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Newton and God’s Truth

Christopher Hill, 4 September 1980

A Portrait of Isaac Newton 
by Frank Manuel.
Muller, 478 pp., £11.75, April 1980, 0 584 95357 7
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Philosopher at War: The Quarrel between Newton and Leibniz 
by Rupert Hall.
Cambridge, 338 pp., £15, July 1980, 0 521 22732 1
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... its intellectual model, something of his character penetrated to the very marrow of the system.’ Rupert Hall’s is a more conventional but very useful study of ‘the quarrel between Newton and Leibniz’. It arises from the author’s labours as editor of Newton’s correspondence during the last 18 years of his life. Here are none of Manuel’s ...

The Real Johnny Hall

Penelope Fitzgerald, 3 October 1985

Our Three Selves: A Life of Radclyffe Hall 
by Michael Baker.
Hamish Hamilton, 386 pp., £13.95, June 1985, 0 241 11539 6
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... was ‘admirably restrained’. It sold quite well, going into a second impression, and Radclyffe Hall, with her lover Una Troubridge, thought of taking a cottage in Rye. She may have felt some disappointment, having planned her novel in a crusader’s spirit. She claimed to have written the first full-length treatment in English of women who loved women. In ...

Just like Rupert Brooke

Tessa Hadley: 1960s Oxford, 5 April 2012

The Horseman’s Word: A Memoir 
by Roger Garfitt.
Cape, 378 pp., £18.99, April 2011, 978 0 224 08986 9
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... enthusiastic; Peter Jay took a photo of him in a green silk smoking jacket looking ‘just like Rupert Brooke!’; he talked about jazz with Robert Graves and about Keith Douglas with Edmund Blunden, the new professor of poetry. Poetry was both companionship and competition: ‘My own poems sounded hit-and-miss beside those of John Birtwhistle, who came up ...

Diary

Rupert Wilkinson: Harvard '61, 20 November 1986

... Reunion headquarters was the Harvard Freshman Union, constructed around an immense, long dining-hall where, as first-year students, we had taken all our meals together before dispersing to the Harvard Houses. I arrived to find a throng of apparent strangers holding drinks, but soon familiar faces appeared. Many of my classmates, I thought, looked remarkably ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: What I Did in 2015, 7 January 2016

... having put himself in the way of it in the first place. Bridget goes round pretty much at my pace, Rupert as always slower and taking more in, noting the tears brimming in Lucrezia’s eyes, for instance, and how she has had to half slip herself out of her heavily brocaded dress the more easily to stab herself. He marvels at the oath of the Batavii which (it ...

Great Internationalists

Rupert Cornwell, 2 February 1989

Philby: The Life and Views of the KGB Masterspy 
by Phillip Knightley.
Deutsch, 291 pp., £14.95, October 1988, 0 233 98360 0
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Mask of Treachery: The First Documented Dossier on Blunt, MI5 and Soviet Subversion 
by John Costello.
Collins, 761 pp., £18, November 1988, 0 00 217536 3
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A Divided Life: A Biography of Donald Maclean 
by Robert Cecil.
Bodley Head, 212 pp., £15, October 1988, 0 370 31129 9
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The Storm Birds: Soviet Post-War Defectors 
by Gordon Brook-Shepherd.
Weidenfeld, 303 pp., £14.95, November 1988, 0 297 79464 7
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... that little mention of the pyatyorka should itself be enough to earn him a posthumous place in the hall of fame at Dzerzhinsky Square. Are there any true heroes in this silent war? These four books have destroyed many of the notions which, as an interested student of these affairs, I have long cherished. Both sides’ traitors are a distinctly unlovable ...

At the V&A

Jeremy Harding: 50 Years of ‘Private Eye’, 15 December 2011

... Africa (HK to Vorster: ‘I’m only here for De Beers’) via James Goldsmith, Robert Maxwell, Rupert Murdoch, to Mugabe, Bush and Blair. For fans of a pensionable age, Verwoerd’s assassination (‘A Nation Mourns’, 17 September 1966) is a star cover. Younger readers may prefer a ghoulish photo of Norman Tebbit, the Tories’ ‘New Caring Face’ in ...

