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A Question of Breathing

John Bayley, 4 August 1988

Elizabeth Barrett Browning 
by Margaret Forster.
Chatto, 400 pp., £14.95, June 1988, 0 7011 3018 0
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Selected Poems of Elizabeth Barrett Browning 
by Margaret Forster.
Chatto, 330 pp., £12.95, June 1988, 0 7011 3311 2
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The Poetical Works of Robert Browning: Vol. III 
edited by Ian Jack and Rowena Fowler.
Oxford, 542 pp., £60, June 1988, 0 19 812762 6
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The Complete Works of Robert Browning: Vol. VIII 
edited by Roma King and Susan Crowl.
Ohio/Baylor University, 379 pp., £47.50, September 1988, 9780821403808
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... Byron is the prototype of the first, Wordsworth of the second. The great Goethe was, in his time, king and emperor of both, and highly revered for it. In love with their fates, condemned by these to some suitable agony, the dramatisers had a more spectacular but more painful time of it than those whom Keats rather unfairly refers to as ‘large ...

Short Cuts

Jacqueline Rose: My Evening with Farage, 23 October 2013

... least by Farage, that those whom they, like Farage, most despised – criminals, the unemployed, Roma – were about to pour out of their country in search of a better life. And again like Farage, they now seemed at a loss to know what to do with the fact that the predicted flood will probably not take place. Whether that will be a relief or a dreadful ...

Browning Versions

Barbara Everett, 4 August 1983

Robert Browning: A Life within Life 
by Donald Thomas.
Weidenfeld, 334 pp., £12.95, August 1982, 0 297 78092 1
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The Elusive Self in the Poetry of Robert Browning 
by Constance Hassett.
Ohio, 186 pp., £17, December 1982, 0 8214 0629 9
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The Complete Works of Robert Browning. Vol. V 
edited by Roma King.
Ohio, 395 pp., £29.75, July 1981, 9780821402207
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The Poetical Works of Robert Browning: Vol. I 
edited by Ian Jack and Margaret Smith.
Oxford, 543 pp., £45, April 1983, 0 19 811893 7
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Robert Browning: The Poems 
edited by John Pettigrew and Thomas Collins.
Yale/Penguin, 1191 pp., £26, January 1982, 0 300 02675 7
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Robert Browning: ‘The Ring and the Book’ 
edited by Richard Altick.
Yale/Penguin, 707 pp., £21, May 1981, 0 300 02677 3
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... long-awaited first volume of the Ohio University Press Browning, under the general editorship of Roma King Jr; the most recent volume brings the reader from ‘A Soul’s Tragedy’ to the first volume of Men and Women. This fifth volume incorporates some changes in editorial policy and personnel which reflect the rough reception the Ohio Browning has ...

Le Journal and Le Club

Tariq Ali: Mediapart, 22 October 2014

... Le Pen to humiliate minorities. There is more than a whiff of Vichy in the air, with Muslims and Roma taking the place of Jews. How many passers-by are aware that the monument in the centre of the place de la Bastille commemorates the martyrs of the July Revolution of 1830? The king had insisted on pushing through ...

Diary

Suzy Hansen: In Istanbul, 6 May 2015

... it comes to Beyoglu. In 1939, ‘while new government offices were rising in Ankara,’ Charles King writes in Midnight at Pera Palace: The Birth of Modern Istanbul, ‘the Turkish government organised an international design competition to solicit proposals for solving the problem of Istanbul’s future development.’* The winner was Henri Prost, a French ...

Not Just a Phase

Nora Berend and Christopher Clark: Rewriting Hungary’s Past, 20 November 2014

... avowal’ in the name of the ‘members of the Hungarian nation’: ‘We are proud that our King St Stephen a thousand years ago placed the Hungarian state on stable foundations, and made our fatherland a part of Christian Europe … We recognise the role of Christianity in conserving the nation.’ The grandiloquent constitutional flourishes were ...

Is there a Libya?

Issandr El Amrani, 28 April 2011

... to attract the attention of European colonisers, although during the 19th century the Banco di Roma established branches along the coast. In 1911, Italy, a latecomer to empire, decided to annex Tripolitania and Cyrenaica and turn them into what the proto-Fascist Gabriele d’Annunzio called its ‘Fourth Shore’. After formally notifying the Ottoman ...

