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In Finest Fig

E.S. Turner: The Ocean Greyhounds, 20 October 2005

The Liner: Retrospective and Renaissance 
by Philip Dawson, foreword by Stephen Payne.
Conway Maritime, 256 pp., £30, July 2005, 0 85177 938 7
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... The great ocean liners were the landmarks, grace notes and sometimes the agents of history. Born as I was in the Belle Epoque, admittedly in its dying days, I was well placed to marvel at the mightiest moveable artefacts of that time: the ‘floating cities’ of Cunard’s four-funnelled, five-syllabled fleet, Lusitania, Aquitania and Mauretania. They were the civil equivalent of dreadnoughts and they competed with an aggressive Germany for the Blue Riband of the Atlantic, a non-existent but highly cherishable award for the fastest crossing, which the Lusitania snatched from the Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1907 ...

Crimewatch UK

John Upton: The Tabloids, the Judges and the Mob, 21 September 2000

... unthinking, vengeful behaviour on the ground. Two cases stand out: those of Myra Hindley and Sarah Payne. In both public fury has prevailed over fairness, the interests of the bereaved over those of the community as a whole. In 1966, Myra Hindley and Ian Brady were convicted of the murder of two children whom they had abducted and tortured. They received ...

Tough Morsels

Peter Rudnytsky, 7 November 1991

The Freud-Klein Controversies 1941-45 
edited by Pearl King and Riccardo Steiner.
Routledge, 958 pp., £100, December 1990, 0 415 03170 2
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... criticism or even ridicule’, Riccardo Steiner wonders why Jones did not float the name of Sylvia Payne, a medical doctor and distinguished member of the Middle Group, as a possible alternative. Steiner’s transcription, however, contains an important error, for, as the original in the Klein Archives in the Wellcome Institute shows, Jones actually wrote ...

Fade to Greige

Elaine Showalter: Mad for the Handcuff Bracelets, 4 January 2001

A Dedicated Follower of Fashion 
by Holly Brubach.
Phaidon, 232 pp., £19.95, October 1999, 9780714838878
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Fashion Today 
by Colin McDowell.
Phaidon, 511 pp., £39.95, September 2000, 0 7148 3897 7
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Fashion and Its Social Agendas: Class, Gender and Society in Clothing 
by Diana Crane.
Chicago, 294 pp., £19, August 2000, 0 226 11798 7
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Historical Fashion in Detail: The 17th and 18th Centuries 
by Avril Hart and Susan North.
Victoria & Albert Museum, 223 pp., £19.95, October 2000, 1 85177 258 8
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Don We Now Our Gay Appalrel: Gay Men’s Dress in the 20th Century 
by Shuan Cole.
Berg, 224 pp., £42.99, September 2000, 1 85973 415 4
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The Gallery of Fashion 
by Aileen Ribeiro.
Princeton, 256 pp., £60, November 2000, 0 691 05092 9
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Giorgio Armani 
by Germano Celant and Harold Koda.
Abrams, 392 pp., £40, October 2000, 0 8109 6927 0
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... and marketed male style from Playboy to Carnaby Street. Alistair O’Neill’s article on John Stephen, ‘The King of Carnaby Street’, for example, shows how Stephen successfully adapted a gay style to the mass heterosexual menswear market in the 1960s. Indeed, men’s clothing choices in general seem to produce a ...

Shakespeare and the Literary Police

Jonathan Bate, 29 September 1988

The Collected Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Vol. V: Lectures 1808-1819 On Literature 
edited by R.A. Foakes.
Princeton/Routledge, 604 pp., £55, December 1987, 0 691 09872 7
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... and Seven Lectures on Shakespeare and Milton, partly reconstructed and partly fabricated by John Payne Collier in 1856. The book that was readily available, and which did exert enormous influence in the 19th century, was Hazlitt’s Characters of Shakespear’s Plays. Now the situation is reversed: R.A. Foakes has produced as full a reconstruction of ...

Lacan’s Mirrors

Edmund Leach, 2 July 1981

The Talking Cure: Essays in Psychoanalysis and Language 
edited by Colin MacCabe.
Macmillan, 230 pp., £20, February 1981, 0 333 23560 6
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... But all that has nothing whatever to do with this book.Although it appears in a series (edited by Stephen Heath and Colin MacCabe himself) in which the titles suggest all the latest Marxist, Feminist and Structuralist Paris fashions, the actual contents of this exercise, where they are comprehensible, seem to me to be distinctly old hat. Most of the essays ...

