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Buggering on

Paul Addison

21 July 1983
Winston Churchill: Companion Vol. V, Part III, The Coming of War 1936-1939 
by Martin Gilbert.
Heinemann, 1684 pp., £75, October 1982, 0 434 29188 9
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Finest Hour: Winston Churchill, 1939-1941 
by Martin Gilbert.
Heinemann, 1308 pp., £15.95, June 1983, 0 434 29187 0
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Churchill 1874-1915 
by Ted Morgan.
Cape, 571 pp., £12.50, April 1983, 0 224 02044 7
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The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Visions of Glory, 1874-1932 
by William Manchester.
Michael Joseph, 973 pp., £14.95, June 1983, 0 7181 2275 5
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... years. His work is in a class by itself and as he begins the next volume we should send him this message: KBO. If the official biography is definitive, why should two American authors, Ted Morgan and WilliamManchester, have embarked on their own lives of Churchill? Many authors explain in a preface how and why they came to begin a book, but neither Morgan nor Manchester offers a clue. From the tone of ...

At Manchester​ Art Gallery

Inigo Thomas: Annie Swynnerton

27 September 2018
... a favour to her that I do, that I can only oblige her in memory of all her great goodness to us – when it did make such a difference – of May 1910.’ He was referring to the death of his brother William. He then told Alice that Mrs Swynnerton was ‘doing – finishing – the portrait of me that she pushed on so last year’. Doing, finishing, pushed – James isn’t pleased with the picture. Mrs ...

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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... me round the recreated St Peter’s Field. Actors wore the military regalia of the 15th regiment of hussars and the 13th regiment of foot; there was a wood-panelled room, like the one from which the Manchester magistrates had looked out over the crowd. I walked away from the hustings to gauge whether it would be possible to hear a speaker from five hundred yards. As an exercise in historical accuracy, it ...

Nothing They Wouldn’t Do

Richard J. Evans: Krupp

21 June 2012
Krupp: A History of the Legendary German Firm 
by Harold James.
Princeton, 360 pp., £24.95, March 2012, 978 0 691 15340 7
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... surprising that it has attracted the attention of many historians writing from different points of view. The most widely read study was The Arms of Krupp, a thousand-page epic published in 1968 by WilliamManchester, better known for his account of the assassination of his wartime friend, John F. Kennedy, Death of a President. Written in a racy, sometimes sensational style, the book was full of ...
14 September 1989
Churchill: 1874-1922 
by Frederick Earl of Birkenhead, edited by Sir John Colville.
Harrap, 552 pp., £19.95, August 1989, 0 245 54779 7
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... but from the other relevant collections, would then be available beautifully edited, and the task of delineating Churchill to the mid-career point would become manageable. The studies of Churchill by WilliamManchester and Ted Morgan, published in 1983, were produced in this way, the first extending to 1932 and the second to 1915. Both authors were careful to acknowledge their debt to the official ...
22 June 1989
The Whitelaw Memoirs 
by William​ Whitelaw.
Aurum, 280 pp., £14.95, May 1989, 1 85410 028 9
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... In the early summer of 1981 a string of riots burned up and down Britain like Armada beacons. Brixton resembled post-Blitz London. Whole areas of Manchester, Preston, Wolverhampton and Hull were reduced to rubble and glass. In July, Liverpool lit up in a haze of flame and CS gas. Shortly afterwards Manchester erupted once again. The Home Secretary at the ...
19 February 1987
The Market for Glory: Fleet Street Ownership in the 20th Century 
by Simon Jenkins.
Faber, 247 pp., £9.95, October 1986, 0 571 14627 9
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The End of the Street 
by Linda Melvern.
Methuen, 276 pp., £9.95, October 1986, 0 413 14640 5
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... belong to its future. To a grammar-school boy growing up in the North of England forty years ago, the press was an honourable estate. At the centenary of the birth of C.P. Scott, The Making of the ‘Manchester Guardian’ was an ideal anthology for a sixth-form prize on Speech Day. Here were Scott’s lieutenants: W.T. Arnold, grandson of Arnold of Rugby; L.T. Hobhouse, social philosopher and member of a ...


