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At Tate Britain

Peter Campbell: How We Are, 5 July 2007

... of images of great men. But many early art photographs do recall paintings. Country people in Peter Henry Emerson’s pictures from the 1880s and 1890s of rural life in East Anglia have a Millet-like quietness. Alvin Langdon Coburn’s photogravures of London at night taken in the early 1900s emulate the inky fogs and soft highlights of contemporary ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Amis Biz, 19 April 2001

... Martin Amis’s memoir, Experience, was recently published in paperback. The banned ads have returned to the Underground, now that the offending image of the boy Amis ‘smoking’ in short trousers – never mind that the cigarette was unlit – has been overlaid by a minimalist design of red and white text stamped on a wash of black, intimating No Logo chic ...

An Enemy Within

Paul Foot, 23 April 1987

Molehunt: The Full Story of the Soviet Mole in MI5 
by Nigel West.
Weidenfeld, 208 pp., £10.95, March 1987, 0 297 79150 8
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... something of a reputation as Leftists. The two officers at the centre of this molehunt were Arthur Martin and Peter Wright. Wright was a brilliant scientist and a grammar-school patriot who always doubted the patriotism of his public-school superiors. He held extreme right-wing views. His devotion to rooting out Lefties at ...

First past the post

Peter Clarke, 17 February 1983

The People of England 
by Maurice Ashley.
Weidenfeld, 240 pp., £11.50, October 1982, 0 297 78178 2
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A New History of England, 410-1975 
by L.C.B. Seaman.
Macmillan, 576 pp., £6.95, August 1982, 0 333 33415 9
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The Making of Modern British Politics, 1867-1939 
by Martin Pugh.
Blackwell, 337 pp., £19.50, May 1982, 0 631 12985 5
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... a number of monographs published during the 1970s. No cause for professional reproach here. What Martin Pugh has done, however, must be distinguished from this sort of enterprise. True, The Making of Modern British Politics is frankly aiming to make itself heard beyond the ranks of academic historians. But its wish is explicitly to take their current ...

It’s Been a Lot of Fun

David Runciman: Hitchens’s Hitchens, 24 June 2010

Hitch-22: A Memoir 
by Christopher Hitchens.
Atlantic, 435 pp., £20, June 2010, 978 1 84354 921 5
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... In his book about religion, Peter Hitchens has a lot more to say about his brother Christopher than Christopher has to say about Peter in his book about himself.* ‘Some brothers get on,’ Peter writes mournfully, ‘some do not. We were the sort that just didn’t ...

Possible Enemies

M.A. Screech, 16 June 1983

Collected Works of Erasmus. Vol. V: The Correspondence of Erasmus 
edited by Peter Bietenholz, translated by R.A.B Mynors.
Toronto, 462 pp., £68.25, December 1979, 0 8020 5429 3
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Collected Works of Erasmus. Vol. XXXI: Adages Ii 1 to Iv 100 
edited by R.A.B. Mynors, translated by Margaret Mann Phillips.
Toronto, 420 pp., £51.80, December 1982, 0 8020 2373 8
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Le Disciple de Pantagruel 
edited by Guy Demerson and Christiane Lauvergnat-Gagnière.
Nizet, 98 pp.
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... letter. If you want a copy, write it out yourself, but destroy my handwriting’ (No 899). And Martin Lipsius is told to seal up his letters ‘because of the servant’. One of the results of the Renaissance habit of self-conscious re-editing of letters is that the printed correspondence of friends often seems less spontaneous than the snipings of ...

Peter Conrad’s Flight from Precision

Richard Poirier, 17 July 1980

Imagining America 
by Peter Conrad.
Routledge, 319 pp., £7.50, May 1980, 0 7100 0370 6
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... they intended to find. Though he doesn’t mention Rosenberg, or any other critic for that matter, Peter Conrad, Fellow of Christ Church, Oxford, is convinced that a similar destiny was in store for the English writers of the 19th and 20th centuries who ‘imagined’ America during their visits to it. They imagined it not freely but in obedience to various ...

Pretty Things

Peter Campbell, 21 February 1980

Masquerade 
by Kit Williams.
Cape, 32 pp., £3.50, September 1980, 0 224 01617 2
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Beauty and the Beast 
by Rosemary Harris and Errol Le Cain.
Faber, 32 pp., £3.50, October 1980, 0 571 11374 5
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Mazel and Shlimazel 
by Isaac Bashevis Singer and Margot Zemach.
Cape, 42 pp., £3.95, November 1980, 0 224 01758 6
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La Corona 
by Russell Hoban and Nicola Bayley.
Cape, 32 pp., £3.50, September 1980, 0 224 01397 1
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Cats’Eyes 
by Anthony Taber.
Gollancz, 80 pp., £4.50, September 1980, 0 575 02664 2
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Comic and Curious Cats 
by Angela Carter and Martin Leman.
Gollancz, 32 pp., £3.50, April 1980, 0 575 02592 1
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The Wild Washerwomen 
by John Yeoman and Quentin Blake.
Hamish Hamilton, 32 pp., £3.75, October 1980, 0 241 89928 1
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... child – who loves cats, rather than for someone who is interested in them. It is an ABC in which Martin Leman’s paintings (the most striking is an over life-size portrait, full face, of a white cat with a pink nose and turquoise eyes, backed by red brick mill buildings with smoking chimneys) face pages of text which are in the form: ‘I love my cat with ...

