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1086, 1886, 1986 and all that

John Dodgson, 22 May 1986

Domesday: 900 Years of England’s Norman Heritage 
edited by Kate Allen.
Millbank in association with the National Domesday Committee, 192 pp., £3, March 1986, 0 946171 49 1
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The Normans and the Norman Conquest 
by R. Allen Brown.
Boydell, 259 pp., £19.50, January 1985, 0 85115 427 1
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The Domesday Book: England’s Heritage, Then and Now 
edited by Thomas Hinde.
Hutchinson, 351 pp., £14.95, October 1985, 0 09 161830 4
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Domesday Heritage 
edited by Elizabeth Hallam.
Arrow, 95 pp., £3.95, February 1986, 0 09 945800 4
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Domesday Book through Nine Centuries 
by Elizabeth Hallam.
Thames and Hudson, 224 pp., £12.50, March 1986, 0 500 25097 9
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Domesday Book: A Reassessment 
edited by Peter Sawyer.
Arnold, 182 pp., £25, October 1985, 0 7131 6440 9
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... plainly addressed to layman and expert alike, in a handy functional format, at reasonable price. It is already much used by students and it is already prompting and informing, in universities as far apart as Hull and Santa Barbara, the computerised analysis which will be the basis of the next hundred years’ work. Thus, this edition will survive and ...
... sandy soil, under that high sky); for her it was just dead. ‘You know: dead!’ Her name was Sally, It said so on a plastic name-badge pinned to her blouse, the top button of which was undone, revealing not her breasts, but the childish, bony, sexless hollow between them. She had a starveling face: brown hair carefully arranged around pallid, drawn ...

Ruck in the Carpet

Glen Newey: Political Morality, 9 July 2009

Philosophy and Real Politics 
by Raymond Geuss.
Princeton, 116 pp., £11.95, October 2008, 978 0 691 13788 9
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... a bit surprising to find that Carl Schmitt is not mentioned here. His credentials as an Aunt Sally for moralists are not only that he promulgated ‘dangerous’ ideas like judicial decisionism, the friend/foe distinction and the ‘state of exception’, but also that he served as a court jurist to the Nazis. Schmitt’s Techtelmechtel with the Hitler ...

Institutional Hypocrisy

David Runciman: Selling the NHS, 21 April 2005

Restoring Responsibility: Ethics in Government, Business and Healthcare 
by Dennis Thompson.
Cambridge, 349 pp., £16.99, November 2004, 0 521 54722 9
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NHS plc: The Privatisation of Our Healthcare 
by Allyson Pollock.
Verso, 271 pp., £15.99, September 2004, 1 84467 011 2
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Brown’s Britain 
by Robert Peston.
Short Books, 369 pp., £14.99, January 2005, 1 904095 67 4
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... know that politicians can’t possibly sustain all the absurd contortions we demand of them as the price for securing our votes. In such circumstances, to insist that democratic politicians should honour all their promises, and practise what they preach, is itself absurd, and likely to breed cynicism and contempt. In an essay entitled ‘Hypocrisy and ...

Into Apathy

Neil McKendrick, 21 August 1980

The Wedgwood Circle, 1730-1897 
by Barbara Wedgwood and Hensleigh Wedgwood.
Studio Vista, 386 pp., £9.95, May 1980, 0 289 70892 3
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... little explored shadowy corners we find Sarah Wedgwood, the last surviving daughter of Josiah and Sally, living alone. Sarah was tall, thin, solemn and sad, but above all remarkably fastidious. She was so fastidious that she kept special pairs of gloves for particular tasks: a pair of black cotton gloves was designated for shaking hands with children; gloves ...

How to Grow a Weetabix

James Meek: Farms and Farmers, 16 June 2016

... rate – it’s fixed in euros, but paid in pounds – it’s more stable and reliable than the price of wheat, which, in the past nine years, has twice doubled and twice halved, sometimes from one year to the next. Since he became a Ukip MEP in 2009 Agnew has relinquished day to day running of the farm to his wife, Diana, who deals with their 35,000 ...

My son has been poisoned!

David Bromwich: Cold War movies, 26 January 2012

An Army of Phantoms: American Movies and the Making of the Cold War 
by J. Hoberman.
New Press, 383 pp., £21.99, March 2011, 978 1 59558 005 4
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... Lancaster, Audie Murphy, Burgess Meredith, Groucho Marx, Vincente Minnelli, Gregory Peck, Vincent Price, Robert Ryan, Edward G. Robinson, Donna Reed, Nicholas Ray, Robert Siodmak, Frank Sinatra, Sylvia Sidney, Claire Trevor, Franchot Tone, Walter Wanger, Keenan Wynn, William Wyler, Orson Welles, Billy Wilder, Jerry Wald and Robert Young. Ronald Reagan, a New ...

I must be mad

Nicholas Spice: Wild Analysis, 8 January 2004

Wild Analysis 
by Sigmund Freud, edited by Adam Phillips, translated by Alan Bance.
Penguin, 222 pp., £8.99, November 2002, 0 14 118242 3
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... known. So we do our best to have it both ways. Hugging our right to silence close to us, we sally forth into the world in search of friends, lovers, therapists. Nagel speaks of intimacy as ‘a partial lifting of the usual veil of reticence’. Friendship and romantic love operate somewhat differently here. Friendship is our most reliable resource in ...

What does she think she looks like?

Rosemary Hill: The Dress in Your Head, 5 April 2018

... suitable: it is one of the ‘little out of the way things’ that Mrs Dalloway’s dressmaker, Sally Parker, could create and yet at the same time not ‘queer’. The thing about Sally’s designs is that ‘you could wear them at Hatfield; at Buckingham Palace. She had worn them at Hatfield; at Buckingham ...

Act One, Scene One

David Bromwich: Don’t Resist, Oppose, 16 February 2017

... DeVos, a promoter of charter schools who has denigrated the very idea of public education. Tom Price, the doctor who is the nominee for health secretary, owes his appointment to his agitation for the repeal of Obamacare. Andrew Puzder, the CEO of the fast-food franchise Carl Jr, chiefly known for his opposition to raising the minimum wage, is Trump’s ...

Literary Friction

Jenny Turner: Kathy Acker’s Ashes, 19 October 2017

After Kathy Acker: A Literary Biography 
by Chris Kraus.
Allen Lane, 352 pp., £20, August 2017, 978 1 63590 006 4
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... That novel then proceeds to a report of the narrator’s first abortion, complete with itemised price list ($190 without a general anaesthetic, which costs another $50): ‘Having an abortion was obviously just like getting fucked. If we closed our eyes and spread our legs, we’d be taken care of.’Except that it turns out not to be so ...


James Meek, 5 April 2018

... size of the ‘hospital’? ‘If you’re going to really do it properly,’ she said, ‘yes.’ Sally Ruane, a health policy researcher at De Montfort University in Leicester, points out that all the indications are of a need for more general and acute hospital beds, not fewer, when numbers have already been cut to the bone. In an analysis published last ...

The Tower

Andrew O’Hagan, 7 June 2018

... went to the hospitals to identify families that needed help and what sort of help. David and Sally did a lot of running around – for instance, getting a government grant and a laptop for a family in hospital, doing lots of practical arranging, shopping, replacing lost items, and getting items to hotels. ‘But there was a narrative forming,’ ...

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