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Per Ardua

Paul Foot, 8 February 1996

In the Public Interest 
by Gerald James.
Little, Brown, 339 pp., £18.99, December 1995, 0 316 87719 0
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... in the boom spring of 1988 you would not have found a more successful, cockier City gent than Gerald James. A public school education and a distinguished career as an accountant among the big names of the City (Barings, Ansbacher, Singer and Friedlander, Hill Samuel) had prepared him perfectly for his chairmanship of Astra, a ...

The Beast on My Back

Gerald Weissmann, 6 June 1996

The Harmony of Illusions: Inventing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder 
by Allan Young.
Princeton, 327 pp., £28, March 1996, 0 691 03352 8
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... in dorsal trauma. ‘Spinal irritation’ was a popular diagnosis at the time: Henry and William James acquired the disorder to sit out, as it were, the American Civil War. Their plucky sister Alice spent a lifetime in bed on account of her spinal affliction, the ‘dorsal trouble in the blood’ which William believed to run in the family. The disorder was ...

Welly-Whanging

Thomas Jones: Alan Hollinghurst, 6 May 2004

The Line of Beauty 
by Alan Hollinghurst.
Picador, 501 pp., £16.99, April 2004, 9780330483209
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... Nick Guest has just graduated from Oxford, and is living in Notting Hill with the Feddens: Gerald and Rachel, and their children, Toby and Catherine. He is about to start a PhD on Henry James’s style at UCL. Toby Fedden was a contemporary of Nick’s at university: they weren’t exactly friends, but Nick had a ...

Making sentences

Philip Horne, 21 November 1991

The Jameses: A Family Narrative 
by R.W.B. Lewis.
Deutsch, 696 pp., £20, October 1991, 0 233 98748 7
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Meaning in Henry James 
by Millicent Bell.
Harvard, 384 pp., £35.95, October 1991, 9780674557628
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... Forty-one years after F.O. Matthiessen’s suicide, and 44 after his big book The James Family: A Group Biography, here is R.W.B. Lewis, Matthiessen’s pupil at Harvard, with one on the same subject, nearly as big. Its very title twists a touch awkwardly to avoid repeating that of its precursor, to which Lewis acknowledges a large debt ...

You’ve got it or you haven’t

Iain Sinclair, 25 February 1993

Inside the Firm: The Untold Story of the Krays’ Reign of Terror 
by Tony Lambrianou and Carol Clerk.
Pan, 256 pp., £4.99, October 1992, 0 330 32284 2
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Gangland: London’s Underworld 
by James Morton.
Little, Brown, 349 pp., £14.99, September 1992, 0 356 20889 3
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Nipper: The Story of Leonard ‘Nipper’ Read 
by Leonard Read and James Morton.
Warner, 318 pp., £5.99, September 1992, 0 7515 0001 1
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Smash and Grab: Gangsters in the London Underworld 
by Robert Murphy.
Faber, 182 pp., £15.99, February 1993, 0 571 15442 5
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... high-profile exemplar of this style was the magnate, George Walker; once, according to James Morton, an ‘ally’ of Billy Hill and Eddie Chapman, later a frequently puffed adornment of the Thatcherite open market culture.) There is nothing new in the concept, quality tailoring bonded over primal naughtiness. It has been spelled out frequently in ...

Diary

Gerald Hammond: Taiwan and China, 3 September 1998

... As Henry James never tired of noting, the real thing turns up rarely, in unpredictable places and unexpected guises. I have now encountered it and, marvellous to relate, stamped on it are the words most redolent of the cheap and gimcrack, ‘Made in Taiwan’. Just north of Taipei is the National Palace Museum of the Republic of China, as Taiwan officially calls itself, one of the four great museums of the world ...

Men in Love

Paul Delany, 3 September 1987

Women in Love 
by D.H. Lawrence, edited by David Farmer, Lindeth Vasey and John Worthen.
Cambridge, 633 pp., £40, May 1987, 0 521 23565 0
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The Letters of D.H. Lawrence: Vol. IV, 1921-24 
edited by Warren Roberts, James Boulton and Elizabeth Mansfield.
Cambridge, 627 pp., £35, May 1987, 0 521 23113 2
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... hard to like. He surrounds Birkin with intimates – Ursula and Gudrun Brangwen, Hermione Roddice, Gerald Crich – who keep telling him that he is a crackpot preacher who should face up to his own unhappy consciousness. Further, Lawrence excludes from the novel the Great War – the adequate cause of his own despair and potentially of Birkin’s too. The book ...

Scenes in the Sack

Michael Wood, 11 March 1993

Memories of the Ford Administration 
by John Updike.
Hamish Hamilton, 371 pp., £15.99, March 1993, 0 241 13386 6
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... what they were doing when John Kennedy was killed, but no one even asks what you were doing when Gerald Ford was President. The wonderfully comic, deviously historical premise of John Updike’s new novel is that someone asks. The someone is the plausible-sounding Northern New England Association of American Historians, and the person asked is one Alfred ...

