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Fatty

Tom Shippey, 5 May 1988

Bare-Faced Messiah: The True Story of L. Ron Hubbard 
by Russell Miller.
Joseph, 390 pp., £12.95, October 1987, 0 7181 2764 1
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Dianetics 
by L. Ron Hubbard.
New Era, 605 pp., £3.50, February 1988, 9781870451185
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Mission Earth. Vol. V: Fortune of Fear 
by L. Ron Hubbard.
New Era, 365 pp., £10.75, July 1987, 1 870451 01 5
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Mission Earth. Vol. VI: Death Quest 
by L. Ron Hubbard.
New Era, 351 pp., £10.95, October 1987, 1 870451 02 3
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... As its title so obviously shows, the main thesis of Russell Miller’s book is that L. Ron Hubbard, inventor of Dianetics and founder of Scientology, was all his life an incorrigible liar. That being the case, it is a pity that the book starts off with a statement which sounds hypocritical at best. ‘I would like to be able to thank the officials of the Church of Scientology for their help in compiling this biography ...

States’ Rights

C.H. Sisson, 15 April 1982

Philosophy and Ideology in Hume’s Political Thought 
by David Miller.
Oxford, 218 pp., £15, November 1981, 0 19 824658 7
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... book of the Treatise, entitled ‘Of Morals’, contains the core of his politics and, as David Miller is careful to demonstrate, the epistemology and the politics are all of a piece. ‘Bertrand Russell,’ as Miller says, ‘used [Hume] to illustrate the absence of any necessary ...

If you don’t swing, don’t ring

Christopher Turner: Playboy Mansions, 21 April 2016

Pornotopia: An Essay on Playboy’s Architecture and Biopolitics 
by Beatriz Preciado.
Zone, 303 pp., £20.95, October 2014, 978 1 935408 48 2
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Down the Rabbit Hole: Curious Adventures and Cautionary Tales of a Former Playboy Bunny 
by Holly Madison.
Dey Street, 334 pp., £16.99, July 2015, 978 0 06 237210 9
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... lockers and communal showers. ‘In stark contrast to the push-button extravagance below,’ Russell Miller noted in Bunny: The Real Story of Playboy, ‘the furnishing of the dormitories abruptly takes on the aspect of a rather parsimonious girls’ boarding school.’ They kept him busy: Hefner claims to have trumped Casanova, logging more than ...

Cheering us up

Ian Jack, 15 September 1988

In for a Penny: The Unauthorised Biography of Jeffrey Archer 
by Jonathan Mantle.
Hamish Hamilton, 264 pp., £11.95, July 1988, 0 241 12478 6
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... Archer biographer came from the lips of Mary Archer herself, when she observed some years ago to Russell Miller of the Sunday Times Magazine that her husband had ‘a gift for inaccurate précis’. Laurence Marks elaborated on this aside in one of his excellent unsigned profiles for the Observer in 1984: All good raconteurs ornament the ...

Coe and Ovett & Co

Russell Davies, 1 October 1981

Running Free 
by Sebastian Coe and David Miller.
Sidgwick, 174 pp., £6.95, May 1981, 0 283 98684 0
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... Coleman, for example, had early ambitions in track and cross-country; and David Miller of the Daily Express, Coe’s collaborator on Running Free, was a near-achiever in more than one sphere, having been, we are told, ‘in the training squad for the British Olympic soccer team’ of 1956, and ‘only 12 feet short of the qualifying distance ...

Always Smiling

Paul Mendez: ‘Real Life’, 19 November 2020

Real Life 
by Brandon Taylor.
Daunt, 327 pp., £9.99, July, 978 1 911547 74 7
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... remind Wallace of his ruined plates in the lab, and keep him from looking directly at his friend Miller, whose growing attachment to Wallace governs the weekend’s action.We learn right away, almost offhand, that Wallace’s estranged father has recently died from cancer, and that Wallace didn’t feel able, or couldn’t be bothered, to travel back south ...

