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Michael Mason, 10 November 1988

Report of the Inquiry into Child Abuse in Cleveland 1987 
by Elizabeth Butler-Sloss.
HMSO, 336 pp., £14.50, July 1988, 0 10 104122 5
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When Salem came to the Boro 
by Stuart Bell.
Pan, 355 pp., £3.99, July 1988, 0 330 30503 4
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The Last Taboo 
by Gay Search.
Penguin, 192 pp., £3.99, August 1988, 0 14 011049 6
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Unofficial Secrets: Child Sexual Abuse – The Cleveland Case 
by Beatrix Campbell.
Virago, 226 pp., £4.50, September 1988, 0 86068 634 5
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... antagonistic to the hitherto prevailing one: by far its harshest judgments are reserved for MP Stuart Bell, the Police, and the doctors who supported the Police in their hostility to Drs Higgs and Wyatt. That human nature – or, probably more exactly, male human nature – has the capacity to perform deliberately and persistently the acts performed ...

At the RA

Julian Bell: Rubens and His Legacy , 5 March 2015

... right turned 41, Europe had been locked in intractable ideological bloodshed. The allegory for the Stuart monarch was upside down: it was Sedition who was pushing down Minerva, the goddess of state wisdom, with no bottom to the abyss in sight. The canvas, you might argue, was equally upside down. While Jacques Callot’s Les Grandes Misères de la guerre, his ...

King Cling

Julian Bell: Kings and Collectors, 5 April 2018

Charles I: King and Collector 
Royal Academy, London, until 15 April 2018Show More
Charles II: Art and Power 
Queen’s Gallery/London, until 13 May 2018Show More
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... at the Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace, points to the underlying issue at stake, whichever Stuart patron we turn to. What – if anything – are pictures supposed to do for the potentate? Is it their role to make us say ‘yes’ to him – or him to say ‘yes’ to himself – or what? The premise at the Royal Academy is that Charles I, hapless in ...

I do like painting

Julian Bell: The life and art of William Coldstream, 2 December 2004

William Coldstream 
by Bruce Laughton.
Yale, 368 pp., £30, July 2004, 0 300 10243 7
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... the main studio teacher Claude Rogers stuck in the Sappers and the school’s polemicist Graham Bell, shortly to die in air training, berating Coldstream for a lack of radicalism. Coldstream had recently saved a further colleague, Victor Pasmore, from court martial for desertion by leaning on Kenneth Clark to vouch for him as ‘one of the six best painters ...


Peter Campbell, 1 October 1981

Early Disorder 
by Rebecca Josephs.
Farrar, Straus/Faber, 186 pp., £5.50, September 1981, 0 571 12031 8
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A Star for the Latecomer 
by Bonnie Zindel.
Bodley Head, 186 pp., £3.95, March 1981, 0 370 30319 9
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Catherine loves 
by Timothy Ireland.
Bodley Head, 117 pp., £3.95, June 1981, 0 370 30292 3
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Jacob have I loved 
by Katherine Paterson.
Gollancz, 216 pp., £4.95, April 1981, 0 575 02961 7
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... things are, The Blue Fairy Book, The Red Fairy Book, The Wind in the Willows, The Jungle Book, Stuart Little, The Secret Garden, The Borrowers, The Little Prince, Member of the Wedding, Gigi, Lord of the Flies, Return of the Native … This is Willa, the 15-year-old narrator of Early Disorder, looking at her bookshelf and wondering if you are what you ...

Violets in Their Lapels

David A. Bell: Bonapartism, 23 June 2005

The Legend of Napoleon 
by Sudhir Hazareesingh.
Granta, 336 pp., £20, August 2004, 1 86207 667 7
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The Retreat 
by Patrick Rambaud, translated by William Hobson.
Picador, 320 pp., £7.99, June 2005, 0 330 48901 1
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Napoleon: The Eternal Man of St Helena 
by Max Gallo, translated by William Hobson.
Macmillan, 320 pp., £10.99, April 2005, 0 333 90798 1
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The Saint-Napoleon: Celebrations of Sovereignty in 19th-Century France 
by Sudhir Hazareesingh.
Harvard, 307 pp., £32.95, May 2004, 0 674 01341 7
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Napoleon and the British 
by Stuart Semmel.
Yale, 354 pp., £25, September 2004, 0 300 09001 3
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... While Hazareesingh finds unexpected evidence of admiration for Napoleon in 19th-century France, Stuart Semmel finds the same, more surprisingly, in 19th-century Britain. He demonstrates that even at the height of the Napoleonic Wars, when most Britons were reviling the emperor as the ‘Corsican Ogre’, a significant minority remained admirers. This is not ...

