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White Sheep at Rest

Neal Ascherson: After Culloden, 12 August 2021

Culloden: Battle & Aftermath 
by Paul O’Keeffe.
Bodley Head, 432 pp., £25, January, 978 1 84792 412 4
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... semi-darkness below deck? They must have known how poor their chances of success were. Lord George Murray, who would become the prince’s military commander, wrote to a brother: ‘My Life, my Fortune, my expectations, the Happiness of my wife & children, are all at stake, & the chances are against me, & yet a principle of … Honour, & my Duty to King and ...

Death in Greece

Marilyn Butler, 17 September 1981

Byron’s Letter and Journals. Vol. XI: For Freedom’s Battle 
edited by Leslie Marchand.
Murray, 243 pp., £11.50, April 1981, 0 7195 3792 4
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Byron: The Complete Poetical Works 
edited by Jerome McGann.
Oxford, 464 pp., £35, October 1980, 0 19 811890 2
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Red Shelley 
by Paul Foot.
Sidgwick, 293 pp., £12.95, May 1981, 0 283 98679 4
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Ugo Foscolo, Poet of Exile 
by Glauco Cambon.
Princeton, 360 pp., £15, September 1980, 0 691 06424 5
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... who clearly understood that he was to see it through the press, but the nervous publisher John Murray preferred the politically safe editorial hand of William Gifford. The material censored by Murray and Gifford now appears in full, and McGann is right to point to the enhancement of Childe Harold as one of the great ...

UK Law

John Horgan, 16 August 1990

Stolen Years: Before and After Guildford 
by Paul Hill and Ronan Bennett.
Doubleday, 287 pp., £12.99, June 1990, 0 385 40125 6
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Proved Innocent 
by Gerry Conlon.
Hamish Hamilton, 234 pp., £12.99, June 1990, 0 241 13065 4
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Cage Eleven 
by Gerry Adams.
Brandon, 156 pp., £4.95, June 1990, 0 86322 114 9
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The Poisoned Tree: The untold truth about the Police conspiracy to discredit John Stalker and destroy me 
by Kevin Taylor and Keith Mumby.
Sidgwick, 219 pp., £15, May 1990, 0 283 06056 5
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... father, occasioned much initial protest. Such as there was came from people like Fathers Raymond Murray of Armagh and Denis Faul of Dungannon – who for many years were unable to convince either the media or the public of the distinction between two profoundly different issues: the IRA’s struggle for a united Ireland and the defence of the civil rights of ...

Red Stars

John Sutherland, 6 December 1984

Wild Berries 
by Yevgeny Yevtushenko, translated by Antonia Bovis.
Macmillan, 296 pp., £8.95, September 1984, 0 333 37559 9
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The Burn 
by Vassily Aksyonov, translated by Michael Glenny.
Hutchinson, 528 pp., £10.95, October 1984, 0 09 155580 9
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Fellow Travellers 
by T.C. Worsley.
Gay Men’s Press, 249 pp., £9.95, September 1984, 0 907040 51 9
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The Power of the Dog 
by Thomas Savage.
Chatto, 276 pp., £9.95, October 1984, 0 7011 3939 0
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The Fourth Protocol 
by Frederick Forsyth.
Hutchinson, 448 pp., £8.95, September 1984, 0 09 158630 5
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The Set-Up 
by Vladimir Volkoff, translated by Alan Sheridan.
Bodley Head, 397 pp., £8.95, September 1984, 0 370 30583 3
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... the London Magazine. Now it is put forward, somewhat polemically, by GMP, with an introduction by Paul Binding (who is, I believe, working on a critical biography of Stephen Spender). Binding argues that Worsley’s novel gains from a historically-distanced perspective on the fusion of high-born philanthropy, political romanticism and homo-erotic cultism ...

