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Like Mannequins

Charles Hope: Luca Signorelli, 20 December 2012

The Life and Art of Luca Signorelli 
by Tom Henry.
Yale, 456 pp., £50, 9780300179262
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... of his generation, Signorelli has been rather neglected by modern scholars. The publication of Tom Henry’s book and the exhibition of his works this summer in Italy provide an unprecedented opportunity for evaluating his achievement as a whole. Many of Signorelli’s pictures are large altarpieces, often on panel, which could not realistically or ...

Tom Phillips: An Interview

Tom Phillips, Adam Smyth and Gill Partington, 11 October 2012

... Tom Phillips, who was born in 1937, is a painter, printmaker and collagist, and the creator of ‘A Humument: A Treated Victorian Novel’, which was reviewed by Adam Smyth in the issue of 12 October 2012. The following conversation took place on 16 September 2011 at the South London Gallery, between Phillips (TP), Smyth (AS) and Gill Partington (GP ...

No Fear of Fanny

Marilyn Butler, 20 November 1980

Fanny 
by Erica Jong.
Granada, 496 pp., £6.95, October 1980, 0 246 11427 4
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The Heroine’s Text 
by Nancy Miller.
Columbia, 185 pp., £10, July 1980, 0 231 04910 2
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... came up with a mock epic in heroic couplets in the manner of Pope, and a novella in the style of Henry Fielding. After several volumes of poetry and a runaway success with her bawdy modern picaresque, Fear of Flying, she still likes the challenge of the Clifford assignment. Fanny, being the True History of the Adventures of ...

Fielding in the dock

Claude Rawson, 5 April 1990

Henry Fielding: A Life 
by Martin Battestin and Ruthe Battestin.
Routledge, 738 pp., £29.50, October 1989, 0 415 01438 7
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New Essays 
by Henry Fielding, edited by Martin Battestin.
Virginia, 604 pp., $50, November 1989, 0 8139 1221 0
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The Wesleyan Edition of the Works of Henry Fielding. The True Patriot, and Related Writings 
edited by W.B. Coley.
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An Enquiry into the Causes of the Late Increase of Robbers, and Related Writings 
edited by Malvin Zirker.
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The Covent-Garden Journal and A Plan of the Universal Register Office 
by Henry Fielding, edited by Bertrand Goldgar.
Oxford, 446 pp., £50, December 1988, 0 19 818511 1
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Fielding and the Woman Question: The Novels of Henry Fielding and the Feminist Debate 1700-1750 
by Angela Smallwood.
Harvester, 230 pp., £35, March 1989, 0 7108 0639 6
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... the only two occasions in his life when he remembered having laughed was ‘at the circumstance of Tom Thumb’s killing the ghost’. That occurs, as it happens, in a play to which Fielding attached a mock-commentary by Scriblerus Secundus, modelled mainly on Pope’s Dunciad, not very long after his mock-Dunciadic attack on Pope and Swift themselves. The ...

Protestant Guilt

Tom Paulin, 9 April 1992

Shakespeare and the Goddess of Complete Being 
by Ted Hughes.
Faber, 517 pp., £18.99, March 1992, 0 571 16604 0
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... dissolution of the monasteries, and the judicial murder of monks and abbots during the reign of Henry VIII (after the rebellion known as the Pilgrimage of Grace, for example, Henry ordered that the chief monks at Sawley Abbey were to be hanged ‘out of the steeple’). The consecrated wall is similar to the multitude of ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Flashman, 9 May 2002

... to imagine anyone settling down to write the further adventures of that Harry Potter of the 1830s, Tom Brown; even harder to imagine anyone settling down to read them. (Thomas Hughes did in fact write a sequel, Tom Brown at Oxford, but it’s never done as well as Tom Brown’s ...

