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Standing on the Wharf, Weeping

Greg Dening: Australia, 25 September 2003

The Enlightenment and the Origins of European Australia 
by John Gascoigne.
Cambridge, 233 pp., £45, September 2002, 0 521 80343 8
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Looking for Blackfella’s Point: An Australian History of Place 
by Mark McKenna.
New South Wales, 268 pp., £14.50, August 2002, 0 86840 644 9
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Words for Country: Landscape and Language in Australia 
by Tim Bonyhady and Tom Griffiths.
New South Wales, 253 pp., £15.50, October 2001, 0 86840 628 7
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The Land Is a Map: Placenames of Indigenous Origin in Australia 
edited by Luise Hercus, Flavia Hodges and Jane Simpson.
Pandanus, 304 pp., AUS $39.95, October 2002, 1 74076 020 4
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... our personal and social selves. The Mabo papers are a triumph for a land imprinted with memory. John Gascoigne’s The Enlightenment and the Origins of European Australia is concerned with the imprint of a ‘European’ spirit on Australia between 1788 and 1850. There is a difficulty, however, in describing this transposed culture, which ceases ...

Waves of Wo

Colin Burrow: George Gascoigne, 5 July 2001

A Hundreth Sundrie Flowres 
by George Gascoigne, edited by G.W. Pigman.
Oxford, 781 pp., £100, October 2000, 0 19 811779 5
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... There is a novel by John Masefield called ODTAA. Its title stands for ‘One Damn Thing After Another’. This would be a good title for a biography of George Gascoigne. Despite having a fine crop of literary firsts to his name (the first Italian-style comedy in English, one of the very first versions of a Greek tragedy in English, and one of the earliest systematic discussions of English metre), he was one of the unluckiest English poets ...

Born of the age we live in

John Lanchester, 6 December 1990

Stick it up your punter! The Rise and Fall of the ‘Sun’ 
by Peter Chippindale and Chris Horrie.
Heinemann, 372 pp., £14.99, November 1990, 0 434 12624 1
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All played out: The True Story of Italia ’90 
by Pete Davies.
Heinemann, 471 pp., £14.99, October 1990, 0 434 17908 6
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Gazza! A Biography 
by Robin McGibbon.
Penguin, 204 pp., £3.99, October 1990, 9780140148688
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... credit to him for doing so, so soon after such a terrible moment in his career – he brought Paul Gascoigne along with him. This three-way exchange is a scoop for Davies, not least because of Gascoigne’s otherwise intractable hostility to the press: a few months before, Davies had interviewed Chris Waddle while ...

State of the Art

John Lanchester, 1 June 1989

Manchester United: The Betrayal of a Legend 
by Michael Crick and David Smith.
Pelham, 246 pp., £14.95, May 1989, 0 7207 1783 3
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Football in its Place: An Environmental Psychology of Football Grounds 
by David Canter, Miriam Comber and David Uzzell.
Routledge, 173 pp., £10.95, May 1989, 0 415 01240 6
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... and POMO lapsed into obscurity, until a strange thing, a kind of historical rhyme, occurred. Elton John bought Watford Football Club and appointed the energetic Graham Taylor as manager. Taylor, looking for a way of fulfilling his boss’s ambition of making Watford into a First Division team, came across a statistical survey which showed that the majority of ...

Strong Government

Linda Colley, 7 December 1989

The Sinews of Power: War, Money and the English State, 1688-1788 
by John Brewer.
Unwin Hyman, 289 pp., £28, April 1989, 0 04 445292 6
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Cambridge in the Age of the Enlightenment: Science, Religion and Politics from the Restoration to the French Revolution 
by John Gascoigne.
Cambridge, 358 pp., £32.50, June 1989, 0 521 35139 1
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Imperial Meridian: The British Empire and the World 
by C.A. Bayly.
Longman, 295 pp., £16.95, June 1989, 0 582 04287 9
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... and stability with Leviathan unbound rather than with an unusual degree of constitutional liberty. John Brewer’s paean to the ‘fiscal-military state’ is the most impressive analysis of the way 18th-century Britain actually worked since Lewis Namier anatomised its parliamentary and electoral system in The Structure of Politics at the Accession of George ...

Short Cuts

David Runciman: The Dirtiest Player Around, 10 October 2013

... it was a different sort of footballer he reminded me of. The person he brought to mind was Paul Gascoigne, someone he closely resembles. Like McBride, Gascoigne has done his share of tours of the daytime TV sofas recently to provide penitent but unabashed accounts of his past behaviour. The two men have similar ...

Signs of the Times

Mark Ford, 21 February 2008

... The gentle, humane Quizmaster-ship of Magnus Magnusson, or the calm and bespectacled Bamber Gascoigne?            Sweet day, so cool, so calm, So bright, on which I don a shirt that cries out For cufflinks, and sports Embroidered initials on the right-hand cuff; on Which I opened a desk-drawer and discovered A dozen or so pairs of ...