Like Leather, like Snakes

Julian Bell: Vermeer and Leeuwenhoek, 30 March 2017

Eye of the Beholder: Johannes Vermeer, Antoni van Leeuwenhoek and the Reinvention of Seeing 
by Laura Snyder.
Head of Zeus, 448 pp., £14.99, December 2016, 978 1 78497 025 3
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... was at war with England, and, until the Dutch in 1688 helped England’s Whigs overthrow their Stuart rulers, were punctuated with polite salutes to that dynasty’s patronage; but throughout, politics deferred to higher motivations. It was, Leeuwenhoek explained, purely out of his own ‘impulse and curiosity’ that he was addressing London’s Heeren ...

On Being Late

Andrew O’Hagan, 24 January 2019

... do with what’s after-the-fact. He sees a whole rich tradition of lateness, and quotes from John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty, which speaks of a decadent generation, passive and exhausted, seeking – this was the early 1830s – a new way out of the past. ‘The very etymology of lateness’, Hutchinson writes, has snuck ‘into Mill’s diagnosis’. The era ...


Colin Burrow: John Donne in Performance, 5 October 2006

Donne: The Reformed Soul 
by John Stubbs.
Viking, 565 pp., £25, August 2006, 0 670 91510 6
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... of whom were to express unease about apparent extensions of the royal prerogative in the early Stuart parliaments. Donne seems to have mingled with both sorts, many of whom were the same people. He certainly did his fair share of writing poems and play-going, but he also (as the depth and detail with which he employs legal vocabulary in his verse ...

That sh—te Creech

James Buchan: The Scottish Enlightenment, 5 April 2007

The Enlightenment and the Book: Scottish Authors and Their Publishers in 18th-Century Britain, Ireland and America 
by Richard Sher.
Chicago, 815 pp., £25.50, February 2007, 978 0 226 75252 5
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... Cadell (father and son) and George Robinson in London, and Alexander Kincaid, John Balfour, John Bell and William Creech in Edinburgh, were not ‘mechanicks’ as Strahan once complained, but collaborators in a London-Edinburgh publishing enterprise that put Scotland on the literary map. For John Pinkerton, an Edinburgh attorney and antiquary, the London ...


Karl Miller: Balance at the BBC, 9 October 1986

... the commercialising of Radios 1 and 2. With the death of the Chairman of its Board of Governors, Stuart Young, we have been braced for another of the disobliging appointments to this post whereby governments have tried to subdue the Corporation. Mrs Thatcher’s man was said to have been Lord King, privatiser of British Airways, and a highly unsuitable ...

High Time for Reform

Rosalind Mitchison, 1 May 1980

The Philosophic Radicals: Nine Studies in Theory and Practice, 1817-1841 
by William Thomas.
Oxford, 491 pp., £15, December 1979, 0 19 822490 7
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... is stressed. Then we have the rigid, limited, puritan monolith of James Mill, applying the Bell and Lancaster system, not only in the horrifying way in which his own children were to be educated, but as a description of the progress of different branches of the family of nations: ‘The human race is like a growing family in which some members were ...

Bullshit and Beyond

Clive James, 18 February 1988

The Road to Botany Bay 
by Paul Carter.
Faber, 384 pp., £14.95, October 1987, 0 571 14551 5
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The Oxford History of Australia. Vol. IV: 1901-1942 
by Stuart Macintyre.
Oxford, 399 pp., £22.50, October 1987, 0 19 554612 1
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The Archibald Paradox: A Strange Case of Authorship 
by Sylvia Lawson.
Penguin Australia, 292 pp., AUS $12.95, September 1987, 0 14 009848 8
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The Lucky Country Revisited 
by Donald Horne.
Dent, 235 pp., AUS $34.95, October 1987, 9780867700671
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... After The Road to Botany Bay, Australian history might as well be left to the historians. Stuart Macintyre, author of the fourth volume of the Oxford History of Australia, covers the years 1901-1942 in good plain style, with words like ‘bourgeois’ kept well in check and words like ‘spatial’ nowhere to be seen. Aiming to get at the truth, which ...

Some people never expect to be expected

Penelope Fitzgerald: Omitted from ‘Innocence’, 19 December 2019

... a decade later. ‘It was supposed to end in the flood in Florence in 1966,’ she wrote to Stuart Proffitt, her editor at Collins, ‘but I gave up as all the characters would have got so old by that time.’A densely written notebook that contains her ‘Attempt at Synopsis’ for Part 2 catches up first with Chiara:She had been married now for ten ...

Three Women

Andrew O’Hagan: Work in progress, 10 December 1998

... tenants up for removal. And in every block they took turns to watch the street. They stood with a bell. First sight of the bailiff’s officer the alarm bell would ring out the strikers’ angelus. And down the women would come from all parts of the building. ‘Some with flour, if baking, wet clothes, if washing,’ wrote ...

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