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Last Victorian

José Harris, 10 November 1994

Selected Writings. Vol. I: Crime and the Penal System 1 
by Barbara Wootton, edited by Vera Seal and Philip Bean.
Macmillan, 158 pp., £42.50, November 1992, 0 333 56676 9
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Selected Writings. Vol. II: Crime and the Penal System 2 
by Barbara Wootton, edited by Vera Seal and Philip Bean.
Macmillan, 185 pp., £42.50, November 1992, 0 333 56677 7
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Selected Writings. Vol. III: Social and Political Thought 
by Barbara Wootton, edited by Vera Seal and Philip Bean.
Macmillan, 195 pp., £42.50, November 1992, 0 333 56678 5
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Selected Writings. Vol. IV: Economic and Methodological Thought 
by Barbara Wootton, edited by Vera Seal and Philip Bean.
Macmillan, 199 pp., £42.50, November 1992, 0 333 56679 3
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... Eminent social scientists are not normally household names, but in the middle decades of the 20th century Barbara Wootton was well-known far outside the dim corridors of universities. Paradoxically for one who lived an intensely private life, she was perhaps best known as the lady professor who had flashed across the tabloid headlines by marrying a taxi-driver ...

Tiny Little Lars

Joanna Kavenna: Von Trier’s Provocations, 15 April 2004

Trier on von Trier 
edited by Stig Björkman, translated by Neil Smith.
Faber, 288 pp., £16.99, February 2004, 0 571 20707 3
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Dogville 
directed by Lars von Trier.
May 2003
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... get made any more. Now you have to kill people to get attention. It’s hard to see The Seventh Seal (1957), with its cast of travelling actors, knights, plague-infested peasants, blacksmiths etc, as a middle-class drama. Von Trier seems to have in mind those Bergman films that stage the anxieties of the bourgeois ...

Love in a Dark Time

Colm Tóibín: Oscar Wilde, 19 April 2001

The Complete Letters of Oscar Wilde 
edited by Merlin Holland and Rupert Hart-Davis.
Fourth Estate, 1270 pp., £35, November 2000, 1 85702 781 7
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... to Ellen Terry: ‘Dear Miss Ellen Terry, Will you accept the first copy of my first play’ – Vera – ‘a drama on modern Russia. Perhaps some day I shall be fortunate enough to write something worthy of your playing.’ Within a few months he was writing, ‘My dear Nellie, I wish you every success tonight,’ and ending: ‘your affectionate ...

Corncob Caesar

Murray Sayle, 6 February 1997

Old Soldiers Never Die: The Life of Douglas MacArthur 
by Geoffrey Perret.
Deutsch, 663 pp., £20, October 1996, 9780233990026
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... Pacific islands. In 1914, as a captain in the engineers, he was sent to reconnoitre the harbour of Vera Cruz, Mexico, through which, it was suspected, Germany planned to run arms to one faction in an impending civil war. On his own initiative (according to his later account), Captain MacArthur set off on a hand-propelled flatcar, accompanied by bribed Mexican ...

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