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Later, Not Now

Christopher L. Brown: Histories of Emancipation, 15 July 2021

Murder on the Middle Passage: The Trial of Captain Kimber 
by Nicholas Rogers.
Boydell, 267 pp., £16.99, April 2020, 978 1 78327 482 6
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The Interest: How the British Establishment Resisted the Abolition of Slavery 
by Michael Taylor.
Bodley Head, 382 pp., £20, November 2020, 978 1 84792 571 8
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... the social ladder. ‘The West India interest was not just a handful of planters and merchants,’ Michael Taylor writes in the final paragraph of his excellent new book, The Interest, but involved ‘hundreds of MPs, peers, civil servants, businessmen, financiers, landowners, clergymen, intellectuals, journalists, publishers, sailors, soldiers and ...

Diary

A.J.P. Taylor: A New Carl, 5 September 1985

... long ago as Catherine Andrassy, a member of the high Hungarian aristocracy. In 1909 she married Michael Karolyi, also a high aristocrat but with left-wing views. In 1919 the Habsburg dynasty was overthrown and Michael became the first President of the Hungarian Republic. Michael and ...

Positively Spaced Out

Rosemary Hill: ‘The Building of England’, 6 September 2001

The Buildings of England: A Celebration Compiled to Mark 50 Years of the Pevsner Architectural Guides 
edited by Simon Bradley and Bridget Cherry.
Penguin Collectors’ Society, 128 pp., £9.99, July 2001, 0 9527401 3 3
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... only one or two bees per bonnet. The Pevsnerian approach was different. In a witty essay, Michael Taylor, who drove Pevsner round Warwickshire, recalls the experience as stimulating and slightly nightmarish, ‘like viewing a video of a thousand years … of history … fast-forwarded’. Pevsner ‘robbed the word “specialist” of its meaning ...

Getting it right

Tam Dalyell, 18 July 1985

The Ponting Affair 
by Richard Norton-Taylor.
Cecil Woolf, 144 pp., £5.95, June 1985, 0 900821 74 4
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Who Killed Hilda Murrell? 
by Judith Cook.
New English Library, 182 pp., £1.95, June 1985, 0 450 05885 9
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... Without Richard Norton-Taylor of the Guardian, there would be no Belgrano affair, and doubtless Mr Clive Ponting OBE would be plying his way, ever upwards, in the Ministry of Defence. This is no exaggeration. Simply a statement of fact. I am in a position to know. However right Paul Rogers, Lee Chadwick, Arthur Gavshon and I may have been, the fact is that without the sustained interest of Guardian readers, and, in my case, the Labour Party up and down the country, there was no way which the professors of Belgrano Studies, as David Frost has christened us, could have carried on ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘Cleopatra’ , 8 August 2013

... Age cannot wither her, but it doesn’t improve her much either. Not when she is Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra. Age seems simply to have left her alone, as it often does with movie actors. But then the chance of time travel is very real, especially since a restored print of the film is now showing at various cinemas around the country ...

Taylorism

Norman Stone, 22 January 1981

Politicians, Socialism and Historians 
by A.J.P. Taylor.
Hamish Hamilton, 259 pp., £12.50, October 1980, 0 241 10486 6
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A.J.P. TaylorA Complete Annotated Bibliography 
by Chris Wrigley.
Harvester, 607 pp., £35, August 1980, 0 85527 981 8
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... with culture, I reach for my revolver when offered philosophies of history,’ wrote A.J.P. Taylor some years ago, when the ‘What is History’ theme was going the rounds. He likes to parade himself as a simple, practical man – ‘an old-fashioned, penny-counting historian’. He thinks that history’s only function is ‘fun’, dismisses the rest ...

Small America

Michael Peel: A report from Liberia, 7 August 2003

... had just emerged from another devastating civil conflict, in which the current President, Charles Taylor, played a leading role. A former Government minister who fell out with the military regime of Samuel Doe, Taylor managed to escape from a Massachusetts jail in 1985: he was being held pending extradition on embezzlement ...

There’s a porpoise close behind us

Michael Dobson, 13 November 1997

The Origins of English Nonsense 
by Noel Malcolm.
HarperCollins, 329 pp., £18, May 1997, 0 00 255827 0
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... by the most prolific of the poets reprinted by Malcolm: the celebrated scribbling wherryman John Taylor, known as the Water-Poet, enough of whose publications are in this vein to earn him the distinction of being England’s first professional manufacturer of nonsense. Taylor’s subsequent work includes, along with ...

