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The Blue Suit

Frederick Seidel

7 June 2018
... that rise like ghosts out of the smoke. Suits hang from their hangers in my mind And faintly tinkle in the wind Like wind chimes, Prettifying my many crimes. Mr Hall at Huntsman was followed by his formerpupil, Now at his own firm, Richard Anderson at Richard Anderson. What does a blue suit do? What does a blue suit know? It won’t find friends in Moscow When it’s as electric blue as this one is ...

Diary

A.J.P. Taylor: A historian should have more sense

6 May 1982
... think rightly – that it was a lost cause. But I was very hot on the side of war for Czechoslovakia in 1938 and for Poland in 1939. I applauded the Second World War and still do, being rebuked by a formerpupil the other day for describing it as ‘a good war’. Afterwards I swung round again: against the war for Korea in 1951 and very much against the Suez aggression in 1956. And where does this all ...

Forever on the Wrong Side

R.W. Johnson: Jean Suret-Canale

27 September 2012
Suret-Canale: de la Résistance a l’anticolonialisme 
by Pascal Bianchini.
L’Esprit Frappeur, 253 pp., €14, March 2011, 978 2 84405 244 5
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... corrupt and almost invariably living with their African concubines. He cites the example of one outpost in French Equatorial Africa where ‘the staff was made up as follows: one administrator, a formerpupil of the Ecole coloniale, and three clerks – a former dentist, a former non-commissioned officer of the colonial infantry (who amused himself in the evenings, when drunk, by cutting down the ...

On Spanking

Christopher Hitchens

20 October 1994
AGuide to the Correction of Young Gentlemen or, The Successful Administration of Physical Discipline to Males, by Females 
by a Lady, with illustrations by a Former Pupil.
Delectus, 140 pp., £19.95, August 1994, 1 897767 05 6
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... was in thrall. The absorbing fact about this gruellingly detailed and thorough manual is its utter want of anything that might be called prurience. Even the illustrations (lovingly etched by ‘A FormerPupil’) are innocuous to a degree; mere putti rendered in a sort of arch Pre-Raphaelite pastiche and consisting of sexless buttocks and downcast eyes. The point of all the exercises, inflictions ...

Pugin’s Law

Mark Swenarton

4 December 1980
The Work of Sir Gilbert Scott 
by David Cole.
Architectural Press, 244 pp., £25, May 1980, 0 85139 723 9
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Lutyens Country Houses 
by Daniel O’Neill.
Lund Humphries, 167 pp., £8.95, May 1980, 0 85331 428 4
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A Revolution in London Housing: LCC Housing Architects and their Work 1893-1914 
by Susan Beattic.
GLC/Architectural Press, 127 pp., £6.95, July 1980, 0 85139 560 0
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... row of cottages separated by a rear access path, surrounding a large grass square. This was an improvement on much contemporary work, but showed insufficient thought over the problem. Scott’s formerpupil. Crossland carried out the work but Scon also designed All Souls’ vicarage nearby. Scott began the Vaughan Library at Harrow School in 1861 ... When he died. Scott was regarded as one of ...

The Young Man One Hopes For

Jonathan Rée: The Wittgensteins

19 November 2019
Wittgenstein’s Family Letters: Corresponding with Ludwig 
edited by Brian McGuinness, translated by Peter Winslow.
Bloomsbury, 300 pp., £20, November 2018, 978 1 4742 9813 1
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... of public lectures Russell alluded to certain ‘vitally important discoveries, not yet published, by my friend Mr Ludwig Wittgenstein’, and in a book on mathematics he paid tribute to his ‘formerpupil’ and wondered ‘whether he is alive or dead’. It wasn’t until 1919 that he received a postcard from Wittgenstein, now a prisoner of war in Italy, saying that he had ‘done lots of ...

Diary

A.J.P. Taylor: No doubt I am old-fashioned

1 April 1982
...  all unlike the Social Democrats. I don’t think our political system works except on a two-party basis: either you are for the Ins or for the Outs, there is or should be no third choice. My formerpupil, William Rogers, has just pronounced on The Politics of Change.* I sought guidance from him and found little except that the two established parties have made a fine mess of things, which I ...

Joining the Gang

Nicholas Penny: Anthony Blunt

29 November 2001
Anthony Blunt: His Lives 
by Miranda Carter.
Macmillan, 590 pp., £20, November 2001, 0 333 63350 4
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... On the afternoon of 15 November 1979 the Prime Minister announced in the House of Commons that Anthony Blunt, retired Surveyor of the Queen’s Pictures, fellow of the British Academy, former director of the Courtauld Institute, and the most influential figure in the establishment of art history as an academic subject in this country had indeed, as Private Eye had intimated a week before ...

