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6 February 1986
Stroke Counterstroke 
by William Camp.
Joseph, 190 pp., £9.95, January 1986, 0 7181 2669 6
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Redhill Rococo 
by Shena Mackay.
Heinemann, 171 pp., £9.95, February 1986, 0 434 44046 9
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Striker 
by Michael Irwin.
Deutsch, 231 pp., £8.95, September 1985, 0 233 97792 9
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... also find evidence of it in unlikely places. The most likely place, of course, is Whitehall and William Camp discovers rot setting in there or already set in: the unions hold the country to ransom, a handful of businessmen make a profit out of hard times, and politicians fall over backwards, sometimes literally, to disgrace themselves. Hooliganism ...

Other Eden

Amit Chaudhuri

15 September 1988
Tigers, Durbars and Kings: Fanny Eden’s Indian Journals 1837-1838 
edited by Janet Dunbar.
Murray, 202 pp., £13.95, April 1988, 0 7195 4440 8
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... travelled to the Rajmahal Hills in February 1837 on a ‘tiger-shooting trip’ with her nephew William Osborne, 260 camp followers (‘We find we have 260 people altogether in the camp – half our followers bring their followers’) and 20 elephants. Later, she accompanied (with ...

Entails

Christopher Driver

19 May 1983
Fools of Fortune 
by William Trevor.
Bodley Head, 239 pp., £7.50, April 1983, 0 370 30953 7
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What a beautiful Sunday! 
by Jorge Semprun, translated by Alan Sheridan.
Secker, 429 pp., £8.95, April 1983, 9780436446603
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An Innocent Millionaire 
by Stephen Vizinczey.
Hamish Hamilton, 388 pp., £8.95, March 1983, 0 241 10929 9
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The Papers of Tony Veitch 
by William McIlvanney.
Hodder, 254 pp., £7.95, April 1983, 0 340 22907 1
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In the Shadow of the Paradise Tree 
by Sasha Moorsom.
Routledge, 247 pp., £6.95, April 1983, 0 7100 9408 6
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The Bride 
by Bapsi Sidhwa.
Cape, 248 pp., £7.95, February 1983, 0 224 02047 1
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... The theme of William Trevor’s new novel – his ninth, and that leaves short-story collections out of account – is the murderous entail of Anglo-Irish history, in which, as a Cork man, he may fairly be considered expert. But unlike most experts, above all most specialists in Ireland’s past, he knows how little has to be told and how much is best left to the reader’s own memory and imagination ...

Holocaust Art

Robert Taubman

10 January 1983
Schindler’s Ark 
by Thomas Keneally.
Hodder, 432 pp., £7.95, October 1982, 0 340 27838 2
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... Days of Contempt, André Malraux alerted his readers to the fact that ‘it is the concentration camps that are dealt with here.’ This was in 1935, and the first of Hitler’s concentration camps had been established only two years earlier. But this preface is misleading, for the novel is neither informative nor ...

Lord Bounder

David Cannadine

19 January 1984
F.E. Smith, First Earl of Birkenhead 
by John Campbell.
Cape, 918 pp., November 1983, 0 224 01596 6
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... There is,’ John Lord Campbell observed in his multi-volume, Mid-Victorian Lives of the Lord Chancellors, ‘no office in the history of any nation that has been filled with such a long succession of distinguished and interesting men as the office of Lord Chancellor.’ A roll-call which included such illustrious history-makers as Wolsey, More, Bacon and Clarendon lent some credence to Campbell’s hyperbole ...

This Is Not That Place

Thomas Jones: David Eggers escapes from Sudan

21 June 2007
What Is the What 
by Dave Eggers.
Hamish Hamilton, 475 pp., £18.99, June 2007, 978 0 241 14257 8
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... apparatus of future editions of the book. Achak and Eggers met in January 2003, introduced by Mary Williams, who ran the Lost Boys Foundation in Atlanta, a charity dedicated to helping Sudanese refugees in the United States. Achak wanted to tell his story – his early life in Marial Bai; his long walk across and out of Sudan; his years spent in refugee ...

In a Boat of His Own Making

James Camp: Jack London

24 September 2014
Jack London: An American Life 
by Earle Labor.
Farrar, Straus, 439 pp., £21.99, November 2013, 978 0 374 17848 2
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The Sea-Wolf 
by Jack London.
Hesperus, 287 pp., £9.99, August 2013, 978 1 78094 200 1
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... to help her make financial decisions; she also met men at them, among them her first husband, William Chaney, a fellow spiritualist. In 1875 Wellman told Chaney she was pregnant; he denied being the father. After he went out, she took a small dose of laudanum, borrowed a pistol from a neighbour and then, according to reports in the press, shot herself in ...

