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Dead Eyes and Blank Faces

John Henderson: Expression under Nero, 2 April 1998

Dissidence and Literature under Nero: The Price of Rhetoricisation 
by Vasily Rudich.
Routledge, 408 pp., £50, March 1997, 0 415 09501 8
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... Power’ is the buzz word for the late Nineties, and when it comes to power-mania imperial Rome has always been hard to beat. On the one hand, there is the rogues’ gallery: doddery Claudius dribbling still down Derek Jacobi’s chin; blubbery Nero fiddling while the slums burn; and those women – impossibly sinister Livia, unimaginably (but let’s try) sexcrazed Messalina ...

At the Ashmolean

Rosemary Hill: The Capture of the Westmorland, 19 July 2012

... subjects might as well have stuck their heads through a hole in a pre-painted background. But as John Brewer emphasises in his catalogue essay, the Tour was more socially mixed than it might appear. Basset, the biggest spender among the consigners to the Westmorland, was not an aristocrat but the beneficiary of a recent family fortune made from Cornish ...

Ave, Jeeves!

Emily Wilson: Rom(an) Com, 21 February 2008

Plautine Elements in Plautus 
by Eduard Fraenkel, translated by Tomas Drevikovsky and Frances Muecke.
Oxford, 459 pp., £79, November 2006, 0 19 924910 5
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Plautus: ‘Asinaria – The One about the Asses’ 
translated by John Henderson.
Wisconsin, 252 pp., £13.50, December 2006, 0 299 21994 1
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Terence: The Comedies 
translated by Peter Brown.
Oxford, 338 pp., £9.99, January 2008, 978 0 19 282399 1
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Terence: Comedies 
translated by Frederick Clayton.
Exeter, 290 pp., £45, January 2006, 0 85989 757 5
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... if frequently unreadable – recent study (with facing translation) of Plautus’ Asinaria by John Henderson. Henderson explores, or dances around, Plautus’ representation of power relationships between sons, fathers, women and slaves. For Henderson, Plautus is both hilariously ...

Not You

Mary Beard, 23 January 1997

Compromising Traditions: The Personal Voice in Classical Scholarship 
edited by J.P. Hallett and T. van Nortwick.
Routledge, 196 pp., £42.50, November 1996, 0 415 14284 9
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... challenge to the orthodoxy’ of classical writing in this country has come, so she claims, from John Henderson – an Oxbridge man, in one way or another, for most of the last thirty years. Helpfully (‘in case you are not familiar with John Henderson’s approach’), both she and Martindale quote extensive ...

Inclined to Putrefaction

Erin Maglaque: In Quarantine, 20 February 2020

Florence Under Siege: Surviving Plague in an Early Modern City 
by John Henderson.
Yale, 363 pp., £30, July 2019, 978 0 300 19634 4
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... the pressures of a deeply unequal society released. But what emerges from the tangle of stories in John Henderson’s book is a sense that for many the world stood still during the plague. The disease waned in the early summer of 1631 and, in June, Florentines emerged onto the streets to take part in a Corpus Christi procession, thanking God for their ...

Urban Messthetics

John Mullan: Black and Asian writers in London, 18 November 2004

London Calling: How Black and Asian Writers Imagined a City 
by Sukhdev Sandhu.
Harper Perennial, 498 pp., £9.99, November 2004, 0 00 653214 4
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... by the sight of potato-sellers whipping their asses in the street; he visits the theatre to see John Henderson play Falstaff; he takes his family down the Thames to Vauxhall Gardens. He also studies the newspapers, intrigued most of all by the doings of high society. His outraged account of the Gordon Riots of 1780 (‘the worse than Negro barbarity of ...

Flytings

Arnold Rattenbury: Hamish Henderson, 23 January 2003

Collected Poems and Songs 
by Hamish Henderson, edited by Raymond Ross.
Curly Snake, 163 pp., £9.99, March 2000, 1 902141 01 6
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... Old men can be buggers at hanging on. Hamish Henderson, who died last March at the age of 82, hung on firmly through three books, edited by others: his writings on ‘Song, Folk and Literature’, collected as Alias MacAlias (1992), a selected letters, The Armstrong Nose (1996) – both edited by Alec Finlay – and Collected Poems and Songs, edited by Raymond Ross ...

His Bonnet Akimbo

Patrick Wright: Hamish Henderson, 3 November 2011

Hamish HendersonA Biography. Vol. I: The Making of the Poet (1919-53) 
by Timothy Neat.
Polygon, 416 pp., £14.99, May 2009, 978 1 84697 132 7
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Hamish HendersonA Biography. Vol. II: Poetry Becomes People (1954-2002) 
by Timothy Neat.
Polygon, 395 pp., £25, November 2009, 978 1 84697 063 4
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... There are those, even among his friends, who remember Hamish Henderson as a chaotic figure who could most often be found soliloquising in Sandy Bell’s, a favourite pub near Edinburgh University. Was he one of the ‘lowest of men’, spilling whisky and sliding off his stool as he launched into another ballad? Or was he a seer, defying body and convention to ‘soar like an eagle’ in the way of the blessed inebriate in Richard Thompson’s song ‘God Loves a Drunk’ (‘His shouts and his curses they are just hymns and praises/To kick-start his mind now and then’)? Timothy Neat writes not in order to leave his late friend in a heap on the floor, least of all the floor of the hostelry that Henderson had long since helped to establish as ‘the hub of the Scottish Folk Revival ...

