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Magnanimous Cuckolds

Jack Matthews, 10 November 1988

The Lyre of Orpheus 
by Robertson Davies.
Viking, 472 pp., £11.95, September 1988, 9780670824168
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... he paints his portrait of Cornish within this lesser frame. Now, with The Lyre of Orpheus, we pick up temporally where Rebel Angels left off. As for Francis Cornish’s biographer, Simon Darcourt: he is a priest, a bachelor, and a professor of Greek in the College of St John and the Holy Ghost (familiarly known as ‘Spook’); he is also a man of ...

Form-Compelling

David Matthews: How to Write a Fugue, 21 September 2006

The Art of Fugue: Bach Fugues for Keyboard 1715-50 
by Joseph Kerman.
California, 173 pp., £15.95, August 2005, 0 520 24358 7
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... about music, and gently justifying it: ‘Talk mediates, differentiates, elucidates and consoles; we use words, however imprecisely, to talk about love and death because talk, it seems, we must. We also use and surely must use words to talk about music.’ The art of fugue had been ...

Diary

Linda Matthews: Living with Vivian Maier, 22 October 2015

... of them, including the baby. She said she didn’t believe in television for children and asked if we had a stroller; I said yes, and a pram. She said she would need them both. I showed her the house and the three attic rooms we could offer her. I said if she came to live with us, I would carpet the attic hallway and her ...

Defeated Armies

Scott Sherman: Castro in the New York Times, 5 July 2007

The Man Who Invented Fidel: Castro, Cuba, and Herbert L. Matthews of the ‘New York Times’ 
by Anthony DePalma.
PublicAffairs, 308 pp., £15.99, September 2006, 1 58648 332 3
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... On the evening of 15 February 1957, the New York Times correspondent Herbert Matthews stepped into a jeep with some anti-government activists and went to meet the young Fidel Castro in the Sierra Maestra. Castro was supposed to be dead: sailing from Mexico a few months earlier, he had arrived on the coast of Oriente province with 82 men, and was immediately bombarded by coastguard vessels and army aircraft ...

Vagueness

Hans Keller, 1 May 1980

Michael Tippett: An Introductory Study 
by David Matthews.
Faber, 112 pp., £5.95, December 1979, 0 571 10954 3
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Tippett and his Operas 
by Eric Walter White.
Barrie and Jenkins, 142 pp., £7.97, January 1980, 0 214 20573 8
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... you accept that there is no substitute for, no viable alternative to, clarity. According to David Matthews, Tippett himself has come close to this view – ever since the early Sixties, when he ‘joined Britten in a liking for clear, uncluttered textures’. Did he? And has he thus continued? On and off. His most recent, Fourth Quartet (1977-8) is a supreme ...

Mighty Merry

E.S. Turner, 25 May 1995

The Diary of Samuel Pepys. Eleven Volumes, including Companion and Index 
edited by R.C. Latham and W. Matthews.
HarperCollins, 267 pp., £8.99, February 1995, 0 00 499021 8
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... as ‘Obj.’ (objectionable). The richer by £200, he then followed his father into the Church. We would do well to remember the Reverend John Smith in a year which sees the first publication in paperback of the work on which he did the initial drudgery. This entire version, infinitely corrected, is the transcription first published in 1971 by R.C. Latham ...

The Satoshi Affair

Andrew O’Hagan, 30 June 2016

... intervene,’ one senior staff member, a Dane called Allan Pedersen, remarked later, ‘and said we would have to call our lawyers.’ Ramona wasn’t keen to tell her family what was happening. The reporters were sniffing at a strange story – a story too complicated for her to explain – so she just told everyone that damp in the Gordon house had forced ...

Diary

Iain Sinclair: Out of Essex, 8 January 2004

... a pylon, a purple sky. An invitation to an invisible art manifestation: Lost Memories by Emma Matthews. ‘Very elegant, very Paul Klee,’ the punters say. Rusting English metal, from somewhere down the A13, near Rainham Marshes, rendered as a grid of delicately balanced reds and pinks, with just enough green to cancel the headache. This, so often, is ...

