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Violets in Their Lapels

David A. Bell: Bonapartism, 23 June 2005

The Legend of Napoleon 
by Sudhir Hazareesingh.
Granta, 336 pp., £20, August 2004, 1 86207 667 7
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The Retreat 
by Patrick Rambaud, translated by William Hobson.
Picador, 320 pp., £7.99, June 2005, 0 330 48901 1
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Napoleon: The Eternal Man of St Helena 
by Max Gallo, translated by William Hobson.
Macmillan, 320 pp., £10.99, April 2005, 0 333 90798 1
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The Saint-Napoleon: Celebrations of Sovereignty in 19th-Century France 
by Sudhir Hazareesingh.
Harvard, 307 pp., £32.95, May 2004, 0 674 01341 7
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Napoleon and the British 
by Stuart Semmel.
Yale, 354 pp., £25, September 2004, 0 300 09001 3
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... fiercest vilifier. Somewhere in the course of this ideological journey, incidentally, he passed William Cobbett travelling in the opposite direction, from his original Napoleon-hating conservatism to an endpoint of Napoleon-loving radicalism. By September 1815, Cobbett was publishing odes in the exiled emperor’s honour: ‘Yet how resplendent is thy ...

Et in Alhambra ego

D.A.N. Jones, 5 June 1986

Agate: A Biography 
by James Harding.
Methuen, 238 pp., £12.95, April 1986, 0 413 58090 3
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Subsequent Performances 
by Jonathan Miller.
Faber, 253 pp., £15, April 1986, 0 571 13133 6
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... conceptions of the great roles. So he began by quoting a weighty commonplace from another critic, William Archer, twenty years Agate’s senior. ‘We have each our private ideal of Macbeth, Hamlet, Othello, Lear,’ said Archer. ‘Every actor who undertakes them has to pass through a triple ordeal, encountering, first our imagination, kindled by ...

Maigret’s Room

John Lanchester: The Home Life of Inspector Maigret, 4 June 2020

... Bellos and Whiteside and Schwartz, Anthea Bell, Linda Coverdale, David Coward, Howard Curtis, William Hobson, Sian Reynolds, David Watson – but, or and, one of the remarkable features of the project is how consistent the tone is across the books. When you look at the range of tones and voices in the same publisher’s multi-translator edition of ...

Invader

Linda Colley, 9 July 1987

Richard Cobden: A Victorian Outsider 
by Wendy Hinde.
Yale, 379 pp., £14.95, April 1987, 0 300 03880 1
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Richard Cobden: Independent Radical 
by Nicholas Edsall.
Harvard, 479 pp., £23.95, February 1987, 0 674 76879 5
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... a fault.’ A special train was laid on from London to take the great and the good to his funeral; William Gladstone helped to carry his coffin; statues were raised by public subscription; and the London and provincial presses enshrined his memory in laudatory poems and improving books for the young. But it was not to last. When John Morley published his ...

‘They got egg on their faces’

Leofranc Holford-Strevens: The Oxford English Dictionary, 20 November 2003

The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary 
by Simon Winchester.
Oxford, 260 pp., £12.99, October 2003, 0 19 860702 4
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... failings). Herbert Coleridge is rescued from obscurity; there are footnotes about the omnivore William Buckland, who found mole more disagreeable to eat than bluebottle, and Arthur Munby, known no longer for his poetry but for his oddity of sexual taste. But the famous Furnivall predominates, seen in ‘goatish contentment’ with waitresses, in political ...

Duffers

Jonathan Parry, 21 September 1995

The City of London. Vol. II: Golden Years, 1890-1914 
by David Kynaston.
Chatto, 678 pp., £25, June 1995, 0 7011 3385 6
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... the fundholders who had financed the war. Taxpayers suffered badly in the post-war depression, and William Cobbett led a bitter national protest at the stockholding leeches who, he claimed, were sucking the lifeblood from John Bull. At times of economic tension over the following twenty years, the fundholder and the landowner competed to be the most vilified ...

Whose century?