Stewarts on the dole

Rosalind Mitchison, 10 November 1988

Bonnie Prince Charlie 
by Rosalind Marshall.
HMSO, 208 pp., £8.50, April 1988, 0 11 493420 7
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Bonnie Prince Charlie: A Biography 
by Susan Maclean Kybett.
Unwin Hyman, 343 pp., £12.95, April 1988, 0 04 440213 9
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Charles Edward Stuart: A Tragedy in Many Acts 
by Frank McLynn.
Routledge, 640 pp., £24.95, September 1988, 0 415 00272 9
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Mary Queen of Scots: A Study in Failure 
by Jenny Wormald.
George Philip, 206 pp., £14.95, March 1988, 0 540 01131 2
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Mary Stewart: Queen in Three Kingdoms 
edited by Michael Lynch.
Blackwell, 238 pp., £25, July 1988, 0 631 15263 6
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The Shadow of a Crown: The Life Story of James II of England and VII of Scotland 
by Meriol Trevor.
Constable, 320 pp., £15, June 1988, 0 09 467850 2
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The Scottish Tory Party: A History 
by Gerald Warner.
Weidenfeld, 247 pp., £12.95, May 1988, 9780297791010
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The Elgins, 1766-1917: A Tale of Aristocrats, Proconsuls and their Wives 
by Sydney Checkland.
Aberdeen University Press, 303 pp., £25, April 1988, 0 08 036395 4
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... The potato, which was to end it for all but fussy eaters, still awaited general adoption. But James Lind, in his definitive work on the causation of the disease, a work to which the author refers, points out the error of what she is here doing, a common medical sin of his day – that of attributing to it almost every type of lesion. Highlanders had a ...

Why Bull was killed

Victor Mallet, 15 August 1991

Arms and the Man: Dr Gerlad Bull, Iraq and the Supergun 
by William Lowther.
Macmillan, 298 pp., £15.99, July 1991, 0 333 56069 8
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... It isn’t often that the public gets to see that James Bond is alive and well and still has his licence to kill. On 22 March last year, Gerald Bull, a Canadian scientist with a US passport, a wife back home and a mistress in Belgium, was shot dead outside his Brussels apartment with five shots from a silenced 7 ...

Vendetta

Gerald Hammond: The story of David, 7 September 2000

The David Story: A Translation with Commentary of 1 and 2 Samuel 
by Robert Alter.
Norton, 410 pp., £19.95, October 1999, 0 393 04803 9
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... leading the reader into a brief appreciation of the way Biblical poetry works, according to James Kugel’s theory about the sharpening or intensifying nature of Biblical parallelism. It shows, too, how consistently in the David story style and politics go hand in hand: It is a fixed rule in Biblical poetry that when a number occurs in the first ...

Saucy to Princes

Gerald Hammond: The Bible, 25 July 2002

The Book: A History of the Bible 
by Christopher de Hamel.
Phaidon, 352 pp., £24.95, September 2001, 0 7148 3774 1
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The Wycliffe New Testament 1388 
edited by W.R. Cooper.
British Library, 528 pp., £20, May 2002, 0 7123 4728 3
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... their own intertexts and in its margins ammunition to challenge the assumptions of their betters. James I detested it – ‘saucy to princes’ was his judgment on its notes – so he ensured that the 1611 Authorised Version contained no interpretative notes at all, which may be one reason it took two generations for the AV to displace it in the hearts and ...

Introspection and the Body

P.N. Johnson-Laird, 5 March 1987

William JamesHis Life and Thought 
by Gerald Myers.
Yale, 628 pp., £30, October 1986, 0 300 03417 2
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... Henry James Sr was a redoubtable patriarch who received a large inheritance from his father – an Irish immigrant who had made a fortune in upstate New York – and spent it on a life of leisure and religiosity. He shuttled back and forth to Europe on a kind of one-man cultural exchange which combined the grand tour with a Continental education for his children ...

Surplusage!

Elizabeth Prettejohn: Walter Pater, 6 February 2020

The Collected Works of Walter Pater, Vol. III: Imaginary Portraits 
edited by Lene Østermark-Johansen.
Oxford, 359 pp., £115, January 2019, 978 0 19 882343 8
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The Collected Works of Walter Pater, Vol. IV: Gaston de Latour 
edited by Gerald Monsman.
Oxford, 399 pp., £115, January 2019, 978 0 19 881616 4
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Walter Pater: Selected Essays 
edited by Alex Wong.
Carcanet, 445 pp., £18.99, September 2018, 978 1 78410 626 3
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... reworked versions of earlier editions by their respective editors, Lene Østermark-Johansen and Gerald Monsman, and there are considerable challenges ahead.First among these is the variety of references in Pater’s work. As Østermark-Johansen puts it in her acknowledgments to Volume III, ‘hopefully my attempts to turn myself into many different types of ...

Old Tunes

Stephen Sedley, 16 July 2020

... Chridhe’. All of these were played at a stately pace for Mr Justice Cross by an articled clerk, Gerald Pointon, on a piano squeezed into the courtroom. If Curwen was to win, the tune used by Roberton had to be separately capable of being copyrighted and pirated.Since the war, ‘Westering Home’ had become well known as a concert piece. It was pretty ...

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