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Domestic Disaffection

Ruth Bernard Yeazell, 10 June 1993

Dearest Beloved: The Hawthornes and the Making of the Middle-Class Family 
by Walter Herbert.
California, 351 pp., $28, April 1993, 0 520 07587 0
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... contemporary’s ‘great power of blackness’. If we are to credit Dearest Beloved, T. Walter Herbert’s dramatic reinterpretation of life among the Hawthornes, James’s tribute to the ‘domestic affections’ falls equally wide of the mark. Herbert does not refuse to believe in the Hawthornes’ tender ...

Necrophiliac Striptease

Thomas Jones: Mummies, 6 February 2014

The Mummy’s Curse: The True History of a Dark Fantasy 
by Roger Luckhurst.
Oxford, 321 pp., £18.99, October 2012, 978 0 19 969871 4
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... the body to his feet. The Englishman he was talking about, cursed and pulped, was Lieutenant Walter Herbert Ingram, who had fought in South Africa in the Anglo-Zulu War and travelled up the Nile to Khartoum in the hope of helping General Gordon’s forces. In Luxor, he bought a sarcophagus from the British consul for £50, ‘as a kind of souvenir ...

Monsieur Mangetout

Walter Nash, 7 December 1989

The Guinness Book of Records 1990 
edited by Donald McFarlan.
Guinness, 320 pp., £10.95, October 1989, 0 85112 341 4
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The Chatto Book of Cabbages and Kings: Lists in Literature 
edited by Francis Spufford.
Chatto, 313 pp., £13.95, November 1989, 0 7011 3487 9
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... You’re Garbo’s sal’ry,/ You’re cellophane’), here is Homer at war, here is George Herbert at prayer, here are the irrepressible inventorial masters like Rabelais and Dickens and Edward Lear, here, indeed, is a collection with so many fine exhibits that Mr Spufford might give some consideration, for future purposes, to the possibility of ...

Just a smack at Grigson

Denis Donoghue, 7 March 1985

Montaigne’s Tower, and Other Poems 
by Geoffrey Grigson.
Secker, 72 pp., £5.95, October 1984, 0 436 18806 6
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Collected Poems: 1963-1980 
by Geoffrey Grigson.
Allison and Busby, 256 pp., £4.95, October 1984, 0 85031 557 3
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The Faber Book of Reflective Verse 
edited by Geoffrey Grigson.
Faber, 238 pp., £7.95, October 1984, 0 571 13299 5
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Blessings, Kicks and Curses 
by Geoffrey Grigson.
Allison and Busby, 279 pp., £4.95, October 1984, 0 85031 558 1
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The Private Art: A Poetry Notebook 
by Geoffrey Grigson.
Allison and Busby, 231 pp., £4.95, October 1984, 9780850315592
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Before the Romantics: An Anthology of the Enlightenment 
by Geoffrey Grigson.
Salamander, 349 pp., £5.95, September 1984, 0 907540 59 7
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... the first attempt, he lets it alone. The poem seems to allude to the swans in the second stanza of Walter de la Mare’s ‘The Old Summerhouse’, also in the Faber book: Fall – fall: dark, garrulous rumour, Until I could listen no more. Could listen no more – for beauty with sorrow Is a burden hard to be borne; The evening light on the foam, and the ...

Drinking and Spewing

Sally Mapstone: The Variousness of Robert Fergusson, 25 September 2003

‘Heaven-Taught Fergusson’: Robert Burns’s Favourite Scottish Poet 
edited by Robert Crawford.
Tuckwell, 240 pp., £14.99, August 2002, 1 86232 201 5
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... Weekly Magazine, and a collection of nearly forty of them had been brought out in 1773 by Walter Ruddiman, the magazine’s publisher. Fergusson was never able to complete the long works he envisaged: he apparently had it in mind to translate Virgil’s Eclogues and Georgics. He abandoned a (now lost) dramatic tragedy about William Wallace after two ...

How the sanity of poets can be edited away

Arnold Rattenbury: The Sanity of Ivor Gurney, 14 October 1999

‘Severn and Somme’ and ‘War’s Embers’ 
by Ivor Gurney, edited by R.K.R. Thornton.
Carcanet, 152 pp., £7.95, September 1997, 1 85754 348 3
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80 Poems or So 
by Ivor Gurney, edited by George Walter and R.K.R. Thornton.
Carcanet, 148 pp., £9.95, January 1997, 1 85754 344 0
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... of all creativity. Here he could chat happily with such companions as Beethoven about the music of Herbert Howells, his schoolboy friend and fellow music student; or could by turns become Schubert, Thoreau, Tolstoy, Traherne, Whitman, even Gurney – anyone, musician or author, whose work he understood to the point of loving. ‘The idea that he had written ...

