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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 ...

Five Feet Tall in His Socks

Patrick Collinson: Farewell to the Muggletonians, 5 June 2008

Last Witnesses: The Muggletonian History, 1652-1979 
by William Lamont.
Ashgate, 267 pp., £55, August 2006, 0 7546 5532 6
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... Library as Additional MSS 60168-60256, thanks to the good offices of Noakes’s widow, Thompson, William Lamont and others. What to do with this equivalent, for the archaeology of sectarian nonconformity, of Howard Carter’s discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun? There followed from the appropriation of the Muggletonian archive a practical exploration ...

Rescuing the bishops

Blair Worden, 21 April 1983

The Religion of Protestants: The Church in English Society 1559-1625 
by Patrick Collinson.
Oxford, 297 pp., £17.50, January 1983, 0 19 822685 3
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Reactions to the English Civil War 1642-1649 
by John Morrill.
Macmillan, 257 pp., £14, November 1982, 0 333 27565 9
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The World of the Muggletonians 
by Christopher Hill, Barry Reay and William Lamont.
Temple Smith, 195 pp., £12.50, February 1983, 0 85117 226 1
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The Life of John Milton 
by A.N. Wilson.
Oxford, 278 pp., £9.95, January 1983, 0 19 211776 9
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Complete Prose Works of John Milton. Vol. 8: 1666-1682 
edited by Maurice Kelley.
Yale, 625 pp., £55, January 1983, 0 300 02561 0
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The Poet’s Time: Politics and Religion in the Works of Andrew Marvell 
by Warren Chernaik.
Cambridge, 249 pp., £19.50, February 1983, 9780521247733
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... work to which Collinson supplies both a corrective interpretation and a sociological dimension – William Haller unblushingly declared himself concerned less ‘with the links that connect Puritanism with the past than with the ways which Puritanism marked out for the future’. By ‘the future’, Haller meant the Puritan Revolution. Collinson is interested ...

Pocock’s Positions

Blair Worden, 4 November 1993

Political Discourse in Early Modern Britain 
edited by Nicholas Phillipson and Quentin Skinner.
Cambridge, 444 pp., £35, March 1993, 9780521392426
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... to modify that picture, and a contribution to Political Discourse in Early Modern Britain by William Klein examines some of the modifications. The picture is further modified by Michael Mendle’s searching essay on the constitutional programme of Charles I’s Parliamentary opponents in 1641-2. In the emergency created by royal mismanagement, Mendle ...

Doris Lessing’s Space Fiction

Robert Taubman, 20 December 1979

Shikasta 
by Doris Lessing.
Cape, 365 pp., £5.95
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Fergus Lamont 
by Robin Jenkins.
Canongate, 293 pp., £7.95
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A Married Man 
by Piers Paul Read.
Alison Press/Secker, 264 pp., £5.25
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And Again? 
by Sean O’Faolain.
Constable, 267 pp., £5.95
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... of the planet’s history. And something in common, too, with the myth-making in Rousseau or William Morris that offers visions of hope or disaster for mankind. The myth-making here seems, by comparison, unpersuasive – being vague on the lost values of the past (‘voluntary submission to the great Whole’) and both vague and cranky on the continuing ...

Hooting

Edward Pearce, 22 October 1992

Beaverbrook 
by Anne Chisholm and Michael Davie.
Hutchinson, 589 pp., £20, October 1992, 0 09 173549 1
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... first fascinating thing about Beaverbrook is his origins, the second his rise. He was the son of William Aitken, a scholarly, but plodding minister who migrated to Canada from Torphichen in Fife. Young Max’s New Brunswick upbringing was one of paternal ineffectiveness and physical retribution from his mother. A classic non-adapter to school, he was the ...
Whatever Happened to the Tories: The Conservatives since 1945 
by Ian Gilmour and Mark Garnett.
Fourth Estate, 448 pp., £25, October 1997, 1 85702 475 3
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... monopolies – as against those in her Party who would have liked to privatise them. Of Norman Lamont, he says: ‘Chief Secretary to the Treasury should have been his ceiling.’ Nor is he much less crushing about those others who led the Conservative Party after 1979. Given the second-rateness of its opponents, why did One-Nation Toryism perish? This is ...

