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Short Cuts

John Sturrock: At the Test Match, 6 September 2001

... enticingly subtitled ‘Skulduggery, Sharp Practice and Downright Cheating in the Noble Game’, Simon Rae has a chapter on sledging, tracing it back well beyond recent Australian teams to the sorts of thing W.G. Grace was famous for saying to cowed batsmen. A batsman known to Short Cuts decades ago was sledged one day in the Parks at Oxford, by Fred ...

The Great Accumulator

John Sturrock: W.G. Grace, 20 August 1998

W.G. Grace: A Life 
by Simon Rae.
Faber, 548 pp., £20, July 1998, 0 571 17855 3
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W.G.’s Birthday Party 
by David Kynaston.
Night Watchman, 154 pp., £13, May 1998, 0 9532360 0 5
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... demons of social class that money incubates, comes into Grace’s life-story at every turn, and Simon Rae’s new biography does well to start by recording that, where one of his grandfathers had been a butler, one of his sons became an admiral. This was a family promotion that turned on his own hugely newsworthy command of a game which, as it grew in ...

Millom

Alan Hollinghurst, 18 February 1982

Sea to the West 
by Norman Nicholson.
Faber, 64 pp., £3, June 1981, 0 571 11729 5
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Out for the Elements 
by Andrew Waterman.
Carcanet, 151 pp., £3.95, October 1981, 0 85635 377 9
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Between Here and Now 
by R.S. Thomas.
Macmillan, 110 pp., £5.95, November 1981, 0 333 32186 3
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Poetry Introduction Five 
Faber, 121 pp., £5.25, January 1982, 0 571 11793 7Show More
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... Raine, who, one is reminded, does this kind of thing best. Raine also overshadows the work of Simon Rae, perhaps the least distinct of these poets in individual style: the actual machinery is efficient, but seems directed to no particular end. Wendy Cope makes fun of this and other fashionable modes in a series of ‘Strugnell’ poems – works of a ...

Booze and Fags

Christopher Hitchens, 12 March 1992

Tobacco: A History 
by V.G. Kiernan.
Radius, 249 pp., £18.99, December 1991, 0 09 174216 1
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The Faber Book of Drink, Drinkers and Drinking 
edited by Simon Rae.
Faber, 554 pp., £15.99, November 1991, 0 571 16229 0
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... Hard by the market in Cambridge is or was Bacon’s the tobacconist, and on Bacon’s wall, if it stands yet, there’s an engraved poem by Thomas Calverley of which I can still quote a stave or two when maundering over the port and nuts (before the brandy stage): Thou who when cares attack, bidst them avaunt and black Care from the horseman’s back, vaulting unseatest ...

Elegant Extracts

Leah Price: Anthologies, 3 February 2000

The Oxford Book of English Verse 
edited by Christopher Ricks.
Oxford, 690 pp., £25, October 1999, 0 19 214182 1
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The Norton Anthology of English Literature: Volume One 
edited by M.H. Abrams and Stephen Greenblatt.
Norton, 2974 pp., £22.50, December 1999, 0 393 97487 1
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The Norton Anthology of English Literature: Volume Two 
edited by M.H. Abrams and Stephen Greenblatt.
Norton, 2963 pp., £22.50, February 2000, 9780393974911
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The Longman Anthology of British Literature: Volume One 
edited by David Damrosch.
Longman, 2963 pp., $53, July 1999, 0 321 01173 2
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The Longman Anthology of British Literature: Volume Two 
edited by David Damrosch.
Longman, 2982 pp., $53, July 1999, 0 321 01174 0
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Night & Horses & The Desert: An Anthology of Classical Arabic Literature 
edited by Robert Irwin.
Allen Lane, 480 pp., £25, September 1999, 0 7139 9153 4
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News that Stays News: The 20th Century in Poems 
edited by Simon Rae.
Faber, 189 pp., £9.99, October 1999, 0 571 20060 5
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Time’s Tidings: Greeting the 21st Century 
by Carol Ann Duffy.
Anvil, 157 pp., £7.95, November 1999, 0 85646 313 2
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Scanning the Century: The Penguin Book of the 20th Century in Poetry 
edited by Peter Forbes.
Penguin, 640 pp., £12.99, February 1999, 9780140588996
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... sonnet, could apply equally well to its own powers of compression. Rule-bound and page-limited – Simon Rae’s introduction to News that Stays News: The 20th Century in Poems compares editing an anthology to doing a crossword puzzle – the Norton’s two volumes manage to give readers ‘infinite riches in a little room’. Little, but ...

You are not helpful!

Simon Blackburn: Wittgenstein in Cambridge, 29 January 2009

Wittgenstein in Cambridge: Letters and Documents 1911-51 
edited by Brian McGuinness.
Blackwell, 498 pp., £75, March 2008, 978 1 4051 4701 9
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... a difficult guest. These days we would be more inclined to shrink away, fearing the disruption of RAE deadlines and unmet administrative demands, not to mention the rebellion of family members, unhappy at being told what to eat and how to cook it. Even to mention the RAE in the same paragraph as Wittgenstein provokes a ...

Wide-Angled

Linda Colley: Global History, 26 September 2013

The French Revolution in Global Perspective 
edited by Suzanne Desan, Lynn Hunt and William Max Nelson.
Cornell, 240 pp., £16.50, April 2013, 978 0 8014 7868 0
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... than in Europe. Two historians, Nicholas Guyatt of the University of York and Luke Clossey of Simon Fraser University, have compiled a fascinating report on this, an extract from which recently appeared in the American Historical Association’s Perspectives on History. After examining the profiles of 2400 historians in 60 large history departments in ...

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