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Law and Class

Francis Bennion

1 May 1980
Respectable Rebels 
edited by Roger King.
Hodder, 200 pp., £10.95, October 1979, 0 340 23164 5
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The Judge 
by Patrick Devlin.
Oxford, 207 pp., £7.50, September 1979, 0 19 215949 6
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Human Rights 
edited by F.E. Dowrick.
Saxon House, 223 pp., £9.70, July 1979, 0 566 00281 7
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In on the Act 
by Sir Harold Kent.
Macmillan, 273 pp., £8.95, September 1979, 0 333 27120 3
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Law, Justice and Social Policy 
by Rosalind Brooke.
Croom Helm, 136 pp., £7.95, October 1979, 0 85664 636 9
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Inequality, Crime and Public Policy 
by John Braithwaite.
Routledge, 332 pp., £10.75, November 1979, 0 7100 0323 4
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... RogerKing and Neill Nugent assemble material by which they seek to persuade us that there is such a thing as the middle class, and that in the 1970s, by use of legal process, it staged a revolt. For example ...

What happened to Edward II?

David Carpenter: Impostors

7 June 2007
The Perfect KingThe Life of Edward III, Father of the British Nation 
by Ian Mortimer.
Pimlico, 536 pp., £8.99, April 2007, 978 1 84413 530 1
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... Here the glory of the English; the flower of past kings; the form of future kings; a merciful king; the peace of his peoples; Edward III, completing the jubilee of his reign; an unconquered leopard; victorious in battle like a Maccabee . . . he ruled mighty in arms; now in heaven let him be a ...

How to be a queen

David Carpenter: She-Wolves

15 December 2011
She-Wolves: The Women Who Ruled England before Elizabeth 
by Helen Castor.
Faber, 474 pp., £9.99, July 2011, 978 0 571 23706 7
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... than theory or cross-cultural comparison.’ At the heart of the book are accounts of the careers of four women who ‘ruled England before Elizabeth’. The first of them, Matilda, the daughter of King Henry I, fought for the throne against King Stephen, aspiring to make herself queen-regnant. The other three were all queen-consorts: Eleanor of Aquitaine, who rebelled against her husband, Henry II ...

A Baroque Scot’s Excess

August Kleinzahler

25 October 2012
... the Raid of Turiff, Inverness, Aberdeen, veteran of the Battle of Worcester; thrice imprisoned in the Tower of London; who would perish from laughter upon being told of the restoration of the King; found him a puddle outside the Cat & Mustard Pot, sat and waged pitiful tyranny against the phlegm, vibrato and tears that bespoke drink on a heavy heart. Chivvied by creditors, pilloried by malison ...

Fraud Squad

Ferdinand Mount: Imposters

2 August 2007
The Tichborne Claimant: A Victorian Sensation 
by Rohan McWilliam.
Continuum, 363 pp., £25, March 2007, 978 1 85285 478 2
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A Romanov Fantasy: Life at the Court of Anna Anderson 
by Frances Welch.
Short Books, 327 pp., £14.99, February 2007, 978 1 904977 71 1
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The Lost Prince: The Survival of Richard of York 
by David Baldwin.
Sutton, 220 pp., £20, July 2007, 978 0 7509 4335 2
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... Sir Roger Tichborne is my name, I’m seeking now for wealth and fame, They say that I was lost at sea, But I tell them ‘Oh dear, no, not me.’ This ballad, sung in procession when the Tichborne Claimant ...

Short Cuts

Christopher Tayler: King​ Charles the Martyr

21 February 2019
... of prorogation – the suspension of Parliament by the monarch. Like Boris Johnson, Rees-Mogg is fond of bogus erudition – the Brexit white paper was, he said, ‘the greatest vassalage since King John paid homage to Philip II at Le Goulet in 1200’ – and he must have enjoyed expressing his hope that it would ‘not be necessary for Her Majesty’s stay at Sandringham to be interrupted by ...

Counter-Factuals

Linda Colley

1 November 1984
The Origins of Anglo-American Radicalism 
edited by Margaret Jacob and James Jacob.
Allen and Unwin, 333 pp., £18.50, February 1984, 0 04 909015 1
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Insurrection: The British Experience 1795-1803 
by Roger​ Wells.
Alan Sutton, 312 pp., £16, May 1983, 9780862990190
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Radicalism and Freethought in 19th-Century Britain 
by Joel Wiener.
Greenwood, 285 pp., $29.95, March 1983, 0 313 23532 5
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For King, Constitution and Country: The English Loyalists and the French Revolution 
by Robert Dozier.
Kentucky, 213 pp., £20.90, February 1984, 9780813114903
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... 1960s which helped to make Thompson’s book have receded, its influence and example have not. Indeed the obligation to study past radicalism felt by many socialist historians, and (to borrow one of Roger Wells’s more charitable epithets) ‘what passes for liberal historians’, seems only to have been intensified by resurgent conservatism on both sides of the Atlantic. Thus, according to its ...

