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Love’s Labours

Valerie Pearl, 8 November 1979

King Charles II 
by Antonia Fraser.
Weidenfeld, 524 pp., £8.95
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... In her first line, Antonia Fraser describes her book as ‘a labour of love’. Given her somewhat romantic view of Charles II’s many affairs of the heart and her warm sympathy for the King, it is a doubly apt admission. The book is much more, however, than an account written around the royal harem. It is a portrait drawn from the absorption of many sources ...

Handbooks

Valerie Pearl, 4 February 1982

The Shell Guide to the History of London 
by W.R. Dalzell.
Joseph, 496 pp., £12.50, July 1981, 0 7181 2015 9
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... The Shell Guide to the History of London might be more accurately described as the shell of a historical guide to selected architecture and works of art in London. The terms involved in such titles have long been subject to a process of inflation, as have the volumes themselves. For nearly three centuries there have been innumerable combinations of the words ‘guide’, ‘history’ and ‘London’ together with a great variety of adjectives, each product being claimed by publisher and author alike as the indispensable vade-mecum, mentor or companion for visitors to the metropolis or students of its history ...

New-Model History

Valerie Pearl, 7 February 1980

The City and the Court 1603-1643 
by Robert Ashton.
Cambridge, 247 pp., £10.50, September 1980, 0 521 22419 5
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... The ‘major reinterpretation’ of City and Crown politics, promised by Professor Ashton in his book on the English Civil Wars, and long awaited, has now been published in a slim volume covering the years from 1603 to the outbreak of the Civil War. Put briefly, his theme runs thus. The city fathers, defenders of monarchy, not Parliament, under James I, and again allied to the Crown from the autumn of 1641, were nevertheless temporarily ‘alienated’ from their natural ally during the 1630s ...

Joint-Stock War

Valerie Pearl, 3 May 1984

The Age of Elizabeth: England Under the Later Tudors 1547-1603 
by D.M. Palliser.
Longman, 450 pp., £13.95, April 1983, 0 582 48580 0
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After the Armada: Elizabethan England and the Struggle for Western Europe 1588-1595 
by R.B. Wernham.
Oxford, 613 pp., £32.50, February 1984, 0 19 822753 1
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The Defeat of the Spanish Armada 
by Garrett Mattingly.
Cape, 384 pp., £12.50, November 1983, 0 224 02070 6
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The First Elizabeth 
by Carolly Erickson.
Macmillan, 446 pp., £9.95, October 1983, 0 333 36168 7
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The Renaissance and Reformation in Scotland: Essays in Honour of Gordon Donaldson 
edited by Ian Cowan and Duncan Shaw.
Scottish Academic Press, 261 pp., £14.50, March 1983, 0 7073 0261 7
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... Dr Palliser’s The Age of Elizabeth is the latest volume in a series which seeks to relate English and British economic and social history from the Anglo-Saxons to the Welfare State. Its initial and terminal dates as given in the title appear to follow a publisher’s or general editor’s dictum under which successive volumes will start to cover the precise date on which a previous author closed his account ...

Tribute to Trevor-Roper

A.J.P. Taylor, 5 November 1981

History and Imagination: Essays in honour of H.R. Trevor-Roper 
edited by Hugh Lloyd-Jones, Valerie Pearl and Blair Worden.
Duckworth, 386 pp., £25, October 1981, 9780715615706
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... has written much about him. Instead, the only essay in social history – a fascinating piece by Valerie Pearl on ‘Social Policy in Early Modern London’. Kevin Sharpe on Archbishop Laud and the University of Oxford is much in Trevor-Roper’s spirit. I greatly enjoyed David S. Katz on the problem, much debated in 17th century England, of what ...

At New Hall

Eleanor Birne: Modern Women’s Art, 28 June 2017

... something to adorn the walls, and perhaps this is what inspired the college’s then president, Valerie Pearl, to write to a hundred leading woman artists in 1992 asking if they’d be willing to donate works to the college on the condition they’d be kept on permanent display. Three-quarters of them came up with the goods, starting off a collection ...

