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In Port Sunlight

Peter Campbell: The art collection of a soap magnate, 20 January 2005

... advertising, commerce and philanthropy are intertwined. Branding Sunlight Soap was the idea of William Hesketh Lever. He entered his father’s wholesale grocery business at the age of 16. The firm Lever Brothers was founded in 1885 when he was in his early thirties and, with his brother, bought a small soap works in Warrington. In 1887 they moved to a ...

Pissing on Idiots

Colin Burrow: Extreme Editing, 6 October 2011

Richard Bentley: Poetry and Enlightenment 
by Kristine Louise Haugen.
Harvard, 333 pp., £29.95, April 2011, 978 0 674 05871 2
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... upon notes, in the Bentleian manner. The gem is the note to the lines ‘a Sage appears,/By his broad shoulders known, and length of ears.’ The annotator solemnly cites a string of critics who have unthinkingly accepted the received reading of the text, which he claims ‘proceeded originally from the inadvertency of some Transcriber’, and ...

At Tate Britain

Peter Campbell: Michael Andrews, 9 August 2001

... the first time. Andrews followed a route which depersonalises the act of looking. He was taught by William Coldstream, and said: ‘Bill gave me my first enlightenment. He persuaded me of the paramount value of looking, of appraisal and, in transcription, of direct statement, of which he said: “Just write it down.” It was so simple and ...

Gains in Clarity

P.F. Strawson, 4 November 1982

Philosophy in the 20th Century 
by A.J. Ayer.
Weidenfeld, 283 pp., £12.50, September 1982, 0 297 78179 0
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... of the ‘analytic movement’. Quine owes more to Russell and Carnap than he does to William James. James is really the odd man out. Apart from Ayer himself, who has devoted some sympathetic pages, here and elsewhere, to his work, James has not received much attention from philosophers in the last fifty years. Any history written by one who ...


Paul Davis: Networking in 18th-century London, 17 March 2005

Aaron Hill: The Muses’ Projector 1685-1750 
by Christine Gerrard.
Oxford, 267 pp., £50, August 2003, 0 19 818388 7
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... quotes in support of her case: Worlds against Worlds, with clashing Horror driv’n, Dash their broad Ruins to the Throne of Heav’n! Thro’ flaming Regions of the burning Air, Down rain distilling Suns, in liquid Rills, Mix’d with red Mountains of unmelted Fire! Hissing, perplex’d, with Show’rs of Icy Hills, And Cat’ract Seas, that roar, from ...


Paul Foot, 4 August 1988

Britain’s Nuclear Nightmare 
by James Cutler and Rob Edwards.
Sphere, 200 pp., £3.99, April 1988, 0 7221 2759 6
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... way that he took his victim out of the house, where he and she were relatively unobserved, and in broad daylight drove her through crowded streets to a place where he carried out a ritual murder. There were those at the time who challenged the police assumptions. There were even some conspiracists who observed that Hilda Murrell had been an objector to the ...

Why did they lose?

Tom Shippey: Why did Harold lose?, 12 March 2009

The Battle of Hastings: The Fall of Anglo-Saxon England 
by Harriet Harvey Wood.
Atlantic, 257 pp., £17.99, November 2008, 978 1 84354 807 2
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... is that the wrong side won on 14 October 1066: Anglo-Saxon England was more civilised than William’s Normandy. William had no moral or legal claim to the throne. Harold, by contrast, was the last English king for more than 600 years to owe his crown ‘to the will of the people’. ...

What became of Modernism?

C.K. Stead, 1 May 1980

Five American Poets 
by John Matthias, introduced by Michael Schmidt.
Carcanet, 160 pp., £3.25, November 1979, 0 85635 259 4
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The New Australian Poetry 
edited by John Tranter.
Makar Press, 330 pp., £6.50, November 1979
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Carpenters of Light 
by Neil Powell.
Carcanet, 154 pp., £6.95, November 1979, 0 85635 305 1
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Mirabell: Books of Number 
by James Merrill.
Oxford, 182 pp., £3.25, June 1979, 0 19 211892 7
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The Book of the Body 
by Frank Bidart.
Faber, 44 pp., £4.50, October 1979, 0 374 11549 4
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Skull of Adam 
by Stanley Moss.
Anvil, 67 pp., £2.50, May 1979, 0 85646 041 9
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Poems 1928-1978 
by Stanley Kunitz.
Secker, 249 pp., £6.50, September 1979, 0 436 23932 9
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... all these and others, though clearly different, are unimaginable without Pound, early Eliot, William Carlos Williams and perhaps Wallace Stevens as forerunners. This is the main stream of modern American poetry. In England the picture is very different. Pound is grudgingly acknowledged, distrusted, kept at a distance. Eliot holds his place, but not the ...

