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16 October 1980
Three Honest Men: Edmund Wilson, F.R. Leavis, Lionel Trilling 
edited by Philip French.
Carcanet, 120 pp., £6.95, July 1980, 0 85635 299 3
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F.R. Leavis 
by William Walsh.
Chatto, 189 pp., £8.95, September 1980, 0 7011 2503 9
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... the side of the Cambridge English Faculty from the 1920s until his death in 1978. The long battle is alluded to intermittently in the French book and passim in F.R. Leavis, a sympathetic monograph by WilliamWalsh, who was one of Leavis’s Cambridge pupils of the 1930s. As seen by his admirers, Leavis was a reformer, even a crusader, tilting against an exclusive and moribund Establishment. He saw no ...
19 June 1986
The Old Gringo 
translated by Margaret Sayers Peden and Carlos Fuentes, by Carlos Fuentes.
Deutsch, 199 pp., £8.95, May 1986, 0 233 97862 3
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Where the air is clear 
by Carlos Fuentes, translated by Sam Hileman.
Deutsch, 376 pp., £4.95, June 1986, 0 233 97937 9
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Farewell to the Sea 
by Reinaldo Arenas, translated by Andrew Hurley.
Viking, 412 pp., £12.95, May 1986, 0 670 52960 5
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Digging up the mountains 
by Neil Bissoondath.
Deutsch, 247 pp., £8.95, May 1986, 0 233 97851 8
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... a bloodthirsty company of his revolutionary soldiers. (It was, Reed claimed in his book Insurgent Mexico, the most satisfactory experience of his life.) Or Fuentes could have chosen the young Raoul Walsh. Walsh was sent to Mexico in 1914 as a cameraman and as the actor cast to play the hero as a young man in D.W. Griffiths’s The Life of Francisco Villa. Walsh persuaded Villa to postpone his daily ...

Let’s to billiards

Stephen Walsh: Constant Lambert

22 January 2015
Constant Lambert: Beyond the Rio Grande 
by Stephen Lloyd.
Boydell, 584 pp., £45, March 2014, 978 1 84383 898 2
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... been taken to watch the Ballets Russes in London, and would annoy his schoolfellows by reading ballet reviews ‘while they were poring over the latest score from Lords or the Oval’. Later, when William Walton went to see Diaghilev about the possibility of a commission, Lambert went along too and played through his own ballet Adam and Eve, which Diaghilev liked but insisted on retitling Romeo and ...
24 January 2019
... estimates. Forever courteous and gracious, he would doodle during national security briefings or simply not listen. It would have been natural to turn instead to the director of the CIA, but this was William Casey, a former businessman and Nixon aide who had been controversially appointed by Reagan as the reward for managing his 1980 election campaign. As the intelligence professionals working with the ...

A Man with My Trouble

Colm Tóibín: Henry James leaves home

3 January 2008
The Complete Letters of Henry James, 1855-72: Volume I 
edited by Pierre Walker and Greg Zacharias.
Nebraska, 391 pp., £57, January 2007, 978 0 8032 2584 8
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The Complete Letters of Henry James, 1855-72: Volume II 
edited by Pierre Walker and Greg Zacharias.
Nebraska, 524 pp., £60, January 2007, 978 0 8032 2607 4
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... After the death of Henry James’s father in 1882, his sister-in-law Catharine Walsh, better known as Aunt Kate, burned a large quantity of the family papers, including many letters between Henry James senior and his wife. Henry James himself in later life made a number of bonfires ...

What Henry Knew

Michael Wood: Literature and the Taste of Knowledge

18 December 2003
... and we should not betray them by giving them the wrong name. The worry about the relation between literature and knowledge is a very old one, and it’s not getting any younger. When Dorothy Walsh, in an elegant book called Literature and Knowledge, published in 1969, said the worry was old, she meant it went back at least to Plato. When Stathis Gourgouris says it is old, in a book called Does ...
26 September 1991
Gabriel Fauré: A Musical Life 
by Jean-Michel Nectoux, translated by Roger Nichols.
Cambridge, 646 pp., £45, April 1991, 0 521 23524 3
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Pierre Boulez 
by Dominique Jameux, translated by Susan Bradshaw.
Faber, 422 pp., £25, March 1991, 9780571137442
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Stocktakings from an Apprenticeship 
by Pierre Boulez, translated by Stephen Walsh.
Oxford, 316 pp., £40, August 1991, 0 19 311210 8
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... experimentation or the sacrifice of musical values. Twentieth-century music has surely been deafened by the trumpetings of composer-theorists: a new translation – an impressive job by Stephen Walsh – of Boulez’s first (1966) gathering of manifestos and trenchant analyses, Stocktakings from an Apprenticeship has even now appeared, as if the dry controversies of yesteryear (‘Schoenberg is ...


John Bayley: Serious Novels

10 November 1994
... that happened in many apparently promising Booker cases, where the author seemed to have been, or to have become, too much aware of what might theoretically be made of contemporary social situations. William Trevor’s Felicia’s Journey should have been a very good novel but failed to be, because the author gave up his own involuntary and unconscious literary personality in favour of a plot that must ...

