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Jesus Christie

Richard Wollheim, 3 October 1985

J.T. Christie: A Great Teacher 
by Donald Lindsay, Roger Young and Hugh Lloyd-Jones.
Plume, 211 pp., £12.50, September 1984, 0 947656 00 6
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... I would go into the book department, where I stumbled across a pile of canary yellow pamphlets by Aldous Huxley. One was called the ‘Encyclopedia of Pacifism’. Under the influence of these pamphlets I decided to leave the OTC. The master in charge of my section – who was famous for his evening prowls through the boys’ bathrooms, floating his hand ...

Good Schools

Tessa Blackstone, 2 December 1982

The Changing Anatomy of Britain 
by Anthony Sampson.
Hodder, 476 pp., £9.95, September 1982, 9780340209646
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An English Education: A Perspective of Eton 
by Richard Ollard.
Collins, 216 pp., £9.95, September 1982, 0 00 216495 7
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Survival Programmes in Britain’s Inner Cities 
Open University, 224 pp., £6.95, September 1982, 0 335 10111 9Show More
Liverpool 8 
by John Cornelius.
Murray, 177 pp., £5.95, September 1982, 0 7195 3975 7
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The Other Britain 
edited by Paul Barker.
Routledge, 276 pp., £9.95, October 1982, 9780710093080
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... a reflection of the hold which Eton has over Britain’s Establishment that a talented writer like Richard Ollard can devote a year or more of his time to a book about a single school during a short period of its history. Where else in the world could such a book be written and not gather dust at the back of old-fashioned bookshops? Ollard mentions in his ...


D.A.N. Jones, 12 July 1990

A Sort of Clowning: Life and Times, 1940-59 
by Richard Hoggart.
Chatto, 225 pp., £14.95, June 1990, 0 7011 3607 3
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Tilting at Don Quixote 
by Nicholas Wollaston.
Deutsch, 314 pp., £14.95, June 1990, 0 233 98551 4
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Finger Lickin’ Good: A Kentucky Childhood 
by Paul Levy.
Chatto, 202 pp., £13.95, May 1990, 0 7011 3521 2
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How Many Miles to Babylon? 
by Adewale Maja-Pearce.
Heinemann, 154 pp., £13.95, June 1990, 0 434 44172 4
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... of escape’ – escape from society. Finally (and to be taken foremost) is A Sort of Clowning by Richard Hoggart, perhaps the most usefully class-conscious English writer of our time. He created an accepted general idea of the British ‘working class’ in 1957, with The Uses of Literacy. He developed his concept, most recently, in his memoir, A Local ...


Tom Vanderbilt: ‘The Manchurian Candidate’, 21 August 2003

The Manchurian Candidate: BFI Film Classics 
by Greil Marcus.
BFI, 75 pp., £8.99, July 2002, 0 85170 931 1
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... past their limits as artists or actors or technicians, and made them propel their material, Richard Condon’s cheaply paranoid fantasy, past its limits.’ And part of the answer is to do with the power of that fantasy, the way in which The Manchurian Candidate links into the enduring pattern of paranoid politics in America. Despite its talk of ...

No False Modesty

Rosemary Hill: Edith Sitwell, 20 October 2011

Edith Sitwell: Avant-Garde Poet, English Genius 
by Richard Greene.
Virago, 532 pp., £25, March 2011, 978 1 86049 967 8
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... years her local department store in Bayswater) – is one of several interesting points on which Richard Greene has nothing to say in this disappointingly flat biography. Why she did it she explained herself. It was, like so much in her life and work, the result of a famously (if productively) unhappy childhood. The Sitwells, Edith and her two younger ...

Zoning Out and In

Christopher Tayler: Richard Ford, 30 November 2006

The Lay of the Land 
by Richard Ford.
Bloomsbury, 485 pp., £17.99, October 2006, 0 7475 8188 6
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... you lose all hope,’ he says, ‘you can always find it again.’ And you sense that both he and Richard Ford would shake their heads if you were to read the novel as the dramatic monologue of a character whose optimism is merely an inversion of Richard Yates-style pessimism or a quality he’s been given to emphasise the ...

The Girl in the Shiny Boots

Richard Wollheim: Adolescence, 20 May 2004

... a great deal to say. Would I ever talk to her, this creature from Mars, this character from an Aldous Huxley novel? I assumed not, but to my amazement I found a way of doing so, I do not know how, and straightaway we were walking together, slightly faster than I would have chosen, round and round the municipal flowerbeds that stretched from the hotel to ...

