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William Wallace, Unionist

Colin Kidd: The Idea of Devolution

23 March 2006
State of the Union: Unionism and the Alternatives in the United Kingdom since 1707 
by Iain McLean and Alistair McMillan.
Oxford, 283 pp., £45, September 2005, 0 19 925820 1
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... this selectivity continues to underpin the academic preference for the study of authentic nationalists over inauthentic unionists. Nevertheless, some revisionist historians have recently shown that WilliamWallace and Robert Bruce, icons of Scotland’s War of Independence against England in the late 13th and early 14th century, became unionist heroes in 19th-century Scottish culture. Without Wallace ...

Still Defending the Scots

Katie Stevenson: Robert the Bruce

10 September 2014
Robert the Bruce: King of the Scots 
by Michael Penman.
Yale, 443 pp., £25, June 2014, 978 0 300 14872 5
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... the 2007 Scottish elections rather than live under an SNP-led government, wrote a few months ago in a blog for the Telegraph of a Treasury aide who’d said to him that ‘Alex Salmond wants to be WilliamWallace.’ ‘No,’ Martin corrected him. ‘Alex Salmond wants to be Robert the Bruce.’ Wallace has been cast as ‘the people’s champion’, a role he played in the 1975 novel The Wallace by ...
20 March 1997
Why Vote Conservative? 
by David Willetts.
Penguin, 108 pp., £3.99, February 1997, 0 14 026304 7
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Why Vote Liberal Democrat? 
by William Wallace.
Penguin, 120 pp., £3.99, February 1997, 0 14 026303 9
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Why Vote Labour? 
by Tony Wright.
Penguin, 111 pp., £3.99, February 1997, 0 14 026397 7
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... now proposes to restore a range of peculiar legal privileges to trade unions? Almost nobody in Britain today wants to go back in a political time-machine to 1979. True, in Why Vote Liberal Democrat?, WilliamWallace openly opposes the privatisation of Railtrack and favours phasing out mortgage interest tax relief. But, interestingly enough, both these arguments can be defended on the sort of impeccably ...

The Only Way

Mark Leier

8 March 2001
Canada’s Tibet: The Killing of the Innu 
by Colin Samson and James Wilson et al.
Survival International, 51 pp., £5, November 1999, 0 7567 0419 7
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Give Me My Father’s Body: The Life of Minik, the New York Eskimo 
by Kenn Harper.
Profile, 277 pp., £9.99, August 2000, 1 86197 252 0
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... months of their arrival, four of them, including Minik’s father, were dead and one had been returned to Greenland. Only Minik remained, on display to scientists and the public. He was adopted by WilliamWallace, a member of the Museum’s staff, and began to adapt to the new culture, learning English and going to school. Wallace and others hoped the boy could become a missionary, a teacher, perhaps ...

Drinking and Spewing

Sally Mapstone: The Variousness of Robert Fergusson

25 September 2003
‘Heaven-Taught Fergusson’: Robert Burns’s Favourite Scottish Poet 
edited by Robert Crawford.
Tuckwell, 240 pp., £14.99, August 2002, 1 86232 201 5
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... Fergusson was never able to complete the long works he envisaged: he apparently had it in mind to translate Virgil’s Eclogues and Georgics. He abandoned a (now lost) dramatic tragedy about WilliamWallace after two acts, and his best-known poem, ‘Auld Reekie’, was envisaged as a work in more cantos than the magnificent one and a bit that survive. Fergusson’s oeuvre, as we have it today ...

Dunbar’s Disappearance

Sally Mapstone: William​ Dunbar

24 May 2001
The Poems of William​ Dunbar 
edited by Priscilla Bawcutt.
Association for Scottish Literary Studies, £70, May 1999, 0 948877 38 3
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... In December 1501 the Scottish poet William Dunbar received £5 from the Court of King James IV, a payment which was given to him, according to the Treasurer’s accounts, ‘eftir he com furth of Ingland’. It is not known for sure what he ...

Father-Daughter Problems

Michael Dobson: Shakespeare’s Bad Daughters

8 May 2008
The Lodger: Shakespeare in Silver Street 
by Charles Nicholl.
Allen Lane, 378 pp., £20, November 2007, 978 0 7139 9890 0
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... try-out in his company’s public repertoire at the Globe, received its first documented performance before James I’s court at Whitehall on 26 December 1606. It was then printed in 1608, as M. William Shak-speare, his True Chronicle History of the life and death of King LEAR and his three daughters, but even after spending fifteen years or more training and nerving himself to complete it, then ...
6 July 1989
Who Framed Colin Wallace? 
by Paul Foot.
Macmillan, 306 pp., £12.95, May 1989, 0 333 47008 7
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... Paul Foot has a shocking story to tell, the story of Colin Wallace. It is, quite literally, a story of gunpowder, treason and plot. The fact that Foot’s publishers have had to rush the book out in weeks in order to beat the deadline of the new Official Secrets Act ...

