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Brutish Babies

David Wootton: Witchcraft

11 November 1999
Shaman of Oberstdorf: Chonrad Stoeckhlin and the Phantoms of the Night 
by Wolfgang Behringer, translated by H.C.Erik Midelfort.
Virginia, 203 pp., £14.50, September 1998, 0 8139 1853 7
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Thinking with Demons: The Idea of Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe 
by Stuart Clark.
Oxford, 845 pp., £25, October 1999, 0 19 820001 3
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Witchcraft in Tudor and Stuart​ England 
by Alan Macfarlane.
Routledge, 368 pp., £55, April 1999, 0 415 19611 6
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The Bewitching of Anne Gunter: A Horrible and True Story of Football, Witchcraft, Murder and the King of England 
by James Sharpe.
Profile, 256 pp., £16.99, November 1999, 9781861970480
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... reflected in the witches’ trials, so that they can be studied from very different viewpoints: from those of early modern legislators (Bostridge), lawyers (Behringer), theologians and scientists (Clark), as well as from those of both accusers and accused. Because of the nature of the sources, the trials have provided some of the best examples of ‘microhistory’ or ‘the new narrative’. This ...

Accepting Freud

Stuart​ Hampshire

4 December 1980
Freud 
by Ronald Clark.
Weidenfeld, 652 pp., £9.95, July 1980, 0 297 77661 4
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... There has for some time been the hovering suspicion that there are deliberately concealed sources for the biography of Freud, and that they will gradually emerge from hiding as the years pass. Mr Clark refers to the suspicion, and he has, in fact, made use of some useful sources which were not available to Ernest Jones. The most important are the original series of letters to Wilhelm Fliess without ...

Tell us about it

Alex Clark: Julian Barnes

24 August 2000
Love, etc 
by Julian Barnes.
Cape, 250 pp., £15.99, August 2000, 0 224 06109 7
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... dangers of metaphor, of likening one thing to another, and on the possible outcome of paying too much attention to what is not real. Most of the warnings fall from the mouth of the doggedly pragmatic Stuart, whose rough ride in the world of marriage, love and romance has sent him scurrying towards all that is solid, material, practical. ‘I’ve come to some conclusions in my time,’ he tells us: For ...

Diary

Zachary Leader: Oscar Talk at the Huntington

16 April 1998
... and Interrupted Melody (1955), for which she won the Academy Award. The Library also possesses the papers of Catherine Turney, another prominent screenwriter, whose good friend, 87-year-old Gloria Stuart, of Titanic fame, has been here for lunch. Turney wrote women’s pictures for Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Ida Lupino, Rosalind Russell and Ann Sheridan, and her script helped Crawford win the Oscar ...
23 January 1986
English Society 1688-1832 
by J.C.D. Clark.
Cambridge, 439 pp., £30, November 1985, 0 521 30922 0
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Virtue, Commerce and History 
by J.G.A. Pocock.
Cambridge, 321 pp., £25, November 1985, 0 521 25701 8
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... in appearance, but detectably the same creature as before. The ‘Whig Interpretation of History’ is a case in point. Herbert Butterfield slew it in 1931, and here come John Pocock and Jonathan Clark to slay it again. There is next to nothing in common between them, save their opposition to the Whig Interpretation and its offspring: but it is that opposition which provides both of them with the ...
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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... among whom Geoffrey Blainey – whose The Tyranny of Distance must count as the single most original historical work about Australia – is exceptional in possessing an individual style. Manning Clark, doyen of Australian historians by virtue of his five-volume History of Australia, in scholarship towers over all his predecessors but writes no better. Here, drawn from A Short History of Australia ...
13 November 1997
Virtual History: Alternatives and Counterfactuals 
edited by Niall Ferguson.
Picador, 548 pp., £20, April 1997, 9780330351324
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... of further possibilities, with proliferating further permutations making all the possible futures too complex for unilinear prediction. A germane point is well developed in a later essay by J.C.D. Clark, who seizes on the tension between sound arguments for contingency and a misguided development of far-reaching counterfactul examples of alternative futures: ‘The counterfactual assumes clearly ...
11 April 2013
Collected Poems 
by Edward Dorn.
Carcanet, 995 pp., £25, November 2012, 978 1 84777 126 1
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... cluster, was working on his groundbreaking Clare study, The Idea of Landscape and the Sense of Place. When Dorn delivered The North Atlantic Turbine, his poems of English politics and place, to Stuart Montgomery of Fulcrum Press, the book was dedicated to Davie, Prynne and Tom Raworth (another Essex figure with whom Dorn had corresponded for years). A classic late modernist genealogy was being ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: Kurosawa

22 February 2007
Yojimbo 
directed by Akira Kurosawa.
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... It wouldn’t work without Toshiro Mifune. In this role he remains perfectly Japanese but also manages to look like a mixture of Clark Gable and Gary Cooper – the sly, amused Gable of screwball comedy and the weathered Cooper of the Western. And then he looks a little like, actually prefigures, someone else, whom I’ll get to in ...

