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Laertes has a daughter

Bee Wilson: The Redgraves, 6 June 2013

The Redgraves: A Family Epic 
by Donald Spoto.
Robson, 361 pp., £25, November 2012, 978 1 84954 394 1
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The House of Redgrave: The Lives of a Theatrical Dynasty 
by Tim Adler.
Aurum, 336 pp., £20, July 2012, 978 1 84513 623 9
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... of friendship with Michael’s widow, Rachel, with whom he would have ‘late afternoon cups of strong tea at her flat in Flood Street, Chelsea’, incline him to say such things as ‘it is no exaggeration to assert that the Redgraves defined and extended the possibilities for actors in every medium for over a century’ or that ‘the most commonly used ...

Yeltsin has gone mad

R.W. Davies: Boris Yeltsin and Medvedev, 9 August 2001

Midnight Diaries 
by Boris Yeltsin, translated by Catherine Fitzpatrick.
Phoenix, 409 pp., £8.99, April 2001, 0 7538 1134 0
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Post-Soviet Russia: A Journey through the Yeltsin Era 
by Roy Medvedev, translated by George Shriver.
Columbia, 394 pp., £24, November 2000, 0 231 10606 8
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Zagadka Putina 
by Roy Medvedev.
Prava cheloveka, 93 pp., $8, March 2000, 9785771201269
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... in 1990. The privatisation of industry which accompanied this decline is graphically described by Roy Medvedev. At first, vouchers were issued, which were supposed to give every citizen an equal share of state property. This merely led to the transfer of industry into the hands of its old managers. Yeltsin then launched the so-called ‘monetary phase’ of ...

Royalties

John Sutherland, 14 June 1990

CounterBlasts No 10. The Monarchy: A Critique of Britain’s Favourite Fetish 
by Christopher Hitchens.
Chatto, 42 pp., £2.99, January 1990, 0 7011 3555 7
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The Prince 
by Celia Brayfield.
Chatto, 576 pp., £12.95, March 1990, 0 7011 3357 0
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The Maker’s Mark 
by Roy Hattersley.
Macmillan, 558 pp., £13.95, June 1990, 9780333470329
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A Time to Dance 
by Melvyn Bragg.
Hodder, 220 pp., £12.95, June 1990, 0 340 52911 3
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... Mark is ‘based on the true story of a real family and is the first of a trilogy’. Written by Roy Hattersley, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, the narrative opens at Christmas 1931, with a chapter about ‘Father’ Frederick Roy Hattersley, a Catholic priest about to leave orders and marry Enid Brackenbury. Who’s ...

Tissue Wars

Roy Porter: HIV and Aids, 2 March 2000

The River: A Journey Back to the Source of HIV and Aids 
by Edward Hooper.
Allen Lane, 1070 pp., £25, September 1999, 0 7139 9335 9
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... alone – and those areas in which Aids first became epidemic. These, he maintains, provide strong circumstantial support for the OPV/Aids hypothesis. For the ‘contaminated vaccine’ inference to hold water a further point must be established. The zoonotic jump from SIV to HIV is feasible only in respect of transmission from chimpanzees, not ...

Diary

Clive James, 20 May 1982

... And think that Stansted’s the best place to say it. The SAS are on tap looking scarey, A mighty strong card if we have to play it. As hijacks go, though, this one’s airy-fairy. The price they ask is vague and kind words pay it. Believing that their cause is understood They throw down weapons mostly carved from wood. A mess on our own doorstep’s thus ...

Callaloo

Robert Crawford, 20 April 1989

Northlight 
by Douglas Dunn.
Faber, 81 pp., £8.95, September 1988, 0 571 15229 5
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A Field of Vision 
by Charles Causley.
Macmillan, 68 pp., £10.95, September 1988, 0 333 48229 8
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Seeker, Reaper 
by George Campbell Hay and Archie MacAlister.
Saltire Society, 30 pp., £15, September 1988, 0 85411 041 0
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In Through the Head 
by William McIlvanney.
Mainstream, 192 pp., £9.95, September 1988, 1 85158 169 3
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The New British Poetry 
edited by Gillian Allnutt, Fred D’Aguiar, Ken Edwards and Eric Mottram.
Paladin, 361 pp., £6.95, September 1988, 0 586 08765 6
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Complete Poems 
by Martin Bell, edited by Peter Porter.
Bloodaxe, 240 pp., £12.95, August 1988, 1 85224 043 1
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First and Always: Poems for Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital 
edited by Lawrence Sail.
Faber, 69 pp., £5.95, October 1988, 0 571 55374 5
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Birthmarks 
by Mick Imlah.
Chatto, 61 pp., £4.95, September 1988, 0 7011 3358 9
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... as a ‘provincial’ bore, there have been poets around for some time, such as Edwin Morgan and Roy Fisher, who give the lie to that. Home is no longer ‘so sad’. At home few people speak Proper English all the time. Home-based poetry may be in dialect, which is present in nearly all the writers considered here: but it may also fuel itself with a ...

