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Moving in

Patricia Beer, 20 November 1980

A Poor Man’s House 
by Stephen Reynolds.
London Magazine Editions, 320 pp., £5.50, August 1980, 0 904388 35 2
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... Stephen Reynolds is coming back. There have been at least two indications of this recently. The prophet is no longer without honour in his own, adopted country, for a plaque has just been unveiled to him in Sidmouth, with the blessing of the town council and a photograph of the proceedings on the front page of the local paper ...

On the Feast of Stephen

Karl Miller: Spender’s Journals, 30 August 2012

New Selected Journals, 1939-95 
by Stephen Spender and Lara Feigel, edited by John Sutherland.
Faber, 792 pp., £45, July 2012, 978 0 571 23757 9
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... Stephen Spender was a visitor to the city of Hamburg both before the war and after, when he played a part in the work of occupation and recovery. He was well on his way to being the noted ex-communist poet, whose lyricism of the left spoke up in praise of pylons and the landing aeroplane, gliding over the suburbs, ‘more beautiful and soft than any moth ...

Narrow Places

Brad Leithauser, 15 October 1987

Selected Poems 
by Molly Holden.
Carcanet, 126 pp., £6.95, June 1987, 0 85635 696 4
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The Player Queen’s Wife 
by Oliver Reynolds.
Faber, 78 pp., £8.95, November 1987, 0 571 14998 7
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The Consuming Myth: The Work of James Merrill 
by Stephen Yenser.
Harvard, 367 pp., £21.95, June 1987, 0 674 16615 9
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... precise and constricted world. In The Player Queen’s Wife, his second collection, Oliver Reynolds does Hopkins and his ‘curtal sonnet’ one better. Hopkins trimmed the sonnet to ten and a half lines; Reynolds pares it to five. Here is ‘Map’, from ‘Seven Little Sonnets for Frederick the Great’: Austria ...

Animal, Spiritual and Cerebral

Mary Midgley, 18 August 1983

Animal Thought 
by Stephen Walker.
Routledge, 388 pp., £17.50, January 1983, 0 7100 9037 4
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On the Evolution of Human Behaviour 
by Peter Reynolds.
California, 259 pp., £20, December 1981, 0 520 04294 8
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The Tangled Wing: Biological Constraints on the Human Spirit 
by Melvin Konner.
Heinemann, 436 pp., £16.50, October 1982, 0 434 39703 2
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Sociobiology and the Human Dimension 
by Georg Breuer.
Cambridge, 264 pp., £22.50, January 1983, 0 521 24544 3
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Sociobiology and the Pre-Emption of Social Science 
by Alexander Rosenberg.
Blackwell, 210 pp., £9.90, March 1981, 0 631 12625 2
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... this disorderly province of the mind finally under control and to issue a clear map of it. Peter Reynolds, in his admirable book, cites one such map, from an American anthropologist writing in 1901: 1. The mentality of animals is instinctive rather than ratiocinative, and for each species responds practically alike to like stimuli; 2. the savage mind is ...

Wounds

Stephen Fender, 23 June 1988

Hemingway 
by Kenneth Lynn.
Simon and Schuster, 702 pp., £16, September 1987, 0 671 65482 9
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The Faces of Hemingway: Intimate Portraits of Ernest Hemingway by those who knew him 
by Denis Brian.
Grafton, 356 pp., £14.95, May 1988, 0 246 13326 0
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... recently encouraged some considerable biographical studies. Among these are three books by Michael Reynolds on aspects of Hemingway’s life and reading, and the comprehensive Hemingway (1985) by the indefatigable English biographer Jeffrey Meyers. Reynolds and Meyers stepped outside the ring where the ...

Diary

Stephen Smith: Peace in Our Lunchtime, 6 October 1994

... carried out a sectarian programme for 25 years. We have six days of peace and there are Hume and Reynolds sitting down with Adams.’ McGimpsey had just finished his column for the Sunday World: ‘It’s all tits and bums but they have about six political items.’ ‘What are you saying this week?’ ‘I’m saying I feel a bit like the man who’s ...

After Leveson

Stephen Sedley, 11 April 2013

... and the bill now reflects this. What the Defamation Bill also does, however, is abolish the ‘Reynolds defence’ – that the publication, though defamatory, was an exercise of responsible journalism and accordingly protected – and replace it with something approaching a tabloid editor’s dream: a defence that ‘the defendant reasonably believed that ...

Kitty still pines for his dearest Dub

Andrew O’Hagan: Gossip, 6 February 2014

Becoming a Londoner: A Diary 
by David Plante.
Bloomsbury, 534 pp., £20, September 2013, 978 1 4088 3975 1
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The Animals: Love Letters between Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy 
edited by Katherine Bucknell.
Chatto, 481 pp., £25, September 2013, 978 0 7011 8678 4
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... by Bloomsbury – the books, the people, the scarves, the gossip – which led them to venerate Stephen Spender as one of its last links. Squeezed into a narrow bed, they would read Spender’s World within World together and admire ‘that entirely English’ set-up in which, Plante wrote at the time, ‘I fantasise having a place, even if that world no ...