Diary

A.J.P. Taylor: Hungarians and Falklanders, 17 February 1983

... to the end of time. Sooner or later this folly must be ended, but who is there left to say so? Michael Foot was as bellicose as Mrs Thatcher, and most of the Labour MPs followed his line. With deep grief I now set down my conviction that Michael Foot was wrong last year when I applauded him and is still wrong now that I ...

Where the Apples Come From

T.C. Smout: What Makes an Oak Tree Grow, 29 November 2007

Woodlands 
by Oliver Rackham.
Collins, 609 pp., £25, September 2006, 0 00 720243 1
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Beechcombings: The Narratives of Trees 
by Richard Mabey.
Chatto, 289 pp., £20, October 2007, 978 1 85619 733 5
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Wildwood: A Journey through Trees 
by Roger Deakin.
Hamish Hamilton, 391 pp., £20, May 2007, 978 0 241 14184 7
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The Wild Trees: What if the Last Wilderness Is above Our Heads? 
by Richard Preston.
Allen Lane, 294 pp., £20, August 2007, 978 1 84614 023 5
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... fact-checked the latter may be. Nevertheless, it is fascinating that a college dropout called Michael Taylor, who worked as a knife salesman and grocery clerk, came to figure out which were the world’s tallest trees: everyone knew they were redwoods, but the precise trees had not been identified. Another student called Steve Sillett began to climb ...

Diary

A.J.P. Taylor: Living with Prime Ministers, 2 December 1982

... Disraeli, a miscellany of works which I also passed by, Disraeli not being my favourite man – Michael Foot can have him; Asquith, 600 pages of love-letters to a girl not half his age; Churchill, first of two volumes of biography by an American writer, a disquisition on his political philosophy, and a massive collection of documents relating to his career ...

Diary

A.J.P. Taylor: No doubt I am old-fashioned, 1 April 1982

... There is another question on which I am out of line, this time in disagreement with my old friend Michael Foot. Five 20th-century prime ministers and one non-premier (Joseph Chamberlain) have statues in the lobby of the House of Commons: Balfour, Asquith, Lloyd George, Churchill and Attlee. The inclusion of Joseph Chamberlain seems rather odd unless it be ...

Who killed Alison Shaughnessy?

Bob Woffinden, 3 December 1992

... On 24 July this year, an Old Bailey jury found Michelle Taylor, aged 21, and her 19-year-old sister Lisa guilty of the murder of Alison Shaughnessy. In the opinion of Detective Superintendent Chris Burke, who had led the investigation, the verdict was ‘brilliant’. Alison, the wife of Michelle’s former boyfriend, had been stabbed 54 times ...

Old Dad dead?

Michael Neill: Thomas Middleton, 4 December 2008

Thomas Middleton: The Collected Works 
edited by Gary Taylor and John Lavagnino.
Oxford, 2016 pp., £85, November 2007, 978 0 19 818569 7
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Thomas Middleton and Early Modern Textual Culture: A Companion to the Collected Works 
edited by Gary Taylor and John Lavagnino.
Oxford, 1183 pp., £100, November 2007, 978 0 19 818570 3
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... be learned from the appearance of the new Oxford Middleton. Even as the blurb declares that Gary Taylor and John Lavagnino’s monumental collection is ‘based on the award-winning design of the Oxford Shakespeare’, the binding and dust jacket defiantly proclaim its difference from that distinguished model. The Shakespeare was bound in the press’s ...

Heat-Seeking

Susan Pedersen: A.J.P. Taylor, 10 May 2007

A.J.P. TaylorRadical Historian of Europe 
by Chris Wrigley.
Tauris, 439 pp., £25, August 2006, 1 86064 286 1
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... This is the third full biography of A.J.P. Taylor to appear since his death in 1990. I find this fact almost more interesting than anything in the biographies themselves. For more than two decades after the war Taylor was, very nearly, the public face of the historical profession in Britain, delivering his pugnacious, often revisionist, views on television and radio, in more than two dozen books and hundreds of newspaper columns, and in countless lectures to Oxford undergraduates and the history-minded public ...

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