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New Ways of Killing Your Father

Colm Tóibín, 18 November 1993

Paddy and Mr Punch: Connections in Irish and English History 
by R.F. Foster.
Allen Lane, 305 pp., £22.50, October 1993, 0 7139 9095 3
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... and I went to Wexford for the launch of a new history of the 1798 Rising, The Year of Liberty by Thomas Pakenham. The Rising was important for us: from our housing estate we could see Vinegar Hill where ‘our side’, the rebels, had made their last stand. From early childhood I knew certain things (I hesitate to say ‘facts’) about the Rising: how ...

Torday’s Scorpion

Basil Davidson, 9 April 1992

The African Experience 
by Roland Oliver.
Weidenfeld, 284 pp., £19.99, August 1991, 0 297 82022 2
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A Thousand Years of East Africa 
by John Sutton.
British Institute in Eastern Africa, 111 pp., £8, November 1990, 1 872566 00 6
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When the grass is gone 
edited by P.W.T. Baxter.
Scandinavian Institute of African Studies, 215 pp., December 1991, 91 7106 318 8
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The Scramble for Africa 
by Thomas Pakenham.
Weidenfeld, 738 pp., £20, October 1991, 0 297 81130 4
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... nor the speculative pleasures of what another innovator, the late Gervase Mathew – to whom Thomas Pakenham pays well-deserved tribute, even while the colonial partition was about the last aspect of Africa’s experience to command Mathew’s interest – used to call ‘intuitive history’: intuitive, then, because much that was probable, and ...

Women of Quality

E.S. Turner, 9 October 1986

The Pebbled Shore 
by Elizabeth Longford.
Weidenfeld, 351 pp., £14.95, August 1986, 0 297 78863 9
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Leaves of the Tulip Tree 
by Juliette Huxley.
Murray, 248 pp., £7.95, June 1986, 9780719542886
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Enid Bagnold 
by Anne Sebba.
Weidenfeld, 317 pp., £15, September 1986, 0 297 78991 0
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... kept her in a glow for months. Down from Oxford (which gets three chapters) she joined Frank Pakenham, who had been her fellow undergraduate, giving educational lectures to the workers in the Potteries. Hitherto apolitical, she was sufficiently moved by conditions in the Five Towns to join the Labour Party. Frank ...

Benign Promiscuity

Clair Wills: Molly Keane’s Bad Behaviour, 18 March 2021

Good Behaviour 
by Molly Keane.
NYRB, 291 pp., £12, May, 978 1 68137 529 8
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... quite sure what it meant. The journalist Maureen Cleave wrote to Keane that the earl of Longford, Thomas Pakenham (Anglo-Irish historian and brother of Antonia Fraser), ‘is dying to meet you. He has been reading all your old novels under the impression that you are J.G. Farrell’s mother. In any case he thinks they are very good.’ She was not ...
... 1945, ‘to end the war in plain clothes writing. I remember at the start of it writing to Frank Pakenham that its value to us would be to show us finally that we are not men of action. I took longer than him to learn it.’ Was this what led him to romanticise failure – the failure of Charles Ryder to get religion or to get Julia, the failure of Guy ...

When Ireland Became Divided

Garret FitzGerald: The Free State’s Fight for Recognition, 21 January 1999

Documents on Irish Foreign Policy. Vol. I: 1919-22 
edited by Ronan Fanning.
Royal Irish Academy and Department of Foreign Affairs, 548 pp., £30, October 1998, 1 874045 63 1
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... decided to send a delegation to Russia to seek formal recognition. (It was also suggested that Thomas Johnston, leader of the Labour Party, should be one of its members.) The initial proposal had come from de Valera, writing to Griffith from Washington and suggesting that McCartan go to Russia as a delegate from the Dáil. The idea was to obtain ...

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