Keep him as a curiosity

Steven Shapin: Botanic Macaroni, 13 August 2020

The Multifarious Mr Banks: From Botany Bay to Kew, the Natural Historian Who Shaped the World 
by Toby Musgrave.
Yale, 386 pp., £25, April, 978 0 300 22383 5
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... which a character based on Banks appears; two excellent accounts from the 1990s by the historian John Gascoigne situated Banks in the context of the English Enlightenment and the empire; Neil Chambers in 2007 contextualised Banks in the history of collecting; Patricia Fara has a rollicking go at Banks as an exploitative imperialist in Sex, Botany and ...

Diary

Ian Hamilton: The World Cup, 30 July 1998

... say, Vic Damone – or would it have been Andy Williams? Things have changed, I know, and Elton John is now a sort of minor Royal, but still . . . Something sufficiently Alf-like squats in Glenn, we’re led to feel. He likes to come across as icily on top of things but we can sense a crock of inner turmoil. And his relationship with spoken English is ...

Diary

John Lanchester: Watching the World Cup, 12 July 1990

... about names – he has been known to refer to Liam Brady as ‘Ian’, to Paul McGrath as ‘John’, and during the World Cup described Egypt’s best players as ‘the boy with the beard, the dark lad who played in midfield, the sweeper, the goalkeeper, the little dark lad who played in midfield and the very coloured one’. Political pressure from the ...

Main Man

Michael Hofmann, 7 July 1994

Walking Possession: Essays and Reviews 1968-1993 
by Ian Hamilton.
Bloomsbury, 302 pp., £20, May 1994, 0 7475 1712 6
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Gazza Italia 
by Ian Hamilton.
Granta, 188 pp., £5.99, May 1994, 0 14 014073 5
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... too. Greetings, borrowers. What I admire – not the word – about the poems is their intensity. John Berryman once said: write as short as you can, in order, of what matters. Surely no one – least of all Berryman himself – can have fulfilled the terms of that prescription as scrupulously as Hamilton. The majority of the poems are generated by one of two ...

Diary

Ian Hamilton: Who will blow it?, 22 May 1997

... Zola for Chelsea, Juninho for Middlesbrough – have injected a new interest into our post-Gascoigne soccer scene, a new possibility of unexpectedness. Would we have loved them, though, if they had played for teams that did the business every week? Much of their appeal has been to do with the uncertainty, the recklessness they seem to generate: in ...

Diary

Andrew O’Hagan: Orders of Service, 18 April 2019

... Trevelyan, son of Mary’s late husband, and was followed by an account of her life by Bamber Gascoigne, and then David Attenborough’s reading of two poems by Robert Frost. There appears to have been a Feddenesque delicacy and some well-placed dabs of humour to the whole affair. ‘Very Mary,’ Catherine said. The phrase ‘order of service’ isn’t ...

Bastard Foreigners

Michael Dobson: Shakespeare v. the English, 2 July 2020

Shakespeare’s Englishes: Against Englishness 
by Margaret Tudeau-Clayton.
Cambridge, 245 pp., £75, October 2019, 978 1 108 49373 4
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... as an idyllic apogee of national self-definition. By the time Shakespeare and his apprentice John Fletcher co-wrote All Is True (printed as Henry VIII) in 1613, wistfulness for the previous reign was already growing, despite what the playwrights and others may have recalled about Tudor rule: agricultural depression, enclosure, the plague, the poor law ...

Heart-Stopping

Ian Hamilton, 25 January 1996

Not Playing for Celtic: Another Paradise Lost 
by David Bennie.
Mainstream, 221 pp., £12.99, October 1995, 1 85158 757 8
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Achieving the Goal 
by David Platt.
Richard Cohen, 244 pp., £12.99, October 1995, 1 86066 017 7
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Captain’s Log: The Gary McAllister Story 
by Gary McAllister and Graham Clark.
Mainstream, 192 pp., £14.99, October 1995, 9781851587902
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Blue Grit: The John Brown Story 
by John Brown and Derek Watson.
Mainstream, 176 pp., £14.99, November 1995, 1 85158 822 1
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Kicking and Screaming: An Oral History of Football in England 
by Rogan Taylor and Andrew Ward.
Robson, 370 pp., £16.95, October 1995, 0 86051 912 0
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A Passion for the Game: Real Lives in Football 
by Tom Watt.
Mainstream, 316 pp., £14.99, October 1995, 1 85158 714 4
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... Playing for Celtic: Another Paradise Lost, and, yes, the paradise in question is indeed John Milton’s – or Big John’s (as he is called here):    Beating Airdrie in this year’s final has hardly sent warning shock-waves reverberating around the football giants of Europe, but having witnessed the ...

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