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Who is Lucian Freud?

Rosemary Hill: John Craxton goes to Crete, 21 October 2021

John Craxton: A Life of Gifts 
by Ian Collins.
Yale, 383 pp., £25, May, 978 0 300 25529 4
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... personality covers a multitude of offences’, and this remained the case throughout his life. Ian Collins’s engagingly partisan biography conveys qualities not easily evoked, the appeal of a character whose default mode was happiness and who, if he had a tendency to ‘put his own interests first’ and to be ‘unreliable in an emergency’, had a ...

Disaster

Ronan Bennett, 16 December 1993

De Valera: Long Fellow, Long Shadow 
by Tim Pat Coogan.
Hutchinson, 772 pp., £20, October 1993, 9780091750305
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... 14 Catholics in the Millfield district of Belfast after a constable was shot. Although Michael Collins brought these killings to the attention of Winston Churchill during the London negotiations, Nixon was never arrested or charged. He became an embarrassment only when Sir James Craig and the Unionist hierarchy got involved with the Governments of the ...

Well done, you forgers

John Sutherland, 7 January 1993

The Two Forgers: A Biography of Harry Buxton Forman and Thomas James Wise 
by John Collins.
Scolar, 317 pp., £27.50, May 1992, 0 85967 754 0
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Forgers and Critics: Creativity and Duplicity in Western Scholarship 
by Anthony Grafton.
Princeton, 157 pp., £10.75, May 1990, 0 691 05544 0
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... to go into now.’ Recent sleuthing has filled in some of the gaps. Nicholas Barker and John Collins’s A Sequel to ‘An Enquiry’ (1983) clarifies the role of Wise’s reluctant partner, Harry Buxton Forman. The forgers’ liaison is fleshed out further in the biographical The Two Forgers, which offers the fullest and most readable narrative to ...
... In different ways, most of Ian McEwan’s novels and stories are about trauma and contingency, and he is now best known as the great contemporary stager of traumatic contingency as it strikes ordinary lives. In The Child in Time, a child goes missing at a supermarket, and Stephen and Julie’s domestic existence is shattered; in Enduring Love, Clarissa and Joe witness the death of John Logan as he falls from a balloon, are changed for ever, and spend the rest of the novel trying to absorb the consequences of the spectacle; Black Dogs is in part about how Bernard Tremaine, a politician, scientist and rationalist, drifts away from his wife, June (and vice versa), because of what he deems her fanciful, emotional, overdetermined reading of the trauma that was meted out on her in 1946 by the black dogs of the title ...

Sorcerer’s Apprentice

E.S. Turner, 19 December 1991

Alistair MacLean 
by Jack Webster.
Chapmans, 326 pp., £18, November 1991, 1 85592 519 2
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Alistair MacLean’s Time of the Assassins 
by Alastair MacNeill.
HarperCollins, 288 pp., £14.99, December 1991, 0 00 223816 0
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... who died in 1987. It seems the invitation to MacNeill to tackle the master’s outlines came from Collins on the strength of a manuscript of his own he had submitted to the firm. It was ‘a heaven-sent opportunity for a man still in his twenties’, who until then had worked for the Holiday Inn chain. According to Webster, ‘the revived series of MacLean ...

What’s in the bottle?

Donald MacKenzie: The Science Wars Revisited, 9 May 2002

The One Culture? A Conversation about Science 
edited by Jay Labinger and Harry Collins.
Chicago, 329 pp., £41, August 2001, 0 226 46722 8
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... and science’s rationalist proponents. Nor, of course, are they really ‘wars’. As Ian Hacking has pointed out, to call them that is to trivialise the horrors of real war. The ‘science wars’ attracted that name because in many ways they are a specialised version of the wider, but equally misnamed ‘culture wars’ of academia (particularly ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: What’s in a name?, 19 October 2000

... Martin Amos Services, Julian Barnett Productions, Anita Brook, A.S. Bunning, Margaret Dolphin, Ian Rankin Plastics Consultancy, J.K. Roofing, Salman Investments; for the authors on the Booker Prize shortlist, we have Margareta’s Gowns (Birmingham), Trez Motors, five variations on Michael Collins (but he’s probably ...

Diary

Frank Kermode: Being a critic, 27 May 1999

... sadly not for very long, you could make your way to the Pillars of Hercules in Greek Street, where Ian Hamilton, editor of the New Review, was usually to be found. The suppliants, mostly young men not then long out of the universities, have very properly combined to congratulate the sage or gaffer on his 60th birthday.* Some of them got their first chance in ...

