, translated by Paul Holberton.
Muller, Blond and White, 271 pp., £40, September 1986, 0 584 11140 1
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... Francesco Gonzaga – was chaste. This very important poem was discussed with great subtlety by Roger Jones in a scholarly article in the Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes for 1981 – an article which Lightbown uses and then dismisses. According to Lightbown, it is important to interpret ‘the individual figures and symbols of a picture ...

Short Cuts

John Sturrock: Don't Bother to Read, 22 March 2007

... A few years ago, a brilliant small book on detective fiction appeared in France called Qui a tué Roger Ackroyd? It got talked about at the time for demonstrating, rather neatly it was thought (by the then sitting tenant of this space in the LRB, Thomas Jones, among others), that at the end of The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, Hercule Poirot hit on a wrong solution to the crime, that the too devious Dame Agatha had for once thrown even herself off the scent ...

At Tate Britain

Nicholas Penny: Pre-Raphaelite works on paper , 3 May 2017

... Roger Fry​ , when comparing the Pre-Raphaelites with the Impressionists, described the artistic innovations of the former as an insurrection in a convent, whereas the latter were real revolutionaries. The simile may have been unconsciously prompted by an elaborate and highly finished drawing of hysterical nuns entangled with fanatical Huguenots who are disentombing the body of Queen Matilda ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Flirtation, Seduction and Betrayal, 5 September 2002

... Ivana Trump. Imagine my surprise, then, when I opened the book at random only to see the name of Roger Scruton. Confused, I had another look at the cover: ‘FLIRTATION SEDUCTION BETRAYAL’. Big, strong capital letters, solid and reliable. So what was going on? There, in elegant gothic type, lay the answer: ‘The Sunday Telegraph’. Farndale works for the ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Bo yakasha., 4 January 2001

... Bank, beginning on 23 January, under the general title Team GB?: In Search of a British Identity. Roger Scruton, whose England: An Elegy will soon be reviewed in the LRB, is giving the first lecture, and he will be followed by, among others, Robert Crawford, Meg Bateman, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Billy Bragg and Sukhdev Sandhu. You might think the editorial staff ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Dead Babies, 16 November 2000

... that it’s set in a hyper-real world.’ The same could be said of Pierre Bayard’s Who Killed Roger Ackroyd? (Fourth Estate, £10), which first appeared in France a couple of years ago, to be greeted by Le Monde as ‘the most exciting mystery story of the year’ and ‘a clever investigation into the art of reading’, based as it is on the idea that ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Darwinians & Creationists, 1 November 2001

... about who exactly is sitting at the drawing-board. But they do have a martyr in the shape of Roger DeHart, a high school biology teacher in Burlington, Washington, who in the spring was banned from teaching the theory. Evolution is a more satisfying explanation of life than intelligent design/creationism – or anything else that’s been so far proposed ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Ukip’s wrinkly glitz, 4 November 2004

... of a majority of the United Kingdom Independence Party’s local chairmen in his bid to replace Roger Knapman as Ukip’s leader. The party’s highest-profile MEP isn’t going to let a ‘farcical’ straw poll stand in his way, however. He has accused Ukip of being run by a ‘cabal’ headed by Nigel Farage, the Ukip MEP for the South-East, and says ...

When students ruled the earth

D.A.N. Jones, 17 March 1988

1968: A Student Generation in Revolt 
by Ronald Fraser.
Chatto, 370 pp., £14.95, January 1988, 0 7011 2913 1
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Street Fighting Years: An Autobiography of the Sixties 
by Tariq Ali.
Collins, 280 pp., £12.95, November 1987, 9780002177795
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Sixty-Eight: The Year of the Barricades 
by David Caute.
Hamish Hamilton, 464 pp., £14.95, January 1988, 0 241 12174 4
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Nineteen Sixty-Eight: A Personal Report 
by Hans Koning.
Unwin Hyman, 196 pp., £10.95, April 1988, 9780044401858
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... The meanings of ‘Fascism’ and ‘National Socialism’ are quite well discussed in Roger Scruton’s cold-hearted Dictionary of Political Thought (1982). For me (born in 1931) and for many of my generation, ‘Fascism’ means a system of government which angers us and reminds us of the regimes of Hitler and Mussolini. A fear of ...