Vote for the Beast!

Ian Gilmour: The Tory Leadership, 20 October 2005

... a more mixed bunch, admittedly, but still mostly distinguished and competent. That the names of William Hague at the age of 36 and Iain Duncan Smith at any age should now be added to that illustrious roll is bizarre. How did this Conservative descent into absurdity occur? During Major’s premiership by far the greatest cause of dissension in the governing ...

Our Flexible Friends

Conor Gearty, 18 April 1996

Scott Inquiry Report 
by Richard Scott.
HMSO, 2386 pp., £45, February 1996, 0 10 262796 7
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... December 1988, four months after the end of the Gulf War. Present were three government ministers, William Waldegrave from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Alan Clark from the DTI and Lord Trefgarne from Defence. On the agenda was what to do about the export of arms and arms-related equipment to the Gulf region in light of the changed circumstances brought ...

The Party in Government

Conor Gearty, 9 March 1995

... soap: Allan Stewart, wielder of the pick-axe; Michael Mates, sender of the famous watch; Norman Lamont, evictor (with some help from the tax-payer) of the tenant with too colourful a professional life; Patrick Nicholls, suspected drunk driver; Nicholas Ridley, too loquacious an advocate of anti-German feeling; and Mrs Edwina Currie (‘most of the egg ...

Reproaches from the Past

Peter Clarke: Gordon Brown, 1 April 2004

The Prudence of Mr Gordon Brown 
by William Keegan.
Wiley, 356 pp., £18.99, October 2003, 0 470 84697 6
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... was in office if not in power for three years before being dismissed (which is pretty much Norman Lamont’s career in a nutshell). Later in the century, Richard FitzNeal, first as dean of Lincoln and latterly as bishop of London, continued in his day job in the church while moonlighting as treasurer ” for an apparently unbroken forty years. It’s as ...

War without an Enemy

Blair Worden, 21 January 1982

The Outbreak of the English Civil War 
by Anthony Fletcher.
Arnold, 446 pp., £24, October 1981, 0 7131 6320 8
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The Royalist War Effort 
by Ronald Hutton.
Longman, £12, October 1981, 0 582 50301 9
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... it, fewer surprises than expected. Some of the most perceptive recent work (Tyacke, Collinson and Lamont on religion; Hirst on the electorate; Russell on the evolution of Pym’s character and Morrill on Pym’s relations with backwoods MPs; Peter Thomas on Court and country cultures) is intelligently deployed, but not always searchingly tested against the ...

Do your homework

David Runciman: What’s Wrong with Theresa May, 16 March 2017

Theresa May: The Enigmatic Prime Minister 
by Rosa Prince.
Biteback, 402 pp., £20, February 2017, 978 1 78590 145 4
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... was the one that would soon become conventional for his generation: special adviser (to Norman Lamont when he was chancellor), then a bit of media work (for Carlton Television), all eased by the lubricant of personal connections. May took the old-fashioned route. She fought two losing campaigns in safe Labour seats before finally securing the nomination ...

Heir to Blair

Christopher Tayler: Among the New Tories, 26 April 2007

... by doing their best to scupper his premiership. (Cameron was working as special adviser to Norman Lamont, the Tory chancellor, on Black Wednesday. ‘If you cut me down the middle,’ he told an interviewer before the last election, ‘you would find “Exchange Rate Mechanism” written on me like a stick of rock.’) The students in the audience would have ...

Flann O’Brien’s Lies

Colm Tóibín, 5 January 2012

... has echoes also in the scene in At Swim-Two-Birds where the characters discuss the fiddle. Mr Lamont says: ‘The fiddle is the man for me … look at the masterpieces of musical art you have on the fiddle! Did you ever hear the immortal strains of the Crutch Sonata now, the whole four strings playing there together, with plenty of plucking and scales and ...

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