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Resurrection Man

Danny Karlin: Browning and His Readers, 23 May 2002

The Ring and the Book 
by Robert Browning, edited by Richard Altick and Thomas Collins.
Broadview, 700 pp., £12.99, August 2001, 1 55111 372 4
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The Poetical Works of Robert Browning. Vol. VIII: The Ring and the Book, Books V-VIII 
edited by Stefan Hawlin and Tim Burnett.
Oxford, £75, February 2001, 0 19 818647 9
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... and estimation, whether the message couldn’t have been delivered a little more crisply. Thomas Carlyle certainly thought so: the poem, he declared, was ‘all made out of an Old Bailey story that might have been told in ten lines and only wants forgetting’. It is not in fact that easy to tell the story in ten lines – Browning’s most concise ...

Secret Signals in Lotus Flowers

Maya Jasanoff: Myths of the Mutiny, 21 July 2005

The Indian Mutiny and the British Imagination 
by Gautam Chakravarty.
Cambridge, 242 pp., £45, January 2005, 0 521 83274 8
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... of the Corbett family, ‘who were murdered During the Massacre of the Christians in Delhi’; to Thomas Collins and no fewer than 23 members of his extended family, ‘all barbarously murdered at Delhi on or about the 11th of May 1857’; to Dr Chimmun Lall, a ‘native Christian and a Worshipper in this Church’, who ‘fell a martyr to his faith on ...

Dictionaries

Randolph Quirk, 25 October 1979

Collins Dictionary of the English Language 
by P. Hanks, T.H. Long and L. Urdang.
Collins, 1690 pp., £7.95
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... something of an oversimplification, but not all that much. The tradition is rich and unbroken: in Thomas Elyot’s Latin dictionary of 1538 we find aedificium ‘building’, in Bullokar’s English dictionary of 1616 the minimally anglicised edifice ‘a building’, in the 1979 Collins edifice ‘a building’. For all ...

Paliography

John Sutherland, 15 September 1988

The Secret Life of Wilkie Collins 
by William Clarke.
Allison and Busby, 239 pp., £14.95, August 1988, 0 85031 960 9
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Wilkie CollinsWomen, Property and Propriety 
by Philip O’Neill.
Macmillan, 238 pp., £27.50, September 1988, 9780333421994
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... Ray, writing in 1956, all that posterity could reasonably expect to know about the elusive Wilkie Collins was his name and dates of birth and death. This has proved to be an exaggeration. Thanks to Kenneth Robinson (whose revised Wilkie Collins, A Biography came out in 1974) and now, preeminently, to William Clarke, we now ...

Making them think

J.I.M. Stewart, 18 September 1986

G.K. Chesterton 
by Michael Ffinch.
Weidenfeld, 369 pp., £16, June 1986, 0 297 78858 2
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... concern of his life.’ On the following page Mr Ffinch tells of being admitted by Miss Dorothy Collins, Chesterton’s literary executor, to archival material so rich that he ‘remained happily stranded in the attic for twelve hours a day for several weeks’. ‘As each chest, trunk, suitcase or box revealed its treasures in the form of ...

The Most Beautiful Icicle

Inigo Thomas: Apollo 11, 15 August 2019

Reaching for the Moon: A Short History of the Space Race 
by Roger D. Launius.
Yale, 256 pp., £20, July 2019, 978 0 300 23046 8
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The Moon: A History for the Future 
by Oliver Morton.
Economist Books, 334 pp., £20, May 2019, 978 1 78816 254 8
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... the photography was practised and programmed. ‘They would loan us a Hasselblad,’ said Michael Collins, the third member of the Apollo 11 mission, who stayed behind in the moon’s orbit in Columbia, the command module, while his companions descended to its surface. Mia Fineman, curator of an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, Apollo’s ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: War Talk, 6 February 2003

... A User’s Guide to America’s New War (NYU, $16.95), a collection of essays edited by John Collins and Ross Glover about the uses to which language has been put by the Bush Administration since 11 September 2001. Each chapter considers a different word – e.g. anthrax, cowardice, freedom, jihad – but the overall argument is against propaganda and ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: What’s in a name?, 19 October 2000

... for using his name without permission. There are no less than four limited companies called Thomas Jones, with or without sons and various parenthetical geographical locations. While de Bernières is just going to have to get used to sharing his name, other novelists can indulge themselves for a bit longer. The Companies House website, at ...

