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Unfair to gays

Simon Raven

19 June 1980
The Homosexual as Hero in Contemporary Fiction 
by Stephen Adams.
Vision, 208 pp., £10.95, March 1980, 0 85478 204 4
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... condition, and to seek out or create his own brave new world beyond the boundaries of the dreary dump in which (it is implied) mere heterosexuals are content to fret and rot from crib to coffin. StephenAdams does not propose a general or ‘encompassing’ thesis. Having insisted that methods and messages are diverse and individual, he settles down to record them, beginning with Gore Vidal and ...

The Iceman Cometh

Ross McKibbin: Tony Adams

6 January 2000
by Tony Adams and Ian Ridley.
HarperCollins, 384 pp., £6.99, August 1999, 0 00 218795 7
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... But if they do not play the game they are forgotten. And in one important respect Arsenal remains almost bulldog British: in its ageing but still formidable defence. Which brings us to Tony Adams. Of those bulldogs Adams is the most redoubtable; a man of immense pertinacity and skill who has saved both Arsenal and England on many occasions. And he has been in the game long enough to see it ...


Stephen​ Smith: Peace in Our Lunchtime

6 October 1994
... out of the United Kingdom – so that there was nothing for the Loyalists to remain loyal to – an independent North would be the only homeland that many could abide. As to negotiating with Gerry Adams and other Republicans, for Peter Robinson it is literally a case of over my dead body. He said: ‘You’re talking about many, many years. It’s probably generational.’ ‘You mean after you’re ...


Stephen​ Smith: Encounters at Holy Cross

18 November 1993
... take on the council depot shooting, had emphasised that it was ‘only the start of the heavy price to be paid’ by the Nationalist community after talks between the Sinn Fein president, Gerry Adams, and the SDLP leader, John Hume. Milltown was thus the feared or presumed setting for a showpiece atrocity, the funeral a shop-window for Loyalist marksmanship and ordnance-nous. It was a cold ...
30 October 1997
Secret and Sanctioned: Covert Operations and the American Presidency 
by Stephen​ Knott.
Oxford, 258 pp., £19.50, November 1996, 0 19 510098 0
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The Long Affair: Thomas Jefferson and the French Revolution, 1785-1800 
by Conor Cruise O’Brien.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 367 pp., £25, December 1996, 1 85619 637 2
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American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson 
by Joseph Ellis.
Knopf, 365 pp., $26, February 1997, 0 679 44490 4
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Slave Laws in Virginia 
by Philip Schwarz.
Georgia, 253 pp., $40, November 1996, 0 8203 1831 0
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... Shrine and the public Temple: Monticello and the Jefferson Memorial in Washington. The ‘pacific’ Jefferson has even won new converts among the ranks of the hawks. In Secret and Sanctioned, Stephen Knott, aware of the difficulty of reconciling necessary covert government operations with an open democracy, invokes the history of clandestine activities from the Founding era through to 1882. Not ...


Simon Adams: Was Mary Queen of Scots a Murderer?

11 June 2009
Burghley: William Cecil at the Court of Elizabeth I 
by Stephen​ Alford.
Yale, 412 pp., £25, May 2008, 978 0 300 11896 4
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... invites treatment normally found in the more ponderous biographies of contemporary politicians. The standard life, by Conyers Read, is in two volumes (published in 1955 and 1960), each larger than Stephen Alford’s new book. Alford, the author of The Early Elizabethan Polity: William Cecil and the British Succession Crisis (1998), has chosen to focus his study on the controversial subject of the ...

Big Ben

Stephen​ Fender

18 September 1986
Franklin of Philadelphia 
by Esmond Wright.
Harvard, 404 pp., £21.25, May 1986, 0 674 31809 9
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... arguments were more radical than traditional. By the time the British re-imposed taxes on America, in the shape of the Townshend Acts of 1767 (to which other Americans like John Dickinson and Samuel Adams responded with ever more ingenious arguments like the right of Parliament to legislate for the colonies, as against tax them), Franklin wrote his son William ‘that no middle doctrine can be well ...

A Preference for Strenuous Ghosts

Michael Kammen: Theodore Roosevelt

6 June 2002
Theodore Rex 
by Edmund Morris.
HarperCollins, 772 pp., £25, March 2002, 0 00 217708 0
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... Americans seem to relish Presidential biographies. David McCullough’s Truman (1992) was on the bestseller lists for the better part of a year, and his John Adams (2001) is providing an astonishing repeat performance. Robert Caro’s dramatically detailed look at The Years of Lyndon Johnson has been unfolding since 1982, and large chunks of Volume Three have ...

