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Phantom Jacks

John Bayley, 5 January 1989

Jack: C.S. Lewis and His Times 
by George Sayer.
Macmillan, 278 pp., £14.95, November 1988, 0 333 43362 9
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J.B. Priestley 
by Vincent Brome.
Hamish Hamilton, 512 pp., £16.95, October 1988, 9780241125601
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Eddy: The Life of Edward Sackville-West 
by Michael De-la-Noy.
Bodley Head, 341 pp., £16, October 1988, 0 370 31164 7
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... were attaching their styles and their ambitions. In a lengthy but highly readable biography, Vincent Brome has some interesting things to say about Priestley’s own reaction to the attitude towards him taken by the highbrows. Like many deeply religious men, Lewis had a kind of basic and inexpugnable innocence which seems to have left him wholly ...

Last Word

Michael Ignatieff, 3 February 1983

The Wolf-Man: Sixty Years Later 
by Karin Obholzer, translated by Michael Shaw.
Routledge, 250 pp., £12.50, November 1982, 0 7100 9354 3
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Ernest Jones: Freud’s Alter Ego 
by Vincent Brome.
Caliban, 250 pp., £12.50, January 1983, 0 904573 57 5
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... we breathe may be fading, like smoke from a distant fire. This feeling is strengthened by reading Vincent Brome’s diligently researched biography of Ernest Jones. At the end of his life the charming old autocrat remarked that he had always been ‘an old-fashioned materialist’ and a disciple of T.H. Huxley. This is a revealing admission of how little ...

Angering and Agitating

Christopher Turner: Freud’s fan club, 30 November 2006

Freud’s Wizard: The Enigma of Ernest Jones 
by Brenda Maddox.
Murray, 354 pp., £25, September 2006, 0 7195 6792 0
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... but he was more commonly known as ‘Freud’s rottweiler’. Jones’s previous biographer, Vincent Brome, spent an afternoon with Jones in his Jacobean farmhouse in Sussex arguing over the merits of Brome’s earlier subject, the sexologist Havelock Ellis. Brome admitted that ...

Devil take the hindmost

John Sutherland, 14 December 1995

Shadows of the Future: H.G. Wells, Science Fiction and Prophecy 
by Patrick Parrinder.
Liverpool, 170 pp., £25, July 1995, 0 85323 439 6
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The History of Mr Wells 
by Michael Foot.
Doubleday, 318 pp., £20, October 1995, 0 385 40366 6
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A Modern Utopia 
by H.G. Wells, edited by Krishan Kumar.
Everyman, 271 pp., £5.99, November 1994, 0 460 87498 5
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... it is now, A Modern Utopia was, at the time, the most influential book Wells had written. As Vincent Brome recalled, it was ‘widely read by university students’ and observably affected their moral behaviour – particularly in its Fabian advocacy of free love. Other seeds may also have been planted by the work, in Britain and in Europe. Michael ...

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