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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... and frequently unpopular opposition to war: ‘seldom has hero rested, stained by so superb 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 ...

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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... scales of employment, resulting in urban centres of unbridled energy, turbulence and degradation, if also a strange sublimity. That is the ferocious phase of the Victorian city, best represented by Manchester, which comes first in Hunt’s affections. After 1850 there follows the reform of local politics, welfare, infrastructure and architecture, exemplified above all by Birmingham and Joseph Chamberlain ...

There’s Daddy

Michael Wood

13 February 1992
Flying in to Love 
by D.M. Thomas.
Bloomsbury, 262 pp., £14.99, February 1992, 0 7475 1129 2
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directed by Oliver Stone.
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... about the nation’s problems; Jackie mourns her dead baby, puts on a brave face. One of the nuns whom Kennedy spoke to just before he was shot – ‘He was always alert for a glimpse of Sisters,’ WilliamManchester says with unconscious irony – re-lives and reconstructs that day in November 1963, teaches history to her pupils as an immediate and bewildering experience. Oswald gets ready, thinks he ...


Paul Foot: Two Views of John Stalker

3 March 1988
... deceit and perjury on a grand scale, the Police inquiry had to be on a grand scale too. No less a VIP than the Deputy Chief Constable of the biggest provincial Police Force in Britain – Greater Manchester – was called in to command it. John Stalker was an excellent choice. Nothing in his life had distinguished him as a subversive. It is true that his father had been a Labour man, and an admirer of ...

Up to Islip

Rosalind Mitchison

2 August 1984
An Old Man’s Diary 
by A.J.P. Taylor.
Hamish Hamilton, 155 pp., £8.95, April 1984, 0 241 11247 8
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... evidence of physical fitness and energy, for the Way is a mass of steep and arduous ascents. But he can have it. Pennine worship is one of the mistakes of the North of England. I remember from my own Manchester days the ghastliness of excursions to the Peak district, a dreary plateau specialising in beastly weather, covered with tussock grass imbued with the soot of early industrialisation. If Taylor had ...
3 October 1985
Great Britons: 20th-Century Lives 
by Harold Oxbury.
Oxford, 371 pp., £14.95, September 1985, 0 19 211599 5
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The Oxford Book of Military Anecdotes 
edited by Max Hastings.
Oxford, 514 pp., £9.50, October 1985, 0 19 214107 4
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The Long Affray: The Poaching Wars in Britain 
by Harry Hopkins.
Secker, 344 pp., £12.95, August 1985, 9780436201028
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... that of Sir Valentin Chirol, a crusty eminence of the Times. The first woman doctor is kept company by the first woman barrister, Ivy Williams. The first private to win a field-marshal’s baton, Sir William Robertson, is missing. Billy Smart, the circus proprietor, is in, though not Sir Alan Cobham, whose private air force introduced millions to flying, or Sir Donald Wolfit. Tom Webster, the sports ...


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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... the people who didn’t have a vote wanted to have some say in their government, and occasionally were moved to say so. Such were the sixty thousand trade unionists who met in St Peter’s Fields in Manchester in August 1819 and were greeted by the yeomanry, who charged at them with sabres, killing 11 and wounding around four hundred. After the Peterloo massacre, however, politics seemed to settle down ...
9 May 1991
The Infection of Thomas De Quincey: A Psychopathology of Imperialism 
by John Barrell.
Yale, 235 pp., £18.95, May 1991, 0 300 04932 3
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... the Whispering Gallery in St Paul’s which he recalled in the Opium Eater. The context there is complicated, for the St Paul’s story occurs as part of the account of his clandestine departure from Manchester Grammar School, his fear of detection, his daydream recalling that earlier moment when, at the age of 15, he had heard a whisper return as a series of ‘volleying thunders’: ‘Once leave this ...

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