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Hallo Dad

Christopher Ricks, 2 October 1980

Mr Nicholas Sir Henry and Sons Daymare 
by Thomas Hinde.
Macmillan, 271 pp., £6.95, August 1980, 0 333 29539 0
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... The last word of the reissue of Mr Nicholas, Thomas Hinde’s exquisitely glum and fearingly funny novel of 1952, is probably a misprint. At least, it is minutely different from the last word in the Penguin book in 1962, the issue which brought Hinde’s consummate first novel to an even more widely appreciative public ...

Half a Million Feathers

Peter Campbell, 4 April 1996

Oceanic Art 
by Nicholas Thomas.
Thames and Hudson, 216 pp., £6.95, May 1995, 0 500 20281 8
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... to the ordinary function of things which had acquired stunning power as works of art. Which is why Nicholas Thomas’s Oceanic Art, despite its ethnographical bias, appears in a World of Art series and why questions of what is and is not art keep intruding. As Thomas points out, over-confident label-writers and ...

On Nicholas Moore

Peter Howarth: Nicholas Moore, 24 September 2015

... In the manuscript of her lecture, a cancelled sentence names the missing; first on her list is Nicholas Moore. Not just the publishers, but pretty much everything else had failed for Moore. The son of the Cambridge philosopher G.E. Moore, he had begun to publish poems in his teens. Though his father had sounded out the Hogarth Press, ...

Powered by Fear

Linda Colley: Putting the navy in its place, 3 February 2005

The Command of the Ocean: A Naval History of Britain 1649-1815 
by N.A.M. Rodger.
Allen Lane, 907 pp., £30, September 2004, 0 7139 9411 8
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... on Lord Anson’s circumnavigation of the world, a significant new biography of Captain Cook by Nicholas Thomas, and many other substantial works. John Sugden and Andrew Lambert have just produced biographies of Horatio Nelson, and a further biography by R.J.B. Knight is eagerly awaited. The Royal Navy is doing very well, thank you. Moreover, all kinds ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: The Size of Wales, 23 May 2002

... Márquez, who admirably declined to vote. The Guardian did a vox pop. New Puritan about town Nicholas Blincoe rather proudly let slip that he’s read 81 of the top 100; smashing Mark Lawson (69) into a measly second place. ‘I think the list is pompous,’ Blincoe said. ‘Authors really do think they are fantastically clever and I think this list ...

Mysteries of Kings Cross

Iain Sinclair, 5 October 1995

Vale Royal 
by Aidan Dun.
Goldmark, 130 pp., £22.50, July 1995
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... and Shakespeare and Donne, through Milton and Blake and Keats, to David Jones, Gascoyne, Dylan Thomas, Nicholas Moore, to Lee Harwood’s Cable Street, Bill Griffiths’s Whitechapel and Brian Catling’s The Stumbling Block. London infected its interpreters, soliciting contributions to an open-ended project. The names ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: The biography of stuff, 5 July 2001

... in paperback in the spring. Playing, in a manner of speaking, Achilles to de Botton’s tortoise, Nicholas Fearn’s Zeno and the Tortoise: How to Think like a Philosopher is to be published in the autumn. Fearn ‘dusts off 24 great philosophers in 25 miraculously short chapters’, ‘each readable during the journey to work’: never let philosophy get in ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: How to concoct a conspiracy theory, 20 October 2005

... in which the conspirators are not Jews but Jesuits. The Protocols was taken up by Tsar Nicholas II, Hitler and Henry Ford, who in the 1920s had half a million copies of it printed, even though it had been conclusively shown to be an anti-semitic fraud in 1921. There is a striking paradox here: as in most racist conspiracy theories, the people ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Blair on Blincoe?, 21 March 2002

... wearing nothing but white suits. And now they’ve got Honor Fraser, a supermodel, to write about Nicholas Blincoe’s latest novel, White Mice (Sceptre, £10.99), because it’s set in the world of fashion. The thinking behind the title is helpfully spelled out on the back of the book (above a picture of Blincoe wearing, of all things, a white ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Unimpressed by good booking men, 24 June 2004

... the balance between commercial and literary considerations is increasingly difficult to maintain. Nicholas Clee, the editor of the Bookseller, recently wrote in the Guardian that he ‘cannot condemn the hundreds of literary agents and publishers’ who turned down Gerard Jones’s ‘rather wonderful memoir’, Ginny Good (Monkfish, $16.95), because being ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Blogged Down, 24 January 2008

... The Cult of the Amateur: How Today’s Internet Is Killing Our Culture and Assaulting Our Economy (Nicholas Brealey, £12.99), Keen argues that websites such as YouTube, MySpace and Wikipedia are killing someone or other’s culture and assaulting their economy. As is so often the case with conservative polemic, Keen takes it for granted that he and his ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Ukip’s wrinkly glitz, 4 November 2004

... the possibility of Ukip turning into a plausible party of power has been inflated in part by what Nicholas Soames, the Conservative defence spokesman, called the ‘fucking awful’ by-election result in Hartlepool, where Ukip narrowly beat the Tories to third place by 3193 votes to 3044 (10.18 per cent to 9.71). The battle for the minority right-wing vote ...

Take that white thing away

Nicholas Spice, 17 October 1985

The Good Apprentice 
by Iris Murdoch.
Chatto, 522 pp., £9.95, September 1985, 0 7011 3000 8
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... interesting figure in the parable, however, is the elder brother who stays at home. Here it is Thomas McCaskerville, Midge’s husband, a psychiatrist, who draws the parallel. He says to Stuart: ‘You want to be like the Prodigal Son’s elder brother, the chap who never went away!’ And Stuart answers: ‘Exactly – except that he was cross when his ...

Bring some Madeira

Thomas Keymer: Thomas Love Peacock, 8 February 2018

Nightmare Abbey 
by Thomas Love Peacock, edited by Nicholas A. Joukovsky.
Cambridge, 297 pp., £84.99, December 2016, 978 1 107 03186 9
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Crotchet Castle 
by Thomas Love Peacock, edited by Freya Johnston and Matthew Bevis.
Cambridge, 328 pp., £79.99, December 2016, 978 1 107 03072 5
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... part of the complete novels now in progress with Cambridge under the editorship of Freya Johnston, Nicholas Joukovsky locates the fictional Nightmare Abbey in Lincolnshire, ‘somewhere near Skegness’. With nothing to see but ‘a long tract of level sea-coast, and a fine monotony of fens and windmills’, the gloom of the setting is Tennysonian, not ...


John Sutherland: Matthew Arnold, 19 March 1998

A Gift Imprisoned: The Poetic Life of Matthew Arnold 
by Ian Hamilton.
Bloomsbury, 241 pp., £17.99, March 1998, 0 7475 3671 6
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... by Kenneth and Miriam Allott, were revised and reissued in 1979. A new edition is on the way from Nicholas Shrimpton. Cecil Lang is up to the second instalment of the Letters (despite fierce crossfire from rival scholars in the letters pages of the TLS). Following the line opened by Lionel Trilling’s ‘biography of a mind’ in America and by Raymond ...

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