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Walter Nash, 18 February 1988

The Panda Hunt 
by Richard Burns.
Cape, 189 pp., £10.95, August 1987, 0 224 02445 0
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Davy Chadwick 
by James Buchan.
Hamish Hamilton, 145 pp., £9.95, September 1987, 0 241 12115 9
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Overhead in a Balloon: Stories of Paris 
by Mavis Gallant.
Cape, 196 pp., £10.95, August 1987, 0 224 02426 4
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Black Idol 
by Lisa St Aubin de Teran.
Cape, 157 pp., £9.95, September 1987, 9780224024372
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... or a beginning or a redemption. What have Edmund and Roscoe gone into the wilderness to see? Mr Burns properly leaves the answer to his readers. When the explorers find their panda – ‘sitting on its fat butt with a piece of bamboo in its hand ... It looked like a man dressed in fur’ – Roscoe, the immaculate marksman who never fails while his ...

What do we mean by it?

J.G.A. Pocock, 7 January 1993

The Cambridge History of Political Thought: 1450-1700 
edited by J.H. Burns and Mark Goldie.
Cambridge, 798 pp., £60, August 1991, 0 521 24716 0
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... This volume is one of a series. Professor Burns has already edited the Cambridge History of Medieval Political Thought: c. 250-c. 1450 (1988), Dr Goldie is to join with Robert Wokler in editing the Cambridge History of 18th-Century Political Thought, and a volume on the 19th century is to follow. These furthermore are ‘Cambridge histories’ in the classic sense, laid down by Lord Acton a century ago: general editors co-ordinate a series of chapters on related topics, each written by an authority in the field it defines ...

That sh—te Creech

James Buchan: The Scottish Enlightenment, 5 April 2007

The Enlightenment and the Book: Scottish Authors and Their Publishers in 18th-Century Britain, Ireland and America 
by Richard Sher.
Chicago, 815 pp., £25.50, February 2007, 978 0 226 75252 5
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... Johnson visited Pembroke College, Oxford and called on the master, William Adams. According to Richard Sher, Boswell wrote in his journal how dismayed he had been to see in the master’s library a copy of the quarto edition of David Hume’s Essays and Treatises on Several Subjects of 1758, handsomely bound in morocco leather. Boswell believed, Sher ...

At the Royal Academy

Peter Campbell: Palladio, 12 February 2009

... century. The drawings are gathered together in The Four Books on Architecture (Robert Tavernor and Richard Schofield’s 1997 translation is the most recent), which are still a source for modern architects. Palladio’s origins may explain his books’ directness. He worked with his hands – he was a stone carver until he was 30 years old – and came ...

Good Things

Michael Hofmann, 20 April 1995

Heart’s Journey in Winter 
by James Buchan.
Harvill, 201 pp., £14.99, April 1995, 9780002730099
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... damp and dilapidated house in Italy with dodgy investments and asset sales, in Davy Chadwick; Richard Verey in Slide, after spells in the Foreign Service and on Wall Street, effectively on the run from himself, finally forced back to what he knows best of all after running out of world: ‘I might not be here, in this ridiculous landscape, hurrying down ...

A Mile or Two outside Worthing

Richard Jenkyns: Edward Trelawny, 26 November 1998

Lord Byron’s Jackal: A Life of Trelawny 
by David Crane.
HarperCollins, 398 pp., £19.99, July 1998, 0 00 255631 6
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... severely. In old age, when he had become the ancient priest of Shelley’s cult, he would show the burns to visiting pilgrims like stigmata. There were even relics: he used to display the poet’s jawbone, and presented W.M. Rossetti with a fragment of his forehead. A month after meeting him, Mary Shelley was comparing him to Anastasius, the hero of Thomas ...

Raised Eyebrows

Eleanor Birne: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, 5 October 2006

Half of a Yellow Sun 
by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
Fourth Estate, 433 pp., £14.99, August 2006, 0 00 720027 7
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... Odenigbo; Olanna, rich and beautiful, who is Odenigbo’s girlfriend, and later his wife; and Richard, a white Englishman and Olanna’s sister’s lover. It spans the decade to the end of the Biafran war of 1967-70, in which more than a million people died. Its focus is the impact of the war on these characters and the characters they interact with. The ...

Father Bosco to Africa

Walter Nash, 5 February 1987

The Red Men 
by Patrick McGinley.
Cape, 304 pp., £10.95, January 1987, 0 224 02386 1
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Chat Show 
by Terence de Vere White.
Gollancz, 207 pp., £9.95, January 1987, 0 575 03910 8
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Leaden Wings 
by Zhang Jie, translated by Gladys Yang.
Virgo, 180 pp., £9.95, January 1987, 0 86068 759 7
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Russian Novel 
by Edward Kuznetsov, translated by Jennifer Bradshaw.
Quartet, 285 pp., £12.95, January 1987, 0 7043 2522 5
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Richard Robertovich 
by Mark Frankland.
Murray, 216 pp., £9.95, January 1987, 0 7195 4330 4
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... with a different species of innocence – is the title-figure of Mark Frankland’s fine novel Richard Robertovich. Richard Southwell is an Englishman with an idealistic vision or, as one of his Russian friends puts it, ‘an opium dream’ of the Soviet Union. His faith in it as a place where ‘what counts in ...