I whine for her like a babe

Ruth Bernard Yeazell: The Other Alice James

25 June 2009
Alice in Jamesland: The Story of Alice Howe Gibbens James 
by Susan Gunter.
Nebraska, 422 pp., £38, March 2009, 978 0 8032 1569 6
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... Sometime early in 1876, a person connected with the James family met a 27-year-old woman called Alice Howe Gibbens at the Radical Club in Boston and immediately concluded that William James should marry her. In one version of the story, Henry James Sr returned from a meeting and announced to those at home that he had seen William’s future bride. Another version attributes the ...

All My Truth

Richard Poirier: Henry James Memoirs

25 April 2002
A Small Boy and Others: Memoirs 
by Henry James.
Gibson Square, 217 pp., £9.99, August 2001, 1 903933 00 5
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... of improvement, he suffered a second crushing loss with the death – in August 1910, a few weeks after the fatal heart attack of his youngest brother, Robertson – of his ‘ideal Elder brother’, William. William died at his summer home in Chocorua, New Hampshire with Henry at his bedside. Only a week earlier Henry had arrived from England with William and his wife, Alice, along with their son Henry ...

Belfast Book

Patricia Craig

5 June 1986
Lonely the man without heroes 
by M.S. Power.
Heinemann, 222 pp., £9.95, April 1986, 0 434 59960 3
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The Pearlkillers 
by Rachel Ingalls.
Faber, 205 pp., £9.95, April 1986, 0 571 13795 4
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The Girls 
by John Bowen.
Hamish Hamilton, 182 pp., £8.95, April 1986, 0 241 11867 0
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To have and to hold 
by Deborah Moggach.
Viking, 320 pp., £9.95, April 1986, 0 670 80812 1
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Vacant Possession 
by Hilary Mantel.
Chatto, 239 pp., £9.95, April 1986, 0 7011 3047 4
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Breaking the rules 
by Caroline Lassalle.
Hamish Hamilton, 280 pp., £9.95, May 1986, 0 241 11837 9
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The Bay of Silence 
by Lisa St Aubin de Teran.
Cape, 163 pp., £8.95, May 1986, 0 224 02345 4
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... straightforward narrative re-creation which marked her earlier books. It’s about the difficulties an apparently felicitous marriage is up against, and also a madwoman-in-the-attic story. Rosalind Walsh, an ex-film actress, is a cured schizophrenic who, it turns out, is subject to relapses. In the course of one relapse she goes on holiday, leaving behind her husband William but taking every other ...

Grass Green Stockings

Eleanor Hubbard: A Spinster’s Accounts

21 March 2013
The Business and Household Accounts of Joyce Jeffreys, Spinster of Hereford, 1638-48 
edited by Judith Spicksley.
Oxford, 413 pp., £90, March 2012, 978 0 19 726432 4
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... woman, she couldn’t attend female neighbours who were giving birth, but she would send money to midwives and nurses. When her niece produced twins, Jeffreys stood as godmother to ‘little Joyse Walsh’, giving the baby an expensive silver tankard. She also gave money to the nurse who cared for the other baby, a boy, noting sadly in the margin of her account book his death at only ‘nine weecks ...

Public Enemy

R.W. Johnson

26 November 1987
Secrecy and Power: The Life of J. Edgar Hoover 
by Richard Gid Powers.
Hutchinson, 624 pp., £16.95, August 1987, 0 02 925060 9
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... who co-ordinated the kidnap hunt) became, for the first time, a national figure. Nonetheless, once FDR won the election it seemed clear that Edgar Hoover was finished: the new Attorney-General, Tom Walsh, had loathed Hoover ever since the Palmer raids and was determined to sack him. But on the way to FDR’s inauguration, Walsh had a heart attack and died. The new Attorney-General, Homer Cummings ...
20 June 1996
directed by Joel Coen.
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by Ethan Coen and Joel Coen.
Faber, 118 pp., £7.99, May 1996, 0 571 17963 0
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... in her life see Kiev, but would see The Jolly Troll Smorgasbord & Family Restaurant in Minneapolis.’ The voice at the beginning of Blood Simple is that of a private detective played by M. Emmet Walsh. He is a greasy, bulging fellow, whose sweaty face slides in and out of erratic smiles as if it were made of warm wax. He drives a scruffy Volkswagen Beetle, and he seems to be just a buffoon. Then ...

Planes, Trains and SUVs

Jonathan Raban: James Meek

7 February 2008
We Are Now Beginning Our Descent 
by James Meek.
Canongate, 295 pp., £16.99, February 2008, 978 1 84195 988 7
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... receding world, the intense, animal connection of sex becomes ever more precious, and We Are Now Beginning Our Descent soon turns into a sexual quest with strong mythological overtones. When Astrid Walsh, an American magazine writer, shows up on the fringe of the tribe and asks if she can use Kellas’s satphone, the closely observed, realistic surface of the novel yields to a more elevated style of ...

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