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Sahib and Son

J.I.M. Stewart, 22 December 1983

‘Oh Beloved Kids’: Rudyard Kipling’s Letters to his Children 
edited by Elliot Gilbert.
Weidenfeld, 225 pp., £10.95, October 1983, 0 297 78296 7
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... gap of a year in such letters from his father as have come their present editor’s way. Professor Gilbert conjectures that this loss, and a similar and later loss to which we shall come, may be attributable to ‘the confusion of moving’ when John changed schools. It is much more probable that the relevant letters have been suppressed or destroyed because ...

Antique Tears

Kate Retford: Consumptive Chic, 3 December 2020

The Age of Undress: Art, fashion and the classical ideal in the 1790s 
by Amelia Rauser.
Yale, 215 pp., £35, March, 978 0 300 24120 4
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... to see this strange fad as part of the broader drive to transform women into living statues. Sir Gilbert Elliot, describing Campbell arriving at a ball with pad in place, believed the ‘original idea … to have been an imitation of the drapery of statues and pictures, which fastens the dress immediately below the bosom, and leaves no ...

Who now cares about Malinowski?

Robert Ackerman, 23 May 1996

After Tylor: British Social Anthropology 1888-1951 
by George Stocking.
Athlone, 570 pp., £50, January 1996, 0 485 30072 9
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... literary-critical legacy of the ‘Cambridge Ritualists’ (Jane Ellen Harrison, F.M. Cornford, Gilbert Murray and A.B. Cook, turn-of-the-century classicists who had written on the connection between Greek myth and ritual and the origins of drama), and had then read a good deal of Frazer, who influenced the Ritualists greatly. The project held many ...

Northern Lights

Rosalind Mitchison, 19 April 1984

Literature and Gentility in Scotland 
by David Daiches.
Edinburgh, 114 pp., £6.50, June 1982, 9780852244388
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New Perspectives on the Politics and Culture of Early Modern Scotland 
edited by John Dwyer, Roger Mason and Alexander Murdoch.
John Donald, 340 pp., £15, August 1982, 0 85976 066 9
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Adam Smith 
by R.H. Campbell and A.S. Skinner.
Croom Helm, 231 pp., £12.95, June 1982, 9780709907299
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Sister Peg 
edited by David Raynor.
Cambridge, 127 pp., £15.50, June 1981, 0 521 24299 1
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Boswell: The Applause of the Jury 1782-1785 
edited by Irma Lustig and Frederick Pottle.
Heinemann, 419 pp., £15, July 1982, 0 434 43945 2
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Muir of Huntershill 
by Christina Bewley.
Oxford, 212 pp., £8.50, May 1981, 0 19 211768 8
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... has been promoted as the likely author. All that seems clear is that it was someone who admired Gilbert Elliot of Minto and was annoyed by Robert Dundas of Arniston, second Lord President. Quite a lot of Scottish writers on politics might fulfil these requirements. The militia was attractive to upper-class society because of the opportunities it gave ...


Norman Page, 8 January 1987

Beloved Emma: The Life of Emma, Lady Hamilton 
by Flora Fraser.
Weidenfeld, 410 pp., £14.95, September 1986, 0 297 78895 7
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Loving Emma 
by Nigel Foxell.
Harvester, 201 pp., £8.95, March 1986, 0 7108 1056 3
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... render her without a certain insubstantiality. ‘She is all Nature, and yet all Art,’ said Sir Gilbert Elliot, who judged Emma ‘the most extraordinary compound’. To recreate a paradox without creating an impression of mere inconsistency and implausibility is taxing work for biographer and novelist ...

Quashed Quotatoes

Michael Wood: Finnegans Wake, 16 December 2010

Finnegans Wake 
by James Joyce, edited by Danis Rose and John O’Hanlon.
Houyhnhnm, 493 pp., £250, March 2010, 978 0 9547710 1 0
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Joyce’s Disciples Disciplined 
edited by Tim Conley.
University College Dublin, 185 pp., £42.50, May 2010, 978 1 906359 46 1
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... second case, he would no doubt expect us to pick up ‘missy’ and perhaps ‘whimsy’. Stuart Gilbert, making the same comparison with Carroll, writes of ‘foliations’ in Joyce, and of words having ‘ramified’. But Carroll has a taste for sheer absurdity, the collapse or travesty of plausible meaning, whereas Joyce, as far as I can tell, wants only ...

Why always Dorothea?

John Mullan: How caricature can be sharp perception, 5 May 2005

The One v. the Many: Minor Characters and the Space of the Protagonist in the Novel 
by Alex Woloch.
Princeton, 391 pp., £13.95, February 2005, 0 691 11314 9
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... interesting person in her world (apart from those snakes in the grass: Wickham, the Crawfords, Mr Elliot and so on). There is no duty to imagine that a supporting player has ‘an intense consciousness’; Austen is prepared to flatten out a minor character absolutely. After the wonderfully satirical opening of Persuasion, the description of Sir Walter ...

Great Fun

John Bayley, 22 January 1987

by Patricia Meyer Spacks.
Chicago, 287 pp., £9.25, November 1986, 0 226 76844 9
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The Bonus of Laughter 
by Alan Pryce-Jones.
Hamish Hamilton, 263 pp., £12.95, January 1987, 0 241 11903 0
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... books. Is Satan good or bad? Why exactly did Iago hatch his plot, or Isabel Archer decide to marry Gilbert Osmond? Such speculations need the exercise of just as much intelligence as does the higher jargon, and for most people they are more fun to make. Dr Spacks ends her preface with the comment that although the ambiguities and perplexities associated with ...

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