Pepys’s Place

Pat Rogers, 16 June 1983

The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Vol X: Companion and Vol XI: Index 
edited by Robert Latham.
Bell and Hyman, 626 pp., £19.50, February 1983, 0 7135 1993 2
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The Diary of John Evelyn 
edited by John Bowle.
Oxford, 476 pp., £19.50, April 1983, 0 19 251011 8
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The Brave Courtier: Sir William Temple 
by Richard Faber.
Faber, 187 pp., £15, February 1983, 0 571 11982 4
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... of his fellow-lodger’. These words were penned by Robert Latham’s collaborator, William Matthews, who died in 1976. He was a scholar in the old style, not given to trendy assimilation of historic sources into the narratology of modern angst. But his effort to see the diary as something more than ‘full, objective reporting’, a bigger literary ...

Economic Performance

Sydney Checkland, 19 April 1984

The Victorian Economy 
by François Crouzet, translated by Anthony Forster.
Methuen, 430 pp., £18, June 1982, 0 416 31110 5
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British Economic Growth 1856-1973 
by R.C.O. Matthews, C.H. Feinstein and J.C. Odling-Smee.
Oxford, 712 pp., £37.50, October 1982, 0 19 828453 5
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The Cambridge Economic History of Europe. Vol. VII: The Industrial Economies: Capital, Labour and Enterprise 
edited by Peter Mathias.
Cambridge, 832 pp., £13.50, June 1982, 0 521 28800 2
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... and well-nigh traumatised our approach over the past decade is the negative one: how have we come undone? Inevitably, the new way of thinking has affected our interpretation of the past. And this has political repercussions, as the parties look for a way out of present national difficulties, and seek intellectual and historical justification for their ...

I have not heard her voice in a long, long time

Thomas Powers: Edna and Parker Ford, 5 October 2017

Between Them 
by Richard Ford.
Bloomsbury, 175 pp., £12.99, May 2017, 978 0 06 266188 3
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... It was at Irvine and after that Ford met the sort of people who inspired the character of Charley Matthews in his long story ‘Occidentals’, one of the three in Women with Men, published in 1997. Matthews is a young novelist visiting Paris where his first novel, The Predicament, is to be published in translation. He is ...

At the Wellcome

Will Self: Bedlam, The Asylum and Beyond, 17 November 2016

... be mad to work on this subject matter – but it helps. Just a few moments examining James Tilly Matthews’s beautifully executed pen-and-wash drawing of the ‘air loom’ he believed to be the cause of his psychosis was enough to transport me into the crepuscular realm of the seriously disturbed, but the works of contemporary artists ‘engaging’ with ...

Her way of helping me

Hugo Young, 6 December 1990

Listening for a Midnight Tram: Memoirs 
by John Junor.
Chapmans, 341 pp., £15.95, October 1990, 9781855925014
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... women. These range from the tennis player Virginia Wade – ‘Quite a girl. Warm and vibrant. We lunched together a few times but, alas, remained only good friends’ – to Anna Ford (‘I had the feeling that her first love was men and work came second’), and ‘my friend and discovery Selina – gorgeous, delicious Selina Scott’. The old boy seems ...

Suspicious

Tariq Ali: Richard Sorge’s Fate, 21 November 2019

An Impeccable Spy: Richard Sorge, Stalin’s Master Agent 
by Owen Matthews.
Bloomsbury, 448 pp., £25, March 2019, 978 1 4088 5778 6
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... spy in history’; other admirers included John le Carré, Tom Clancy and General MacArthur. Owen Matthews – whose new biography of Sorge is the fifth to appear in English – is well qualified to write this book: his Ukrainian maternal grandfather was Boris Bibikov, a factory worker in Kharkov who became head of the Communist Party’s regional committee ...

Carry on up the Corner Flag

R.W. Johnson: The sociology of football, 24 July 2003

Ajax, the Dutch, the War: Football in Europe during the Second World War 
by Simon Kuper.
Orion, 244 pp., £14.99, January 2003, 0 7528 5149 7
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Broken Dreams: Vanity, Greed and the Souring of British Football 
by Tom Bower.
Simon and Schuster, 342 pp., £17.99, February 2003, 9780743220798
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... in Rome and that had gone down well. Kuper quotes extensively from the autobiographies of Stanley Matthews and the England captain, Eddie Hapgood, who insist that the team stoutly resisted the idea of giving the salute: Hapgood (so they say) even wagged his finger at the FA official who instructed them to salute and ‘told him what he could do with the Nazi ...

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