Public Enemy

R.W. Johnson, 26 November 1987

Secrecy and Power: The Life of J. Edgar Hoover 
by Richard Gid Powers.
Hutchinson, 624 pp., £16.95, August 1987, 0 02 925060 9
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... security. He’s the only one you can put your complete trust in’: thus Lyndon Johnson to Richard Nixon, 1968. It is not often that a book casts fresh light on American history throughout this century, but this biography of Edgar Hoover does just that. Not only was Hoover, as head of the FBI, America’s leading policeman: he enjoyed an extraordinary ...

On Paul Muldoon

Clair Wills, 6 February 2020

... his tink tink, tink tinkbespeaking a familiarity with the science of iron-carbon alloysthe Chinese developed alongside the Dao,he’s believed to anticipate the licethat will infest his nest by stitching intoits brush-pile the egg sacs of lice-eating spiders.This ‘time-release packet’ is just one example of what Muldoon describes elsewhere in the collection as ‘future-proofing’ (‘Once we relied on a hoard//of seed that had been sacked/and saved ...

White Slaves

Christopher Driver, 3 March 1983

Prostitution and Prejudice: The Jewish Fight against White Slavery, 1870-1939 
by Edward Bristow.
Oxford, 340 pp., £15, November 1982, 0 19 822588 1
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Peasants, Rebels and Outcastes 
by Mikiso Hane.
Scolar, 297 pp., £12.50, October 1982, 0 85967 670 6
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... Richard Titmuss has cast light on civilisation by comparing what happens when blood is sold and when it is donated. Edward Bristow’s subject, likewise, is a service which may be either donated or traded – or obtained under duress. His exploration of it takes him into unfamiliar recesses of public and private depravity, and shines a torch into the laundry room of Judaism ...

Other Selves

John Bayley, 29 October 1987

How I Grew 
by Mary McCarthy.
Weidenfeld, 278 pp., £14.95, September 1987, 0 297 79170 2
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Myself and Michael Innes 
by J.I.M. Stewart.
Gollancz, 206 pp., £12.95, September 1987, 0 575 04104 8
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... Vassar at the time of her marriage. They parted after a few years and Johnsrud died in 1939 of burns received when trying to rescue one of his manuscripts from a fire in his room at the Brevoort Hotel. Rather unkindly, he features in the absorbing ‘Brief Biographical Glossary of Lesser Known Figures’, compiled by Carol Brightman, which the reader comes ...

Poetry to Thrill an Oyster

Gregory Woods: Fitz-Greene Halleck, 16 November 2000

The American Byron: Homosexuality and the Fall of Fitz-Greene Halleck 
by John W.M. Hallock.
Wisconsin, 226 pp., £14.95, April 2000, 0 299 16804 2
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... called on Halleck on arrival in New York in 1842, but later wrote him off as a mere imitator. Richard Dana thought his ‘Marco Bozzaris’ was America’s best lyric poem. John Quincy Adams referred to one of his poems in a speech to the House of Representatives in 1836. Most inexplicable of all, on 15 May 1877, fifty thousand people gathered in Central ...

Pocock’s Positions

Blair Worden, 4 November 1993

Political Discourse in Early Modern Britain 
edited by Nicholas Phillipson and Quentin Skinner.
Cambridge, 444 pp., £35, March 1993, 9780521392426
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... hostility to eloquence and represented it as compatible with the exercise of reason. Richard Tuck’s essay, on Hobbes’s religion, also brings out differences between Leviathan and the earlier works, which had been less theologically unorthodox and less profoundly anti-clerical. Nearly a quarter of a century has passed since Pocock urged that ...

Fashionable Gore

Katherine Rundell: H. Rider Haggard, 3 April 2014

King Solomon’s Mines 
by H. Rider Haggard.
Vintage, 337 pp., £7.99, May 2013, 978 0 09 958282 3
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She 
by H. Rider Haggard.
Vintage, 317 pp., £8.99, May 2013, 978 0 09 958283 0
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... it isn’t; nor is it run of the mill. It is the book which sowed the seed for John Buchan’s Richard Hannay, for Indiana Jones and James Bond, and though less slick than its successors, its anxieties and lunacies are more interesting. It isn’t suitable for children; perhaps not suitable at all.As a child Henry Rider Haggard was believed to be ...

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