Maurice Thomson’s War

Perry Anderson, 4 November 1993

Merchants and Revolution: Commercial Change, Political Conflict and London’s Overseas Traders 1550-1653 
by Robert Brenner.
Cambridge, 734 pp., £40, March 1993, 0 521 37319 0
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TheNature of the English Revolution 
by John Morrill.
Longman, 466 pp., £32, June 1993, 0 582 08941 7
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... in the Civil War has been familiar enough in outline to historians since the pioneering work of Valerie Pearl, the effect of Brenner’s work is to make it clear that the full extent of its contribution to the English Revolution has not been registered. At the same time, the blazing light in which they emerge from Brenner’s treatment only deepens the ...

Fade to Greige

Elaine Showalter: Giorgio Armani, 4 January 2001

A Dedicated Follower of Fashion 
by Holly Brubach.
Phaidon, 232 pp., £19.95, October 1999, 9780714838878
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Fashion Today 
by Colin McDowell.
Phaidon, 511 pp., £39.95, September 2000, 0 7148 3897 7
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Fashion and Its Social Agendas: Class, Gender and Society in Clothing 
by Diana Crane.
Chicago, 294 pp., £19, August 2000, 0 226 11798 7
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Historical Fashion in Detail: The 17th and 18th Centuries 
by Avril Hart and Susan North.
Victoria & Albert Museum, 223 pp., £19.95, October 2000, 1 85177 258 8
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Don We Now Our Gay Appalrel: Gay Men’s Dress in the 20th Century 
by Shuan Cole.
Berg, 224 pp., £42.99, September 2000, 1 85973 415 4
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The Gallery of Fashion 
by Aileen Ribeiro.
Princeton, 256 pp., £60, November 2000, 0 691 05092 9
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Giorgio Armani 
by Germano Celant and Harold Koda.
Abrams, 392 pp., £40, October 2000, 0 8109 6927 0
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... of Technology. ‘Traditionally most designers did not think of archiving their careers,’ Valerie Steele, the curator (and editor of Fashion Theory), points out. ‘Only very recently have they become aware that to establish their place in history, they need a material record of their work.’ Without a cadre of scholarly customers, the archives may ...

Don’t wear yum-yum yellow

Theo Tait: Shark Attack!, 2 August 2012

Demon Fish: Travels through the Hidden World of Sharks 
by Juliet Eilperin.
Duckworth, 295 pp., £18.99, January 2012, 978 0 7156 4291 7
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... has unearthed a great deal of shark history and trivia, from Pliny’s description of attacks on pearl divers, to accounts of Hawaiian kings ordering gladiators to fight sharks to the death in watery arenas, to Churchill’s wartime stance: ‘The British government is entirely opposed to sharks.’ Her basic line – one shared by most shark experts – is ...

Zest

David Reynolds: The Real Mrs Miniver, 25 April 2002

The Real Mrs Miniver 
by Ysenda Maxtone Graham.
Murray, 314 pp., £17.99, November 2001, 0 7195 5541 8
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Mrs Miniver 
by Jan Struther.
Virago, 153 pp., £7.99, November 2001, 1 85381 090 8
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... resolve under fire. To many Americans, Jan Struther simply was Mrs Miniver. According to Valerie Grove, in her introduction to the new edition, President Roosevelt told Jan that Mrs Miniver had considerably hastened American entry into the war. No evidence is cited for this statement, possibly made when Struther stayed at the White House in June ...

Obama’s Delusion

David Bromwich: The Presidential Letdown, 22 October 2009

... the press on his behalf, emits a pleasant porridge of upper-media demotic. Another close adviser, Valerie Jarrett, a Chicago friend, is a technocrat to the bone, genially officious but lacking in any pith and point. These people are no match for Cheney, or for the president’s antagonists in the substitute media who speak under no restraint. What Cheney and ...

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