Self-Made Women

John Sutherland, 11 July 1991

The Feminist Companion to Literature in English: Women Writers from the Middle Ages to the Present 
edited by Virginia Blain, Isobel Grundy and Patricia Clements.
Batsford, 1231 pp., £35, August 1990, 0 7134 5848 8
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The Presence of the Present: Topics of the Day in the Victorian Novel 
by Richard Altick.
Ohio State, 854 pp., $45, March 1991, 0 8142 0518 6
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... counter-claims. They are not the first to be one-sided. It is astonishing, looking back at Ian Watt’s book, for instance, to find that no woman novelist figures in his account. In Michael McKeon’s voluminous The Origins of the English Novel, 1600-1740 Eliza Haywood, Delarivier Manley and Mary Davys are disposed of in a couple of pages at the end of ...

Smileyfication

Ian Hamilton, 20 March 1980

Smiley’s People 
by John le Carré.
Hodder, 327 pp., £5.95, February 1980, 0 340 24704 5
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... perhaps only his wilful inaccessibility can explain it,’ or: ‘And it was strange – as Collins and Enderby privily agreed – how everything that Smiley said seemed to pass through the room like a chill; how in some way that they failed to understand, they had removed themselves to a higher order of human conduct for which they were unfit.’ Such ...

Diary

David Gascoyne: Notebook, New Year 1991, 25 January 1996

... Indifferent TV. Saturday 12: – Letter from Simon Callow, at last – Supermarket – Cowes. Ian Gibson’s Assassination of F.G. Lorca from library (rather disappointing). – Picked up Humphrey Carpenter’s Ezra Pound: A Serious Character unexpectedly. – Dull TV. Sunday 13: – Had made apricot mousse to follow lamb for lunch. Vin de Pays du ...

Smorgasbits

Ian Sansom: Jim Crace, 15 November 2001

The Devil's Larder 
by Jim Crace.
Viking, 194 pp., £12.99, September 2001, 0 670 88145 7
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... and nothing that you could describe as verbal wit and wordplay. You never have to reach for your Collins or your OED, and you never have to ask your nephew or a neighbour to explain the argot. This alone is enough to make him sound exotic. Instead of the usual attempt to create the effect of voice, to grasp, to reach and to capture a demotic, Crace appears ...

Four Moptop Yobbos

Ian Penman, 17 June 2021

One Two Three Four: The Beatles in Time 
by Craig Brown.
Fourth Estate, 642 pp., £9.99, March, 978 0 00 834003 2
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The Beatles and Sixties Britain 
by Marcus Collins.
Cambridge, 382 pp., £90, March 2020, 978 1 108 47724 6
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The Beatles in Context 
edited by Kenneth Womack.
Cambridge, 372 pp., £74.99, January 2020, 978 1 108 41911 6
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... first appeared circa 1957 and became attached to the Beatles around 1963.)In Marcus Collins’s The Beatles and Sixties Britain, Burgess is one of a long list of mainstream commentators (variously Grub or Fleet Street, middlebrow or mandarin) whose reaction to the Beatles was somewhere between a fit of the vapours and fear of imminent ...

Whitlam Fictions

Zachary Leader, 16 February 1989

Kisses of the Enemy 
by Rodney Hall.
Faber, 622 pp., £12.95, January 1989, 0 571 15091 8
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Postcards from Surfers 
by Helen Garner.
Bloomsbury, 180 pp., £11.95, January 1989, 0 7475 0272 2
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Forty-Seventeen 
by Frank Moorhouse.
Faber, 175 pp., £10.95, August 1988, 0 571 15210 4
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... over five hundred of his poems have appeared in print, in 11 collections. He is the editor of the Collins Book of Australian Poetry (1983), and from 1967 to 1978 was poetry editor of the Australian. Recently, though, thanks in part to a series of fellowships from the Literature Board, Hall seems to have concentrated on fiction, and Kisses of the ...

New Ground for the Book Trade

John Sutherland, 28 September 1989

... the house of Bentley in 1898; Murray absorbed Smith, Elder in 1917; between the wars, according to Ian Norrie, Hutchinson ‘absorbed so many imprints that no complete record of them exists’. The archaeology of British publishing shows an industry constantly stripping and reassembling its productive components into new formations. Coalition, then, is neither ...

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