Do you think he didn’t know?

Stefan Collini: Kingsley Amis, 14 December 2006

The Life of Kingsley Amis 
by Zachary Leader.
Cape, 996 pp., £25, November 2006, 0 224 06227 1
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... No one writing about Amis’s life can help but be intimidated by the dazzling presence of Martin Amis’s Experience (2000). An unclassifiable memoir-testament-album-apologia, this deeply clever book is also a love song to his father, whose last years and death it selectively recounts, interweaving other episodes in the son’s life, including ...

City of Dust

Julian Symons, 25 July 1991

A Den of Foxes 
by Stuart Hood.
Methuen, 217 pp., £13.99, July 1991, 9780413651105
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Dirty Tricks 
by Michael Dibdin.
Faber, 241 pp., £13.99, June 1991, 0 571 16216 9
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A Strange and Sublime Address 
by Amit Chaudhuri.
Heinemann, 209 pp., £13.99, June 1991, 9780434123483
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Spider 
by Patrick McGrath.
Viking, 221 pp., £13.99, April 1991, 0 670 83684 2
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... Question does engage the attention of novelists, they approach it with glancing allusiveness, like Martin Amis, or cover it with the cloak of magical realism, which, whatever its dubious imaginative benefits, weakens any intended social point. So it is no surprise that Stuart Hood and Michael Dibdin concern themselves with the present state of society and ...

The market taketh away

Paul Foot, 3 July 1997

Number One Millbank: The Financial Downfall of the Church of England 
by Terry Lovell.
HarperCollins, 263 pp., £15.99, June 1997, 0 00 627866 3
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... in Sussex Gardens in 1963, infuriated the Commissioners by likening them to the slum landlord, Peter Rachman. Rachman, Bartlett said, had made life difficult for a few hundred people, the Church Commissioners had done the same for a few thousand. Another whinger was the Rev. Adam Duff, vicar of Holy Trinity Church in Bishop’s Bridge ...

Molehunt

Christopher Andrew, 22 January 1987

Sword and Shield: Soviet Intelligence and Security Apparatus 
by Jeffrey Richelson.
Harper and Row, 279 pp., £11.95, February 1986, 0 88730 035 9
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The Red and the Blue: Intelligence, Treason and the University 
by Andrew Sinclair.
Weidenfeld, 240 pp., £12.95, June 1986, 0 297 78866 3
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Inside Stalin’s Secret Police: NKVD Politics 1936-39 
by Robert Conquest.
Macmillan, 222 pp., £25, January 1986, 0 333 39260 4
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Conspiracy of Silence: The Secret Life of Anthony Blunt 
by Barrie Penrose and Simon Freeman.
Grafton, 588 pp., £14.95, November 1986, 0 246 12200 5
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... moles. The key figure in the flow of Cambridge atomic physics to the Kremlin was, he believes, Peter Kapitsa, who arrived at the Cavendish in 1921, became Professor Sir Ernest Rutherford’s favourite pupil and was elected a fellow of Trinity. Each Tuesday at Trinity Kapitsa ran an informal club at which about thirty scientists discussed their latest ...

Ripping Yarns

John Sutherland, 8 April 1993

Tennyson 
by Michael Thorn.
Little, Brown, 566 pp., £18.99, October 1992, 0 316 90299 3
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Tennyson 
by Peter Levi.
Macmillan, 370 pp., £20, March 1993, 0 333 52205 2
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... a poet for the wild Sixties. A provocative spin was given to the debate by Robert Bernard Martin in his Tennyson: The Unquiet Heart (1980). Martin traced the Tennysonian gloom back to the fear of stigmatising illness. Young Alfred’s formative years, according to this biography, were haunted by ‘the dark ...

Corbyn in the Media

Paul Myerscough, 22 October 2015

... on Remembrance Day? Would he kneel to the queen when he was admitted to the Privy Council (see Martin Loughlin’s piece on p. 29)? On the day after he was elected, he spoke at a mental health trust fun day in his constituency instead of going on the Andrew Marr Show. Later that day he was filmed as he hurried along the pavement outside Westminster in ...

Thatcher’s Artists

Peter Wollen, 30 October 1997

Sensation: Young British Artists from the Saatchi Collection 
by Norman Rosenthal.
Thames and Hudson, 222 pp., £29.95, September 1997, 0 500 23752 2
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... of, more as contributors to a loose art ‘scene’ with a complex pattern of interaction. Then Martin Maloney gives an insider view, writing as a painter whose own work is represented in the show, as well as a prolific art journalist (Art Forum, Flash Art etc). Brooks Adams is an American an journalist based in New York, who follows up with an outsider’s ...

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