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Updating Freud

Mary Midgley, 16 September 1982

Narcissus and Oedipus: The Children of Psychoanalysis 
by Victoria Hamilton.
Routledge, 284 pp., £12.50, April 1982, 0 7100 0869 4
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Archetype: A Natural History of the Self 
by Anthony Stevens.
Routledge, 295 pp., £12.50, April 1982, 0 7100 0980 1
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Freud on Femininity and Faith 
by Judith van Herik.
California, 216 pp., £17.50, June 1982, 0 520 04368 5
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... was this detached, self-protecting infant forced to relate itself to others. This, says Victoria Hamilton reasonably, cannot be right: In this book, it is Freud’s concept of relationship as a secondary development which is challenged ... The development of the child is not a function of the gradual and painstaking socialisation of an ...

Walking like Swinburne

P.N. Furbank, 12 July 1990

Serious Pleasures: The Life of Stephen Tennant 
by Philip Hoare.
Hamish Hamilton, 463 pp., £20, June 1990, 0 241 12416 6
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... extreme forms, took its victim out of the range of psychoanalysis. Let us, instead, consider what Victoria Hamilton says about it in Narcissus and Oedipus: I find it rather sympathetic. According to her, it is wrong to speak of a narcissist as in love with himself (or herself); he (or she) is, rather, and very specifically – as the legend implies ...

After-Lives

John Sutherland, 5 November 1992

Keepers of the Flame: Literary Estates and the Rise of Biography 
by Ian Hamilton.
Hutchinson, 344 pp., £18.99, October 1992, 0 09 174263 3
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Testamentary Acts: Browning, Tennyson, James, Hardy 
by Michael Millgate.
Oxford, 273 pp., £27.50, June 1992, 0 19 811276 9
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The Last Laugh 
by Michael Holroyd.
Chatto, 131 pp., £10.99, December 1991, 0 7011 4583 8
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Trollope 
by Victoria Glendinning.
Hutchinson, 551 pp., £20, September 1992, 0 09 173896 2
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... A man of many literary parts, Ian Hamilton came to biography late and triumphantly with his life of the dead but still warm Robert Lowell. Riding high, he went on to attempt an unauthorised life of the aged but very much alive J.D. Salinger and was comprehensively outfoxed by the second most reclusive man in American letters ...
... I Ulva Cottage Hamilton Scotland 1 January 1869 Dear Mr Andersen, My name is Anna Mary, Last-born of Mary my mother, deceased Of the desert fever while I was but a ‘wee bairn’; I am but ten, too young to remember her voice. I do like your fairy tales so much – the tin soldier and the ugly, Ugly duckling. I would like to go and visit you; When Papa comes home from Africa I intend To ask him to take me ...

Anything but Staffordshire

Rosemary Hill, 18 September 1997

Rare Spirit: A Life of William De Morgan 1839-1917 
by Mark Hamilton.
Constable, 236 pp., £22.50, September 1997, 0 09 474670 2
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... novelist, and was almost forgotten. Nearly half a century later he was rediscovered as a great Victorian ceramist. Appropriately, the technique in which he excelled as a potter, lustre, is one that has itself been several times lost, rediscovered and discarded again by different civilisations. It requires a mixture of artistry and chemistry for which De ...

God, what a victory!

Jeremy Harding, 10 February 1994

Martyr’s Day: Chronicle of Small War 
by Michael Kelly.
Macmillan, 354 pp., £16.99, October 1993, 0 333 60496 2
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Battling for News: The Rise of the Woman Reporter 
by Anne Sebba.
Hodder, 301 pp., £19.99, January 1994, 0 340 55599 8
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Women’s Letters in Wartime 
edited by Eva Figes.
Pandora, 304 pp., £20, October 1993, 0 04 440755 6
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The War at Sixteen: Autobiography, Vol. II 
by Julien Green, translated by Euan Cameron.
Marion Boyars, 207 pp., £19.95, November 1993, 0 7145 2969 9
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... fiery longevity is the nearest thing to a live link between Christine de Pisan and Kate Adie; Victoria Brittain, now deputy foreign editor of the Guardian, who left the US for Vietnam with a child in tow, in order to explore ‘a sort of obsession’; and, for a time, Marina Warner, who recounts how she stood on the road in Vietnam, after witnessing some ...

Carnivals of Progress

John Ziman, 17 February 1983

Sir William Rowan Hamilton 
by Thomas Hankins.
Johns Hopkins, 474 pp., £19.50, July 1981, 0 8018 2203 3
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Gentlemen of Science: Early Years of the British Association for the Advancement of Science 
by Jack Morrell and Arnold Thackray.
Oxford, 592 pp., £30, August 1981, 0 19 858163 7
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The Parliament of Science: The British Association for the Advancement of Science 1831-1981 
edited by Roy MacLeod and Peter Collins.
Science Reviews, 308 pp., £12.25, September 1982, 0 905927 66 4
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... their first love is science itself.’ If only I could follow this bent, and tell something of Hamilton as a mathematician. As it happens, he also wrote a good deal of poetry, but his poems lack the magic of his equations, which seem more beautiful and moving now than when they were imagined 150 years ago. His abstract and ‘useless reformulation of ...