Cough up

Thomas Keymer: Henry Fielding, 20 November 2008

Plays: Vol. II, 1731-34 
by Henry Fielding, edited by Thomas Lockwood.
Oxford, 865 pp., £150, October 2007, 978 0 19 925790 4
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‘The Journal of a Voyage to Lisbon’, ‘Shamela’ and ‘Occasional Writings’ 
by Henry Fielding, edited by Martin Battestin, with Sheridan Baker and Hugh Amory.
Oxford, 804 pp., £150
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... trade, was that of a professional author any purer? Although Fielding’s most enduring work, and Tom Jones (1749) especially, were the result of a painstaking commitment to the craft of writing, he always wanted to disguise the vulgarities of effort, and nowhere more than in the comedies and farces of the 1730s, eight of which appear in this volume of Thomas ...

The Human Frown

John Bayley, 21 February 1991

Samuel Butler: A Biography 
by Peter Raby.
Hogarth, 334 pp., £25, February 1991, 0 7012 0890 2
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... dinners’ were being held, at first under the auspices of Butler’s great friend Henry Festing Jones (the last dinner was in July 1914), and Forster was offered £25 by his publisher as an advance for a book about Butler. Lytton Strachey, who also found Butler immensely ‘cheering’, wanted to write on him in the Edinburgh Review; and ...

Unsaying

Philip Davis: Thomas Arnold’s Apostasies, 15 April 2004

A Victorian Wanderer: The Life of Thomas Arnold the Younger 
by Bernard Bergonzi.
Oxford, 274 pp., £25, July 2003, 0 19 925741 8
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... he also found in his younger brother Thomas: a want of ‘rest’. It had all started so well: Tom gained the first at Oxford that eluded both Matthew and Clough; he was Clough’s model for Philip, the radical poet, in his poem The Bothie. But a mixture of religious doubt and social concern led Tom, like Philip, to seek ...

Short Cuts

Elisabeth Ladenson: Autofriction, 20 September 2007

... blows last month in the literary pages of all the major papers over Darrieussecq’s latest novel, Tom est mort, a first-person narrative of a mother’s attempt to come to terms with the death of her small child ten years earlier. In 1995 Laurens had published Philippe, an autobiographical work about the death of her infant son the previous year. Darrieussecq ...

Under the Sphinx

Alasdair Gray, 11 March 1993

Places of the Mind: The Life and Work of James Thomson (‘B.V.’) 
by Tom Leonard.
Cape, 407 pp., £25, February 1993, 9780224031189
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... This is the first full-length study of James Thomson’s life and work since Henry Salt’s in 1889. Thomson’s poem The City of Dreadful Night is known by name to many but has seldom been reprinted or discussed. Histories of literature say more about an earlier James Thomson (1700-48) who wrote The Seasons and ‘Rule Britannia’ and got into Johnson’s Lives of the Poets, though Johnson says his diction was ‘florid and luxuriant ...

Short Cuts

Tom Crewe: ‘Parallel Lives’, 2 April 2020

... Taylor and John Stuart Mill; Catherine Hogarth and Charles Dickens; George Eliot and George Henry Lewes. This is the form in which Rose presents the couples, with the women taking precedence and preserving their maiden names. It might seem a sure indication of her approach, but in fact she is interested in ‘parallel lives’ – that is, in two ...

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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... have the novelist that they deserve.’ (I don’t think he means to be snide.) Dissenters such as Tom Carson, in the Los Angeles Times Book Review, seem disappointed that ‘the book isn’t unadulterated junk. Unexpectedly, it’s a work of some literary as well as reportorial skill, not to mention some literary as well as meretricious ambition.’ In the ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’, 30 August 2018

... I have suggested, but they do meet with heavy visual competition. There are always shoot-outs, and Tom Cruise does a lot of running. In the first film he hangs from a long wire to make a CD copy of a file from a computer inside CIA headquarters. In the new one there is a nearly failed parachute drop, a rooftop chase in London, a lot of motorised whizzing ...

Echoes

Tom Phillips, 2 April 1981

English Art and Modernism 1900-1939 
by Charles Harrison.
Allen Lane, 416 pp., £20, February 1981, 0 7139 0792 4
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... the self-styled skeleton in the cupboard, his three protagonists are Paul Nash, Ben Nicholson and Henry Moore. Nash’s was a fine sensibility and Nicholson’s lyrical gifts are husbanded with a rigour rare in this country’s art: yet, of the three, it is only Moore that can be said to have had a marked influence on the language of 20th-century art as a ...

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