Still Superior

Mark Greif: Sex and Susan Sontag

12 February 2009
Reborn: Early Diaries, 1947-64 
by Susan Sontag, edited by David Rieff.
Hamish Hamilton, 318 pp., £16.99, January 2009, 978 0 241 14431 2
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... Nightwood, a book she loved for many years, both for its Modernism and its lesbianism. At the campus book exchange, she finally met an arty girl, Harriet Sohmers, several years older than her and superior in one area of knowledge that Sontag craved. She fell in with Harriet and her friends; they took her immediately to the city, and knew just where to ...
18 February 1982
The Struggle for Peace in the Middle East 
by Mahmoud Riad.
Quartet, 365 pp., £11.95, October 1981, 0 7043 2297 8
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Palestinian Self-Determination 
by Hassan Bin Talal.
Quartet, 138 pp., £6.95, July 1981, 0 7043 2312 5
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This Year in Jerusalem 
by Kenneth Cragg.
Darton, Longman and Todd, 192 pp., £5.95, February 1982, 0 232 51524 7
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... Israeli-Franco-British invasion of Egypt in 1956 even though it coincided with the climax of his campaign for re-election; and then he insisted on Israel’s total evacuation of Sinai in 1957, even though Ben Gurion had claimed that it was not part of Egypt and that it ‘had been liberated’ by the Israelis. Israel, of course, has not controlled every move ...
6 December 1984
The Quality of Mercy: Cambodia, Holocaust and Modern Conscience 
by William Shawcross.
Deutsch, 464 pp., £12.95, September 1984, 0 233 97691 4
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... William Shawcross’s The Quality of Mercy is a fascinating, detailed and moving study of the famine that struck Cambodia – or Kampuchea as it is now called – five years ago, and of the response of the rest of the world to the disaster that followed. The book can be read at several levels: as a memorial to a society that no longer exists, as a footnote to the history of the wars in Indochina and their aftermath, as the story of a large international relief operation, and as a cautionary tale of how humanitarian motives can become subverted by local and global political forces ...

Speak for yourself, matey

Adam Mars-Jones: The Uses of Camp

22 November 2012
How to Be Gay 
by David Halperin.
Harvard, 549 pp., £25.95, August 2012, 978 0 674 06679 3
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... house over Christmas. For Bette Bourne cross-dressing was a political act in a different sense, a campaign to confront oppressive norms: wearing drag in the street was part of that programme. Ira Siff and Keith Jurosko had a more straitened notion of theatrical display. As Keith explained at the Traverse that day, he had only once ventured into the outside ...

In the Turner Gallery

Peter Campbell: Coleridge’s Note-Taking

26 February 2009
... In the first volume of his Coleridge biography, Richard Holmes describes Coleridge and Dorothy and William Wordsworth working ‘like plein-air painters, taking elaborate notes on the varied effects of light on the landscape, of plants and water, of wind and cloud and starlight’. They were under surveillance, suspected of Jacobin sympathies ...

Junk Mail

Jeremy Harding

23 September 1993
The Letters of William Burroughs, 1949-1959 
edited by Oliver Harris.
Picador, 472 pp., £17.50, August 1993, 0 330 33074 8
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... If a certain stoicism was required to get through William Burroughs’s disgusting novel, Naked Lunch, there are fewer problems with his mail. Indeed, the only danger is over-indulgence, for this stuff slides easily off the end of the fork. The letters here were written between 1945 and 1959. They begin with Burroughs at his family home in St Louis, from which he moves smartly through a series of addresses in the US ...

I do like painting

Julian Bell: The life and art of William Coldstream

2 December 2004
William Coldstream 
by Bruce Laughton.
Yale, 368 pp., £30, July 2004, 0 300 10243 7
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... just stood around, uncertain of what to do next … It sort of petered out.’ Bruce Laughton’s William Coldstream is an attempt, 17 years on, to gather up the tatters of a wake held at University College London. The unnamed participant touches on a more general diffidence about how to remember or appraise ...

Rabbits Addressed by a Stoat

Stefan Collini: Émigré Dons

12 July 2017
Ark of Civilisation: Refugee Scholars and Oxford University, 1930-45 
edited by Sally Crawford, Katharina Ulmschneider and Jaś Elsner.
Oxford, 396 pp., £75, March 2017, 978 0 19 968755 8
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... University 1930-45, isn’t any of the great institutions that may come to mind, but Hutchinson Camp on the Isle of Man. As the result of a slightly panicky policy of interning ‘enemy aliens’ after the fall of France, large numbers of refugee German scholars – most but not all of whom were Jewish – found themselves in this unlikely spot. They ...

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