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Marina Warner, 4 January 1996

Lewis Carroll: A Biography 
by Morton Cohen.
Macmillan, 592 pp., £25, November 1995, 0 333 62926 4
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The Literary Products of the Lewis Carroll-George MacDonald Friendship 
by John Docherty.
Edwin Mellen, 420 pp., £69.95, July 1995, 0 7734 9038 8
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... had written him. Odd that Carroll’s relatives, as they quickly cleared the suite of rooms on Tom Quad, did not think of the documents’ value. Even if they were blind to their intrinsic interest, why didn’t they consider the larger commercial possibilities, since Carroll had supplemented and even supported them throughout on the surprisingly fat ...

Short Cuts

Tom Crewe: Colourisation, 22 March 2018

... the first time round. I look happier than I felt, and I don’t even look that happy. Tom Crewe (with pint) and friend (2007) All this before Myspace turned into a graveyard. There are more than two thousand photos of me on Facebook, its all-conquering rival, dating from the time I started at university and running up to the present. A decade in ...

Quashed Quotatoes

Michael Wood: Finnegans Wake, 16 December 2010

Finnegans Wake 
by James Joyce, edited by Danis Rose and John O’Hanlon.
Houyhnhnm, 493 pp., £250, March 2010, 978 0 9547710 1 0
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Joyce’s Disciples Disciplined 
edited by Tim Conley.
University College Dublin, 185 pp., £42.50, May 2010, 978 1 906359 46 1
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... we don’t know. Another reference: And there many have paused before that exposure of him by old Tom Quad, a flashback in which he sits sated, gowndabout, in clericalease habit, watching bland Sol slithe dodgsomely into the nethermore, a globule of maugdleness about to corrugitate his mild dewed cheek and the tata of a tiny victorienne, Alys, pressed by his ...

I can bite anything I want

Matthew Bevis: Lewis Carroll, 16 July 2015

Lewis Carroll 
by Morton Cohen.
Macmillan, reissue, 577 pp., £30, April 2015, 978 1 4472 8613 4
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The Selected Letters of Lewis Carroll 
edited by Morton Cohen.
Palgrave, reissue, 302 pp., £16.99, March 2015, 978 1 137 50546 0
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Lewis Carroll: The Man and His Circle 
by Edward Wakeling.
Tauris, 400 pp., £35, November 2014, 978 1 78076 820 5
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... might mean. When he was trying to find a title for his book, Carroll insisted to the playwright Tom Taylor that ‘in spite of your “morality”, I want something sensational.’ Twenty years later, he was adamant that the books ‘have no religious teaching whatever in them – in fact, they do not teach anything at all.’ The original version of ...

Exasperating Classics

Patricia Craig, 23 May 1985

Secret Gardens 
by Humphrey Carpenter.
Allen and Unwin, 235 pp., £12.95, April 1985, 0 04 809022 0
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Reading and Righting 
by Robert Leeson.
Collins, 256 pp., £6.95, March 1985, 9780001844131
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Pipers at the Gates of Dawn 
by Jonathan Cott.
Viking, 327 pp., £12.95, August 1984, 0 670 80003 1
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... if we’re to take their word for it. The crucial difference is that Reid’s books, even the ‘Tom Barber’ trilogy, magic and all, were never appropriated by young readers, perhaps because of something in them a bit too lushly ‘pagan’ and pastoral. Still, Reid is as much a part of the ‘Arcadian’ tradition as Richard Jeffries, author of Bevis, who ...

Never Seen a Violet

Dinah Birch: Victorian men and girls, 6 September 2001

Men in Wonderland: The Lost Girlhood of the Victorian Gentleman 
by Catherine Robson.
Princeton, 250 pp., £19.95, June 2001, 0 691 00422 6
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... education, did boys enter a more markedly masculine sphere – an experience finely dramatised in Tom Brown’s Schooldays. The growing boy is removed from the inadequate female guidance of mother, sisters and nursery-maid, and socialised in the exclusively masculine institution of a public school. Girls, by contrast, remained where they had always been, in ...

There’s a porpoise close behind us

Michael Dobson, 13 November 1997

The Origins of English Nonsense 
by Noel Malcolm.
HarperCollins, 329 pp., £18, May 1997, 0 00 255827 0
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... ship.     I saw her in the gardin,     Where Yarmouth bloaters grew,     Selling Tom-tits five a fardin     To unhappy young Leboo! No one, however, would actually want to claim that this provocatively sported walrus was a direct source for the better-known specimen that consorts with the Carpenter. One of the curious phenomena which we ...

