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Frank Kermode

24 October 1991
Orwell: The Authorised Biography 
by Michael Shelden.
Heinemann, 563 pp., £18.50, October 1991, 0 434 69517 3
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... There is already a lot of biographical writing about Orwell, including the memoir of Richard Rees and The Unknown Orwell by WilliamAbrahams and Peter Stansky (lamed by the late Soni Orwell’s refusal of permission to quote), and, more recently, the expansive Life by Bernard Crick, at first authorised by the widow to emphasise her ...

All This Love Business

Jean McNicol: Vanessa and Julian Bell

24 January 2013
Julian Bell: From Bloomsbury to the Spanish Civil War 
by Peter Stansky and William Abrahams.
Stanford, 314 pp., £38.95, 0 8047 7413 7
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... Grant read the manuscript before that happened and asked: ‘Shall I be arrested?’), but it was still unnerving to have one’s private life put on display. A year earlier Peter Stansky and WilliamAbrahams had published Journey to the Frontier, a joint Life of Julian Bell and John Cornford, who died in Spain a few months before Bell. It is the product of a more decorous school of biography ...
24 January 1980
Orwell: The Transformation 
by Peter Stansky and William Abrahams.
Constable, 240 pp., £6.95, October 1980, 0 09 462250 7
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... exemplar of the plain style that he preached: but he didn’t always practise it, and the myth that makes him always virtuous in his style, as in his life, does him a disservice. Peter Stansky and WilliamAbrahams have added another myth to those already wrapped round Orwell. In their previous book, The Unknown Orwell, and again in Orwell: The Transformation, they postulate two characters who inhabit ...

Brown and Friends

David Runciman

3 January 2008
... of whom went to the same university at roughly the same time and studied the same subject. As well as the two Milibands, Balls and Cooper, Jacqui Smith, Ruth Kelly, James Purnell, David Cameron and William Hague all went to Oxford and read PPE. The exceptions to this rule are George Osborne (Oxford, history), Boris Johnson (Oxford, classics), Michael Gove (Oxford, English) and a few, like Andy Burnham ...

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