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Diary

Max Hastings: Letters from the Front, 10 September 2015

... modern historians recognise. In The Long Shadow, his recent study of the legacy of 1914-18, David Reynolds makes the important point that the bulk of contemporary poetry, far from being anti-war, was fiercely patriotic and positive in tone. It is often forgotten that Wilfred Owen went to his grave in 1918 still resolute that the allied cause was just. Charles ...

Our Flexible Friends

Conor Gearty, 18 April 1996

Scott Inquiry Report 
by Richard Scott.
HMSO, 2386 pp., £45, February 1996, 0 10 262796 7
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... represented’ to be government policy. In a letter written in December 1984, Michael Heseltine, who was then Defence Secretary, referred to the guidelines as ‘the new policy’. They were also referred to as such on different occasions by Sir Geoffrey Howe, by Margaret Thatcher and by various government spokespersons. When Parliament ...

Why name a ship after a defeated race?

Thomas Laqueur: New Lives of the ‘Titanic’, 24 January 2013

The Wreck of the ‘Titan’ 
by Morgan Robertson.
Hesperus, 85 pp., £8, March 2012, 978 1 84391 359 7
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Shadow of the ‘Titanic’ 
by Andrew Wilson.
Simon and Schuster, 392 pp., £8.99, March 2012, 978 1 84739 882 6
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‘Titanic’ 100th Anniversary Edition: A Night Remembered 
by Stephanie Barczewski.
Continuum, 350 pp., £15.99, December 2011, 978 1 4411 6169 7
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The Story of the Unsinkable ‘Titanic’: Day by Day Facsimile Reports 
by Michael Wilkinson and Robert Hamilton.
Transatlantic, 127 pp., £16.99, November 2011, 978 1 907176 83 8
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‘Titanic’ Lives: Migrants and Millionaires, Conmen and Crew 
by Richard Davenport-Hines.
Harper, 404 pp., £9.99, September 2012, 978 0 00 732166 7
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Gilded Lives, Fatal Voyage 
by Hugh Brewster.
Robson, 338 pp., £20, March 2012, 978 1 84954 179 4
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‘Titanic’ Calling 
edited by Michael Hughes and Katherine Bosworth.
Bodleian, 163 pp., £14.99, April 2012, 978 1 85124 377 8
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... father-son relationship made possible by impending death. It won an Academy Award. Debbie Reynolds was in a 1964 film version of The Unsinkable Molly Brown, based loosely on the life of one of the most famous of the first-class survivors, which was nominated for six Oscars. With the discovery of the wreck in 1985, some twenty kilometres from where the ...

Newspapers of the Consensus

Neal Ascherson, 21 February 1985

The Rise and Fall of the Political Press in Britain. Vol. II: The 20th Century 
by Stephen Koss.
Hamish Hamilton, 718 pp., £25, March 1984, 0 241 11181 1
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Lies, Damned Lies and Some Exclusives 
by Henry Porter.
Chatto, 211 pp., £9.95, October 1984, 0 7011 2841 0
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Garvin of the ‘Observer’ 
by David Ayerst.
Croom Helm, 314 pp., £25, January 1985, 0 7099 0560 2
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The Beaverbrook I Knew 
edited by Logan Gourlay.
Quartet, 272 pp., £11.95, September 1984, 0 7043 2331 1
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... whips were expected to acquire shareholdings in newspapers. Lloyd George’s Liberals invested in Reynolds’ News; other Liberals funded the Westminster Gazette; the Conservative Party helped to pay for the Manchester Courier and the Daily Express. The Tory whips offered the Observer £1000 in 1910 to produce a special edition they could hawk around the ...

Vendlerising

John Kerrigan, 2 April 1987

The Faber Book of Contemporary American Poetry 
edited by Helen Vendler.
Faber, 440 pp., £9.95, November 1986, 0 571 13945 0
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Selected Poems 
by John Ashbery.
Carcanet, 348 pp., £16.95, April 1986, 0 85635 666 2
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The Poetry Book Society Anthology 1986/87 
edited by Jonathan Barker.
Hutchinson, 94 pp., £4.95, November 1986, 0 09 165961 2
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Two Horse Wagon Going By 
by Christopher Middleton.
Carcanet, 143 pp., £5.95, October 1986, 0 85635 661 1
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... Perhaps the real test of an anthology is whether it convincingly brings fresh material forward. Michael Harper, Dave Smith, Albert Goldbarth: Vendler takes risks at the Contemporary end of her Book, and mostly carries them off. Though one looks in vain for Hass or Dulpen, there is much to please, including a clutch of decorously unfeminist women. Louise ...