On a par with Nixon

Stephen Alford: Bad Queen Bess?, 17 November 2016

Bad Queen Bess? Libels, Secret Histories, and the Politics of Publicity in the Reign of Queen Elizabeth I 
by Peter Lake.
Oxford, 497 pp., £35, January 2016, 978 0 19 875399 5
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Elizabeth: The Forgotten Years 
by John Guy.
Viking, 494 pp., £25, May 2016, 978 0 670 92225 3
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... 1948 Allan Wingate published British Pamphleteers, a collection of tracts assembled by Richard Reynolds and introduced by George Orwell. The first pamphlet in the book is John Knox’s First Blast of the Trumpet (1558), which begins: ‘To promote a woman to beare rule, superioritie, dominion or empire above any realme, nation, or citie, is repugnant to ...

I have no books to consult

Stephen Sedley: Lord Mansfield, 22 January 2015

Lord Mansfield: Justice in the Age of Reason 
by Norman Poser.
McGill-Queen’s, 532 pp., £24.99, September 2013, 978 0 7735 4183 2
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... to write. The well-known engraving of Mansfield, taken by Bartolozzi from the portrait that Reynolds painted of him at the age of eighty, shows what has always seemed to me to be a thin-lipped and cruel face. It is cheering to learn that the reason, according to Reynolds, is that Mansfield had by then lost his ...

Too Proud to Fight

David Reynolds: The ‘Lusitania’ Effect, 28 November 2002

Wilful Murder: The Sinking of the ‘Lusitania’ 
by Diana Preston.
Doubleday, 543 pp., £18.99, May 2002, 0 385 60173 5
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Lusitania: Saga and Myth 
by David Ramsay.
Chatham, 319 pp., £20, September 2001, 1 86176 170 8
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Woodrow Wilson 
by John Thompson.
Longman, 288 pp., £15.99, August 2002, 0 582 24737 3
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... The appeal to necessity has a long history in warfare. In The Rights and Duties of Neutrals Stephen Neff calls it ‘a sort of juridical “wild card” which allows a state to “trump” the normal rights of other states in times of desperation’.* Germany wasn’t the only country to have played it: in 1807 necessity was invoked to justify ...

A Misreading of the Law

Conor Gearty: Why didn’t Campbell sue?, 19 February 2004

Report of the Inquiry into the Circumstances Surrounding the Death of Dr David Kelly CMG 
by Lord Hutton.
Stationery Office, 740 pp., £70, January 2004, 0 10 292715 4
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... facts impugning the integrity of others, Lord Hutton refers to a recent House of Lords case, Reynolds v. Times Newspapers Ltd,12 and sets out in an appendix what he describes as ‘relevant passages’ from the speeches of three of his judicial colleagues in that case.13 The message here seems to be, ‘Remember, I am not alone on this one,’ but as any ...

White Lie Number Ten

Nicholas Jose: Australia’s aboriginal sovereignty, 19 February 1998

Race Matters: Indigenous Australians and ‘Our’ Society 
edited by Gillian Cowlishaw and Barry Morris.
Aboriginal Studies Press, 295 pp., AUS $29.95, March 1998, 0 85575 294 7
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Aboriginal Sovereignty: Reflections on Race, State and Nation 
by Henry Reynolds.
Allen and Unwin, 221 pp., AUS $17.95, July 1996, 1 86373 969 6
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... or justice those original occupants might have is a question that remains to be answered. Henry Reynolds, in his books The Other Side of the Frontier (1981) and Frontier (1987), argues that war, though undeclared, was indeed waged. For both sides, Aboriginal invisibility was a key, rendering white atrocities unaccountable but also hiding the guerrilla ...

Into the Gulf

Rosemary Hill, 17 December 1992

A Sultry Month: Scenes of London Literary Life in 1846 
by Alethea Hayter.
Robin Clark, 224 pp., £6.95, June 1992, 0 86072 146 9
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Painting and the Politics of Culture: New Essays on British Art 1700-1850 
edited by John Barrell.
Oxford, 301 pp., £35, June 1992, 9780198173922
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London: World City 1800-1840 
edited by Celina Fox.
Yale, 624 pp., £45, September 1992, 0 300 05284 7
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... symbolised the end not only of Haydon’s career, but of painting in ‘the tradition of Joshua Reynolds, James Barry and Benjamin West’. How convincing this argument is depends on how we view that ‘tradition’. Of the three artists only West, who found a royal patron with the necessary deep pockets and high ceilings, made a career as a history ...

The Rack, the Rapier, the Ruff and the Fainting Nun

Nicholas Penny: Manet/Velázquez, 10 July 2003

Manet/Velázquez: The French Taste for Spanish Painting 
by Gary Tinterow and Geneviève Lacambre et al.
Yale, 592 pp., £50, March 2003, 0 300 09880 4
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... on the walls was a large picture, exquisitely painted by Spagnoletto,’ of the martyrdom of St Stephen. The Spanish school evoked the rack, the rapier, the ruff, the spiral ebony chair-leg and the fainting nun, and a world that was now sufficiently distant or in decline (in The Antiquary it is the invasion of Bonaparte, not the Jacobites, for which beacons ...

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