The Life of Henri Grippes

Jonathan Coe, 18 September 1997

Selected Stories 
by Mavis Gallant.
Bloomsbury, 887 pp., £25, April 1997, 0 7475 3251 6
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... pockets, knew he was ageing, irreversibly, minute by minute. Some of the students thought he was Herbert Marcuse and tried to carry him on their shoulders to Le Figaro’s editorial offices, which they hoped he would set on fire. But it’s not enough for Gallant simply to offer us jokes at Grippes’s expense. If the jokes are to have substance and ...

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 ...

At Tate Britain

Julian Bell: ‘British Folk Art’, 3 July 2014

... scatology – passed around a more or less inclusive ‘us’. One such group, a group of two, Herbert Bellamy and Charlotte Springall, amused each other during the year before their marriage in 1891 by making a quilt loaded with in-jokes and fond mementos: another barrage destined to baffle. Britain’s so-called ‘liberal’ artists parted company with ...

A Life of Henry Reed

Jon Stallworthy, 12 September 1991

... University. There he was taught and befriended – as were his Birmingham contemporaries Walter Allen and Reggie Smith – by a young lecturer in the Classics Department, Louis MacNeice. Reed had a remarkable speaking voice and a gift for mimicry (and for assuming the accents of a class not his own), and as an undergraduate he acted in and produced ...

Dwarf-Basher

Michael Dobson, 8 June 1995

Edmond Malone, Shakespearean Scholar: A Literary Biography 
by Peter Martin.
Cambridge, 298 pp., £40, April 1995, 0 521 46030 1
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... of the working practices of the Elizabethan theatre is based, but the records of Sir Henry Herbert, Master of the Revels from 1622 to 1642, a complementary treasure-trove on Jacobean and Caroline court entertainments and dramatic censorship; Malone who first trawled systematically through the parish and corporation records of Stratford for the ...

In the Twilight Zone

Terry Eagleton, 12 May 1994

The Frankfurt School 
by Rolf Wiggershaus, translated by Michael Robertson.
Polity, 787 pp., £45, January 1994, 0 7456 0534 6
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... to power, Horkheimer assembled around him a brilliant coterie of younger intellectuals, of whom Herbert Marcuse and Theodor Adorno were to become the most eminent. In 1934, the Institute, many of whose members were Jews, transplanted itself to the United States and, still under Horkheimer’s mandarin rule, set up home as an adjunct of Columbia ...
... Why has it taken a century to bring this about? In giving notice of her death her husband, John Walter Cross, who had married her in St George’s, Hanover Square, scarcely eight months before, alluded to her wish to be buried here. Of her many famous friends, Tennyson, Browning and Trollope would certainly have written to Dean Stanley urging it, and there ...

All the Sad Sages

Ferdinand Mount: Bagehot, 6 February 2014

Memoirs of Walter Bagehot 
by Frank Prochaska.
Yale, 207 pp., £18.99, August 2013, 978 0 300 19554 5
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... There’s not much doubt which is the winning side. Nowhere on either wall is space found for Walter Bagehot (1826-77). Yet G.M. Young, that hallowed chronicler of the Victorian age, came quite firmly to the conclusion that if you were looking for the Greatest Victorian, Bagehot was your man. There was no one else ‘whose influence, passing from one fit ...

Floating Islands

J.I.M. Stewart, 21 October 1982

Of This and Other Worlds 
by C.S. Lewis, edited by Walter Hooper.
Collins, 192 pp., £7.95, September 1982, 0 00 215608 3
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George Orwell: A Personal Memoir 
by T.R. Fyvel.
Weidenfeld, 221 pp., £9.95, September 1982, 0 297 78012 3
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... same collection has been published under the title On Stories. This is equally valid, since what Walter Hooper has usefully brought together is a score of essays and reviews in which Lewis outlines his theory of fiction and affords commentaries both on his own individual romances and on related depictions of imaginary regions and societies as varied as The ...

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