Round the (Next) Bend

Simon Adams: Sir Walter Ralegh

6 July 2000
The Letters of Sir Walter Raleigh 
edited by Agnes Latham and Joyce Youings.
Exeter, 403 pp., £45, July 1999, 0 85989 527 0
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... Victorian historical painting, Millais’s Boyhood of Raleigh. In the last few decades, however, he has become a central subject in New Historicist approaches to Elizabethan studies, notably in Stephen Greenblatt’s Sir Walter Ralegh: The Renaissance Man and His Roles, the most stimulating modern study of Ralegh. This collection of letters was assembled by the late Agnes Latham, who edited Ralegh ...
17 September 1987
The Content of the Form: Narrative Discourse and Historical Representation 
by Hayden White.
Johns Hopkins, 248 pp., £20.80, May 1987, 0 8018 2937 2
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Post-Structuralism and the Question of History 
edited by Derek Attridge, Geoff Bennington and Robert Young.
Cambridge, 292 pp., £27.50, February 1987, 0 521 32759 8
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... imaginary relationship the subject bears to his own social and cultural situation’. The concrete results of such a project can already be foreseen in the acute analysis of The Education of Henry Adams, by way of Denis Brogan’s 1961 introduction, with which White brings this essay, and the collection as a whole, to an end. It is quite evident that The Content of the Form was written under the ...

State Theatre

Peter Burke

22 January 1987
The Rome of Alexander VII: 1655-1667 
by Richard Krautheimer.
Princeton, 199 pp., £16.80, November 1985, 9780691040325
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Firearms and Fortifications: Military Architecture and Siege Warfare in 16th-century Siena 
by Simon Pepper and Nicholas Adams.
Chicago, 245 pp., £21.25, October 1986, 0 226 65534 2
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... to settle; but what about the West? More than one monarchy in 17th-century Europe might usefully be regarded as a theatre state, from the England of the early Stuarts (especially as analysed by Stephen Orgel), to the Spain of Philip IV and the France of Louis XIV (at least after his permanent move to Versailles), but the Papacy has the best claim of all. Leaving aside such possibly more superficial ...

A Pride of Footnotes

Robert M. Adams

17 November 1983
The Collected Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Vol. VII: ‘Biographia Literaria’ 
edited by James Engell and Walter Jackson Bate.
Routledge/Princeton, 306 pp., £50, May 1983, 0 691 09874 3
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... journalist, declamations on the economics of authorship, and statements of political principle. Apart from the sense it gives of having been thrown together with a pitchfork (in the phrase of Leslie Stephen), Biographia Literaria conceals idiosyncrasies not so easy to recognise. Coleridge writes in part to answer imputations about his marriage, but silently and completely omits from his life story any ...

At Tate Britain

Peter Campbell: How We Are

5 July 2007
... to capture on film things that were fleeting, strange or dangerous. Animals in motion, for example: a barn owl with a mouse in its beak, caught by Eric Hosking in 1948, a brown rat photographed by Stephen Dalton as it jumped from a bin in 1983. Curiosity about the look of exotic tribes was not limited to pictures from abroad. The four performers of the Abbot’s Bromley Horn Dance, taken by Benjamin ...


Stephen​ Fender

19 January 1989
Landscape and Written Expression in Revolutionary America: The world turned upside down 
by Robert Lawson-Peebles.
Cambridge, 384 pp., £35, March 1988, 0 521 34647 9
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Mark Twain’s Letters. Vol. I: 1853-1866 
edited by Edgar Marquess Branch, Michael Frank and Kenneth Sanderson.
California, 616 pp., $35, May 1988, 0 520 03668 9
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A Writer’s America: Landscape in Literature 
by Alfred Kazin.
Thames and Hudson, 240 pp., £15.95, September 1988, 0 500 01424 8
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... The Lake District belongs to Wordsworth more than to any landowner. But ‘Hemingway country’? He lived in at least thirty parts of the United States, not to mention Cuba, Paris and the Riviera. Stephen Crane’s birthplace is now a children’s playground in New Jersey, William Faulkner’s a Presbyterian parsonage. The Oxford Illustrated Literary Guide to the United States, from which these ...

In Search of Monsters

Stephen​ W. Smith: What are they doing in Mali?

7 February 2013
... a reference to an arcade game in which players force moles back into their burrows by hitting them on the head with a mallet. He went on to quote the sixth president of the United States, John Quincy Adams: ‘America goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy.’ Well, not any longer perhaps. But France has done precisely that. 24 January ...

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