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Fox and Crow

David Craig: The Moors, 31 July 2014

The Moor: Lives, Landscape, Literature 
by William Atkins.
Faber, 371 pp., £18.99, May 2014, 978 0 571 29004 8
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... they look like? Like a brown and purple cloud-shadow spread out across the uplands, described by William Atkins in characteristically fine focus when he says of the North Yorkshire moors that ‘the new blooms were silverish specks; they were pale grey, beige and mint green. I picked a sprig, but the moor-purple visible from a distance was not a colour ...

One Minute You’re Fine

Eleanor Birne: At what point do you become fat?, 26 January 2006

Fat Girl: A True Story 
by Judith Moore.
Profile, 196 pp., £12.99, June 2005, 1 86197 980 0
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The Hungry Years: Confessions of a Food Addict 
by William Leith.
Bloomsbury, 296 pp., £10.99, August 2005, 9780747572503
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... doesn’t actually eat all that much, but for some reason she just can’t help but gain weight. William Leith, on the other hand, admits that he can’t stop eating. At the start of The Hungry Years he tries to describe his addiction. He says of a BLT sandwich: it ‘practically fell down my throat; it was like dropping a billiard ball down a well.’ He ...

All hail, sage lady

Andrew O’Hagan: ‘The Crown’, 15 December 2016

... naval officer striated with pride, it came to seem, if reports are true, like a life sentence. William Shawcross, in his expertly genuflecting biography of the queen mother, shows us a Duke of Edinburgh just after his wedding, a young man in love writing to his mother-in-law of the new unity he has just achieved and hopes will bless the future. ‘Lilibet ...

A Hit of Rus in Urbe

Iain Sinclair: In Lea Valley, 27 June 2002

... was over the name. I favoured (homage to Izaak Walton) the Lea spelling, where they went for the (William) Burroughs-suggestive Lee. Inspector Lee. Willie Lee. Customised paranoia: double e, narrowed eyes glinting behind heavy-rimmed spectacles. The area alongside the M25, between Enfield Lock and High Beach, Epping Forest, carries another echo of ...

It’s already happened

James Meek: The NHS Goes Private, 22 September 2011

... put into his patients had to be removed and replaced. He did the work himself. His biographer, William Waugh, quotes one witness as saying the sight of Charnley going to each operation was ‘like observing a monk pouring ashes over his own head’. Punishing himself further, Charnley went around for nine months with a lump of Teflon implanted in his thigh ...

The way out of a room is not through the door

Christian Lorentzen: Charles Manson, 7 November 2013

Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson 
by Jeff Guinn.
Simon and Schuster, 495 pp., £20, August 2013, 978 0 85720 893 4
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... was his given name) and a married man. Kathleen gave up waiting for him and found a husband, William Manson, employee of a local dry cleaner. They moved to Cincinnati. She named the baby after her dead father, Charles. She was 16. And she was still a bit wild. She kept going out most nights, and after three years ...

If I Turn and Run

Iain Sinclair: In Hoxton, 1 June 2000

by Bill Drummond.
Little, Brown, 361 pp., £12.99, March 2000, 0 316 85385 2
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Crucify Me Again 
by Mark Manning.
Codex, 190 pp., £8.95, May 2000, 0 18 995814 6
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... vestry, a town hall, is remembered and recorded. The work of the architects (Caesar Augustus Long, William Hunt, A.G. Cross) responsible for its development and redevelopment is acknowledged. More recent exploitations of a building denied any proper function since the 1980s are ignored. No notices commemorate ‘Whirlygig’ club nights when New Age ravers ...

Very like Poole Harbour

Patricia Beer, 5 December 1991

With and Without Buttons 
by Mary Butts, edited by Nathalie Blondel.
Carcanet, 216 pp., £13.95, October 1991, 0 85635 944 0
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... one occasion in the Thirties, Virginia Woolf reported conversations with Tony Butts, friend of William Plomer and brother of Mary, about his sister. She is a bad woman – pretentious – I can see no merit in her books – pretentious. She corrupts young men. They are always committing suicide. She has now married Gabriel ...

Soft Touches

Mary Goldring, 1 September 1983

DeLorean: The Rise and Fall of a Dream-Maker 
by Ivan Fallon and James Srodes.
Hamish Hamilton, 418 pp., £8.95, July 1983, 0 241 11087 4
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... little foreign imports and works of art like the Lamborghini. It was not so unrealistic. Sir William Lyons founded the Jaguar car company on such a dream in the Thirties and the dream survived both World War Two and the increasingly sporty performance of the staid family saloon. Hard-nosed American dealers were prepared to pay $25,000 for a DeLorean ...

Ends of the Earth

Jeremy Harding: ‘Mimesis: African Soldier’, 6 December 2018

Mimesis: African Soldier 
by John Akomfrah.
Imperial War Museum, until 30 March 2018
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... gave orders to destroy a statue of Mangin in the seventh arrondissement.A performance piece by William Kentridge, The Head and the Load, which premiered at Tate Modern in July, is now showing at the Armory in New York (until 15 December). It tells the story of African porters serving the Great Powers as they fought it out in their respective African ...


Alan Bennett: What I did in 2000, 25 January 2001

... We buy a luminous blue and white Victorian tile at Gabor Cossa which one of the partners thinks is William de Morgan but isn’t and then cross the road to the Fitzwilliam. I take in a chance selection of pictures, dictated by which happen to be in range of available banquettes, and in particular the Van Dyck portrait of Archbishop Laud. It’s hung beside one ...

The Opposite of a Dog

Jenny Turner, 6 October 1994

Radon Daughters 
by Iain Sinclair.
Cape, 458 pp., £15.99, August 1994, 0 224 03887 7
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... quixotic chase after a texte de fétiche, a putative sequel to ‘The House on the Borderland’, William Hope Hodgson’s not-greatly-known classic of Fin-de-Siècle gothic. For various reasons, they have been led to expect that they may receive important information regarding it at each of the leylines’ nodal points in turn. And do they? Well, sort of. At ...

Some girls want out

Hilary Mantel: Spectacular saintliness, 4 March 2004

The Voices of Gemma Galgani: The Life and Afterlife of a Modern Saint 
by Rudolph Bell and Cristina Mazzoni.
Chicago, 320 pp., £21, March 2003, 0 226 04196 4
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Saint Thérèse of Lisieux 
by Kathryn Harrison.
Weidenfeld, 160 pp., £14.99, November 2003, 0 297 84728 7
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The Disease of Virgins: Green Sickness, Chlorosis and the Problems of Puberty 
by Helen King.
Routledge, 196 pp., £50, September 2003, 0 415 22662 7
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A Wonderful Little Girl: The True Story of Sarah Jacob, the Welsh Fasting Girl 
by Siân Busby.
Short Books, 157 pp., £5.99, June 2004, 1 904095 70 4
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... uncovered. To describe the physical basis of an experience is not to negate the experience, as William James pointed out long ago. But now that neuroscience has such excellent tools for envisaging and describing the brain, we are tempted to accept descriptions of physiological processes as a complete account of experience. We then go further, and make ...

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