Hattersley’s Specifics

Michael Stewart, 19 March 1987

Choose freedom: The Future for Democratic Socialism 
by Roy Hattersley.
Joseph, 265 pp., £12.95, January 1987, 0 7181 2483 9
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Power, Competition and the State. Vol. I: Britain in Search of Balance, 1940-61 
by Keith Middlemas.
Methuen, 404 pp., £25, October 1986, 0 333 41412 8
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... Tony Crosland’s epoch-making book The Future of Socialism was published in 1956. That Roy Hattersley’s aim is to don the master’s mantle in the late 1980s is evident not only from his book’s subtitle, but also from his brief account of a conversation he had with Tony Crosland a week before the latter’s fatal stroke ...

Cite ourselves!

Richard J. Evans: The Annales School, 3 December 2009

The Annales School: An Intellectual History 
by André Burguière, translated by Jane Marie Todd.
Cornell, 309 pp., £24.95, 0 8014 4665 1
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... Thompson’s work had a profound resonance among American historians during the 1970s; there was a strong German influence on historical method across Europe and America in the second half of the 19th century and the early decades of the 20th. International conferences and cheap foreign travel have long since broken down the national isolation Burguière ...

Snarly Glitters

August Kleinzahler: Roy Fisher, 20 April 2006

The Long and the Short of It: Poems 1955-2005 
by Roy Fisher.
Bloodaxe, 400 pp., £12, June 2005, 1 85224 701 0
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... In a 1979 review of Roy Fisher’s collection of poems The Thing about Joe Sullivan, probably the most likeable collection by a not always likeable poet, John Ash wrote: ‘In a better world, he would be as widely known and highly praised as Ted Hughes and Seamus Heaney.’ This would be a very strange world, and not necessarily a better one ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: What I did in 2012, 3 January 2013

... just about made in the programme, but what is more noticeable is how ex-grammar school boys like Roy Strong are sentimental over their teachers, which ought to be sympathetic did not the camera go in vampire-like to catch the tears.Maybe my parents were just undemonstrative as I remember nothing comparable to the pride of the parents of Neil ...

Biting into a Pin-cushion

A.D. Nuttall: Descartes’s botch, 24 June 2004

Flesh in the Age of Reason 
by Roy Porter.
Allen Lane, 574 pp., £25, October 2003, 0 7139 9149 6
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... how different it would have been if Descartes had written: ‘We think, therefore we are.’ Roy Porter tells the story of evolving conceptions of human nature in the Enlightenment. The basic answer offered to the unstated second question is: ‘Living as we do in an originally Christian culture, we see ourselves as a mixture of flesh and spirit.’ The ...

1966 and all that

Michael Stewart, 20 December 1984

The Castle Diaries. Vol. II: 1964-70 
by Barbara Castle.
Weidenfeld, 848 pp., £20, October 1984, 0 297 78374 2
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... pouring out insults to him on the phone’. There are occasional lunches and dinners à deux with Roy Jenkins, sometimes at the Connaught (‘another demonstration of what he calls, with a smile, his “expensive tastes” ’) and sometimes at No 11 Downing Street, at one of which ‘we agreed about a number of things, notably on our contempt for Jim ...

‘Spurious’ is the word we want

Ian Gilmour, 28 November 1996

Diplomacy and Disillusion at the Court of Margaret Thatcher 
by George Urban.
Tauris, 206 pp., £19.95, September 1996, 1 86064 084 2
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... on Grenada, in which he was going to speak. In this debate, ‘Wayland Young (Lord Kennet) and Roy Jenkins (Lord Jenkins) were on particularly good form.’ According to Urban, Roy Jenkins announced that Reagan’s ‘grasp of his marbles sometimes seems to be precarious’, and Urban then quotes another long sentence at ...

We’ve done awfully well

Karl Miller: The Late 1950s, 18 July 2013

Modernity Britain: Opening the Box, 1957-59 
by David Kynaston.
Bloomsbury, 432 pp., £25, June 2013, 978 0 7475 8893 1
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... in his speeches. ‘Lazy? Lazy?’ Bevan responded to a sneer about the laziness of his colleague Roy Jenkins: ‘How can a boy from Abersychan who acquired an accent like that be lazy?’ From Princess Margaret comes a comment on the moribundity of the London Season: ‘Every tart in London can get in.’ Kynaston appreciates the respect for working-class ...

Short Cuts

David Bromwich: Alexander Hamilton’s Worst Idea, 24 October 2019

... the US had been very good to Ukraine, and it would be nice if he got a ‘favour’ in return – Roy Cohn’s mother taught Roy the concept of ‘the favour bank’ and it seems to have been passed on to Trump. The thing he wanted was help with his own effort to find out information about former Vice President Biden’s ...

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