How Do You Pay?

Bee Wilson: Falling for Michael Moore, 1 November 2007

Citizen Moore: An American Maverick 
by Roger Rapoport.
Methuen, 361 pp., £8.99, July 2007, 978 0 413 77649 5
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Manufacturing Dissent 
directed by Rick Caine and Debbie Melnyk.
October 2007
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Sicko 
directed by Michael Moore.
October 2007
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... grew up in the more affluent suburb of Davison, ‘a city known for its churches’, according to Roger Rapoport.) He was taught by the Sisters of Saint Joseph and was known at school for his singing voice and his ability to make the nuns giggle. One of the nuns remembers him as the ‘brightest student’ she’d encountered in her entire teaching career. It ...

Necrophiliac Striptease

Thomas Jones: Mummies, 6 February 2014

The Mummy’s Curse: The True History of a Dark Fantasy 
by Roger Luckhurst.
Oxford, 321 pp., £18.99, October 2012, 978 0 19 969871 4
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... who died within weeks of opening the tomb of Tutankhamun in February 1923 – whose stories Roger Luckhurst reconstructs in his alluring book, which shows that the mummy’s curse is one of those traditions (like celebrating Christmas or wearing clan tartans) whose origins are supposedly lost in the mists of time but were in fact invented by the ...

How are you finding it here?

Patrick Sims-Williams: Celts, 28 October 1999

The Atlantic Celts: Ancient People or Modern Invention? 
by Simon James.
British Museum, 160 pp., £6.99, March 1999, 0 7141 2165 7
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... Celtic Studies, or Celticism, has rarely been disinterested. In 1884 one James Cruikshank Roger published Celticism: A Myth. The title was ‘intended to express’ his ‘conviction that the assumption of Celtic civilisation and Celtic art is utterly without foundation’. Encouraged by the press reception, Roger showed his hand in the second edition: ‘Let him who will, deduce his origin from the shiftless savage of the British isles, I am content to believe myself of that great Teutonic stock, which has ruled the world in the past, and will rule it to the end of time ...

Saint Jane

D.A.N. Jones, 20 October 1983

The Good Father 
by Peter Prince.
Cape, 204 pp., £7.95, September 1983, 0 224 02131 1
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Mrs Pooter’s Diary 
by Keith Waterhouse and John Jensen.
Joseph, 208 pp., £7.95, October 1983, 0 7181 2339 5
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Dandiprat’s Days 
by David Thomson.
Dent, 165 pp., £8.50, September 1983, 0 460 04613 6
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The Dream of a Beast 
by Neil Jordan.
Chatto, 103 pp., £6.95, October 1983, 0 7011 2740 6
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Squeak: A Biography of NPA 1978A 203 
by John Bowen and Eric Fraser.
Faber, 127 pp., £2.95, October 1983, 0 571 13170 0
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The Life and Times of Michael K 
by J.M. Coetzee.
Secker, 250 pp., £7.95, September 1983, 0 436 10297 8
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... to other men. The main story is about his championship of another Stockwell party guest, Roger Miles, whose circumstances are similar to his own – deserted by his wife, denied custody of their child. Fighting for Roger, the ‘good father’ of the title, Hooper can express his practical hostility to his own wife ...

Dangerous Faults

Frank Kermode, 4 November 1993

Shear 
by Tim Parks.
Heinemann, 214 pp., £13.99, August 1993, 0 434 57745 6
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... of the earlier books, one might have been content to speak merely of control of tone. In Loving Roger, for instance, the narrator is a young woman, Anna, though there are interpolated diary passages and letters by her young man. In this book the pleasure of the big bang at the end is renounced, or rather transferred to the beginning, as in a detective ...

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