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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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... of the protoplasmic mass is retained’. Only gradually and unwillingly, as a result of repeated frustration, was this detached, self-protecting infant forced to relate itself to others. This, says VictoriaHamilton 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 ...
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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... is impressive but not quite what one wants here; and anyway, for Freud, narcissism, at least in its extreme forms, took its victim out of the range of psychoanalysis. Let us, instead, consider what VictoriaHamilton 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 ...

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 ...
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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... that he began writing the novels which brought him popular acclaim and financial success beyond anything the ceramics ever achieved. These last ten years of De Morgan’s life occupy almost half Mark Hamilton’s book, which has been written in the hope that ‘perhaps the wheel has turned full circle’ and we are ready to appreciate De Morgan again as a writer. Unfortunately this is most unlikely. In ...
28 January 1993
... 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 ...
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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... Smith said about scientists: ‘however interested they may be in politics or history or philosophy, 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 ...

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 ...

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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... and space. By subsuming the moral contradictions at which Morris balked, it also became a kind of optical illusion, as fantastic and artificial in its way as Ranelagh. ‘Certain gardens,’ Ian Hamilton Finlay has said, ‘are described as retreats when they are really attacks,’ and Miss Jekyll’s were attacks on the old Morrisian demons of ugliness and standardisation, but also on a world where ...

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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... middleclass fiction. Courts have special needs when it comes to portraits. Vigée Le Brun did for Marie 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 ...
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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... Martha Gellhorn, described in her FBI file as a ‘PAF’, or ‘premature anti-fascist’, whose 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 ...
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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... years of the present century that entertainment, as we understand it, began to replace uplift in the children’s weeklies. The person chiefly responsible for the new note of jollity was Charles Hamilton, better known as Frank Richards, who made a Never Never Land of the English public school, but did it with such dash, amiability and authority that every subsequent generation, right up to the ...

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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... finally political history – as well as the longest entry in Britain’s Who’s Who. Louis Francis 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 ...

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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... Reason, feeling, instinct, the life of the body – Blake managed to harmonise everything. Barbarism 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 ...

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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... a way of mediating the hybrid worlds in which they found themselves. It was not only the parvenus of empire who collected. Some of the century’s greatest hoarders, from Horace Walpole to William Hamilton, had only a slight association with empire. But the collections of the Poliers and the Clives were filled not only with the traditional European decorative objects, from furniture to paintings, with ...

Diary

Diana Stone: Nightmares in Harare

7 March 2019
... kombis. These are white vans, many of them Toyota Hiaces patched together with duct tape and hope, 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 theistic ...

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