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Puritan Neuroses

Blair Worden, 19 April 1984

The Puritan Gentry: The Great Puritan Families of Early Stuart England 
by J.T. Cliffe.
Routledge, 313 pp., £18.95, March 1984, 0 7102 0007 2
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The Puritan Moment: The Coming of Revolution in an English County 
by William Hunt.
Harvard, 365 pp., £30.60, April 1983, 0 674 73903 5
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Godly People: Essays on English Protestantism and Puritanism 
by Patrick Collinson.
Hambledon, 604 pp., £24, July 1982, 9780907628156
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Laud’s Laboratory: The Diocese of Bath and Wells in the Early 17th Century 
by Margaret Steig.
Associated University Presses, 416 pp., £30, September 1983, 0 8387 5019 2
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The Puritan Conversion Narrative: The Beginnings of American Expression 
by Patricia Caldwell.
Cambridge, 210 pp., £17.50, December 1983, 0 521 25460 4
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Protestant Reformers in Elizabethan Oxford 
by C.M. Dent.
Oxford, 262 pp., £17.50, June 1983, 0 19 826723 1
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... place in any reputable account of the origins of the ‘Puritan Revolution’; and high time too. William Hunt, whose book is ostensibly about pre-Civil War Essex but really about many things besides, calls it The Puritan Moment. The argument nowadays is not about the political importance of religious conflicts but about their nature. If there is an ...

The Great Fear

William Lamont, 21 July 1983

Charles I and the Popish Plot 
by Caroline Hibbard.
North Carolina, 342 pp., £21, May 1983, 0 8078 1520 9
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Charles I: The Personal Monarch 
by Charles Carlton.
Routledge, 426 pp., £14.95, June 1983, 9780710094858
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The Puritan Moment: The Coming of Revolution in an English County 
by William Hunt.
Harvard, 365 pp., £24, April 1983, 0 674 73903 5
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... I believe that it would. I base this on my experience of writing about two such Puritans, William Prynne and Richard Baxter. In the process of writing these studies I changed my mind about ‘the Puritan Revolution’. In an important new book, Charles I and the Popish Plot, Caroline Hibbard has tackled the origins of the Civil War by documenting the ...

Want-of-Tin and Want-of-Energy

Dinah Birch: The lives of the Rossettis, 20 May 2004

The Correspondence of Dante Gabriel Rossetti: The Formative Years 1835-62: Charlotte Street to Cheyne Walk. Volume One 
edited by William Fredeman.
Brewer, 464 pp., £95, July 2002, 9780859915281
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The Correspondence of Dante Gabriel Rossetti: The Formative Years 1835-62: Charlotte Street to Cheyne Walk. Volume Two 
edited by William Fredeman.
Brewer, 640 pp., £95, July 2002, 0 85991 637 5
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William and Lucy: The Other Rossettis 
by Angela Thirlwell.
Yale, 376 pp., £25, October 2003, 0 300 10200 3
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... consecutive years in the late 1820s: Maria, Gabriel Charles (later to call himself Dante Gabriel), William and Christina. Their father, Gabriele Rossetti, was a political exile, driven out of Italy as a result of his activities as a nationalist. A poet, an ardent Dante scholar and the centre of a group of expatriates, he became a professor of Italian at the ...

Short Cuts

William Davies: Reasons to be Cheerful, 18 July 2019

... is the loser. Words have now broken completely free of their factual moorings; Johnson and Jeremy Hunt seem committed to touring the nation and its television studios misreporting and misdescribing the economic, legal and political realities that will confront the next prime minister. To do otherwise would be an act of surrender. Things have been drifting in ...

Hunt the hacker

Sam Sifton, 19 April 1990

The Cuckoo’s Egg: Tracking a spy through a maze of computer espionage 
by Clifford Stoll.
Bodley Head, 326 pp., £12.95, February 1990, 0 370 31433 6
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... hacker through a dense and endless forest of computer networks – what the Science Fiction writer William Gibson has called cyberspace – Stoll discovers that, whoever he is, the hacker is using the Berkeley lab as a way-station to infiltrate sensitive military and intelligence computers all over the United States. It takes the better part of a year to catch ...

Opprobrious Epithets

Katrina Navickas: The Peterloo Massacre, 20 December 2018

Peterloo: The Story of the Manchester Massacre 
by Jacqueline Riding.
Head of Zeus, 386 pp., £25, October 2018, 978 1 78669 583 3
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... among ‘members unlimited’. The loyalist reaction against this popular agitation was severe. William Pitt the Younger’s government legislated against ‘seditious’ meetings and writings, and imprisoned leaders of reform societies and printers of the radical press. ‘Church and King’ was the watchword of magistrates and manufacturers, who employed ...

