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Did my father do it?

C.H. Sisson, 20 October 1983

Elizabeth R.: A Biography 
by Elizabeth Longford.
Weidenfeld, 389 pp., £10.95, September 1983, 0 297 78285 1
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Aristocrats 
by Robert Lacey.
Hutchinson/BBC, 249 pp., £9.95, October 1983, 0 09 154290 1
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The Cult of the Prince Consort 
by Elizabeth Darby and Nicola Smith.
Yale, 120 pp., £10, October 1983, 0 300 03015 0
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... There is something to be said for the view that the subject of a biography should be dead. Death does not guarantee the truth, nor the disinterestedness of the biographer, but life surely puts some additional difficulties in his way. Certain kinds of evidence will be wilfully denied him, certain other kinds may be offered too profusely or inaccurately ...

Superman Falls to Earth

Ferdinand Mount: Boris Johnson’s First Year, 2 July 2020

... the Painted Hall at Greenwich. It was a hymn to the glories of free trade and the spirit of Adam Smith, almost as baroque as James Thornhill’s enormous ceiling with its allegories of Time Exposing Truth and other desirable outcomes. A fine piece of Boris bravura, if you overlooked the fact that, during the heyday he was hymning, Britain, like many rapidly ...

Pop your own abscess

Rory Scothorne: Definitions of Poverty, 22 February 2018

The New Poverty 
by Stephen Armstrong.
Verso, 242 pp., £12.99, October 2017, 978 1 78663 463 4
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Poverty Safari 
by Darren McGarvey.
Luath, 244 pp., £7.99, November 2017, 978 1 912147 03 8
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... functioning of the market order. During his tenure as work and pensions secretary, Iain Duncan Smith sought to redefine poverty in terms of behaviour, emphasising drugs, alcohol, worklessness, family stability and parenting skills, an approach which conveniently sidestepped the distributional consequences of economic policy and wage levels just as the ...

Nigels against the World

Ferdinand Mount: The EU Referendum, 18 May 2016

... the support of other longstanding Eurosceptic ministers and former ministers, such as Iain Duncan Smith, Nigel Lawson and David Owen. Then there’s Grassroots Out, which was supposed to bring the other two lots together. But the prospectus on offer has been muddied because the spokesmen within each organisation have had different ideas. Johnson in particular ...

White Coats v. Bow Ties

Nicholas Penny, 11 February 1993

Jacopo della Quercia 
by James Beck.
Columbia, 598 pp., $109.50, February 1992, 0 231 07200 7
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Michelangelo and the Creation of the Sistine Chapel 
by Robin Richmond.
Barrie and Jenkins, 160 pp., £18.99, April 1992, 0 7126 5290 6
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Rembrandt. The Master and his Workshop: Paintings 
by Christopher Brown, Jan Kelch and Pieter van Thiel.
Yale, 396 pp., £35, September 1991, 0 300 05149 2
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Michelangelo’s Drawings: The Science of Attribution 
by Alexander Perrig.
Yale, 299 pp., £35, June 1991, 0 300 03948 4
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Michelangelo and his Drawings 
by Michael Hirst.
Yale, 128 pp., £14.95, August 1990, 0 300 04391 0
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The Poetry of Michelangelo: An Annotated Translation 
by James Saslow.
Yale, 559 pp., £22.50, April 1991, 0 300 04960 9
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... old-fashioned – radically conservative or fundamentally reformist. His debt to the sculpture of Nicola and Giovanni Pisano falls into this category. And so, too, does the debt which his narrative reliefs, especially those at San Petronio, owe to repoussée silver reliefs (a point first made by Baroni in 1956). Much of the work in precious metal from this ...

The Cadaver Club

Iain Sinclair, 22 December 1994

Original Sin 
by P.D. James.
Faber, 426 pp., £14.99, October 1994, 0 571 17253 9
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Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem 
by Peter Ackroyd.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 282 pp., £14.99, September 1994, 1 85619 507 4
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The Hidden Files: An Autobiography 
by Derek Raymond.
Warner, 342 pp., £5.99, December 1994, 0 7515 1184 6
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Not till the Red Fog Rises 
by Derek Raymond.
Little, Brown, 248 pp., £15.99, December 1994, 0 316 91014 7
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... up there with P.G. Wodehouse, in America) is reduced to editorialised sound-bites from a phantom Smith Square manifesto. Two coppers can’t sit down for a swift half without debating the morality of capital punishment. (‘I happen to believe that the death penalty does deter, so what I’m saying is that I’m willing for innocent people to take a greater ...

Where are we now?

LRB Contributors: Responses to the Referendum, 13 July 2016

... the Sewel Convention states that devolved legislatures must give their consent to the repeal, and Nicola Sturgeon has made clear this will not be forthcoming. If the government went ahead nonetheless, it would clearly be acting unconstitutionally, possibly provoking a constitutional crisis – and this before we even consider the prospect of another Scottish ...

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