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Hazlitteering

John Bayley, 22 March 1990

Hazlitt: A Life. From Winterslow to Frith Street 
by Stanley Jones.
Oxford, 397 pp., £35, October 1989, 0 19 812840 1
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Shakespearean Constitutions: Politics, Theatre, Criticism 1730-1830 
by Jonathan Bate.
Oxford, 234 pp., £27, September 1989, 0 19 811749 3
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... bring back an imaginary past, an epoch of freedom and justice. The phrase is not Hazlitt’s but Stanley Jones’s, and gives an idea of the crispness of Jones’s style, as the instance does of the erudition with which he has reached into every cranny of Hazlitt’s distracted polemical existence. His book is a ...

Motiveless Malignity

D.A.N. Jones, 11 October 1990

The Dwarfs 
by Harold Pinter.
Faber, 183 pp., £11.99, October 1990, 0 571 14446 2
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The Comfort of Strangers, and Other Screenplays 
by Harold Pinter.
Faber, 226 pp., £14.99, September 1990, 0 571 14419 5
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The Circus Animals 
by James Plunkett.
Hutchinson, 305 pp., £12.99, September 1990, 0 09 173530 0
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The South 
by Colm Tóibín.
Serpent’s Tail, 238 pp., £7.99, May 1990, 1 85242 170 3
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... where Goldberg, a jaunty Jew, and McCann, a morose Irishman, descended upon the reclusive Stanley in a seaside town, to demolish him with interrogations. GOLDBERG: Don’t lie! McCANN: You betrayed the organisation. I know him! STANLEY: You don’t! GOLDBERG: What can you see without your glasses? ...

Did he puff his crimes to please a bloodthirsty readership?

Bernard Porter: How bad was Stanley?, 5 April 2007

StanleyThe Impossible Life of Africa’s Greatest Explorer 
by Tim Jeal.
Faber, 570 pp., £25, March 2007, 978 0 571 22102 8
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... unlikely reputation to rescue, reputations don’t come much unlikelier than that of Henry Morton Stanley. Widely excoriated in his own time as one of the most brutal of African travellers, condemned by historians for his part in the creation of King Leopold II’s Congo Free State, and derided both then and since for his famous but embarrassingly arch ...

Night-Flights

D.A.N. Jones, 18 September 1986

Search Sweet Country 
by B. Kojo Laing.
Heinemann, 256 pp., £10.95, August 1986, 0 434 40216 8
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The Jewel Maker 
by Tom Gallagher.
Hamish Hamilton, 180 pp., £9.95, April 1986, 0 241 11866 2
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The Pianoplayers 
by Anthony Burgess.
Hutchinson, 208 pp., £8.95, August 1986, 0 09 165190 5
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An After-Dinner’s Sleep 
by Stanley Middleton.
Hutchinson, 224 pp., £9.95, May 1986, 0 09 163620 5
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Coming Home 
by Mervyn Jones.
Piatkus, 263 pp., £9.95, April 1986, 0 86188 525 2
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... sound like a virtuoso. After this pleasant absurdity, Anthony Burgess’s 29th novel, we turn to Stanley Middleton’s 25th and Mervyn Jones’s 22nd, both of them rather dour books concerned with an ‘older’ man renewing acquaintance with his first love. ‘Older’ is by no means a precise term; the hero of An ...

‘We would rather eat our cake than merely have it’

Rosemary Hill: Victorian men and women, 4 October 2001

A Circle of Sisters: Georgiana Burne-Jones, Agnes Poynter and Louisa Baldwin 
by Judith Flanders.
Penguin, 392 pp., £17.99, September 2001, 0 670 88673 4
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The Hated Wife: Carrie Kipling 1862-1939 
by Adam Nicolson.
Short Books, 96 pp., £4.99, May 2001, 0 571 20835 5
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Victorian Diaries: The Daily Lives of Victorian Men and Women 
edited by Heather Creaton.
Mitchell Beazley, 144 pp., £14.99, February 2001, 1 84000 359 6
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... turned if not upside down then round through many degrees. In the story of the Macdonald sisters Stanley Baldwin and Kipling are, for most of the time, children, little seen or heard. Ruskin is a recurring nuisance. We sympathise with Georgiana Macdonald, an independent woman tied by an early marriage to the demanding, fickle, hypochondriac Edward ...

Spurning at the High

Edward Pearce: A poet of Chartism, 6 November 2003

Ernest Jones, Chartism and the Romance of Politics 1819-69 
by Miles Taylor.
Oxford, 290 pp., £45, January 2003, 0 19 820729 8
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... checked in our days’ speaks the caution of 1867 as against the enthusiasm of 1832. But Ernest Jones could have done with Will Ladislaw’s luck. If Ladislaw’s connections with a ‘good family’ had been hopelessly vitiated by a parentage involving foreign and thus dubious, blood, Jones was well connected and wholly ...

