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John Sutherland, 8 November 1979

The Devil’s Alternative 
by Frederick Forsyth.
Hutchinson, 479 pp., £5.95
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The Four Hundred 
by Stephen Sheppard.
Secker, 374 pp., £5.25
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... are Forsyth’s The Devil’s Alternative (its distinctive symbol is a neon-red star), Stephen Sheppard’s The Four Hundred (its distinctive symbol is a gold sovereign) and Harry Patterson’s To Catch a King (this title and its distinctive symbol are still to burst upon us from, once again, Hutchinson). The authors of these commercially ...

Canterbury Tale

Charles Nicholl, 8 December 1988

Christopher Marlowe and Canterbury 
by William Urry, edited by Andrew Butcher.
Faber, 184 pp., £12.95, May 1988, 0 571 14566 3
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John Weever 
by E.A.J. Honigmann.
Manchester, 134 pp., £27.50, April 1987, 0 7190 2217 7
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Rare Sir William Davenant 
by Mary Edmond.
Manchester, 264 pp., £27.50, July 1987, 9780719022869
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... other young writers growing up: John Lyly, son of Peter Lyly, clerk to the consistorial court; and Stephen Gosson, a joiner’s son. We have here a miniature blueprint for late Elizabethan theatrical tastes: Marlowe the tragedian, whose thunderous poetry packed them in at the public theatres; Lyly the author of dapper courtly comedies for the boy-actors of St ...

What news?

Patrick Collinson: The Pilgrimage of Grace, 1 November 2001

The Pilgrimage of Grace and the Politics of the 1530s 
by R.W. Hoyle.
Oxford, 487 pp., £30, May 2001, 9780198208747
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... the greater the resentment against landlords and their renting and leasing policies. At Kirkby Stephen the main grievance seems to have been London’s inexplicable abolition of the annual St Luke’s Day holiday, putting paid to the local fair which went with it. There was a kind of climax in the siege of Pontefract Castle, one of the few defensible ...

Gaslight and Fog

John Pemble: Sherlock Holmes, 26 January 2012

The Ascent of the Detective: Police Sleuths in Victorian and Edwardian England 
by Haia Shpayer-Makov.
Oxford, 429 pp., £30, September 2011, 978 0 19 957740 8
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... paramount. Here they eclipsed outlaw heroes of folk tradition – Dick Turpin, Jonathan Wild, Dick Sheppard – and usurped the leadership of the police in the fight against delinquency and disorder. The prolific Stephen Knight has calculated that Sherlock Holmes had at least 13 predecessors, some of them women. Most were ...

Benson’s Pleasure

Noël Annan, 4 March 1982

Edwardian Excursions: From the Diaries of A.C. Benson 1898-1904 
edited by A.C. Benson and David Newsome.
Murray, 200 pp., £12.50, April 1981, 9780719537691
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Geoffrey Madan’s Notebooks 
edited by John Gere and John Sparrow.
Oxford, 144 pp., £7.95, October 1981, 0 19 215870 8
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... with tutorial concern for the young. There were dons who coached the boat, such as Leslie Stephen. There was a college such as King’s, for centuries an Etonian preserve, where the young fellows had known the undergraduates when they were both together in College at Eton and treated them therefore as equals; Bradshaw, a formidable scholar, was at ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: Where I was in 1993, 16 December 1993

... of 72 who says he’s bored with taking snapshots in the studio (this morning Isaiah Berlin and Stephen Spender) and wants to photograph me outside. ‘Outside’ means that eventually I find myself perched up a tree in Hyde Park. Avedon’s assistants bustle round with lights, Avedon himself scarcely bothering to look through the lens, just enquiring from ...

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