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Nightwork in Chengdu

Kenneth Pomeranz: China’s Capitalism

18 February 2016
China’s Growth: The Making of an Economic Superpower 
by Linda Yueh.
Oxford, 349 pp., £29.99, April 2013, 978 0 19 920578 3
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The Rise of the People’s Bank of China: The Politics of Institutional Change 
by Stephen Bell and Hui Feng.
Harvard, 374 pp., £40.95, June 2013, 978 0 674 07249 7
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The Great Urban Transformation: Politics of Land and Property in China 
by You-tien Hsing.
Oxford, 272 pp., £27.50, March 2012, 978 0 19 964459 9
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Constructing China’s Capitalism: Shanghai and the Nexus of Urban-Rural Industries 
by Daniel Buck.
Macmillan, 267 pp., £55, July 2012, 978 0 230 34095 4
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Anxious Wealth: Money and Morality among China’s New Rich 
by John Osburg.
Stanford, 248 pp., £15.99, April 2013, 978 0 8047 8354 5
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... I think – that most institutional change has been internally driven, but doesn’t include the politics behind it in her story. The Rise of the People’s Bank of China, by the political scientists StephenBell and Hui Feng, looks at how institutional change happens in a society with no place for overt political competition. It also conveys far greater anxiety than Yueh’s book about the urgent need ...

At the NPG

Jean McNicol: ‘Virginia Woolf’

10 September 2014
... to a portrait’ by looking at ‘telling ingredients in each period of her life’, is a blown-up photograph of the exposed side wall of the house. Some of the panels that Woolf’s sister, Vanessa Bell, and Duncan Grant had painted for the third-floor drawing room are, as Virginia told them, ‘still pendant’. ‘I cd just see a piece of my studio wall standing: otherwise rubble where I wrote so ...
26 January 1995
The Bell​ Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life 
by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray.
Free Press, 845 pp., £25, November 1994, 0 02 914673 9
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... to any of the American media can have escaped it. Among the reactions was a chorus of élite liberal denunciations. The New Republic of 31 October ran a piece by Murray followed by 18 criticisms. Stephen Jay Gould spoke out in the New Yorker of 28 November. I especially recommend Alan Ryan’s analysis in the New York Review of Books of 17 November, followed in the 1 December issue by Charles Lane ...

Making saints

Peter Burke

18 October 1984
Saints and Society: The Two Worlds of Western Christendom 1000-1700 
by Donald Weinstein and Rudolph Bell.
Chicago, 314 pp., £21.25, February 1983, 0 226 89055 4
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The Norman Conquest and Beyond 
by Frank Barlow.
Hambledon, 318 pp., £22, June 1983, 0 907628 19 2
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Miracles and the Medieval Mind 
by Benedicta Ward.
Scolar, 321 pp., £17.50, November 1983, 0 85967 609 9
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The Great Debate on Miracles: From Joseph Glanvill to David Hume 
by R.M. Burns.
Associated University Presses, 305 pp., £17.50, July 1983, 0 8387 2378 0
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Saints and their Cults: Studies in Religious Sociology, Folklore and History 
edited by Stephen​ Wilson.
Cambridge, 435 pp., £35, December 1983, 0 521 24978 3
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... Goodich has attempted to draw ‘a profile of 13th-century sainthood’, André Vauchez has studied the later Middle Ages, and now two specialists in Italian history, Donald Weinstein and Rudolph Bell, have surveyed the whole of Western Christendom from the year 1000 to 1700. This peculiar form of upward social mobility exerts a fascination which may owe something to the sensation of teetering on ...

Doctors’ Orders

Ruth Bernard Yeazell

18 February 1982
‘All that summer she was mad’: Virginia Woolf and Her Doctors 
by Stephen​ Trombley.
Junction, 338 pp., £12.50, November 1981, 9780862450397
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... In the summer following the death of Leslie Stephen in 1904, his daughter Virginia lay in bed, listening to the birds singing in Greek and imagining King Edward lurking naked in the azaleas, shouting obscenities; that same summer she apparently ...
25 April 1991
A Passionate Apprentice. The Early Journals of Virginia Woolf, 1897-1909 
edited by Mitchell Leaska.
Hogarth, 444 pp., £25, October 1990, 0 7012 0845 7
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A Very Close Conspiracy: Vanessa Bell​ and Virginia Woolf 
by Jane Dunn.
Cape, 338 pp., £16.99, October 1990, 0 224 02234 2
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... in a lot of sic’s, some after apparently innocent words like ‘omelette’; more puzzlingly, he awards one to ‘Bosphorus’, himself spelling it ‘Bosporus’, though when the versatile Miss Stephen spells it that way a few pages on, she gets another sic. And with so many of them flying about one can’t help noticing places where they are needed but are absent. Mr Leaska has written a long ...
2 December 1993
Selected Letters of Vanessa Bell 
edited by Regina Marler, introduced by Quentin Bell.
Bloomsbury, 593 pp., £25, November 1993, 0 7475 1550 6
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... Regina Marler puts it in her excellent biographical introduction, a rather different fate has befallen its visual artists. They are understood only too well, and patronised with faint praise. Clive Bell’s ‘Significant Form’ is an aesthetic curiosity, Roger Fry’s influence as a theorist long ago terminated. The pictures and decorative work of the Bloomsbury English Modernists – Bell, Fry ...