Johnson’s Business

Keith Walker, 7 August 1980

A Dictionary of the English Language 
by Samuel Johnson.
Times, 2558 pp., £45, June 1980, 0 7230 0228 2
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Dictionary Johnson: Samuel Johnson’s Middle Years 
by James Clifford.
Heinemann, 372 pp., £10, February 1980, 0 434 13805 3
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... confuses Samuel Johnson the writer with Dr Johnson the ogre and bully portrayed by Boswell. James Murray, the author of the OED, succumbed to the same confusion, perhaps, when in a dream he imagined that Johnson was speaking of his Dictionary and Boswell, in an impish mood, asked ‘What would you say, Sir, if you were told that in a hundred years’ time a ...

A Big Life

Michael Hofmann: Seamus Heaney, 4 June 2015

New Selected Poems 1988-2013 
by Seamus Heaney.
Faber, 222 pp., £18.99, November 2014, 978 0 571 32171 1
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... thing in our time, a successful one almost unexampled. The very greatest – Heaney, or Les Murray – have come huge and unlikely distances from obscure origins: ‘Like starlight that is light years on the go/From far away and takes light years arriving.’ Murray’s biographer, Peter Alexander, makes the striking ...

All Together Now

John Lloyd: The British Trade Union, 19 October 2000

British Trade Unions and Industrial Politics. Vol. I: The Postwar Compromise, 1945-64 
edited by John McIlroy and Nina Fishman et al.
Ashgate, 335 pp., £35, January 2000, 0 7546 0018 1
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British Trade Unions and Industrial Politics. Vol. II: The High Tide of Trade Unionism, 1964-79 
edited by John McIlroy and Nina Fishman et al.
Ashgate, 389 pp., £35, January 2000, 0 7546 0018 1
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The TUC: From the General Strike to New Unionism 
by Robert Taylor.
Palgrave, 299 pp., £45, September 2000, 0 333 93066 5
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... of the democratic forces which are at work in industry and in every other part of society,’ Len Murray, the General Secretary of the TUC from 1974 to 1984 and a harsh realist, argued one year into the Thatcher Administration. He lived (and lives still) to see himself proved wrong. ‘Democratic forces’ were not destroyed by Thatcher, but redefined. The ...

Diary

Susan McKay: Jean McConville, 19 December 2013

... mother’s body and to get the IRA to admit the truth about what it did has kept her alive. Jean Murray was born in 1935, the first of five children. The family lived in a tiny two-up two-down house owned by the Corporation in the heart of Protestant East Belfast. From the front door you can see the yellow cranes of the Harland and Wolff shipyard where ...

Good New Idea

John Lanchester: Universal Basic Income, 18 July 2019

... including Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams in Inventing the Future, David Graeber in Bullshit Jobs, Paul Mason in Post-Capitalism, Rutger Breman in Utopia for Realists, and Peter Barnes in With Liberty and Dividends for All. UBI is definitely having a moment.Guy Standing is a long-standing member of BIEN, the Basic Income Earth Network, which, since its ...

I Love You Still

Russell Jacoby, 9 February 1995

Intellectuals in Exile: Refugee Scholars and the New School for Social Research 
by Claus-Dieter Krohn, translated by Rita Kimber and Robert Kimber.
Massachusetts, 255 pp., $15.95, July 1994, 0 87023 864 7
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... employed a bevy of refugee leftist intellectuals like Marcuse, Franz Neumann, Otto Kirkheimer and Paul Baran. Recent books include poignant accounts like Gabrielle Edgcomb’s From Swastika to Jim Crow, about the sixty-odd German Jewish professors who found refuge at black colleges in the American South. According to Claus-Dieter Krohn, a quarter of the ...

Good Things

Michael Hofmann, 20 April 1995

Heart’s Journey in Winter 
by James Buchan.
Harvill, 201 pp., £14.99, April 1995, 9780002730099
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... the histories of people who love, and who, as a result, find themselves in the wrong lives: Adam Murray in his friend Johnny’s, John Chadwick in his rival William Nelson’s, Richard Verey in absolutely anyone’s but his own, Richard Fisher in that of the American spy Polina Mertz. The governing myth, I think, is Grimm’s. It is the story of the ferryman ...

