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

... my grandfather folded his jacket neatly too before stepping into the canal.18 March. R. to Cardiff to see his grandmother on a potentially difficult day as it’s also the day of the Grand Slam rugger match between Wales and France. The train is very crowded and he sits in Weekend First next to a middle-aged French couple who he assumes to be fans, but ...

A Boundary Where There Is None

Stephen Sedley: In Time of Meltdown, 12 September 2019

Trials of the State: Law and the Decline of Politics 
by Jonathan Sumption.
Profile, 128 pp., £9.99, August 2019, 978 1 78816 372 9
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... series was given to large invited audiences in London, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Washington DC and Cardiff, each lecture followed by a question and answer session and all of them transcribed and posted online by the BBC. In preparing his texts for book publication, while creditably resisting the temptation to footnote or expatiate at large, Sumption has made ...

Reduced to Ashes and Rubbage

Jessie Childs: Civil War Traumas, 3 January 2019

Battle-Scarred: Mortality, Medical Care and Military Welfare in the British Civil Wars 
edited by David Appleby and Andrew Hopper.
Manchester, 247 pp., £80, July 2018, 978 1 5261 2480 7
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... a collection of essays that examine the physical and mental injuries inflicted by the civil wars, David Appleby addresses the problem of wandering soldiers. These were disbanded veterans, deserters and escaped prisoners of war, who frequently clashed with civilian communities as they tried to make their way home. Some didn’t have a home: the majority of ...

Bevan’s Boy

John Campbell, 20 September 1984

The Making of Neil Kinnock 
by Robert Harris.
Faber, 256 pp., £9.95, September 1984, 0 571 13266 9
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Neil Kinnock: The Path to Leadership 
by G.M.F. Drower.
Weidenfeld, 162 pp., £8.95, July 1984, 0 297 78467 6
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... how of politics rather than the what and why. As a former president of the Students’ Union at Cardiff (where his wife Glenys was a full-time NUS official) Kinnock, like David Steel, whose beginnings in the Student Representative Council at Edinburgh were very similar, is a standard-bearer of the Sixties generation of ...


Carolyn Steedman, 4 February 1988

Spoken History 
by George Ewart Evans.
Faber, 255 pp., £9.95, August 1987, 0 571 14982 0
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... This autobiography described his Board of Education scholarship to University College, Cardiff to read Classics; being bound to teaching when he finished, yet loathing it; his attempts to write fiction; his discovery of a life’s work in East Anglia, where, freelancing in the Fifties, he brought up the children whilst his wife worked as village ...

Successive Applications of Sticking-Plaster

Andrew Saint: The urban history of Britain, 1 November 2001

The Cambridge Urban History of Britain. Vol. III: 1840-1950 
edited by Martin Daunton.
Cambridge, 944 pp., £90, January 2001, 0 521 41707 4
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... Had it been published in 1950, the notion that cities such as London, Manchester, Glasgow and Cardiff were not in principle self-governing, or that local authorities existed to administer nationally determined policy, would hardly have surfaced. And yet by the 1920s, where costly services such as public education were concerned, the balance between money ...


Clancy Sigal: Among the Draft-Dodgers, 9 October 2008

... our sea of helpers extended from the windswept Hebrides (God help the boy we sent there) to Devon, Cardiff to Norfolk. I still have my ‘emergency list’ of on-call helpers: Quakers, pacifist vicars, street people, students, the vegetarians and sandal-wearers detested by George Orwell, even retired military officers. I favoured getting AWOLs out to the ...

The Crowe is White

Hilary Mantel: Bloody Mary, 24 September 2009

Fires of Faith: Catholic England under Mary Tudor 
by Eamon Duffy.
Yale, 249 pp., £19.99, June 2009, 978 0 300 15216 6
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... humble people outside the town walls of Colchester. Rawlins White was burned; he was an illiterate Cardiff fisherman. William Hunter was 19 years old, a silk-weaver’s apprentice; a priest sneered at him: ‘It is a merye worlde when such as thou arte shall teache us what is the truth.’ Thomas Tomkins, a weaver, was burned after Edmund Bonner, bishop of ...

Rigging the Death Rate

Paul Taylor, 11 April 2013

... of the many recent bad news stories about the NHS, its significance underscored by the fact that David Cameron felt it necessary to present the report to the House of the Commons himself, rather than leave it to the secretary of state for health. The public inquiry was set up in 2010 by the then secretary of state, Andrew Lansley, to investigate further the ...

In Defence of Rights

Philippe Sands and Helena Kennedy, 3 January 2013

... Party stalwarts in various parts of England where the issue of Europe remains charged. David Cameron’s position as leader seems increasingly questioned by sections of his party who want a speedy referendum on whether the UK should remain within the EU, and many of his backbenchers make little distinction between the Council of Europe (and its ...


Alan Bennett: What I Didn’t Do in 2007, 3 January 2008

... of journalists (to which there is no bounds) – why is nobody asking? 16 June. Meet R. off the Cardiff train at Didcot and we drive through Berkshire’s Edwardian countryside, red brick villas behind high beech hedges, looking for Hamstead Marshall. An ancient buttressed wall with a stone panel dated 1665 suggests we are not far off. And here is the ...

Like Unruly Children in a Citizenship Class

John Barrell: A hero for Howard, 21 April 2005

The Laughter of Triumph: William Hone and the Fight for a Free Press 
by Ben Wilson.
Faber, 455 pp., £16.99, April 2005, 0 571 22470 9
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... Michael Howard shared his thoughts on education with the Welsh Conservative Party Conference in Cardiff. He was mainly concerned with the problem of discipline. ‘Guess which class children are most likely to misbehave in?’ The answer turned out to be Citizenship. And which subject would best teach children ‘respect for authority and the importance of ...

During Her Majesty’s Pleasure

Ronan Bennett, 20 February 1997

... did not long survive her son’s birth, and soon afterwards Ms Woolvine met and married David McCluskie, a plasterer and bricklayer. Terry took McCluskie’s name, though this was never regularised. The family moved to London after the strike at Cammell-Laird, when David McCluskie was finding work hard to come ...

Where are we now?

LRB Contributors: Responses to the Referendum, 14 July 2016

... David Runciman, Neal Ascherson, James Butler, T.J. Clark, Jonathan Coe, Sionaidh Douglas-Scott, Daniel Finn, Dawn Foster, Jeremy Harding, Colin Kidd, Ross McKibbin, Philippe Marlière, James Meek, Pankaj Mishra, Jan-Werner Müller, Susan Pedersen, J.G.A. Pocock, Nick Richardson, Nicholas Spice, Wolfgang Streeck, Daniel TrillingDavid RuncimanSo who​ is to blame? Please don’t say the voters: 17,410,742 is an awful lot of people to be wrong on a question of this magnitude ...

In the Streets of Londonistan

John Upton: Terror, Muslims and the Met, 22 January 2004

... government and security officials overseas and in the UK – among them, Assistant Commissioner David Veness, head of Specialist Operations for the Metropolitan Police, the officer in overall operational charge of countering terror in the United Kingdom. Dr Ranstorp is an expert on Hizbollah, and books such as Palestinian Hamas, Defiant Patriot, The Kidnap ...

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