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23 September 1993
Rider Haggard and the Lost Empire 
by Tom Pocock.
Weidenfeld, 264 pp., £20, August 1993, 0 297 81308 0
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... the highest sort of shame, shame for my country’. And perhaps a touch of shame at having made £50 a week out of the national climb-down? Rider Haggard’s career has already attracted biographers. TomPocock, while never losing sight of the man as literary phenomenon, concentrates on his half-forgotten role as visionary of Empire. Here is the man who saw in the Zulus the makings of English ...
8 March 1990
Alan Moorehead 
by Tom Pocock.
Bodley Head, 311 pp., £16.95, February 1990, 0 370 31261 9
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Loyalties: A Son’s Memoir 
by Carl Bernstein.
Macmillan, 254 pp., £15.95, January 1990, 0 333 52135 8
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Downstart 
by Brian Inglis.
Chatto, 298 pp., £15.95, January 1990, 0 7011 3390 2
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... the former enemy commander’s former villa. He was lucky enough, in fact, to live in the golden age of the war correspondent as buccaneer. Although he was not at all his way inclined, it was Tom Driberg who described him (perhaps unguardedly) as ‘a trim, slight figure, dark and jaunty, with steady eyes, a scornful passionate lip and a certain ruthless charm’. Interestingly, his appeal ...

White Peril

E.S. Turner: H. Rider Haggard

20 September 2001
Diary of an African Journey (1914) 
by H. Rider Haggard.
Hurst, 345 pp., £20, August 2001, 1 85065 468 9
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... even a mini-proconsul; willing at a pinch, perhaps, to ‘go out and govern New South Wales’. He did not live to see the author of The Thirty-Nine Steps and Greenmantle go out and govern Canada. TomPocock gave a good account of his career in Rider Haggard and the Lost Empire (reviewed here 23 September 1993). The Diary of an African Journey tells how, in 1914, Haggard accompanied the Dominions ...

Great Encounters

Patrick O’Brian

11 January 1990
The Price of Admiralty 
by John Keegan.
Hutchinson, 292 pp., £14.95, November 1988, 0 09 173771 0
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... that have been handled again and again, and doing so with no great originality. Trafalgar has been written about by great numbers of very well qualified people, from Clarke and McArthur in 1809 to TomPocock in 1988: this imposing mass of books, together with the place of Nelson and of the battle in the English tradition, have caused John Keegan to approach the subject with awe, and awe alas has ...
20 December 1979
Western Political Thought in the Face of the Future 
by John Dunn.
Cambridge, 120 pp., £8.50
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... of knowledge provided by such kindred disciplines as law, anthropology and economics. The summons has been answered in recent decades by a series of dazzling academic performances: Plamenatz, Berlin, Pocock, Shklar, Wolin, Schaar, and more recently Kelly, Taylor, Ryan, Skinner and Simonds. It is a mark of John Dunn’s distinction that this is the company in which he belongs. But in one crucial way he ...
19 May 1988
Dragons Teeth: Literature in the English Revolution 
by Michael Wilding.
Oxford, 288 pp., £25, September 1987, 0 19 812881 9
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Apocalyptic Marvell: The Second Coming in 17th-Century Poetry 
by Margarita Stocker.
Harvester, 381 pp., £32.50, February 1986, 0 7108 0934 4
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The Politics of Mirth: Jonson, Herrick, Milton, Marvell, and the Defence of Old Holiday Pastimes 
by Leah Marcus.
Chicago, 319 pp., £23.25, March 1987, 0 226 50451 4
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Milton: A Study in Ideology and Form 
by Christopher Kendrick.
Methuen, 240 pp., £25, June 1986, 0 416 01251 5
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... wit. To denounce them as libertines was to become a stock tactic for conservatives anxious to show where republicanism ended up; Aubrey himself disliked this tactic, and felt that the poem ‘Tom May’s Death’ came down too hard on its victim. This injustice may not disprove Marvell’s authorship of that controversial text, but subsequent critics have been too ready to take such glib ...

Public Works

David Norbrook

5 June 1986
The Faber Book of Political Verse 
edited by Tom​ Paulin.
Faber, 481 pp., £17.50, May 1986, 0 571 13947 7
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... Arnold and Eliot ensured that the magic of monarchy and superstition permeated English literary criticism and education like a syrupy drug ... ’ Yes, this is Tom Paulin speaking. Readers of the London Review will remember the review of a collection of essays on Geoffrey Hill in which he bitterly attacked the conservatism of English poetry and criticism ...
20 March 1997
Republics, Nations and Tribes 
by Martin Thom.
Verso, 359 pp., £45, July 1995, 1 85984 020 5
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... over to the new national leviathans. Admirable as Thom’s account is, no one should think Republics, Nations and Tribes is an easy intellectual stroll. Dominated recently by the writings of J.G.A. Pocock, the history of Early Modern ideas is notoriously a zone of intricate and ambiguous exploration: the borderland of the modern age, a shadow-time entre loup et chien where nothing was in its own ...
24 August 1995
A Union for Empire: Political Thought and the Union of 1707 
edited by John Robertson.
Cambridge, 368 pp., £40, April 1995, 0 521 43113 1
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The Autonomy of Modern Scotland 
by Lindsay Paterson.
Edinburgh, 218 pp., £30, September 1994, 0 7486 0525 8
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... independent attempt at colonial empire, the Darien Scheme, and to religion, law and theology. Two separate chapters are concerned with the operations of that wily English rogue Daniel Defoe, and John Pocock delivers a thoughtful contribution on the relationship of the Union to the American Revolution. But the book’s two key items are Robertson’s own articles, particularly the second, ‘An Elusive ...
10 May 1990
Thomas Starkey and the Commonweal 
by Tom​ Mayer.
Cambridge, 326 pp., £32.50, April 1989, 0 521 36104 4
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Politics and Literature in the Reigns of Henry VII and Henry VIII 
by Alistair Fox.
Blackwell, 317 pp., £35, September 1989, 0 631 13566 9
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The Rise and Fall of Anne Boleyn: Family Portraits at the Court of Henry VIII 
by Retha Warnicke.
Cambridge, 326 pp., £14.95, November 1989, 0 521 37000 0
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English Travellers Abroad 1604-1667 
by John Stoye.
Yale, 448 pp., £12.95, January 1990, 0 300 04180 2
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... Enlightenment, to France, Scotland and America. The tradition is conspicuous in the 17th century – the age of Harrington and Nevile and Milton and Algernon Sidney – but less so in the 16th. John Pocock, the masterly expositor of the tradition, barely mentions Starkey. The Dialogue was not published until the 19th century. Was it known after its author’s death? Gordon Zeeveld argued, in ...

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