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Behind the Sandwall

Jeremy Harding: Morocco’s Shame, 23 February 2006

Endgame in the Western Sahara: What Future for Africa’s Last Colony? 
by Toby Shelley.
Zed, 215 pp., £16.95, November 2004, 1 84277 341 0
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... sooner or later to ‘Africa’s forgotten war’. The conflict in Western Sahara, the subject of Toby Shelley’s book, was often referred to as a forgotten war. It also displaced a large number of the territory’s inhabitants, whose camps are in no sense makeshift: the Sahrawi refugees from former Spanish Sahara have been stranded across the border in ...

In an Ocean of Elizabeths

Terry Eagleton: Rochester, 23 October 2014

Blazing Star: The Life and Times of John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester 
by Alexander Larman.
Head of Zeus, 387 pp., £25, July 2014, 978 1 78185 109 8
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... way as those who lord it over them. It is this devil-may-care attitude we relish in Falstaff and Toby Belch, whose roguery is spiced by the fact that they are knights of the realm. They can knock around with the lower orders because hierarchy means nothing to those at the apex of it. It is the lower-middle-class Malvolios of this world who have a jealous eye ...

Lachrymatics

Ferdinand Mount: British Weeping, 17 December 2015

Weeping Britannia: Portrait of a Nation in Tears 
by Thomas Dixon.
Oxford, 438 pp., £25, September 2015, 978 0 19 967605 7
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... in his tears’, endowed with ‘spungy eyes and a supple conscience’. In The Masque of Anarchy, Shelley sneers at Lord Chancellor Eldon, who was as notorious for his tears as for his reactionary views: Next came Fraud, and he had on, Like Lord Eldon, an ermined gown; His big tears, for he wept well, Turned to millstones as they fell. And the little ...

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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... but adds poems uncollected by Browning himself, and also, in an appendix, the prose ‘Essay on Shelley’.In his brief but dense and elegant Preface John Pettigrew manages to allude to the difficulties encountered in annotating Browning in a manner that evokes the literary character of Browning himself: ‘The ideal Browning annotator needs – besides ...

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