Well done, you forgers

John Sutherland, 7 January 1993

The Two Forgers: A Biography of Harry Buxton Forman and Thomas James Wise 
by John Collins.
Scolar, 317 pp., £27.50, May 1992, 0 85967 754 0
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Forgers and Critics: Creativity and Duplicity in Western Scholarship 
by Anthony Grafton.
Princeton, 157 pp., £10.75, May 1990, 0 691 05544 0
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... in primitive forgery, or mimic it. It is not clear that even an arch literary forger like Thomas J. Wise actually committed a criminal act for which he could be prosecuted by the DPP. It would be sensible to replace the term ‘literary forgery’ with Anthony Grafton’s neologism, ‘pseudepigrapha’. This blanket description would cover everything ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Bad Manners, 6 July 2000

... Wicked Etiquette: Over Seven Hundred Faux pas to Avoid – in Bed and out (Collins and Brown, 192 pp., £9.99, 22 June, 1 85585 795 2) is an anthology of mainly Victorian advice collected by Sarah Kortum from such books as the anonymous Gems of Deportment (1880) and Things that Are Not Done by Edgar and Diana Woods (1937 ...

My Missus

John Sutherland, 13 May 1993

Popular Reading and Publishing in Britain, 1914-1950 
by Joseph McAleer.
Oxford, 284 pp., £35, December 1992, 0 19 820329 2
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American Star: A Love Story 
by Jackie Collins.
Heinemann, 568 pp., £14.99, March 1993, 0 434 14093 7
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... working-class literature than about Lapland. In a much quoted essay twenty years later, Wilkie Collins, after a similar expedition, coined the phrase ‘the Unknown Public’. It was something of a misnomer since the public was well enough known. It was their ‘entertaining literature’ that was the mystery. English society put such a moral premium on ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Ukip’s wrinkly glitz, 4 November 2004

... his tanned presence on the campaign trail, aided by other fading celebrity ghouls such as Joan Collins, is largely responsible for the party’s half-decent performance in the European elections in June. Alan Sked, the LSE lecturer who founded the party in 1993 and left it in despair in 1997, has described it in its current form as a bunch of ‘aged ...

Browning Versions

Barbara Everett, 4 August 1983

Robert Browning: A Life within Life 
by Donald Thomas.
Weidenfeld, 334 pp., £12.95, August 1982, 0 297 78092 1
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The Elusive Self in the Poetry of Robert Browning 
by Constance Hassett.
Ohio, 186 pp., £17, December 1982, 0 8214 0629 9
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The Complete Works of Robert Browning. Vol. V 
edited by Roma King.
Ohio, 395 pp., £29.75, July 1981, 9780821402207
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The Poetical Works of Robert Browning: Vol. I 
edited by Ian Jack and Margaret Smith.
Oxford, 543 pp., £45, April 1983, 0 19 811893 7
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Robert Browning: The Poems 
edited by John Pettigrew and Thomas Collins.
Yale/Penguin, 1191 pp., £26, January 1982, 0 300 02675 7
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Robert Browning: ‘The Ring and the Book’ 
edited by Richard Altick.
Yale/Penguin, 707 pp., £21, May 1981, 0 300 02677 3
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... criticism ever since. It supplies the thesis of the most recent biography of the poet, Donald Thomas’s quietly lucid and understanding Life within Life: the best and most straightforward of the modern lives of Browning. Similarly, it may dictate the title and theme of Constance Hassett’s sensitive study of Browning’s verse as an essentially ...

Unwarranted

John Barrell: John Wilkes Betrayed, 6 July 2006

John Wilkes: The Scandalous Father of Civil Liberty 
by Arthur Cash.
Yale, 482 pp., £19.95, February 2006, 0 300 10871 0
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... The last time I wrote for the LRB, I mentioned a speech made by Tim Collins, the then shadow education secretary, calling for a review of the teaching of history in schools. ‘Nothing is more important to the survival of the British nation,’ he had declared, ‘than an understanding among its young of our shared heritage and the nature of the struggles, foreign and domestic, which have secured our freedoms … a nation which loses sight of its past cannot long expect to enjoy its future ...

Nobody at Home

Jon Elster, 2 June 1983

Selfless Persons: Imagery and Thought in Theravada Buddhism 
by Steven Collins.
Cambridge, 323 pp., £22.50, June 1982, 0 521 24081 6
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Le Bonheur-Liberté: Bouddhisme Profond et Modernité 
by Serge-Christophe Kolm.
Presses Universitaires de France, 637 pp., £150, January 1983, 9782130373162
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... Most people have had similar experiences, I suspect. In his book on Theravada Buddhism, Steven Collins refers to the ‘water imagery’ expressive of the state of mind of the meditator ‘in which all mental phenomena can be seen and classified “as they really are”... like a clear pond through which the stones, plants, and suchlike, on the bottom can ...

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