Clever, or even Clever-Clever

Adam Kuper: Edmund Leach, 23 May 2002

Edmund Leach: An Anthropological Life 
by Stanley Tambiah.
Cambridge, 517 pp., £60, February 2002, 0 521 52102 5
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The Essential Edmund Leach: Vol. I: Anthropology and Society 
by Stephen Hugh-Jones and James Laidlaw.
Yale, 406 pp., £30, February 2001, 0 300 08124 3
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The Essential Edmund Leach: Vol. II: Culture and Human Nature 
by Stephen Hugh-Jones and James Laidlaw.
Yale, 420 pp., £30, February 2001, 0 300 08508 7
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... to score in argument. ‘His forte was the quick and clever or even clever-clever,’ Stephen Hugh-Jones, a former student, remarks. His old antagonist, Meyer Fortes, the professor of social anthropology at Cambridge, said that Leach had the public schoolboy notion that just by turning an argument on its head you were being original. Leach more or less ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Facebook Misery, 16 July 2014

... shown a new story about social media giants. There’s no mention of Mark Zuckerberg as the new Stanley Milgram. But ‘Twitter will double its UK revenues this year to almost £100 million, while Facebook is expected to enjoy a 40 per cent boost to nearly £570 ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Cold fish at the royal household, 20 November 2003

... will be preparing for exile in Bermuda, or some other far-flung corner of their former realm: Port Stanley, say, or Balmoral. Paul Burrell will have packed their bags for them one last time. The ‘irony’ of which, as Burrell would say (the only words that he misuses more often are ‘surreal’ and ‘enormity’), is that he’s a die-hard monarchist, as ...

‘A Being full of Witching’

Charles Nicholl: The ‘poor half-harlot’ of Hazlitt’s affections, 18 May 2000

... real at all except as a figment of one man’s amour fou. The exception is the Hazlitt scholar Stanley Jones. In the late 1960s he succeeded in tracing a direct descendant of Sarah’s younger brother, Micaiah Walker. He pursued certain trails this opened up for him, and published his findings about her and her family in his biography, William ...

One’s Rather Obvious Duty

Paul Smith, 1 June 2000

Stanley Baldwin: Conservative Leadership and National Values 
by Philip Williamson.
Cambridge, 378 pp., £25, September 1999, 0 521 43227 8
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... the genuine article. Genuineness has to look genuine, for what your audience gets is what it sees. Stanley Baldwin, moreover, reached the top in politics just when it had become possible for millions to observe politicians in close-up on the cinema screen and hear them, with an even greater illusion of intimacy, on the radio. One of his most vital skills was ...

Knobs, Dots and Grooves

Peter Campbell: Henry Moore, 8 August 2002

Henry Moore: Writings and Conversations 
edited by Alan Wilkinson.
Lund Humphries, 320 pp., £35, February 2002, 0 85331 847 6
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The Penguin Modern Painters: A History 
by Carol Peaker.
Penguin Collectors’ Society, 124 pp., £15, August 2001, 0 9527401 4 1
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... Clark wished to encourage would still want pictures of modest size and unemphatic subject-matter. Stanley Spencer painted his potboilers because there was a less ready market for his religious pictures. Critics explained that it was the way the representation (or non-representation) was achieved that made a work of art valuable, not the thing represented. By ...

Comprehending Gaddis

D.A.N. Jones, 6 March 1986

The Recognitions 
by William Gaddis.
Penguin, 956 pp., £7.95, January 1986, 0 14 007768 5
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JR 
by William Gaddis.
Penguin, 726 pp., £7.95, January 1986, 0 14 008039 2
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Carpenter’s Gothic 
by William Gaddis.
Deutsch, 262 pp., £8.95, February 1986, 0 233 97932 8
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... of ignorance leads up to the climax of The Recognitions, where his most admirable character – Stanley, the musician – meets his death playing a gigantic organ in an Italian church, all because he did not understand the Italian notice, warning that the instrument was too powerful for the edifice. The unpatriotic William Gaddis is keen to remind us that ...

Beltz’s Beaux

D.A.N. Jones, 3 March 1983

Marienbad 
by Sholom Aleichem, translated by Aliza Shevrin.
Weidenfeld, 222 pp., £7.95, February 1983, 0 297 78200 2
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A Coin in Nine Hands 
by Marguerite Yourcenar, translated by Dori Katz.
Aidan Ellis, 192 pp., £7.95, January 1983, 0 85628 123 9
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Entry into Jerusalem 
by Stanley Middleton.
Hutchinson, 172 pp., £7.50, January 1983, 0 09 150950 5
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People Who Knock on the Door 
by Patricia Highsmith.
Heinemann, 306 pp., £7.95, January 1983, 0 434 33521 5
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A Visit from the Footbinder 
by Emily Prager.
Chatto, 174 pp., £7.95, February 1983, 0 7011 2675 2
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Dusklands 
by J.M. Coetzee.
Secker, 125 pp., £6.95, January 1983, 9780436102967
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... Southsea’ – and hears him speak ‘Movie English, one of the secret slangs of love’. With Stanley Middleton we must expect to be confined to a city in the English Midlands. A firm hand at the reins prevents his readers and himself from galloping away from this tranquil place. Entry into Jerusalem is about an admired landscape painter, just before he ...

Short Cuts

Norman Dombey: False Intelligence, 19 February 2004

... them as trucks bought from Marconi for filling balloons with hydrogen. David Kelly and Brian Jones were not the only ones to have doubts about the dossier: similar doubts were expressed by nuclear experts. We shall see what the Butler committee finds. Where were the bogus stories about Iraq’s supposed nuclear programme coming from? In the case of the ...

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