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Why Bull was killed

Victor Mallet, 15 August 1991

Arms and the Man: Dr Gerlad Bull, Iraq and the Supergun 
by William Lowther.
Macmillan, 298 pp., £15.99, July 1991, 0 333 56069 8
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... artillery and ballistics experts and he was working for Iraq. The thesis of this biography by William Lowther, a journalist who had already completed most of his research when Bull was killed, is that the Israelis assassinated him, not because of his attempts to fulfil a lifetime’s ambition and build a supergun to fire projectiles into space, but ...

Bumming and Booing

John Mullan: William Wordsworth, 5 April 2001

Wordsworth: A Life 
by Juliet Barker.
Viking, 971 pp., £25, October 2000, 9780670872138
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The Hidden Wordsworth 
by Kenneth Johnston.
Pimlico, 690 pp., £15, September 2000, 0 7126 6752 0
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Disowned by Memory: Wordsworth’s Poetry of the 1790s 
by David Bromwich.
Chicago, 186 pp., £9.50, April 2000, 0 226 07556 7
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... she is able to sustain our interest in their dramas, pleasures, quarrels and sorrows long after ‘William’ (as Barker always calls him – even, irritatingly, ‘our William’) has ceased to write wonderful poetry. In fact, she manages to make an intriguing sub-narrative out of his wife’s and his sister’s ...

After-Meditation

Thomas Keymer: The Girondin Wordsworth, 18 June 2020

Radical Wordsworth: The Poet who Changed the World 
by Jonathan Bate.
William Collins, 608 pp., £25, April, 978 0 00 816742 4
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William Wordsworth: A Life 
by Stephen Gill.
Oxford, new edition, 688 pp., £25, April, 978 0 19 881711 6
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... in Westmorland, and the sage of Rydal was out canvassing for the Tories.Not just any Tories. The Lowther family were landed gentry who also had vast coal-mining interests, and aspired to the political domination of the entire North-West. They had been running Westmorland like a giant pocket borough since the heyday of Sir James (‘Wicked Jimmy’) ...

What Sport!

Paul Laity: George Steer, 5 June 2003

Telegram from Guernica: The Extraordinary Life of George Steer, War Correspondent 
by Nicholas Rankin.
Faber, 256 pp., £14.99, April 2003, 0 571 20563 1
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... On the evening of 26 April 1937, George Lowther Steer, a correspondent for the Times, was having dinner with other reporters at the Torrontegui Hotel in Bilbao. Sometime after nine, a distraught Basque official rushed into the dining-room: ‘Guernica is destroyed,’ he told them. The town was still burning when the journalists got there ...

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