Swiping at Suburbs

Andrew Saint: The course of British urbanism, 31 March 2005

Building Jerusalem: The Rise and Fall of the Victorian City 
by Tristram Hunt.
Weidenfeld, 432 pp., £25, June 2004, 0 297 60767 7
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... Labour anthem to replace the robust ‘Red Flag’, here we have it dusted down again by Tristram Hunt to front a passionate, kaleidoscopic but wilful defence of the Victorian city. Building Jerusalem is a book with a plain political line; yet where it leaves us is little clearer than in Blake’s poem. The subtitle offers the sharper clue to ...

Clan Gatherings

Inigo Thomas: The Bushes, 24 April 2008

The Bush Tragedy: The Unmaking of a President 
by Jacob Weisberg.
Bloomsbury, 271 pp., £16.99, February 2008, 978 0 7475 9394 2
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... for its depiction of an ideal polity than for the fact that it was written by the oil tycoon H.L. Hunt. ‘Except that I am slow, I am the best writer I know,’ Hunt once said. Alpaca is a South American country threatened with dictatorship, though Hunt’s fictional would-be dictator is ...

Incompetence at the War Office

Simon Jenkins: Politics and Pistols at Dawn, 18 December 2008

The Duel: Castlereagh, Canning and Deadly Cabinet Rivalry 
by Giles Hunt.
Tauris, 214 pp., £20, January 2008, 978 1 84511 593 7
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... secretary for war. That ministers sometimes do not get on is nothing new. No one reading Giles Hunt’s account of the duel between Lord Castlereagh and George Canning can drive from their imagination the more recent feud between Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, accounts of which made me thankful there are no firearms stored (within easy reach) at Downing ...

Hottentot in Jackboots

John Bayley: The Cockney School, 10 June 1999

Poetry and Politics in the Cockney School 
by Jeffrey Cox.
Cambridge, 287 pp., £37.50, January 1999, 0 521 63100 9
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... important job, and Jeffrey Cox’s study is a good example of what can be done, for he avoids the hunt-the-slipper determination which has caused some zealous critics to see a covert political message lurking in every heartfelt Romantic line. There is no likelihood at all that Wordsworth was actually thinking of the revolutionary Tree of Liberty when the ...

Shoy-Hoys

Paul Foot: The not-so-great Reform Act, 6 May 2004

Reform! The Fight for the 1832 Reform Act 
by Edward Pearce.
Cape, 343 pp., £20, November 2003, 0 224 06199 2
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... That same summer George IV died, leaving the throne to his marginally more stable brother William. The death of the king brought a general election, and the Tories were replaced by the Whigs. The chief difference between the two parties was that the Whigs were more sensitive to the growing wrath of the unrepresented upper middle classes. They favoured ...

In the Know

Simon Schaffer, 10 November 1994

Science and the Secrets of Nature: Books of Secrets in Medieval and Early Modern Culture 
by William Eamon.
Princeton, 490 pp., £38.50, July 1994, 0 691 03402 8
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The Business of Alchemy: Science and Culture in the Holy Roman Empire 
by Pamela Smith.
Princeton, 308 pp., £30, July 1994, 0 691 05691 9
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... it’, as well they might. Such stories might seem far away from modern science, but according to William Eamon they hold vital clues to the course and meaning of the Scientific Revolution. The quick-witted medical improviser was Leonardo Fioravanti, an eminent ‘professor of secrets’, one of a number of Renaissance writers who traded on their reputation ...

Nora Barnacle: Pictor Ignotus

Sean O’Faolain, 2 August 1984

... for the boy the only reporter available at that moment was a new and overeager recruit, one Harry Hunt, good on fishing, archaeology and Bible history. Mullane told him to find out all about this famous painter who had just died, shouting after him as he went: ‘Try Lennox Yeates.’ Hunt who had so far learned only one ...

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 ...

Old Verities

Brian Harrison, 19 June 1986

The Industrial Reformation of English Fiction: Social Discourse and Narrative Form 1832-1867 
by Catherine Gallagher.
Chicago, 320 pp., £23.25, September 1985, 0 226 27932 4
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Victorian Prison Lives: English Prison Biography 1830-1914 
by Philip Priestley.
Methuen, 311 pp., £14.85, October 1985, 0 416 34770 3
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The Old Brown Dog: Women, Workers and Vivisection in Edwardian England 
by Coral Lansbury.
University of Wisconsin Press, 212 pp., £23.50, November 1985, 0 299 10250 5
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‘Orator’ HuntHenry Hunt and English Working-Class Radicalism 
by John Belchem.
Oxford, 304 pp., £25, October 1985, 0 19 822759 0
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... in some way untypical, and here the accounts we have are largely those of the better-off. Lord William Nevill, Lady Constance Lytton, Jabez Balfour and the suffragettes: their views reflect the redoubled degradation felt by prisoners drawn from a better social class. In other words, his overall picture does not compensate sufficiently for the fact that, as ...

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