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Incompetence at the War Office

Simon Jenkins: Politics and Pistols at Dawn, 18 December 2008

The Duel: Castlereagh, Canning and Deadly Cabinet Rivalry 
by Giles Hunt.
Tauris, 214 pp., £20, January 2008, 978 1 84511 593 7
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... secretary for war. That ministers sometimes do not get on is nothing new. No one reading Giles Hunt’s account of the duel between Lord Castlereagh and George Canning can drive from their imagination the more recent feud between Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, accounts of which made me thankful there are no firearms stored (within easy reach) at ...

‘A Naughty House’

Charles Nicholl: Shakespeare’s Landlord, 24 June 2010

... 1 December 1613 was one which involved three French ‘goldworkers’ resident in the parish of St Giles without Cripplegate, and a woman from Whitechapel called Frances Williams. The charge was fornication. Though not in itself unusual, the charge had an extra twist, repeated with minor variations in most of the entries relating to it: ‘they were all 4 ...

Dark Places

John Sutherland, 18 November 1982

Wise Virgin 
by A.N. Wilson.
Secker, 186 pp., £7.50, October 1982, 0 436 57608 2
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The London Embassy 
by Paul Theroux.
Hamish Hamilton, 211 pp., £7.95, October 1982, 0 241 10872 1
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The frog who dared to croak 
by Richard Sennett.
Faber, 182 pp., £7.95, October 1982, 0 571 11989 1
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Vintage Stuff 
by Tom Sharpe.
Secker, 220 pp., £7.50, November 1982, 0 436 45810 1
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Rogue Justice 
by Geoffrey Household.
Joseph, 174 pp., £7.95, October 1982, 0 7181 2178 3
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... of bereaved blindness. It’s played out with Wilson’s customary geometric neatness of design. Giles Fox, as the novel’s retrospect finds him, was once a fulfilled man – someone who could have represented the happy ending of some other story. He is a librarian and a scholar (his ‘period’ is ‘somewhere between 1213 and 1215’), and the best ...

Hoist that dollymop’s sail

John Sutherland: New Victorian Novels, 31 October 2002

Fingersmith 
by Sarah Waters.
Virago, 549 pp., £12.99, February 2002, 1 86049 882 5
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The Crimson Petal and the White 
by Michel Faber.
Canongate, 838 pp., £17.99, October 2002, 1 84195 323 7
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... from Mrs Sucksby’s kitchen in the Borough) and Caroline (one of Mrs Castaway’s girls in St Giles) will hunt together tonight. Caroline is on the game, an alley-cat who’ll lift her chimmy for two bob (and a tanner for Mrs C). Sue has been brought up ‘by hand’ by Mrs Sucksby to be a palmer, a pogue-hoister, a ...

Diary

Tariq Ali: The Future of Cricket, 12 March 2009

... the game, as Time magazine reported, the English players drowned their sorrows and decided to hunt Beg down. When they found him, they invited him back to their hotel for ‘a little private party’. Beg declined, so the players took him anyway – according to Beg – dislocating one of his arms in the process. At the hotel, Beg recounted later, the ...

Red Stars

John Sutherland, 6 December 1984

Wild Berries 
by Yevgeny Yevtushenko, translated by Antonia Bovis.
Macmillan, 296 pp., £8.95, September 1984, 0 333 37559 9
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The Burn 
by Vassily Aksyonov, translated by Michael Glenny.
Hutchinson, 528 pp., £10.95, October 1984, 0 09 155580 9
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Fellow Travellers 
by T.C. Worsley.
Gay Men’s Press, 249 pp., £9.95, September 1984, 0 907040 51 9
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The Power of the Dog 
by Thomas Savage.
Chatto, 276 pp., £9.95, October 1984, 0 7011 3939 0
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The Fourth Protocol 
by Frederick Forsyth.
Hutchinson, 448 pp., £8.95, September 1984, 0 09 158630 5
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The Set-Up 
by Vladimir Volkoff, translated by Alan Sheridan.
Bodley Head, 397 pp., £8.95, September 1984, 0 370 30583 3
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... instructed, the hippies adopt a ‘don’t make waves’ policy, and return to the never-ending hunt for designer jeans, the latest LP and Italian shoes. This, then, is a novel enraged by the post-Khrushchev freeze, while at the same time unillusioned by the liberating capacity of the Moscow underground. And yet Aksyonov clearly feels that he must stand up ...

Shakespeares

David Norbrook, 18 July 1985

Political Shakespeare: New Essays in Cultural Materialism 
edited by Jonathan Dollimore and Alan Sinfield.
Manchester, 244 pp., £19.50, April 1985, 0 7190 1752 1
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Alternative Shakespeares 
edited by John Drakakis.
Methuen, 252 pp., £10.50, July 1985, 0 416 36850 6
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Shakespeare and Others 
by S. Schoenbaum.
Scolar, 285 pp., £25, May 1985, 0 85967 691 9
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Illustrations of the English Stage 1580-1642 
by R.A. Foakes.
Scolar, 180 pp., £35, February 1985, 0 85967 684 6
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Shakespeare: The ‘Lost Years’ 
by E.A.J. Honigmann.
Manchester, 172 pp., £17.50, April 1985, 0 7190 1743 2
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... are interesting, and could be followed through by examining the dedications of Michael Drayton, Giles Fletcher the elder and Augustine Taylor. But common contacts do not necessarily prove the hypothesis: Fletcher knew of the Hoghton family without needing to go to Lancashire. The links between Shakespeare and John Cottom are not as clear as could be ...

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