I adore your moustache

James Wolcott: Styron’s Letters, 24 January 2013

Selected Letters of William Styron 
edited by Rose Styron and R. Blakeslee Gilpin.
Random House, 643 pp., £24.99, December 2012, 978 1 4000 6806 7
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... writing professor, William Blackburn (whose creative writing programme taught and mentored Styron, Reynolds Price, Mac Hyman, Fred Chappell and Anne Tyler), show a commendable respect, seriousness, idealism and work ethic. Right at the start he zeroed in on his weakness as a writer, his over-reliance on rhetorical trumpets, and even in the acutely ...

Top Brands Today

Nicholas Penny: The Art World, 14 December 2017

The Auctioneer: A Memoir of Great Art, Legendary Collectors and Record-Breaking Auctions 
by Simon de Pury and William Stadiem.
Allen and Unwin, 312 pp., £9.99, April 2017, 978 1 76011 350 6
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Rogues’ Gallery: A History of Art and Its Dealers 
by Philip Hook.
Profile, 282 pp., £20, January 2017, 978 1 78125 570 4
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Donald Judd: Writings 
edited by Flavin Judd and Caitlin Murray.
David Zwirner, 1054 pp., £28, November 2016, 978 1 941701 35 5
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... Botticelli among the tapestries and old enamels, and for Rembrandt and Hobbema, and portraits by Reynolds and Romney, alongside the finest French 18th-century furniture, Ming and Qing porcelain, and Persian rugs. How they managed to focus the wealthiest class of collector on a carefully selected range of highly esteemed old paintings, objets d’art and ...

Human Spanner

Stuart Jeffries: Kant Come Alive, 17 June 2021

Correspondence 1923-66: Theodor W. Adorno and Siegfried Kracauer 
edited by Wolfgang Schopf, translated by Susan Reynolds and Michael Winkler.
Polity, 537 pp., £35, November 2020, 978 0 7456 4923 8
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Kracauer: A Biography 
by Jörg Später, translated by Daniel Steuer.
Polity, 584 pp., £35, September 2020, 978 1 5095 3301 5
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... Please read when alone! … Nobody is to see this letter – be careful, Teddie. You are 19 – I am 34 – may it work out, after all?’ Dated 5 April 1923 and written on Frankfurter Zeitung notepaper, the letter was a declaration of love from Siegfried Kracauer, the Weimar Republic’s celebrated cultural critic, to Theodor Wiesengrund-Adorno, precocious teenager and future philosopher ...

Nation-States and National Identity

Perry Anderson, 9 May 1991

The Identity of France. Vol. II: People and Production 
by Fernand Braudel, translated by Sian Reynolds.
Collins, 781 pp., £25, December 1990, 0 00 217774 9
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... into an integrated narrative history of his country. Perhaps incredulous of such ambition, Sian Reynolds has taken the liberty of suppressing the full extent of it in her graceful English translation.What were the aims of this vast design? Braudel’s previous themes were virtually invented by him – strikingly original quarries from the past little mined ...

Keepers

Andrew Scull, 29 September 1988

Mind Forg’d Manacles: A History of Madness in England from the Restoration to the Regency 
by Roy Porter.
Athlone, 412 pp., £25, August 1987, 0 485 11324 4
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The Past and the Present Revisited 
by Lawrence Stone.
Routledge, 440 pp., £19.95, October 1987, 0 7102 1253 4
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Sufferers and Healers: The Experience of Illness in 17th-Century England 
by Lucinda McCray Beier.
Routledge, 314 pp., £30, December 1987, 0 7102 1053 1
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Illness and Self in Society 
by Claudine Herzlich and Janine Pierret, translated by Elborg Forster.
Johns Hopkins, 271 pp., £20.25, January 1988, 0 8018 3228 4
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Medicine and Society in Wakefield and Huddersfield 1780-1870 
by Hilary Marland.
Cambridge, 503 pp., £40, September 1987, 0 521 32575 7
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A Social History of Madness: Stories of the Insane 
by Roy Porter.
Weidenfeld, 261 pp., £14.95, October 1987, 0 297 79223 7
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... their eyes back on the pre-reform era, saw little reason to dispute its unsavoury reputation. Even Michael MacDonald, whose splen did Mystical Bedlam used the casebooks of the astrological physician and divine Richard Napier to illuminate the mental world of the 17th century, and to suggest that mental alienation and distress might then have been dealt with in ...

The Tower

Andrew O’Hagan, 7 June 2018

... were growing up, the only old framed photograph my brothers and I ever saw was of my grandfather Michael, a hero of the Second World War. And that’s always the way he was described to us, a war hero, the man who tried to save his Glasgow compatriots on HMS Forfar when it was struck by two torpedoes in December 1940. Except that story wasn’t true ...

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