Four Poems

Charles Boyle

23 November 1989
... kneeling on the floor with a self-assembly bookshelves kit, wondering why they'd given me only nine nuts for ten bolts, and just when he'd said that, about the two churches, I realised that the alarm bell on the used-car garage which had been ringing since Friday night had stopped. For the first time for years I felt a shiver run through me and into the ground. Then Ken was saying, in his seen-it-all ...

Why we have them I can’t think

Rosemary Hill: ‘Mrs Woolf and the Servants’

16 August 2007
Mrs Woolf and the Servants: The Hidden Heart of Domestic Service 
by Alison Light.
Fig Tree, 376 pp., £20, August 2007, 978 0 670 86717 2
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... working women, the ‘obnoxious views’ expressed in the diaries, haunt her fiction and ‘set … a limit to what she can achieve’ as a writer, is more debatable. Born in 1882, the young Virginia Stephen grew up in a society in which service, either giving or receiving it, was the defining relationship of domestic life, particularly for women. By 1850, Light tells us, 80 per cent of servants were ...

Francis and Vanessa

Peter Campbell

15 March 1984
Francis Bacon 
by Michel Leiris, translated by John Weightman.
Phaidon, 271 pp., £50, September 1983, 0 7148 2218 3
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Vanessa Bell 
by Frances Spalding.
Weidenfeld, 399 pp., £12.95, August 1983, 0 297 78162 6
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The Omega Workshops 
by Judith Collins.
Secker, 310 pp., £15.95, January 1984, 0 436 10562 4
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The Omega Workshops 1913-1919: Decorative Arts of Bloomsbury 
Crafts Council, 96 pp., £6.95, March 1984, 0 903798 72 7Show More
The Omega Workshops: Alliance and Enmity in English Art 1911-1920 
Anthony d’Offay Gallery, 80 pp., £4.95, February 1984, 0 947564 00 4Show More
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... Post-Impressionist stock is under scrutiny; and the Omega style is busting out all over. Its ‘vigorous vegetable growth’ (Frances Partridge’s description of Duncan Grant’s and Vanessa Bell’s decorations at Charleston) has been displayed and catalogued at the Crafts Council and Anthony d’Offay galleries. Judith Collins’s Omega Workshops gives the history, while Frances Spalding ...

Wild Hearts

Peter Wollen

6 April 1995
Virginia Woolf 
by James King.
Hamish Hamilton, 699 pp., £25, September 1994, 0 241 13063 8
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... of it’. Williams also developed another of Leonard Woolf’s ideas, that Bloomsbury was a group similar to the Utilitarians or the Pre-Raphaelites, both of which, in fact, had direct links with the Stephen family. Williams contrasted the Bloomsbury Group with the Godwin circle of the 1780s and 1790s, which he saw as a genuinely oppositional group, whose ‘rational and civilising proposals’ were ...

British Worthies

David Cannadine

3 December 1981
The Directory of National Biography, 1961-1970 
edited by E.T. Williams and C.S. Nicholls.
Oxford, 1178 pp., £40, October 1981, 0 19 865207 0
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... Mr Stephen is editing a little dictionary,’ a friend explained to a clergyman foolhardy enough to ask whether Leslie ‘did any writing’. The enterprise in question was the DNB, one of those grandiosely ...

The Clothed Life

Joanna Biggs: Linda Grant

31 March 2011
We Had It So Good 
by Linda Grant.
Virago, 344 pp., £14.99, January 2011, 978 1 84408 637 5
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... Good, begins in sunshine. There’s the epigraph: ‘He had like many another been born in full sunlight and lived to see night fall.’ (That’s from Waugh’s Men at Arms.) Then the first image: Stephen Newman in his shorts, aged nine, on the ‘most exciting day’ of his life – a day spent in the fur storage depot in which his father looks after Marilyn Monroe’s mink. The sun follows him to a ...

At the V&A

Esther Chadwick: Opus Anglicanum

5 January 2017
... was not very English at all. To the names of the thread-makers and embroiderers Christiana of Enfield, Catherine of Lincoln, Maud of Canterbury, John Machon, Alyse Darcy, Alice Catour and Thomas Bell could be added those of Alexius and Andronicus Effomatus, Greek ‘workers of damask gold’ (drawn gold wire) in London; John of Cologne, a German immigrant working for Edward III in the 1330s ...
6 December 1984
Frederic Harrison: The Vocations of a Positivist 
by Martha Vogeler.
Oxford, 493 pp., £27.50, September 1984, 0 19 824733 8
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Leslie StephenThe Godless Victorian 
by Noël Annan.
Weidenfeld, 432 pp., £16.50, September 1984, 0 297 78369 6
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... Frederic Harrison once climbed Mont Blanc and found Leslie Stephen on the top. Not an improbable location for the encounter of two eminent Victorians: and they might equally have met in George Eliot’s drawing-room. Whereas Stephen was much the more distinguished ...

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