Transfigurations

Roger​ Garfitt

20 March 1980
The Weddings at Nether Powers 
by Peter Redgrove.
Routledge, 166 pp., £2.95, July 1979, 0 7100 0255 6
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... at worst totally misbegotten. Take Peter Redgrove’s poem ‘En Route in Toppers to Ascot’. It is built on a familiar Redgrove system which might be called the Midas Variation. Everything that King Midas touched turned to gold. In the Midas Variation everything that Peter Redgrove touches turns to one thing, be it stone or clocks or bees or wasps or, in this case, pure horse manure: He is ...

A Whale of a Time

Colm Tóibín

2 October 1997
Roger​ Casement’s Diaries. 1910: The Black and the White 
edited by Roger​ Sawyer.
Pimlico, 288 pp., £10, October 1997, 9780712673754
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The Amazon Journal of Roger​ Casement 
edited by Angus Mitchell.
Anaconda, 534 pp., £40, October 1997, 9781901990010
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... Jessie Conrad remembered his visit: Sir Roger Casement, a fanatical Irish protestant, came to see us, remaining some two days our guest. He was a very handsome man with a thick, dark beard and piercing, restless eyes. His personality impressed ...

Eye Contact

Peter Campbell: Anthony van Dyck

16 September 1999
Anthony van Dyck 1599-1641 
by Christopher Brown and Hans Vlieghe.
Royal Academy, 360 pp., £22.50, May 1999, 9780847821969
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Anthony van Dyck: A Life, 1599-1641 
by Robin Blake.
Constable, 435 pp., £25, August 1999, 9780094797208
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... Sincerity and curiosity are virtues in painting; but so are grace, nobility and even the kindness that comes close to being flattery. ‘Van Dyck,’ Roger de Piles noted, ‘took his time to draw a face when it had its best looks on.’ He painted Charles I’s Queen, Henrietta Maria, as a handsome woman – without, it would seem, losing the likeness ...

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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... by degree: he was the son of Isobel of Huntingdon, a younger daughter of Earl David, and so a degree closer to David I than Balliol. The Brus claim was rejected in 1292 and Balliol was crowned king of Scots. Undeterred, and incensed by Edward I’s success in having his own son declared Balliol’s heir, the Brus family continued to pursue its claim to the throne, gathering powerful allies with ...

Shorn and Slathered

Christine Smallwood: ‘Reynard the Fox’

5 November 2015
Reynard the Fox: A New Translation 
by James Simpson.
Liveright, 256 pp., £16.99, March 2015, 978 0 87140 736 8
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... 23 editions between 1481 and 1700. Now James Simpson, a medievalist at Harvard, has translated Caxton’s History of Reynard the Fox into colloquial modern English. The book opens with the lion, the king of the beasts, calling the animals to court to celebrate the feast of Pentecost. The first thing we learn about Reynard is that he doesn’t want to go. The second thing we learn is that he doesn’t ...
10 November 1994
Hanson: A Biography 
by Alex Brummer and Roger​ Cowe.
Fourth Estate, 336 pp., £20, September 1994, 1 85702 189 4
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... her transport business in 1846 – when she began to haul wool and other goods across the Pennines to Manchester on packhorses – pulsed through the veins of her great-grandsons,’ Alex Brummer and Roger Cowe write without a trace of irony. One of these was Robert Hanson, the great James’s father, through whose veins the entrepreneurial spirit pulsed so fiercely that he stored other people’s ...

Types of Ambiguity

Conrad Russell

22 January 1987
War, Taxation and Rebellion in Early Tudor England: Henry VIII, Wolsey and the Amicable Grant of 1525 
by G.W. Bernard.
Harvester, 164 pp., £25, August 1986, 0 7108 1126 8
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Reassessing the Henrician Age: Humanism, Politics and Reform 1500-1550 
by Alistair Fox and John Guy.
Blackwell, 242 pp., £22.50, July 1986, 0 631 14614 8
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The Union of England and Scotland 1603-1608 
by Bruce Galloway.
John Donald, 208 pp., £20, May 1986, 0 85976 143 6
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Stuart England 
edited by Blair Worden.
Phaidon, 272 pp., £25, October 1986, 0 7148 2391 0
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... revolve. Dr Bernard’s book is devoted to the failure of the Amicable Grant of 1525. This unfortunately-named levy was designed to allow Henry VIII to take advantage of the defeat and capture of the King of France to prosecute his French claims. The title was not just a piece of newspeak: it expressed a crucial ambiguity in Late Medieval constitutional thinking. The King must not tax without consent ...

Rigging and Bending

Simon Adams: James VI & I

9 October 2003
The Cradle KingA Life of James VI & I 
by Alan Stewart.
Chatto, 438 pp., £20, February 2003, 0 7011 6984 2
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... the murder of the Earl of Moray; the ‘Spanish Blanks’ affair, an offer by Scottish Catholics to facilitate a Spanish invasion of England – caused James major political difficulties, but the King remained loyal to him. On the eve of his death in 1625, James recommended Huntly to his son Charles as ‘the most faithful servant that ever served a prince’. The summer of 1587 also saw the visit ...

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