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Delighted to See Himself

Stefan Collini: Maurice Bowra, 12 February 2009

Maurice Bowra: A Life 
by Leslie Mitchell.
Oxford, 385 pp., £25, February 2009, 978 0 19 929584 5
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... dummies: Berlin, Betjeman, Kenneth Clark, John Sparrow, as well as, a little later, Noel Annan and Stuart Hampshire – all capable of the odd spot of talking themselves. But they acknowledged Bowra as their master, which was fortunate since no other terms were on offer. With the young, Bowra’s preferred pedagogical resource was the dinner party. The ...

On and off the page

Thomas Nagel, 25 July 1991

Isaiah Berlin: A Celebration 
by Edna Margalit and Avishai Margalit.
Hogarth, 224 pp., £25, June 1991, 0 7012 0925 9
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... diffidence about claims to have discovered underlying causes, are strongly reminiscent of Hume. Stuart Hampshire also, discussing Berlin’s ideas about nationalism, sees the influence of Hume’s psychological naturalism – the idea that rational justification in morality must always be subordinate to the‘passions’: i.e. the particular contingent ...

Diary

Richard Wollheim: On A.J. Ayer, 27 July 1989

... who craved philosophy. Furthermore the media were willing to recognise their existence. In 1951 Stuart Hampshire produced a small book on Spinoza. Spinoza was, through his associations with 19th-century dissent, the philosopher designed to appeal to this audience, but it is still remarkable that (as I recall things) 40,000 copies of the paperback ...

Out of Sight, out of Mind

Frank Kermode: A.J. Ayer’s Winning Ways, 15 July 1999

A.J. Ayer: A Life 
by Ben Rogers.
Chatto, 402 pp., £20, June 1999, 9780701163167
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... for a man of letters’. At University College he transformed the department, first by appointing Stuart Hampshire, who happened to have been the co-respondent when Ayer divorced his first wife. Three years later he recruited Richard Wollheim from Oxford, but thereafter he appointed his own students. Since he was a fine teacher this proved a better idea ...

News of the World’s End

Peter Jenkins, 15 May 1980

The Seventies 
by Christopher Booker.
Allen Lane, 349 pp., £7.50, February 1980, 0 7139 1329 0
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The Seventies 
by Norman Shrapnel.
Constable, 267 pp., £7.50, March 1980, 0 09 463280 4
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... has the wit to attempt a distinction between that and unreason. He grandly congratulates Professor Stuart Hampshire for ‘beginning to get an alarmed glimmer’ of the truth, namely that man’s endeavours to triumph over nature, the whole humanistic drive, is irrational and futile. But then he goes on to attack ...

On the horse Parsnip

John Bayley, 8 February 1990

Boris Pasternak: The Tragic Years 1930-1960 
by Evgeny Pasternak.
Collins Harvill, 278 pp., £15, January 1990, 0 00 272045 0
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Boris Pasternak 
by Peter Levi.
Hutchinson, 310 pp., £17.95, January 1990, 0 09 173886 5
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Boris Pasternak: A Literary Biography. Vol.I: 1890-1928 
by Christopher Barnes.
Cambridge, 507 pp., £35, November 1989, 0 521 25957 6
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Poems 1955-1959 and An Essay in Autobiography 
by Boris Pasternak, translated by Michael Harari and Manya Harari.
Collins Harvill, 212 pp., £6.95, January 1990, 9780002710657
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The Year 1905 
by Boris Pasternak, translated by Richard Chappell.
Spenser, £4.95, April 1989, 0 9513843 0 9
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... opinion has always varied sharply about the actual merits of the book. A judge as sensitive as Stuart Hampshire finds its genius in the love relation between Lara and Zhivago, while the poet Anna Akhmatova, although she admired Pasternak as a poet, could not take him seriously as a deep sage and public figure, or even as a lover, and professed ...

At Miss Whitehead’s

Edward Said, 7 July 1994

The Sixties: The Last Journal, 1960-1972 
by Edmund Wilson, edited by Lewis Dabney.
Farrar, Straus, 968 pp., $35, July 1993, 0 374 26554 2
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... are telegraphic put-downs of the man, his Oxbridge associates like C.P. Snow, David Cecil and Stuart Hampshire, and that whole way of life. Twenty or so lines of that, and then you move on to something else; a page later, Berlin is back again, though this time Wilson comments on the tremendous range of his conversation, and poor Harry Levin is ...

Thinking without a Banister

James Miller, 19 October 1995

Hannah Arendt/Martin Heidegger 
by Elzbieta Ettinger.
Yale, 139 pp., £10.95, October 1995, 0 300 06407 1
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Essays in Understanding, 1930-1954: Uncollected and Unpublished Works 
by Hannah Arendt, edited by Jerome Kohn.
Harcourt Brace, 458 pp., $39.95, May 1994, 0 15 172817 8
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Hannah Arendt: A Reinterpretation of Her Political Thought 
by Margaret Canovan.
Cambridge, 298 pp., £12.95, September 1995, 0 521 47773 5
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Between Friends: The Correspondence of Hannah Arendt and Mary McCarthy 
edited by Carol Brightman.
Secker, 412 pp., £25, July 1995, 0 436 20251 4
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Hannah Arendt/Karl Jaspers: Correspondence, 1926-1969 
edited by Lotte Kohler and Hans Saner, translated by Robert and Rita Kimber.
Harcourt Brace, 821 pp., $49.95, November 1992, 0 15 107887 4
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... in argument and to make a parade of learned allusion without any detailed inquiry into texts,’ Stuart Hampshire declared shortly after her death, expressing sentiments widely shared by analytic philosophers and classicists exasperated by her imperious disregard of conventional scholarship. Trying to explain the outrage felt by many Jewish readers of ...