Adam Tooze: After the Shock, 30 July 2020

Schism: China, America and the Fracturing of the Global Trading System 
by Paul Blustein.
McGill-Queen’s, 356 pp., £27.99, September 2019, 978 1 928096 85 6
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Superpower Showdown: How the Battle between Trump and Xi Threatens a New Cold War 
by Bob Davis and Lingling Wei.
Harper, 480 pp., £25, June, 978 0 06 295305 6
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Trade Wars Are Class Wars: How Rising Inequality Distorts the Global Economy and Threatens International Peace 
by Matthew C. Klein and Michael Pettis.
Yale, 288 pp., £20, June, 978 0 300 24417 5
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The New Class War: Saving Democracy from the Metropolitan Elite 
by Michael Lind.
Atlantic, 224 pp., £14.99, February, 978 1 78649 955 4
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... from Bernie Sanders that question wouldn’t be surprising. But it was more remarkable to hear William Barr, Trump’s attorney general, describe American business as ‘part of the problem’ because its corporate leaders are too focused on their stock options and have lost sight of the ‘national view’ and the need to ensure that ‘that the next ...

For Australians only

Jill Roe, 18 February 1988

... the land. The land would be there for ever: the hills everlasting. The land would be there for William and Lucy and their children, and they would continue the sturdy Australian tradition which her people had begun. No man could do more. Pioneers on Parade was not very well received. Miles Franklin thought, with justification, that this was because it was ...

Lumpers v. Splitters

Ferdinand Mount: How to Build an Empire, 30 March 2016

British Imperial: What the Empire Wasn’t 
by Bernard Porter.
I.B. Tauris, 216 pp., £20, October 2015, 978 1 78453 445 5
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Heroic Failure and the British 
by Stephanie Barczewski.
Yale, 267 pp., £20, February 2016, 978 0 300 18006 0
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... America and Australia. The process was more like a feudal one, comparable to the way in which William the Conqueror handed out estates to his troops and his favourites. Conversely, if a colony didn’t need capitalism to flourish, nor did capitalism need an overarching colonial structure. All over South America, British entrepreneurs built railways and ...

Iraq, 2 May 2005

Andrew O’Hagan: Two Soldiers, 6 March 2008

... houses south of the Tigris, the river that stretches towards Amara. Lieutenant Colonel Hunter Hobson, who had been with Spahr at flight school and later ended up in the same squadron, the famous ‘Death Rattlers’ 323, told me Spahr had what few people have: ‘an amazing ability in the airplane’. When I spoke to ...

Sunny Days

Michael Howard, 11 February 1993

Never Again: Britain 1945-51 
by Peter Hennessy.
Cape, 544 pp., £20, September 1992, 0 224 02768 9
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Churchill on the Home Front 1900-1955 
by Paul Addison.
Cape, 493 pp., £20, November 1992, 0 224 01428 5
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... become commonplace among the professional classes since the days of ‘New Liberals’ like J.A. Hobson and soft socialists like R.H. Tawney. They may not all have willed the means proposed by Beveridge and Keynes (though an increasing number of them did) but most of them willed the end. They implemented the plans of their Labour masters not only dutifully ...

Refuge of the Aristocracy

Paul Smith: The British Empire, 21 June 2001

Ornamentalism: How the British Saw Their Empire 
by David Cannadine.
Allen Lane, 264 pp., £16.99, May 2001, 0 7139 9506 8
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... at the time) to an upsurge of expansionist imperialism, while A.G. Gardiner, the biographer of Sir William Harcourt, spoke of ‘a tidal wave of Jingoism’, as ‘the arrogant nationalism of Mr Kipling and the glamour of Rhodes’s imperialism’ led the country to ‘strange adventures’. Nowadays the picture seems less clear. Imperial enthusiasm may have ...

My Darlings

Colm Tóibín: Drinking with Samuel Beckett, 5 April 2007

... locked eyes stopped to talk, and they arranged to meet four days later outside the house where Sir William Wilde, eye surgeon to the queen in Ireland, if she should have ever needed an eye surgeon (which she did not), and his mad wife, Speranza, had lived, where they had raised their son Oscar, who was four years dead by this time. There’s now a funny ...

You Muddy Fools

Dan Jacobson: In the months before his death Ian Hamilton talked about himself to Dan Jacobson, 14 January 2002

... papers. The Room, it was called, and it was by Harold Pinter. It had had a good review from Harold Hobson in the Sunday Times, but rather dismissive reviews by other people. Anyway I was intrigued by this play, and liked it best of all those put on during the festival – and said so in my radio report. But I’d left the proceedings early in order to write ...

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