Oh, My Aching Back

Roy Porter, 2 November 1995

The History of Pain 
by Roselyne Rey, translated by Elliott Wallace and J.A. Cadden , and S.W. Cadden.
Harvard, 394 pp., £25.50, October 1995, 0 674 39967 6
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... a lapidary eloquence. Here’s William Tildesley, a 17th-century diarist: ‘June 15, In great payne; June 16, In paines alover; June 17, In great payne.’ And such mute ness may help to explain why many codes of conduct – Stoicism is the obvious example – have prescribed dignified silence as an assertion of brain ...

Who wouldn’t buy it?

Colin Burrow: Speculating about Shakespeare, 20 January 2005

Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare 
by Stephen Greenblatt.
Cape, 430 pp., £20, October 2004, 9780224062763
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... As I was reading Stephen Greenblatt’s biography of Shakespeare on the train there was a woman sitting near me doing a deal on the phone. She was getting agitated. ‘But I have to transfer the money to Mr Shakespeare himself,’ she said. ‘No … Listen, I really need to speak to Mr Shakespeare. Can you put me through? Hello? … Hello?’ Then the line went dead ...

Best Known for His Guzzleosity

Helen Hackett: Shakespeare’s Authors, 11 March 2010

Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare? 
by James Shapiro.
Faber, 367 pp., £20, April 2010, 978 0 571 23576 6
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... included a letter from Elizabeth I thanking him for his ‘prettye Verses’) and John Payne Collier in the 1830s and 1840s (which showed Shakespeare to have been a well-connected member of metropolitan literary circles from an early stage). But for Shapiro the real villain is Edmond Malone. The usual story is that Malone, as he himself ...


John Upton: Damilola Taylor, 4 January 2001

... heart of the British Public. It is clear that Damilola Taylor is no Princess Diana or Sarah Payne. I stop to read some of the messages with the flowers. Nearly all seem to be from people who live in and around Peckham: church groups and individuals keen to stress their ties with the place (‘I’ve lived here for thirty years,’ one of them ...

He fights with flashing weapons

Katherine Rundell: Thomas Wyatt, 6 December 2012

Thomas Wyatt: The Heart’s Forest 
by Susan Brigden.
Faber, 714 pp., £30, September 2012, 978 0 571 23584 1
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Graven with Diamonds: The Many Lives of Thomas Wyatt: Courtier, Poet, Assassin, Spy 
by Nicola Shulman.
Short Books, 378 pp., £20, April 2011, 978 1 906021 11 5
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... experimenting with the ottava rima form: So hangith in balaunce Off war my pes, reward of all my payne At Mountzon thus I restles rest in spayne. Instead of gold the king, whose natural suspiciousness was mutating into paranoia, sent Edmund Bonner, ostensibly to help but in fact to spy on Wyatt. Bonner’s letters, addressed to Thomas Cromwell, make ...

Grit in the Oyster-Shell

Colin Burrow: Pepys, 14 November 2002

Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self 
by Claire Tomalin.
Viking, 499 pp., £20, October 2002, 0 670 88568 1
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... the care of a man who knows that he may be close to writing his own last words: to hear that poor Payne my water [man] hath buried a child and is dying himself – to hear that a labourer I sent but the other day to Dagenhams to know how they did there is dead of the plague . . . to hear that Mr Lewes hath another daughter sick – and lastly, that both my ...

A Common Playhouse

Charles Nicholl: The Globe Theatre, 8 January 2015

Shakespeare and the Countess: The Battle That Gave Birth to the Globe 
by Chris Laoutaris.
Fig Tree, 528 pp., £20, April 2015, 978 1 905490 96 7
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... fellow sideman Robert Baheire, the churchwardens Thomas Holmes and Edward Ley, and the minister Stephen Egerton. Laoutaris has also established the exact location of Field’s printing shop, in a property called (after its former monastic use) the Timber House. This lay off the western end of Carter Lane, abutting onto the back of Elizabeth Russell’s ...

Eliot and the Shudder

Frank Kermode: The Shudder, 13 May 2010

... symptoms is recapitulated or mimicked by Eliot in another account of creative reading. A letter to Stephen Spender on this topic has, since its publication in 1966, become famous: ‘Even just the bewildering minute counts; you have to give yourself up, and then recover yourself, and the third moment is having something to say, before you have wholly forgotten ...

The Tower

Andrew O’Hagan, 7 June 2018

... Quite simply it caused nearly all of the 72 deaths. ‘There’s a moment,’ the fire expert Stephen Mackenzie told me, ‘when the tactics have to move from “remain in place” to “assisted evacuation”.’ It had been obvious from very early on, even to spectators on the ground, that the fire at Grenfell Tower was not going to be put out, that it ...

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