Ruck in the Carpet

Glen Newey: Political Morality, 9 July 2009

Philosophy and Real Politics 
by Raymond Geuss.
Princeton, 116 pp., £11.95, October 2008, 978 0 691 13788 9
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... or Thucydides. Among poli-philes, the realist case has been put recently by such notables as Stuart Hampshire, Bonnie Honig, Bernard Williams, John Gray and Liz Frazer. There are no moral skyhooks from which politics can be hung. It is quite hard to understand, except perhaps as a relic of state-of-nature theory, why anyone should think that ...

What Philosophers Dream Of

Geoffrey Hawthorn: Bernard Williams, 2 July 2015

Essays and Reviews 1959-2002 
by Bernard Williams.
Princeton, 435 pp., £24.95, January 2014, 978 0 691 15985 0
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... a lie depend on what we are being asked and what the consequences of telling the truth may be. As Stuart Hampshire intimated in the LRB more than thirty years ago, the question for Williams was how far he was willing to go with the particular; willing, that is, to accept that to live in a fully human way is to accept the contingency of our convictions ...

Misbehavin’

Susannah Clapp, 23 July 1987

A Life with Alan: The Diary of A.J.P. Taylor’s Wife, Eva, from 1978 to 1985 
by Eva Haraszti Taylor.
Hamish Hamilton, 250 pp., £14.95, June 1987, 0 241 12118 3
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The Painted Banquet: My Life and Loves 
by Jocelyn Rickards.
Weidenfeld, 172 pp., £14.95, May 1987, 0 297 79119 2
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The Beaverbrook Girl 
by Janet Aitken Kidd.
Collins, 240 pp., £12.95, May 1987, 0 00 217602 5
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... those who would agree an eminent philosopher and the wife of an exlover. This is a book in which Hampshire, Stuart, sits next to Hampshire, Susan, in the index. It is also a book in which the author explains that there is only one man ‘about whom I’ve never held one vindictive ...

No Theatricks

Ferdinand Mount: Burke, 21 August 2014

The Intellectual Life of Edmund Burke: from the Sublime and Beautiful to American Independence 
by David Bromwich.
Harvard, 500 pp., £25, May 2014, 978 0 674 72970 4
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Moral Imagination: Essays 
by David Bromwich.
Princeton, 350 pp., £19.95, March 2014, 978 0 691 16141 9
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... lumping Burke in with ‘reactionary thinkers’ such as Joseph de Maistre. Berlin’s friend Stuart Hampshire is contemptuous not simply of Burke’s views but of the quality of his thought: Burke’s rhetoric was mere assertion. It was not proof or even argument. He was not clear and he was not consistent. He saw less far into the future than the ...

Stainless Splendour

Stefan Collini: How innocent was Stephen Spender?, 22 July 2004

Stephen Spender: The Authorised Biography 
by John Sutherland.
Viking, 627 pp., £25, May 2004, 0 670 88303 4
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... from Spender’s family and friends, we are told that the typescript was read by Frank Kermode, Stuart Hampshire, Richard Wollheim and Karl Miller, a formidable jury who, at the very least, seem likely to have ensured that a satisfactory account of the Encounter imbroglio would be given. Faced with such difficulties and such good fortune, Sutherland ...

The Word on the Street

Elaine Showalter, 7 March 1996

Primary Colors: A Novel of Politics 
by Anonymous.
Chatto, 366 pp., £15.99, February 1996, 0 7011 6584 7
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... off an informed reference to Doris Lessing. In the first half of the book, which follows the New Hampshire primary, those in the know have been impressed by the accuracy or verisimilitude of the information, the wicked caricatures of recognisable players from James Carville (the novel’s ragin’ Cajun, Richard Jemmons, defined by a ‘vehement ...

Superchild

John Bayley, 6 September 1984

The Diary of Virginia Woolf. Vol. V: 1936-1941 
edited by Anne Olivier Bell and Andrew McNeillie.
Chatto, 402 pp., £17.50, June 1984, 0 7012 0566 0
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Deceived with Kindness: A Bloomsbury Childhood 
by Angelica Garnett.
Chatto, 181 pp., £9.95, August 1984, 0 7011 2821 6
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... seeing him at the dinner-table. Surprising, in view of this, that so perceptive an admirer as Stuart Hampshire should have remarked of the first volume of the Diary that it gave ‘an almost unequalled account of the imagination working’. Is not the impression of a different process, of writing and seeing as a substitute for imagining? Her ...

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