Saying yes

Rupert Wilkinson, 19 July 1984

... the nominees step up to the microphones to address the cheering party faithful in the convention hall, and the nation on television and radio, they will leave behind them the committee wranglings over party platforms and the balloting of the state party delegates which brought them their nominations. Although one nominee will be the incumbent ...

On the Blower

Peter Clarke: The Journals of Woodrow Wyatt, 18 February 1999

The Journals of Woodrow Wyatt: Volume I 
edited by Sarah Curtis.
Macmillan, 748 pp., £25, November 1998, 0 333 74166 8
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... yet to reach his apotheosis with the life peerage that validated his sobriquet, Lord Toad of Tote Hall. Confidant of Margaret Thatcher, columnist in the News of the World, professional diner-out and social climber, Wyatt spotted his opportunity. His diary would be a secret but was, from the outset, intended for publication. Its rationale was as a nice little ...

Pepys’s Place

Pat Rogers, 16 June 1983

The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Vol X: Companion and Vol XI: Index 
edited by Robert Latham.
Bell and Hyman, 626 pp., £19.50, February 1983, 0 7135 1993 2
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The Diary of John Evelyn 
edited by John Bowle.
Oxford, 476 pp., £19.50, April 1983, 0 19 251011 8
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The Brave Courtier: Sir William Temple 
by Richard Faber.
Faber, 187 pp., £15, February 1983, 0 571 11982 4
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... notation, and the ways in which this custom may have limited Pepys’s musical accomplishments. Rupert Hall is authoritative on ‘Science’ and ‘The Royal Society’: again, it would be possible to treat some of this material in a wider ideological context, as has been done by Michael Hunter in Science and Society in Restoration England ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: What I did in 1990, 24 January 1991

... and too nobbly for a girl’s. He/she has also attracted the attention of someone in the snooker hall above the pub and there’s a lot of shouting. Later, as we are getting into the car, Gary, a young man crippled with arthritis, calls out to A. from the snooker hall. She knows him and asks if it was him that was doing ...

Do what you wish, du Maurier

E.S. Turner, 31 March 1988

Maxwell 
by Joe Haines.
Macdonald, 525 pp., £12.95, March 1988, 0 356 17172 8
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Maxwell: The Outsider 
by Tom Bower.
Aurum, 374 pp., £12.95, March 1988, 0 948149 88 4
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Maxwell: A Portrait of Power 
by Peter Thompson and Anthony Delano.
Bantam, 256 pp., £12.95, February 1988, 0 593 01499 5
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Goodbye Fleet Street 
by Robert Edwards.
Cape, 260 pp., £12.95, March 1988, 0 224 02457 4
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... with a cosier domestic appeal shows the one-time home of Lady Ottoline Morrell, Headington Hill Hall, near Oxford, now the ‘council house’ seat of Robert Maxwell, lit up by rockets at night, with a huge illuminated sign saying ‘Happy Birthday Bob’ suspended from a tall tree. Perhaps because the picture does not show the full dimensions of ...

Peter Conrad’s Flight from Precision

Richard Poirier, 17 July 1980

Imagining America 
by Peter Conrad.
Routledge, 319 pp., £7.50, May 1980, 0 7100 0370 6
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... Dickens (gathered in Chapter Two under the heading ‘Institutional America’), Oscar Wilde and Rupert Brooke (‘Aesthetic America’), Kipling and R.L. Stevenson (‘Epic (and Chivalric) America’), H.G. Wells (‘Futuristic America’), D.H. Lawrence (‘Primitive America’), W.H. Auden (‘Theological America’), Aldous Huxley (Psychedelic ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: Allelujah!, 3 January 2019

... it is, I don’t see it forming one of the Saturday night film shows they have in our village hall.19 March, Yorkshire. A gorgeous morning, the snow all but gone and though it’s windy still almost warm. Between Rupert getting up and him fetching me a cup of tea I reread ‘Elizabeth at Rycote’, an essay in ...

Short Cuts

Christopher Tayler: Costume Drama, 11 October 2012

... Lewis did in 1914: ‘What balls!’ So even given the participation of Tom Stoppard, Rebecca Hall and Benedict Cumberbatch, it was surprising to see a Ford adaptation given five hours on BBC2. Ford was last unloosed in this way in 1981, when Julian Mitchell adapted The Good Soldier for Granada Television. That film – starring Jeremy Brett, another ...

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