End of Story

Robert Taubman, 20 November 1980

A Humument 
by Tom Phillips.
Thames and Hudson, 367 pp., £12, October 1980, 0 500 09146 3
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The Past 
by Neil Jordan.
Cape, 232 pp., £6.50, October 1980, 0 224 01845 0
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Black Tickets 
by Jayne Anne Phillips.
Allen Lane, 194 pp., £5.95, October 1980, 0 7139 1354 1
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... comic strip as it has entered Pop Art – or as in the single words of type in a Cubist painting. Tom Phillips is a painter who has exhibited earlier versions of these pages as a form of Gesamtkunstwerk, with the Coleridgean aim of ‘keeping the greatest number of things suspended in a unity’. In the past, he has also used other material such as ...

I scribble, you write

Tessa Hadley: Women Reading, 26 September 2013

The Woman Reader 
by Belinda Jack.
Yale, 330 pp., £9.99, August 2013, 978 0 300 19720 4
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Curious Subjects 
by Hilary Schor.
Oxford, 271 pp., £41.99, January 2013, 978 0 19 992809 5
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... an archetypal irony in The Mill on the Floss, set in the early decades of the 19th century. Tom Tulliver hates school so much that he counts the days until he can come home, cutting them into a stick; his sister, Maggie, who isn’t sent to school, longs to know what the Latin in his textbook means. Although these words are the very instruments of ...

It’s a Knock-Out

Tom Nairn, 27 May 1993

The Spirit of the Age: An Account of Our Times 
by David Selbourne.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 388 pp., £20, February 1993, 1 85619 204 0
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... In his brilliant account of collapsing Yugoslavia, A Paper House, Mark Thompson meets a leader of the Vojvodina Ruthenes called Professor Julijan Tamas. Since 1989 this tiny people has been struggling back into political existence. In 1991 they managed to stage the first World Congress of Ruthenes and just before that the first Bible in Ruthenian had finally appeared ...

Forget the Dylai Lama

Thomas Jones: Bob Dylan, 6 November 2003

Dylan's Visions of Sin 
by Christopher Ricks.
Viking, 517 pp., £25, October 2003, 9780670801336
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... expressed in the song continues? These problems are solved in rhyme. The end of ‘Just like Tom Thumb’s Blues’ – ‘I’m going back to New York City/I do believe I’ve had enough’ – ‘feels like a due ending for the perfectly simple reason that, in this final verse (one that, in closing, starts out “I started out”), all the lines (odd ...

On with the Pooling and Merging

Neal Ascherson: The Incomparable Tom Nairn, 17 February 2000

After Britain: New Labour and the Return of Scotland 
by Tom Nairn.
Granta, 336 pp., £15.99, January 2000, 1 86207 293 0
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... contribution occurs in the last section, ‘Epilogue: The Last Day’, a sort of diary of what Tom Nairn did and felt on the unforgettable rainy Thursday of 6 May 1999. It was the first polling day for the reconvened Scottish Parliament. As Nairn drove back from Fife, where he had gone to say goodbye to a dying friend, he passed through some shaggy ...

Love thy neighbourhood

Terry Eagleton, 16 November 1995

The Curious Enlightenment of Professor Caritat 
by Steven Lukes.
Verso, 261 pp., £14.95, November 1995, 1 85984 948 2
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... exhortations, it cannot avoid falling prey to a certain didactic utility itself, just as Tom Jones tries paradoxically to teach us that virtue is for the most part spontaneous. Eighteenth-century satirists like Swift and Fielding commonly operate a kind of double optic, using some unworldly innocent to lay bare human degeneracy while deploying the ...

How Movies End

David Thomson: John Boorman’s Quiet Ending, 20 February 2020

Conclusions 
by John Boorman.
Faber, 237 pp., £20, February, 978 0 571 35379 8
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... forum for filmmakers to talk at length about what they do. I co-edited Volume 4, with Tom Luddy, only because Boorman was occupied at the time shooting Beyond Rangoon (1995).Boorman may have seemed established, but his status could lead to strange ventures. This suburban boy was drawn to Burma, to The Emerald Forest (1985), and to the myths of the ...

Anti-Dad

Adam Mars-Jones: Amis Resigns, 21 June 2012

Lionel Asbo: State of England 
by Martin Amis.
Cape, 288 pp., £18.99, June 2012, 978 0 224 09620 1
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... Des filled it in. There are times when a satirist has his cards handed to him by a single event (Tom Lehrer interpreted Kissinger’s winning the Nobel Peace Prize as a virtual P45), others when it’s more a matter of being outgunned by reality on a wide front. It’s just bad luck that the publication of Lionel Asbo happens to coincide with the replacement ...

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