Lawrence and Burgess

Frank Kermode, 19 September 1985

Flame into Being: The Life and Work of D.H. Lawrence 
by Anthony Burgess.
Heinemann, 211 pp., £9.95, September 1985, 0 434 09818 3
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The Kingdom of the Wicked 
by Anthony Burgess.
Hutchinson, 379 pp., £9.95, May 1985, 0 09 160040 5
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... at the wrong moment and abetting her husband’s neglect of his health. It is on Aldous Huxley’s testimony that we are informed of Lawrence’s condemnation of Frieda just before his death: ‘Frieda, you have killed me.’ Burgess, who admires the Huxleys, doesn’t question this, but argues that, whatever the cost, Lawrence needed Frieda ...

British Worthies

David Cannadine, 3 December 1981

The Directory of National Biography, 1961-1970 
edited by E.T. Williams and C.S. Nicholls.
Oxford, 1178 pp., £40, October 1981, 0 19 865207 0
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... on Ian Fleming, P.N. Furbank on E.M. Forster, Philip Williams on Gaitskell, Sybille Bedford on Aldous Huxley, Michael Holroyd on Augustus John, J.E. Morpurgo on Allen Lane, Ronald Lewin on Slim and Christopher Sykes on Evelyn Waugh. On the other hand, we do get José Harris on Beveridge, James Lees-Milne on Harold Nicolson, O.S. Nock on Stanier, and Hugh ...

The Power of Sunshine

Alexander Cockburn, 10 January 1991

City of Quartz: Excavating the Future of Los Angeles 
by Mike Davis.
Verso, 462 pp., £18.95, November 1990, 0 86091 303 1
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... is to weave through place and time with a guide as robust and detailed in his knowledge as, say, Richard Cobb is about France, albeit with diametrically opposite political analysis and enthusiasms. As a pamphleteer and radical, Davis is still very much on active service, though, as he remarked not so long ago, the programme of a radical in Los Angeles today ...

How the Laundry Basket Squeaked

Kirsty Gunn: Katherine Mansfield, 11 April 2013

The Edinburgh Edition of the Collected Works of Katherine Mansfield: Vol I 
edited by Gerri Kimber and Vincent O’Sullivan.
Edinburgh, 551 pp., £85, October 2012, 978 0 7486 4274 8
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The Edinburgh Edition of the Collected Works of Katherine Mansfield: Vol II 
edited by Gerri Kimber and Vincent O’Sullivan.
Edinburgh, 541 pp., £85, October 2012, 978 0 7486 4275 5
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... downright good a story … Too oily.’ ‘I was only thinking last night,’ she wrote in 1921 to Richard Murry, ‘people have hardly begun to write yet – now I mean prose … Aren’t they still cutting up sections rather than tackling the whole of a mind? … With all that one knows how much does one not know? … The unknown is far, far greater than the ...

Rain, Blow, Rustle

Nick Richardson: John Cage, 19 August 2010

No Such Thing As Silence: John Cage’s 4'33" 
by Kyle Gann.
Yale, 255 pp., £16.99, April 2010, 978 0 300 13699 9
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... Depression, convinced his future lay in music. In 1933 he sent a clarinet sonata to the pianist Richard Buhlig who, impressed by its maturity, sent it on to the composer Henry Cowell, then a major figure in the American avant-garde and an outspoken advocate of non-Western musical traditions. He liked the piece enough to include it in a concert programme and ...

Oh, the Irony

Thomas Jones: Ian McEwan, 25 March 2010

by Ian McEwan.
Cape, 285 pp., £18.99, 0 224 09049 6
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... Beard is a Nobel Prize-winning physicist in his fifties. But it’s been thirty years since Richard Feynman hailed Beard’s research as ‘magic’ at the 1972 Solvay Conference, and the Beard-Einstein Conflation – the details of which are for obvious reasons left vague, though it has something to do with ‘the interaction of light with ...

Michael Gove recommends …

Robert Hanks: Dennis Wheatley, 20 January 2011

The Devil Is a Gentleman: The Life and Times of Dennis Wheatley 
by Phil Baker.
Dedalus, 699 pp., £25, October 2009, 978 1 903517 75 8
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... expensive collection of books, mainly erotica and modern first editions; he was especially keen on Aldous Huxley, corresponding with him (‘I’m afraid you must be tired of the sight of my notepaper and bad spelling’) and even persuading Huxley to dine with him. His father’s death in 1927, leaving him in charge of Wheatley & Son, brought temporary relief ...

Lace the air with LSD

Mike Jay: Brain Warfare, 4 February 2021

Poisoner in Chief: Sidney Gottlieb and the CIA Search for Mind Control 
by Stephen Kinzer.
Henry Holt, 384 pp., £11.99, November 2020, 978 1 250 76262 7
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... men were caught breaking into the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee in June 1972, Richard Helms, then director of the CIA, refused to help with the cover-up. In February 1973, after his re-election, Nixon fired Helms and replaced him with James Schlesinger. In an initiative to regain public trust as the crisis escalated, Schlesinger announced ...

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