As the toffs began to retreat

Neal Ascherson: Declinism, 22 November 2018

What We Have Lost: The Dismantling of Great Britain 
by James Hamilton-Paterson.
Head of Zeus, 360 pp., £25, October 2018, 978 1 78497 235 6
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The Rise and Fall of the British Nation: A 20th-Century History 
by David Edgerton.
Allen Lane, 681 pp., £30, June 2018, 978 1 84614 775 3
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... That bloody woman!’ James Hamilton-Paterson’s mother was not given to outbursts. Then in her eighties, she had worked in the National Health Service for most of her life. But when she came across the three teenage girls (they might have been her own granddaughters) sitting on cardboard and begging in Victoria Station, something gave way ...

Smocks

Rosemary Hill, 5 December 1991

Gertrude Jekyll 
by Sally Festing.
Viking, 323 pp., £17.99, October 1991, 0 670 82788 6
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People’s Parks 
by Hazel Conway.
Cambridge, 287 pp., £49.50, August 1991, 0 521 39070 2
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The History of Garden Design: The Western Tradition from the Renaissance to the Present Day 
edited by Monique Mosser and Georges Teyssot.
Thames and Hudson, 543 pp., £45, May 1991, 0 500 01511 2
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... might be called the Arts and Crafts temperament: a mixture of idealism, sentimental fantasy and Victorian middle-class confidence. Morris and Jekyll were life-long participants in a struggle to revitalise the relationships between the individual, the artist and society in the wake of the industrial revolution, and both saw in the applied arts and crafts a ...

Royals in Oils

Peter Campbell, 13 November 1997

The Sweetness of Life: A Biography of Elizabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun 
by Angelica Goodden.
Deutsch, 384 pp., £19.99, June 1997, 0 233 99021 6
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... Antoinette and a swathe of the European aristocracy what Winterhalter did for the young Queen Victoria and Cecil Beaton for the women of the House of Windsor. She invented them as one might invent characters in a novel, treading a delicate path between the swooning – very hard to treat Emma Hamilton any other way, but ...

Disastered Me

Ian Hamilton, 9 September 1993

Rebecca’s Vest: A Memoir 
by Karl Miller.
Hamish Hamilton, 186 pp., £14.99, September 1993, 0 241 13456 0
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... is lopsided.’ And so, too, was the diarist as he sat in the back row of Edinburgh’s New Victoria Cinema with ‘Sheena’, who was herself not wholly balanced, at least in her attitude to ‘the most potent and important force in life’: she had but ‘half an ear at most for the discourse of freedom and nudity’. Even so, some progress was ...

Pious Girls and Swearing Fathers

Patricia Craig, 1 June 1989

English Children and their Magazines 1751-1945 
by Kirsten Drotner.
Yale, 272 pp., £16.95, January 1988, 0 300 04010 5
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Frank Richards: The Chap behind the Chums 
by Mary Cadogan.
Viking, 258 pp., £14.95, October 1988, 0 670 81946 8
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A History of Children’s Book Illustration 
by Joyce Irene Whalley and Tessa Rose Chester.
Murray/Victoria and Albert Museum, 268 pp., £35, April 1988, 0 7195 4584 6
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Manchester Polytechnic Library of Children’s Books 1840-1939: ‘From Morality to Adventure’ 
by W.H. Shercliff.
Bracken Books/Studio Editions, 203 pp., £25, September 1988, 0 901276 18 9
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Children’s Modern First Editions: Their Value to Collectors 
by Joseph Connolly.
Macdonald, 336 pp., £17.95, October 1988, 0 356 15741 5
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... ways. Each age has its own ideas about the kinds of reality children can, or cannot, bear: the Victorians didn’t shirk the reality of death, atrocity, having an arm and a leg torn off, all in the interests of Christianity; while we believe quite young children ought to be conversant with all kinds of grown-up issues such as divorce and homosexuality, to ...

Principal Boy

Nigel Hamilton, 21 March 1985

Mountbatten 
by Philip Ziegler.
Collins, 786 pp., £15, March 1985, 0 00 216543 0
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... Albert Victor Nicholas, Prince of Battenberg, was born on 25 June 1900, the second son of Queen Victoria’s granddaughter, Princess Victoria. His father, grandson of the Grand Duke of Hesse-Darmstadt and son of Prince Alexander of Battenberg, had joined the British Navy in 1868: a chequered career which saw him become ...

C is for Colonies

Anthony Pagden: A New History of Empire, 11 May 2006

Edge of Empire: Conquest and Collecting in the East 1750-1850 
by Maya Jasanoff.
Fourth Estate, 405 pp., £25, August 2005, 0 00 718009 8
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... the greatest rags to riches story of the British Empire’. She points out that the familiar Victorian image of Clive of India, largely created by Macaulay (and commissioned by Clive’s son), was of quite another person from the ‘Clive of Britain’ who had to contend with the knowledge that, no matter how wealthy he might have become, he still ...

Diary

Diana Stone: Nightmares in Harare, 7 March 2019

... designed to hold around 16 people but into which 20 can squeeze: the drivers tend to go like Lewis Hamilton, if Lewis Hamilton was in a hurry to avenge his father’s death. The rear windows almost invariably have slogans splashed across them; these slogans fall into four broad camps: reverently ...

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