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Charmed Life

John Bayley, 15 September 1983

The Russian Revolutionary Novel: Turgenev to Pasternak 
by Richard Freeborn.
Cambridge, 256 pp., £27.50, January 1983, 0 521 24442 0
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Boris Pasternak: His Life and Art 
by Guy de Mallac.
Souvenir, 450 pp., £14.95, February 1983, 0 285 62558 6
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Pasternak: A Biography 
by Ronald Hingley.
Weidenfeld, 294 pp., £12.95, August 1983, 9780297782070
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Selected Poems 
by Boris Pasternak, translated by Jon Stallworthy and Peter France.
Allen Lane, 160 pp., £7.50, February 1983, 0 7139 1497 1
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Poets of Modern Russia 
by Peter France.
Cambridge, 240 pp., £20, February 1983, 0 521 23490 5
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Russian Literature since the Revolution 
by Edward Brown.
Harvard, 413 pp., £20, December 1982, 0 674 78203 8
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... the mystery and miracle of his existence. In his excellent book on the Russian Revolutionary novel Richard Freeborn discusses the many forerunners of Dr Zhivago, and implies, what is certainly the case, that the novels which had sought to come to terms with the new world of the Revolution – Fedin’s Cities and Years, Veresaev’s The ...

The Statistical Gaze

Helen McCarthy: The British Census, 29 June 2017

The Butcher, the Baker, the Candlestick-Maker: The Story of Britain through Its Census, since 1801 
by Roger Hutchinson.
Little, Brown, 352 pp., £20, February 2017, 978 1 4087 0701 2
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... between demography and prosperity. Population was a controversial subject. The radical philosopher Richard Price had been convinced in the 1770s that Britain’s population was shrinking fast, with dire consequences for national wellbeing. Thomas Malthus was equally convinced that the opposite was true, making that case in his Essay on the Principle of ...

Let him be Caesar!

Michael Dobson: The Astor Place Riot, 2 August 2007

The Shakespeare Riots: Revenge, Drama and Death in 19th-Century America 
by Nigel Cliff.
Random House, 312 pp., $26.95, April 2007, 978 0 345 48694 3
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... Shakespearean actor Edwin Forrest (1806-72), a man described by his admiring modern biographer Richard Moody as ‘the first actor who refused to subscribe to the nation’s cultural inferiority complex’. As The Shakespeare Riots makes clear, however, Forrest was sufficiently affected by this inferiority complex to have spent much of his life ...

Strong Government

Linda Colley, 7 December 1989

The Sinews of Power: War, Money and the English State, 1688-1788 
by John Brewer.
Unwin Hyman, 289 pp., £28, April 1989, 0 04 445292 6
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Cambridge in the Age of the Enlightenment: Science, Religion and Politics from the Restoration to the French Revolution 
by John Gascoigne.
Cambridge, 358 pp., £32.50, June 1989, 0 521 35139 1
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Imperial Meridian: The British Empire and the World 
by C.A. Bayly.
Longman, 295 pp., £16.95, June 1989, 0 582 04287 9
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... was predictable, too, that the heroes of the social history of the Sixties and Seventies – the freeborn Englishman and his protests, the class-conscious working man, the unruly Briton who could only be pushed so far – would lose some of their immediate appeal. For much of the Eighties, the British have not seemed a markedly disorderly people; nor have ...

Diary

Craig Raine: In Moscow, 22 March 1990

... but I feel gratified somehow by the idea of beating bureaucracy, of asserting the right of every freeborn Englishman to fiddle his expenses. At Aeroflot, Jenny is out to lunch. It is 4.40. Finally, at 4.50, she appears. The manager has the tickets. He is out to lunch and his office is locked. Then it transpires that he has given the tickets to another ...

Dazed and Confused

Paul Laity: Are the English human?, 28 November 2002

Patriots: National Identity in Britain 1940-2000 
by Richard Weight.
Macmillan, 866 pp., £25, May 2002, 0 333 73462 9
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Pariah: Misfortunes of the British Kingdom 
by Tom Nairn.
Verso, 176 pp., £13, September 2002, 1 85984 657 2
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Identity of England 
by Robert Colls.
Oxford, 422 pp., £25, October 2002, 0 19 924519 3
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Albion: The Origins of the English Imagination 
by Peter Ackroyd.
Chatto, 518 pp., £25, October 2002, 1 85619 716 6
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... recording of ‘God Save the King’ and other patriotic anthems. ‘Not surprisingly’, Richard Weight remarks in Patriots, the convoy ‘got a muted reception when it parked in the ruins of Berlin’. In France, the bus crews were treated to mayoral banquets, only for their leader to complain about the ‘strange dishes’ which weren’t ...

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