The Redeemed Vicarage

John Lennard, 12 May 1994

Pictures of Perfection 
by Reginald Hill.
HarperCollins, 303 pp., £14.99, March 1994, 0 00 232392 3
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... Pascoe is also a graduate entrant to the police where Dalziel is an old-fashioned seat-of-the-very-broad-pants copper; and Ellie, one of the more interesting fictional portraits of a first-generation modern feminist, has a problem when she finds herself in love with and married to a rising policeman whose boss is Andy Dalziel. The strains of the ...

I am a false alarm

Robert Irwin: Khalil Gibran, 3 September 1998

Kahlil Gibran: Man and Poet 
by Suheil Bushrui and Joe Jenkins.
One World, 372 pp., £18.99, August 1998, 1 85168 177 9
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Prophet: The Life and Times of Kahlil Gibran 
by Robin Waterfield.
Allen Lane, 366 pp., £20, August 1998, 0 7139 9209 3
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... the 20th century’. As it happened, Gibran could remember not only his previous reincarnation as William Blake, but also a subsequent incarnation as Dante Gabriel Rossetti. During the First World War he was offered a high-ranking political post and agents of the Ottoman Empire tried to assassinate him. He was impervious to pain and he communicated with a ...

At Tate Britain

Peter Campbell: Gardens, 8 July 2004

... of wartime allotments in Bethnal Green and St James’s Square. In these, and in pictures by William Ratcliffe and Spencer Gore, it is the architecture of London and its suburbs and the front at Brighton which are the real subjects. Deadpan looks at present-day English suburbs in photographs by Martin Parr and a painting of a patio by David Rayson are ...

Lawful Resistance

Blair Worden, 24 November 1988

Algernon Sidney and the English Republic 1623-1677 
by Jonathan Scott.
Cambridge, 258 pp., £27.50, August 1988, 0 521 35290 8
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Seeds of Liberty: 1688 and the Shaping of Modern Britain 
by John Miller.
Souvenir, 128 pp., £15.95, July 1988, 0 285 62839 9
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Reluctant Revolutionaries: Englishmen and the Revolution of 1688 
by W.A. Speck.
Oxford, 267 pp., £17.50, July 1988, 9780198227687
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War and Economy in the Age of William III and Marlborough 
by D.W. Jones.
Blackwell, 351 pp., £35, September 1988, 0 631 16069 8
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Robert Harley: Speaker, Secretary of State and Premier Minister 
by Brian Hill.
Yale, 259 pp., £25, June 1988, 0 300 04284 1
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A Kingdom without a King: The Journal of the Provisional Government in the Revolution of 1688 
by Robert Beddard.
Phaidon, 192 pp., £14.95, November 1988, 9780714825007
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... where it has not been evasive. While the Dutch, in whose annals the annexation of Britain by William of Orange is a less momentous occurrence, have been celebrating it without inhibition, the response of the Mother of Parliaments was to provide a poky exhibition in the Banqueting House which was taken off before the anniversary of ...

Wordsworth’s Lost Satire

Nicholas Roe, 6 July 1995

... was less squeamish. He retained a manuscript of the poem until May 1822, when he approached William Blackwood seeking publication of ‘some splendid fragments’ to which he had contributed as ‘a very humble adjunct’ to the principal author: ‘a Friend of mine who now ranks in the very foremost of the poetical world’. Writing again two weeks ...


William Carter: The Case of the Missing Barrels, 14 December 2017

... smoking or talking together in the lobby. I was greeted by the receptionist, who spoke in a broad Dublin accent. He (and his identical twin, also on duty at reception) was a young Irishman with a Libyan father who had decided to come and experience the free Libya and was now wishing he hadn’t. Then I headed for my company’s office. The car that took ...

Return of the Male

Martin Amis, 5 December 1991

Iron John: A Book about Men 
by Robert Bly.
Element, 268 pp., £12.95, September 1991, 9781852302337
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The way men think: Intellect, Intimacy and the Erotic Imagination 
by Liam Hudson and Bernadine Jacot.
Yale, 219 pp., £16.95, November 1991, 0 300 04997 8
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Utne Reader. Men, it’s time to pull together: The Politics of Masculinity 
Lens, 144 pp., $4, May 1991Show More
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... In 1919, after prolonged study, the Harvard ethologist William Morton Wheeler pronounced the male wasp ‘an etiological nonentity’. An animal behaviourist had scrutinised the male wasp and found – no behaviour. We can well imagine the male wasp’s response to such a verdict: his initial shock and hurt; his descent into a period of depressed introspection; his eventual decision to improve his act ...

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