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Trips

Graham Coster, 26 July 1990

In Xanadu: A Quest 
by William Dalrymple.
Collins, 314 pp., £14.95, July 1989, 0 00 217948 2
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The Gunpowder Gardens 
by Jason Goodwin.
Chatto, 230 pp., £14.95, March 1990, 0 7011 3620 0
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Silk Roads: The Asian Adventures of André and Clara Malraux 
by Axel Madsen.
Tauris, 299 pp., £14.95, April 1990, 1 85043 209 0
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At Home and Abroad 
by V.S. Pritchett.
Chatto, 332 pp., £14.95, February 1990, 0 7011 3620 0
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Great Plains 
by Ian Frazier.
Faber, 290 pp., £14.99, March 1990, 0 571 14260 5
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... really separates a masterpiece of the genre like Greene’s from a frequently attractive work like William Dalrymple’s In Xanadu is that Greene seeks no pretext or context or subtext for his trip other than himself. Dalrymple’s, on the other hand, is both complicated and distracted by his notion of retracing ...

One Enduring Trace of Our Presence

Maya Jasanoff: Governing Iraq, 5 April 2007

Occupational Hazards: My Time Governing in Iraq 
by Rory Stewart.
Picador, 422 pp., £17.99, June 2006, 0 330 44049 7
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... the Etonians Robert Byron and Colin Thubron, the Marlburian Bruce Chatwin and the gentry Scot William Dalrymple – so often boast superior educations if not pedigrees. Aspects of Stewart’s response to Iraq show the influence of his earlier travels. His interest in the culture of the Marsh Arabs, for instance, finds a precedent in his roamings ...

How to Write It

Sanjay Subrahmanyam: India after Independence, 20 September 2007

India after Gandhi: The History of the World’s Largest Democracy 
by Ramachandra Guha.
Macmillan, 900 pp., £25, April 2007, 978 0 230 01654 5
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The Clash Within: Democracy, Religious Violence and India’s Future 
by Martha Nussbaum.
Belknap, 403 pp., £19.95, June 2007, 978 0 674 02482 3
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... middle-class drawing-room. If he has a rival in the public domain, it is the Delhi-based Scotsman William Dalrymple, with whom he does not quite see eye to eye for reasons having to do with their respective positions on British imperialism and Indian nationalism. The reader of India after Gandhi will come quickly to the conclusion that Guha is ...

The Other Thomas

Charles Nicholl, 8 November 2012

... and breadth of the state recording fragments known to the village bards. He was interviewed by William Dalrymple in the 1990s. ‘Over the years,’ Vellian says, ‘I have tried to meet with every Christian ashan in Kerala. Most of them were illiterate: isolated old men who were only barely aware of the importance of what they were clinging onto ...

That sh—te Creech

James Buchan: The Scottish Enlightenment, 5 April 2007

The Enlightenment and the Book: Scottish Authors and Their Publishers in 18th-Century Britain, Ireland and America 
by Richard Sher.
Chicago, 815 pp., £25.50, February 2007, 978 0 226 75252 5
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... 1776, James Boswell and Samuel Johnson visited Pembroke College, Oxford and called on the master, William Adams. According to Richard Sher, Boswell wrote in his journal how dismayed he had been to see in the master’s library a copy of the quarto edition of David Hume’s Essays and Treatises on Several Subjects of 1758, handsomely bound in morocco ...

Christina and the Sid

Penelope Fitzgerald, 18 March 1982

Christina Rossetti: A Divided Life 
by Georgina Battiscombe.
Constable, 233 pp., £9.50, May 1981, 0 09 461950 6
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The Golden Veil 
by Paddy Kitchen.
Hamish Hamilton, 286 pp., £7.95, May 1981, 0 241 10584 6
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The Little Holland House Album 
by Edward Burne-Jones and John Christian.
Dalrymple Press, 39 pp., £38, April 1981, 0 9507301 0 6
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... and, when in a rage, Christina could be a ripper and a smasher. The elder sister, Maria, and loyal William Michael were the ‘calms’. On ‘My heart is like a singing bird’ William’s editorial comment was: ‘I have more than once been asked whether I could account for the outburst of exuberant joy evidenced in this ...

Blessed, Beastly Place

Douglas Dunn, 5 March 1981

Precipitous City 
by Trevor Royle.
Mainstream, 210 pp., £6.95, May 1980, 0 906391 09 1
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RLS: A Life Study 
by Jenni Calder.
Hamish Hamilton, 362 pp., £9.95, June 1980, 0 241 10374 6
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Gillespie 
by J. MacDougall Hay.
Canongate, 450 pp., £4.95, November 1979, 0 903937 79 4
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Scottish Satirical Verse 
edited by Edwin Morgan.
Carcanet, 236 pp., £6.95, June 1980, 0 85635 183 0
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Collected Poems 
by Robert Garioch.
Carcanet, 208 pp., £3.95, July 1980, 0 85635 316 7
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... edit the Bannatyne Manuscript. It was edited by his colleague in the Court of Session, Sir David Dalrymple, Lord Hailes, whose Annals led Sir Walter Scott to laud him as ‘the restorer of Scottish history’. Does it matter that the notorious cry of ‘Whaur’s yer Wullie Shakespeare noo?’ greeted Home’s tragedy in London, not Edinburgh? It does. A ...

Dreamland

Jonathan Lamb: 18th-century seafaring, 20 March 2003

Voyages of Delusion: The Search for the Northwest Passage in the Age of Reason 
by Glyn Williams.
HarperCollins, 467 pp., £8.99, March 2003, 0 00 653213 6
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Voyage to Desolation Island 
by Jean-Paul Kauffmann, translated by Patricia Clancy.
Harvill, 177 pp., £14.99, October 2001, 1 86046 926 4
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... each patron a map-maker. The most persistent advocate of the Great Southern Continent, Alexander Dalrymple, was convinced that a land-bridge connected Australia either to New Guinea to the north, or to the paradise de Quiros had named Austrialia del Espiritu Santo to the east. On his first voyage Cook was carrying maps by the French cartographer Didier de ...

Damsons and Custard

Paul Laity: Documentary cinema’s unsung poet, 3 March 2005

Humphrey Jennings 
by Kevin Jackson.
Picador, 448 pp., £30, October 2004, 0 330 35438 8
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... about art, theatre and history; about Blake, Ruskin, Faraday, Milton, Constable and Purcell. William Empson, who studied English with him at Cambridge in the late 1920s, and with whom he started the magazine Experiment, thought of Jennings as ‘quite unaffectedly a leader’ who ‘was rather unconscious of other people, except as an ...

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