Saved for Jazz

David Trotter

5 October 1995
Modernist Quartet 
by Frank Lentricchia.
Cambridge, 305 pp., £35, November 1994, 0 521 47004 8
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... There are some curious aspects to Frank Lentricchia’s study of four Modernist poets: T.S. Eliot, Robert Frost, Ezra Pound and Wallace Stevens. For a start, it’s a book about poets which doesn’t seem much interested in poems. Lentricchia has written a lengthy chapter on each member of his quartet. Yet Eliot is represented by ...

God wielded the buzzer

Christian Lorentzen: The Sorrows of DFW

11 October 2012
Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace 
by D.T. Max.
Granta, 352 pp., £20, September 2012, 978 1 84708 494 1
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... David Foster Wallace’s parents, Sally and Jim, were the sort of couple who read each other Ulysses in bed while holding hands. Jim read David and his younger sister Amy Moby-Dick as a bedtime story. It wasn’t ...

Long March

Martin Pugh

2 June 1983
Renewal: Labour’s Britain in the 1980s 
by Shadow Cabinet, edited by Gerald Kaufman.
Penguin, 201 pp., £2.50, April 1983, 0 14 052351 0
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Socialism in a Cold Climate 
edited by John Griffith.
Allen and Unwin, 230 pp., £2.95, April 1983, 9780043350508
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Liberal Party Politics 
edited by Vernon Bogdanor.
Oxford, 302 pp., £17.50, April 1983, 0 19 827465 3
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... the National Government, thereby leaving Liberalism hopelessly marooned on the centre-right until around 1956, when it was rescued by the leadership of Jo Grimond and the Suez fiasco. Since then, as WilliamWallace shows, Liberal politics has revolved around a series of attempts to achieve a realignment of the Left with a view to restoring the Liberals to a major role. Realignment usually gets off the ...

The money’s still out there

Neal Ascherson: The Scottish Empire

6 October 2011
To the Ends of the Earth: Scotland’s Global Diaspora, 1750-2010 
by T.M. Devine.
Allen Lane, 397 pp., £25, August 2011, 978 0 7139 9744 6
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The Inner Life of Empires: An 18th-Century History 
by Emma Rothschild.
Princeton, 483 pp., £24.95, June 2011, 978 0 691 14895 3
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... by foreigners but by many Scots, Lowland or Highland. Children leave school believing that all Scottish emigration was caused by the Highland Clearances. Mel Gibson in Braveheart wears a kilt to play WilliamWallace. George IV squeezed himself into a kilt and pink tights to visit Edinburgh. Livingstone was supposed to get on well with Africans because of his Highland ancestry. It wasn’t until the 1960s ...
1 May 1980
Five American Poets 
by John Matthias, introduced by Michael Schmidt.
Carcanet, 160 pp., £3.25, November 1979, 0 85635 259 4
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The New Australian Poetry 
edited by John Tranter.
Makar Press, 330 pp., £6.50, November 1979
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Carpenters of Light 
by Neil Powell.
Carcanet, 154 pp., £6.95, November 1979, 0 85635 305 1
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Mirabell: Books of Number 
by James Merrill.
Oxford, 182 pp., £3.25, June 1979, 0 19 211892 7
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The Book of the Body 
by Frank Bidart.
Faber, 44 pp., £4.50, October 1979, 0 374 11549 4
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Skull of Adam 
by Stanley Moss.
Anvil, 67 pp., £2.50, May 1979, 0 85646 041 9
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Poems 1928-1978 
by Stanley Kunitz.
Secker, 249 pp., £6.50, September 1979, 0 436 23932 9
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... post-Modernism’) after the Second. Beats, Black Mountain Poets, the New York school of the Fifties – all these and others, though clearly different, are unimaginable without Pound, early Eliot, William Carlos Williams and perhaps Wallace Stevens as forerunners. This is the main stream of modern American poetry. In England the picture is very different. Pound is grudgingly acknowledged, distrusted ...

Behind the Veil

Richard Altick

6 March 1986
The Other World: Spiritualism and Psychical Research in England 1850-1914 
by Janet Oppenheim.
Cambridge, 503 pp., £25, March 1985, 0 521 26505 3
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... in a continual effort to subject the various alleged manifestations of supernatural forces to scientific examination. Among its officers and members were Tennyson, Gladstone, Ruskin, Lewis Carroll, William James, Henri Bergson, and scores of other persons with unimpeachable intellectual and social credentials. In the 18th century, the foundations of received Christian faith, undermined by deism, had ...
19 May 1988
War and the Image of Germany: British Academics 1914-1918 
by Stuart Wallace.
John Donald, 288 pp., £20, March 1988, 0 85976 133 9
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... to national aims and purposes seriously questioned, even though such issues had been aired at the time of the Mid-Victorian reform of the English universities. Clearly and simply, in a serious book, Wallace relates how the good opinion of things German disappeared during the First World War. Wissenschaft and German civilisation were disparaged. Memories of hikes on German mountains, of sculling on the ...

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