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Standing on the Wharf, Weeping

Greg Dening: Australia

25 September 2003
The Enlightenment and the Origins of European Australia 
by John Gascoigne.
Cambridge, 233 pp., £45, September 2002, 0 521 80343 8
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Looking for Blackfella’s Point: An Australian History of Place 
by Mark McKenna.
New South Wales, 268 pp., £14.50, August 2002, 0 86840 644 9
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Words for Country: Landscape and Language in Australia 
by Tim Bonyhady and Tom Griffiths.
New South Wales, 253 pp., £15.50, October 2001, 0 86840 628 7
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The Land Is a Map: Placenames of Indigenous Origin in Australia 
edited by Luise Hercus, Flavia Hodges and Jane Simpson.
Pandanus, 304 pp., AUS $39.95, October 2002, 1 74076 020 4
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... mammal had two sets of sharp teeth to make a clean bite. No other land had been treated so gently.’ It would take only two hundred years for this earth to be pounded into dust. Tim Bonyhady and TomGriffiths are among Australia’s most creative historians. Griffiths’s Hunters and Collectors: The Antiquarian Imagination in Australia (1996) has become the most quoted work of Australian history ...

Ministry of Apparitions

Malcolm Gaskill: Magical Thinking in 1918

4 July 2019
A Supernatural War: Magic, Divination and Faith during the First World War 
by Owen Davies.
Oxford, 284 pp., £20, October 2018, 978 0 19 879455 4
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... line. In A Supernatural War, Owen Davies leads us from the conflict into a haunted world filled with magical thinking and uncanny experiences. ‘The greatest virtue [of history],’ the historian TomGriffiths has written, ‘is uncompromising complexity.’ And that’s what we get in Davies’s book. His fortune-tellers are therapists as well as mountebanks, his mediums are counsellors and ...

Lords loses out

R.W. Johnson: Basil D’Oliveira and racism in sport

16 December 2004
Basil D’Oliveira: Cricket and Conspiracy: The Untold Story 
by Peter Oborne.
Little, Brown, 274 pp., £16.99, June 2004, 0 316 72572 2
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Reflections on a Life in Sport 
by Sam Ramsamy and Edward Griffiths.
Greenhouse, 168 pp., £7.99, July 2004, 0 620 32251 9
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... against Australia. He then made their lives impossibly difficult by scoring 158. Whereupon they dropped him for the South African tour, faced a public revolt then re-selected him when a seam bowler, Tom Cartwright, dropped out. Vorster immediately cancelled the tour. D’Oliveira was left wondering: when picking Cartwright, the selectors had made much of the need to take an extra bowler rather than ...

Festschriftiness

Susan Pedersen

6 October 2011
Structures and Transformations in Modern British History 
edited by David Feldman and Jon Lawrence.
Cambridge, 331 pp., £50, January 2011, 978 0 521 51882 6
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The Peculiarities of Liberal Modernity in Imperial Britain 
edited by Simon Gunn and James Vernon.
California, 271 pp., £20.95, May 2011, 978 0 9845909 5 7
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Classes, Cultures and Politics: Essays on British History for Ross McKibbin 
edited by Clare Griffiths, John Nott and William Whyte.
Oxford, 320 pp., £65, April 2011, 978 0 19 957988 4
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... is much in evidence, with David Vincent explaining how ‘open’ government requires secrecy, James Epstein how the end of slave labour in the Caribbean produced other forms of labour coercion, Tom Crook how the naturalisation of heterosexuality fed an obsession with masturbation, Chris Otter how the unfettered drive towards economic liberalism spurred environmental degradation. To anyone ...

Lovers on a Train

Susannah Clapp

10 January 1991
Carol 
by Patricia Highsmith.
Bloomsbury, 240 pp., £13.99, October 1990, 0 7475 0719 8
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... with a speculative air, worthy of the academic who spoke. ‘After all,’ he mused on, ‘there are probably dons who would be prepared to act as judges.’ So it seems. There is, for example, Eric Griffiths, who was beamed onto the television screen cutting the Booker finalists, especially the females, down to size. He blamed A.S. Byatt for producing ‘the kind of novel I’d write if I was foolish ...

The poet steamed

Iain Sinclair: Tom​ Raworth

19 August 2004
Collected Poems 
by Tom​ Raworth.
Carcanet, 576 pp., £16.95, February 2003, 1 85754 624 5
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Removed for Further Study: The Poetry of Tom​ Raworth 
edited by Nate Dorward.
The Gig, 288 pp., £15, March 2003, 0 9685294 3 7
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... Tom Raworth, according to Marjorie Perloff, is the ‘oldest living open-heart surgery survivor, treated in the UK in the first round of heart operations conducted there in the 1950s’. Highlight the ...

Who gets to trip?

Mike Jay: Psychedelics

27 September 2018
How to Change Your Mind: The New Science of Psychedelics 
by Michael Pollan.
Allen Lane, 465 pp., £20, May 2018, 978 0 241 29422 2
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Blue Dreams: The Science and the Story of the Drugs that Changed Our Minds 
by Lauren Slater.
Little, Brown, 400 pp., £20, February 2018, 978 0 316 37064 6
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... to a slow vibration – that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively, there’s no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we’re the imagination of ourselves. Here’s Tom with the weather.’ It’s a shame Hicks was no longer around to see the Washington Post headline in 2016 claiming that ‘LSD could make you smarter, healthier and happier,’ or Men’s Health ...

Leave them weeping

Colin Grant: Frederick Douglass

1 August 2019
Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom 
by David Blight.
Simon and Schuster, 892 pp., £30, November 2018, 978 1 4165 9031 6
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... to ransom millions of their compatriots. While he was in England his supporters raised sufficient funds to pay his ransom note, buying his freedom and eliminating the threat of re-enslavement. Julia Griffiths, a white Englishwoman, followed Douglass back to America to assist with the North Star, the abolitionist paper he launched in 1847. For more than a decade, as editor and publisher, Douglass used it ...

The Reptile Oculist

John Barrell: On the trail of the mysterious John Taylor

1 April 2004
... The edition was paid for by nearly four hundred subscribers. There were Tory grandees such as George Canning and Lords Eldon, Liverpool and Sidmouth. There were fellow poets such as Felicia Hemans, Tom Moore, Samuel Rogers, Sir Walter Scott and Robert Southey; artists of various kinds including the gifted amateur Sir George Beaumont, Francis Chantry, John Constable, Thomas Lawrence, James Northcote ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: What I did in 2016

5 January 2017
... up in the canteen recasting.’ Which indeed we were, with my first thought Alan Rickman, I suppose because the rasping quality in his voice echoed Auden’s harsh tones. However, because Richard Griffiths was available and indeed anxious to play the part, the role went to him. Emergency casting sessions such as the one Gambon knew we were holding are always mildly hysterical and often very funny as ...

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