Taking Sides

John Mullan: On the high road with Bonnie Prince Charlie

22 January 2004
The ’45: Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Untold Story of the Jacobite Rising 
by Christopher Duffy.
Cassell, 639 pp., £20, March 2003, 0 304 35525 9
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Samuel Johnson in Historical Context 
edited by J.C.D. Clark and Howard Erskine-Hill.
Palgrave, 336 pp., £55, December 2001, 0 333 80447 3
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... in the morning of 12 December 1745, appeared to the combatants to have decided the nation’s future. The military details will be familiar to many from school history lessons. Prince Charles Edward Stuart, the Young Pretender, having overcome the doubts of some of his own commanders, marched south from Derby to confront the hastily mustered Hanoverian army under the direct command of George II. As in ...

Histories of Australia

Stuart​ Macintyre

28 September 1989
The Oxford History of Autralia. Vol III: 1860-1900 
by Beverley Kingston.
Oxford, 368 pp., £22.50, July 1989, 0 19 554611 3
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The Road from Coorain: An Australian Memoir 
by Jill Ker Conway.
Heinemann, 238 pp., £12.95, September 1989, 0 434 14244 1
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A Secret Country 
by John Pilger.
Cape, 286 pp., £12.95, September 1989, 0 224 02600 3
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Convict Workers: Reinterpreting Australia’s Past 
edited by Stephen Nicholas.
Cambridge, 246 pp., $45, June 1989, 0 521 36126 5
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... My own strategy was to dust off a convention of the original Oxford History of England and restore a national discourse to the absent centre. This could no longer mean – as it had meant for Clark or Woodward or Taylor – the public endeavours of influential men to control national events. It would have to accommodate the greatly enlarged range of contingent relationships that the new social ...

Lost Mother

Michael Dobson

17 February 2000
In My End Is My Beginning: A Life of Mary Queen of Scots 
by James Mackay.
Mainstream, 320 pp., £20, March 1999, 1 84018 058 7
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Mary Queen of Scots: Romance and Nation 
by Jayne Elizabeth Lewis.
Routledge, 259 pp., £14.99, October 1998, 0 415 11481 0
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Ancestry and Narrative in 19th-Century British Literature: Blood Relations from Edgeworth to Hardy 
by Sophie Gilmartin.
Cambridge, 281 pp., £37.50, February 1999, 0 521 56094 2
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... way, The Court of Holyrood offers Mary as a sexily vulnerable icon, around whom a brotherhood of modern national subjects are confidently expected to rally. Remarkably, some Scots still find in Mary Stuart an embodiment of their own aspirations – despite modern prejudices against absolute monarchy and murder. James Mackay, for example, prefaces his own account of the Queen with similar remarks about ...

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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... often was in the 1920s and 1930s, it could be, the admiring accounts concur, heady stuff. And it was not as though the inner circle of his admirers was composed of 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 ...
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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... such an overall picture would instantly notice a great many glaring omissions.’ He is right about that. They would also notice some strange inclusions: for example, essays on David Frost, Kenneth Clark, Tom Wolfe and Germaine Greer – Sixties figures to a man. Booker’s earlier book, The Neophiliacs, he tells us, was ‘a detailed, analytical account of the astonishing changes which had come over ...

I, Lowborn Cur

Colin Burrow: Literary Names

22 November 2012
Literary Names: Personal Names in English Literature 
by Alastair Fowler.
Oxford, 283 pp., £19.99, September 2012, 978 0 19 959222 7
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... page of Bond’s great work. Why does the name of an actual ornithologist sound so right as the name of a fictional spy? Why couldn’t Fleming have used another pair of common monosyllables – John Clark, say? Bond is a solid, blue-chip, faith-giving kind of a name. Who wouldn’t prefer a government Bond under their mattress (we’re talking AAA British) to a petty clerk? Is your word your clerk? I ...

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