Brown and Friends

David Runciman

3 January 2008
... It means that Brown has become dependent on the advice of people who were once entirely dependent on him. This cannot be healthy. Even more striking than Brown’s taste for attaching himself to his former intellectual bag-carriers is the fact that each of his three confidants has a very close relation in the upper reaches of British political life. At the time of writing, Alexander’s sister Wendy ...

Picture in Little

Charles Nicholl: Hilliard’s Trajectory

9 December 2019
Nicholas Hilliard: Life of an Artist 
by Elizabeth Goldring.
Yale, 337 pp., £40, February, 978 0 300 24142 6
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... and beards are so well perform’d that almost each single hair is express’d’. Later in the century, Horace Walpole pored over a miniature by Isaac Oliver – Hilliard’s brilliant French-born pupil – and found that ‘the largest magnifying glass only calls out new beauties.’The​ 400th anniversary of Hilliard’s death this year has been marked by the publication of Elizabeth Goldring’s ...

Making it

Nicholas Penny

5 November 1992
The Sculpture of Jacopo Sansovino 
by Bruce Boucher.
Yale, 304 pp., £95, November 1991, 0 300 04759 2
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Giambattista and Lorenzo Bregno: Venetian Sculpture in the High Renaissance 
by Anne Markham Schulz.
Cambridge, 564 pp., £85, November 1991, 0 521 38406 0
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... sculptors who led the way. Two of the most successful artists in Florence during the 1470s, Andrea Verrocchio and Antonio Pollaiuolo, were sculptors who also ran painting workshops. Verrocchio’s pupil Leonardo da Vinci was a sculptor as well as a painter (although all that remains of his three-dimensional work is the remarkable bronze of a horse and rider in the Budapest Museum of Fine Arts ...

Fraternity

Nicholas Penny

8 March 1990
The Image of the Black in Western Art. Vol. IV, Parts I-II: From the American Revolution to World War One 
by Hugh Honour.
Harvard, 379 pp., £34.95, April 1989, 9780939594177
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Primitive Art in Civilised Places 
by Sally Price.
Chicago, 147 pp., £15.95, December 1989, 0 226 68063 0
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The Return of Cultural Treasures 
by Jeanette Greenfield.
Cambridge, 361 pp., £32.50, February 1990, 0 521 33319 9
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... woman of 1781, probably made in connection with a fountain group for an aristocrat’s garden, is another. Above all, there is the Portrait d’une Négresse exhibited at the Paris salon in 1800 by a pupil of David, Marie-Guilhelmine Benoist. The woman’s breast is exposed, but not with any sly or coy intention – her undress seems as natural to her as her white cotton turban; and the candour of her ...

I do like painting

Julian Bell: The life and art of William Coldstream

2 December 2004
William Coldstream 
by Bruce Laughton.
Yale, 368 pp., £30, July 2004, 0 300 10243 7
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... British figuration’. But in that category, his profile is now eclipsed behind more histrionic personalities such as Bacon or Freud and, more particularly, by the higher pitched, punchier art of his pupil Euan Uglow. A few portrait commissions remain on public view in contexts of fusty formality, but for the most part the Coldstreams are for the storeroom. This, Laughton reckons, is an unworthy coda ...

Nobody wants it

José Harris

5 December 1991
Letters to Eva, 1969-1983 
by A.J.P. Taylor, edited by Eva Haraszti Taylor.
Century, 486 pp., £20, June 1991, 0 7126 4634 5
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... Writings on intellectual history – ‘philosophy and mysticism and farfetched literary themes’ – were ‘subjects that do not interest me at all’. A major work of cultural history by a formerpupil was written off as little more than a ‘clever ... ragbag ... I like history to be chronological. Taylor’s strictures on contemporary historical writing extended also to much of his own work ...
15 October 1981
Philosophical Subjects: Essays Presented to P.F. Strawson 
edited by Zak van Straaten.
Oxford, 302 pp., £12.50, November 1980, 9780198246039
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... most interesting essay in the book is Gareth Evans’s ‘Things Without The Mind – A Commentary upon Chapter Two of Strawson’s Individuals’: Evans, who died last year at the age of 34, was a formerpupil of Strawson’s. (It is, incidentally, a pity that there is no contribution from Strawson’s own tutor, the excellent H.P. Grice, an Oxford man now at Berkeley in California.) Evans’s theme ...

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