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Little Red Boy

Elizabeth Lowry: Alistair MacLeod, 20 September 2001

Island: Collected Stories 
by Alistair MacLeod.
Cape, 434 pp., £16.99, June 2001, 0 224 06194 1
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No Great Mischief 
by Alistair MacLeod.
Vintage, 262 pp., £6.99, June 2001, 0 09 928392 1
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... Alistair MacLeod is a Canadian of Scottish descent, and, like John McGahern who has written a foreword to his collected stories, an astute observer of a very specific local setting – Cape Breton, Nova Scotia; of its landscape and industry, its closed communities, quotidian tragedies and domestic disappointments ...

Two Poems

Alistair Elliot, 3 August 1995

... to save Britain – a fairy feathering a Messerschmidt’s prop for Paul Nash to paint – but the MacLeod said: No, there’s worse to come. II Another label innocently tells us the flag is silk, and faded from being red and yellow – someone has worn it too much in the sun – and the cross-stitch is Syrian work of the twelfth or thirteenth century. This ...

Holding all the strings

Ian Gilmour, 27 July 1989

Macmillan. Vol. II: 1957-1986 
by Alistair Horne.
Macmillan, 741 pp., £18.95, June 1989, 0 333 49621 3
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... it would probably have returned to its previous peak with the winning of the 1964 Election. Alistair Horne quotes some recent press comment to the effect that Harold Macmillan was the father of British inflation. We all know about ‘lags’ in economics, but the degree of lag needed to justify that comment is surely excessive even if the contention ...

Impressions of Nietzsche

Keith Kyle, 27 July 1989

The Lives of Enoch Powell 
by Patrick Cosgrave.
Bodley Head, 518 pp., £16, April 1989, 0 370 30871 9
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... ceiling – Minister of Health in the Macmillan Government (Macmillan, according to his biographer Alistair Horne, had the Cabinet chairs moved so that he would not have to look at Powell’s staring eyes) – and he never held office again. There was a shock of incredulity when he appeared as one of three contenders for the leadership of the Conservative ...


Edward Pearce, 26 July 1990

A Sparrow’s Flight: Memoirs 
by Lord Hailsham.
Collins, 463 pp., £17.50, July 1990, 0 00 215545 1
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... colleagues may not be backed by much detail, but we get the message. Maudling was a lightweight, Macleod a first-rater, Edward Boyle is rightly adored, Margaret Thatcher did right by Quintin and so, despite differences, should be seen as a good thing. There are aperçus, however, despite the concern not to let noses poking through the railings sniff too ...

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