Royal Americans

D.A.N. Jones, 4 October 1984

Lincoln 
by Gore Vidal.
Heinemann, 657 pp., £9.95, September 1984, 0 434 83077 1
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Stars and Bars 
by William Boyd.
Hamish Hamilton, 255 pp., £8.50, September 1984, 0 241 11343 1
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... will already know that Lincoln has four more years to live before he is shot by Herold’s friend, John Wilkes Booth, the most notorious of all those Americans who have sought to win fame by killing heroes and idols. In this urgent manner, blending the legendary and the humdrum, Gore Vidal introduces his story, like a 20th-century version of a Greek tragedy ...

A Prize from Fairyland

Andrew Bacevich: The CIA in Iran, 2 November 2017

Foreign Relations of the US, 1952-54, Iran, 1951-54 
edited by James Van Hook.
for the Department of State/Washington DC. Chiron Academic Press, 970 pp., £20, September 2017, 978 91 7637 496 2
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... Mossadegh a less than ideal interlocutor. Americans who had dealt with him, chief among them Loy Henderson, the US ambassador, found him erratic and eccentric, not to say downright weird. No one questioned his credentials as an Iranian patriot, but he seemed to the Americans incapable of running a shoeshine stand, much less presiding over a government. A ...

Madder Men

Hal Foster: Richard Hamilton on Richard Hamilton, 24 October 2019

Richard Hamilton: Introspective 
by Phillip Spectre.
König, 408 pp., £49, September 2019, 978 3 88375 695 0
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... 1946, only to be expelled by a reactionary faculty – he had dared to prefer Cézanne to Augustus John. Forced into national service for 18 slack months, he spent most of the time reading, Joyce above all, and Ulysses became the subject of a first suite of etchings; old media attracted him as much as new. ‘Hamilton was fascinated by the skill, the ...

No more pretty face

Philip Horne, 8 March 1990

Emotion Pictures: Reflections on the Cinema 
by Wim Wenders, translated by Sean Whiteside and Michael Hofmann.
Faber, 148 pp., £12.99, November 1989, 0 571 15271 6
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Scorsese on Scorsese 
by Martin Scorsese, edited by David Thompson and Ian Christie.
Faber, 178 pp., £12.99, November 1989, 9780571141036
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... of the music; the American actors Harry Dean Stanton and Dean Stockwell as the central Henderson brothers, the French Aurore Clément and the German Nastassia Kinski as their wives. For Wenders, a long-time lover of the Western and of American rock music, it was, as he has since told the French magazine Positif, the closing of a circle, the ...

Lying abroad

Fred Halliday, 21 July 1994

Diplomacy 
by Henry Kissinger.
Simon and Schuster, 912 pp., £25, May 1994, 9780671659912
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True Brits: Inside the Foreign Office 
by Ruth Dudley Edwards.
BBC, 256 pp., £16.99, April 1994, 0 563 36955 8
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Mandarin: The Diaries of Nicholas Henderson 
by Nicholas Henderson.
Weidenfeld, 517 pp., £20, May 1994, 0 297 81433 8
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... confused policy on the former Yugoslavia and its pseudo-populist sneering about ‘abroad’ (take John Major’s especially silly remark that he would not choose to spend a weekend in any of the countries he has visited over the past few years – even though he spends summer holidays in Portugal). An additional element of seediness came with the revelations ...

Suck, chéri

E.S. Turner: The history of sweets, 29 October 1998

Sugar-Plums and Sherbet: A Prehistory of Sweets 
by Laura Mason.
Prospect, 250 pp., £20, June 1998, 0 907325 83 1
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... in this book before one’s eye is stopped by the reproduction of an advertisement placed by B. Henderson, of the China Warehouse, Rye Lane, Peckham. Miss (or Mrs) Henderson ‘respectfully informs the Friends of Africa that she has on Sale an Assortment of Sugar Basins, handsomely labelled in Gold Letters: “East India ...

Erase, Deface, Transform

Hal Foster: Eduardo Paolozzi, 16 February 2017

Eduardo Paolozzi 
Whitechapel Gallery, until 18 May 2017Show More
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... was especially active in the New Brutalist wing of the IG, which also included the artists Nigel Henderson, William Turnbull and Magda Cordell, the architects Peter and Alison Smithson, and the critic Reyner Banham. In the late 1980s the Smithsons looked back on the ‘as found’ aesthetic of New Brutalism as ‘a confronting recognition of what the postwar ...

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