Carlyle’s Mail Fraud

Rosalind Mitchison, 6 August 1981

The Collected Letters of Thomas and Jane Welsh Carlyle: Vol. VIII 1835-1836, Vol. IX 1836-1837 
edited by Charles Sanders and Kenneth Fielding.
Duke, 365 pp., £32.95, May 1981, 0 8223 0433 3
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... in all ages and places,’ he writes to Emerson – a ‘book written by a wild man’, ‘looking king and beggar in the face with an indifference of brotherhood,’ he tells his brother. There has not been in ‘a hundred years any book that came more direct and flamingly sincere from the heart of man’. After it is all over, and after another long stretch ...

How do you see Susan?

Mary Beard: No Asp for Zenobia, 20 March 2003

Cleopatra: Beyond the Myth 
by Michel Chauveau, translated by David Lorton.
Cornell, 104 pp., £14.95, April 2002, 0 8014 3867 5
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The Roman Mistress: Ancient and Modern Representations 
by Maria Wyke.
Oxford, 452 pp., £40, March 2002, 9780198150756
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... terribly wrong. In 61 BC, for example, in the triumph of Pompey the Great – then victorious over King Mithridates, though later defeated by his arch-rival Julius Caesar in the civil wars of the early 40s BC – the extravagance of the artwork proved counterproductive in the eyes of some. In his encyclopedic Natural History, Pliny the Elder gleefully bemoaned ...

Wanting to Be Special

Tom Nairn, 21 March 1996

The Race Gallery: The Return of Racial Science 
by Marek Kohn.
Cape, 311 pp., £17.99, September 1995, 9780224039581
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... feeling, multiculturalism and musical attunement to the ecosphere. These are the views of Richard King, who is responsible for the Afrocentrist pages on the World Wide Web. Not myself a devotee, I can only quote the electronic address at which surfers should be able to check for themselves: http://www.melanet.com/melanet/ubus/melib.html In a sense now ...

Stop It and Act

Tim Parks: Pavese’s Road to Suicide, 11 February 2010

This Business of Living: Diaries 1935-50 
by Cesare Pavese, translated by A.E. Murch.
Transaction, 350 pp., £24.50, March 2009, 978 1 4128 1019 7
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... in June, Pavese won the Strega prize, Italy’s most important literary award. ‘So, I’m king of my trade,’ he writes. ‘In ten years I’ve done it all.’ The failure in love reinforced his conviction that life would always elude him; the literary success made him intensely aware of the trivialisation of literature. ‘These days we see the ...

Humid Fidelity

Peter Bradshaw: The letters of Winston and Clementine Churchill, 16 September 1999

Speaking for Themselves: The Personal Letters of Winston and Clementine Churchill 
edited by Mary Soames.
Black Swan, 702 pp., £15, August 1999, 0 552 99750 1
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... which you see but can’t look at – When he came in everyone (women too) got up as if he were a King – You couldn’t help doing it. A few days later Clementine reports that she has received a signed photograph from Mussolini. It is inscribed:        A la Signora Winston Churchill                 Devotamente ...

One of Hitler’s Inflatables

Mark Mazower: Quisling, 20 January 2000

Quisling: A Study in Treachery 
by Hans Fredrik Dahl, translated by Anne-Marie Stanton-Ife.
Cambridge, 452 pp., £30, May 1999, 0 521 49697 7
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... Mussolini organised conferences of the CAUR (the Comitati d’Azione per l’Universalità di Roma), a kind of Italian Universism, which Quisling attended. At the Montreux conference in 1934 he spoke about the need to respect the rights of smaller nations in a future Europe – a theme to which he would return time and again during the war. He befriended ...

The Queen and I

William Empson and John Haffenden, 26 November 1987

... Jubilee Session. No other reigning sovereign had visited the principal university buildings since King Edward VII opened them in 1905. Six months before the Queen’s visit, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor J.M. Whittaker, put to his recently-appointed Professor of English Literature a ‘general idea’ – to celebrate the Queen’s visit by reviving the ...

Hi, Louise!

Stephanie Burt: Frank O’Hara, 20 July 2000

In Memory of My Feelings: Frank O’Hara and American Art 
by Russell Ferguson.
California, 160 pp., £24.50, October 1999, 0 520 22243 1
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The Last Avant-Garde: The Making of the New York School of Poets 
by David Lehman.
Anchor, 448 pp., $16.95, November 1999, 0 385 49533 1
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Frank O’Hara: Poet among Painters 
by Marjorie Perloff.
Chicago, 266 pp., £13.50, March 1998, 0 226 66059 1
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... you could. GRANDMOTHER: Would you boys like to take sandwiches to school or come home at noon? KING: I’ll get back into that palace, I know I will. SHEEP: Sure you will. The ‘New York School’ poets’ apparent independence from worldly concerns, their elaborate self-reference and slippery in-jokes, can make the world of the Cedar Tavern seem ...

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