Beyond Textualism

Christopher Norris, 19 January 1984

Text Production 
by Michael Riffaterre, translated by Terese Lyons.
Columbia, 341 pp., $32.50, September 1983, 0 231 05334 7
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Writing and the Experience of Limits 
by Philippe Sollers, edited by David Hayman, translated by Philip Barnard.
Columbia, 242 pp., $31.50, September 1983, 0 231 05292 8
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The Reach of Criticism: Method and Perception in Literary Theory 
by Paul Fry.
Yale, 239 pp., £18, October 1984, 0 300 02924 1
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Blindness and Insight: Essays in the Rhetoric of Contemporary Criticism 
by Paul de Man, edited by Wlad Godzich.
Methuen, 308 pp., £7.50, November 1983, 0 416 35860 8
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Displacement: Derrida and After 
edited by Mark Krupnick.
Indiana, 198 pp., £9.75, December 1983, 0 253 31803 3
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Authoritarian Fictions: The Ideological Novel as a Literary Genre 
by Susan Rubin Suleiman.
Columbia, 299 pp., £39, August 1983, 0 231 05492 0
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... him to look to non-linearity for a solution’. The book comes adorned with admiring comments from Murray Krieger, a defender of ‘old’ New Critical practice. It is a thoroughgoing statement of the formalist case pushed – at times – to a perverse extreme, and all the more usefully debatable for that. If there is one likely objection to Riffaterre’s ...

The Twin Sister’s Twin Sister

Adam Mars-Jones: Dag Solstad, 9 May 2019

Armand V.: Footnotes to an Unexcavated Novel 
by Dag Solstad, translated by Steven Murray.
Vintage, 256 pp., £11.99, May 2018, 978 1 78470 846 7
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T. Singer 
by Dag Solstad, translated by Tiina Nunnally.
Vintage, 272 pp., £9.99, May 2018, 978 1 78470 306 6
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... The section starts as if recounting part of Armand’s history – ‘In the mid-1960s, Paul Buer and his best friend Armand arrived in Oslo to study at the university at Blindern’ – but the focus soon shifts to Paul, and then to Jan Brosten, ‘with whom Paul would ...

Success

Marilyn Butler, 18 November 1982

The Trouble of an Index: Byron’s Letters and Journals, Vol. XII 
edited by Leslie Marchand.
Murray, 166 pp., £15, May 1982, 0 7195 3885 8
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Lord Byron: Selected Letters and Journals 
edited by Leslie Marchand.
Murray, 404 pp., £12.50, October 1982, 0 7195 3974 9
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Byron 
by Frederic Raphael.
Thames and Hudson, 224 pp., £8.95, July 1982, 0 500 01278 4
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Byron’s Political and Cultural Influence in 19th-Century Europe: A Symposium 
edited by Paul Graham Trueblood.
Macmillan, 210 pp., £15, April 1981, 0 333 29389 4
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Byron and Joyce through Homer 
by Hermione de Almeida.
Macmillan, 233 pp., £15, October 1982, 0 333 30072 6
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Byron: A Poet Before His Public 
by Philip Martin.
Cambridge, 253 pp., £18.50, July 1982, 0 521 24186 3
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... a clearer atmosphere? In assembling his symposium on Byron’s Political and Cultural Influence, Paul True-blood contributes to an intermediate subject: not the poetry, not the man, but ‘Byronism’, the myth made out of the two put together. Byron quickly got the 19th-century Continental public to admire him, first by the gift for self-publicity he ...

Iraq, 2 May 2005

Andrew O’Hagan: Two Soldiers, 6 March 2008

... direction of Heaton were half full in the morning and nobody spoke. When I arrived at the house of Paul Wakefield I immediately saw a picture of his handsome younger brother on the coffee table. ‘He was my bodyguard,’ Paul said. ‘He was always quite tough, but brave. He was my hero and he always will be.’ ...

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