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A Whale of a Time

Colm Tóibín, 2 October 1997

Roger Casement’s Diaries. 1910: The Black and the White 
edited by Roger Sawyer.
Pimlico, 288 pp., £10, October 1997, 9780712673754
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The Amazon Journal of Roger Casement 
edited by Angus Mitchell.
Anaconda, 534 pp., £40, October 1997, 9781901990010
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... is unsure when this visit took place, but if we are to believe Casement’s Black Diary – and Angus Mitchell, who has edited The Amazon Journal of Roger Casement, thinks that we should not – it took place on 3 January 1904 and lasted only one day. Joseph Conrad had met Casement first in 1889 or 1890 in the Congo, when Casement was working ...

Poisoned Words

Ian Williams, 5 May 1988

Indictment: Power and Politics In the Construction Industry 
by David Morrell.
Faber, 287 pp., £14.95, November 1987, 0 571 14985 5
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... there is now a memorial-David Morrell’s Indictment. Mr Morrell is the chairman of Mitchell Construction, the original contractors for the KNB project, and his book breaks ground unturned since Samuel Smiles’s Lives of the Engineers. In his pages, Mitchell Construction, in legal fiction a corporate ...

Glaswegians

Andrew O’Hagan, 11 May 1995

... in Forfar, and felt he’d been born to help power a ship such as this, named after his own town. Angus McInnes’s father had been a fisherman on the Isle of Harris; Angus had sailed with Forfar since early in the war, working as a lamp-trimmer. He was good pals with an assistant cook called James Wilson McGinlay, who was ...

For Australians only

Jill Roe, 18 February 1988

... of the ‘garrison mind’ in a young country. The result was Pioneers on Parade, published by Angus and Robertson in 1939, a spoof on the sesquicentenary. Miles Franklin, where are you now? They say things are too complicated for satire in 1988; they are in two minds about Miles Franklin as well. The freewheeling fiction of Pioneers on Parade explains a ...

The Slightest Sardine

James Wood: A literary dragnet, 20 May 2004

The Oxford English Literary History. Vol. XII: 1960-2000: The Last of England? 
by Randall Stevenson.
Oxford, 624 pp., £30, February 2004, 0 19 818423 9
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... from heaven to read every book in the world. His head must be dizzy with the minor works of Julian Mitchell and Francis King and Brian Patten and Maureen Duffy. His sleep must have been poisoned for years by worries about properly dating Piers Paul Read’s A Married Man. It is, in fact, a disaster to fill a book like this with storms of names and endless ...

Light Entertainment

Andrew O’Hagan: Our Paedophile Culture, 8 November 2012

... in the variety show Rainbow Round the Corner. Along with the BBC’s senior announcer, Leslie Mitchell, he became a voice of authority, the tone of war and peace, the man whom people heard in the cinema on the newsreels produced by British Movietone. Gamlin was a star. Terence Gallacher, who worked for Movietone at the time, remembers him visiting the ...

Smilingly Excluded

Richard Lloyd Parry: An Outsider in Tokyo, 17 August 2006

The Japan Journals: 1947-2004 
by Donald Richie, edited by Leza Lowitz.
Stone Bridge, 494 pp., £13.99, October 2005, 1 880656 97 3
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... Kazuo Ishiguro, British in all but name, has not lived in Nagasaki since he was a toddler; David Mitchell left Hiroshima four years ago. There is a certain amount of unjustly neglected travel writing, such as the work of the late Alan Booth. But Japan has never attracted the attention of a Chatwin or a Naipaul, let alone fostered a Kipling, a Somerset ...

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