Tracts for the Times

Karl Miller, 17 August 1989

Intellectuals 
by Paul Johnson.
Weidenfeld, 385 pp., £14.95, October 1988, 0 297 79395 0
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CounterBlasts No 1: God, Man and Mrs Thatcher 
by Jonathan Raban.
Chatto, 72 pp., £2.99, June 1989, 0 7011 3470 4
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... so: but some intellectuals have been thought to have difficulty in changing their socks. Bertrand Russell, Paul Johnson reports, was unable to make himself a cup of tea. The term came to currency with the classifications employed in the Marxist system, and has been used to deplore the scarcity in this country of a certain someone supposedly thick on the ...

Diary

Frank Kermode: Being a critic, 27 May 1999

... in the days of Addison you might have done well to begin by heading for Button’s coffeehouse in Russell Street where the great man held court, and be as submissively impressive as possible. Almost three hundred years later, though sadly not for very long, you could make your way to the Pillars of Hercules in Greek Street, where Ian Hamilton, editor of the ...

Howl

Adam Mars-Jones, 21 September 1995

Fullalove 
by Gordon Burn.
Secker, 231 pp., £14.99, August 1995, 0 436 20059 7
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... preferably with a direct link to violent crime, for a tabloid newspaper. His name is Norman Miller, but its similarity to Norman Mailer’s no longer gives him the pleasure it did when his pretensions, if not his values, were higher (an encounter with Mailer at the time of the Foreman-Ali fight in Zaire is one of the novel’s early flourishes). ...

Boys will be girls

Clive James, 1 September 1983

Footlights! A Hundred Years of Cambridge Comedy 
by Robert Hewison.
Methuen, 224 pp., £8.95, June 1983, 0 413 51150 2
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... lipstick, climbing into their frocks and swatting each other with their handbags. While Rosalind Russell was making His Girl Friday, they were still at it. There is no reason to think that the Footlights would ever have grown up by itself. It was a hundred per cent reactionary institution until forced to change by a changing world, and even then it changed ...

Short Cuts

Andrew O’Hagan: Voices from Beyond the Grave, 20 November 2008

... Foreign Office. Which just goes to show that broadcasting vices existed long before the days of Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross. None of the English writers on the British Library CD has a regional accent: Joe Orton doesn’t sound like a boy from Leicester, but like someone from Rada, which claimed only a few years of his life but all of his ...

Inside Mr Shepherd

James Wood: In conversation with Jane Austen, 4 November 2004

Jane Austen and the Morality of Conversation 
by Bharat Tandon.
Anthem, 303 pp., £45, March 2003, 1 84331 101 1
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Jane Austen, or The Secret of Style 
by D.A. Miller.
Princeton, 108 pp., £12.95, September 2003, 0 691 09075 0
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... hint, and only begged leave to recommend an implicit deference to the excellent judgment of Lady Russell, – from whose known good sense he fully expected to have just such resolute measures advised, as he meant to see finally adopted. Free indirect style is paraphrased speech, in essence. For a sentence or two, Austen’s language makes us live inside Mr ...

Lawful Resistance

Blair Worden, 24 November 1988

Algernon Sidney and the English Republic 1623-1677 
by Jonathan Scott.
Cambridge, 258 pp., £27.50, August 1988, 0 521 35290 8
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Seeds of Liberty: 1688 and the Shaping of Modern Britain 
by John Miller.
Souvenir, 128 pp., £15.95, July 1988, 0 285 62839 9
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Reluctant Revolutionaries: Englishmen and the Revolution of 1688 
by W.A. Speck.
Oxford, 267 pp., £17.50, July 1988, 9780198227687
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War and Economy in the Age of William III and Marlborough 
by D.W. Jones.
Blackwell, 351 pp., £35, September 1988, 0 631 16069 8
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Robert Harley: Speaker, Secretary of State and Premier Minister 
by Brian Hill.
Yale, 259 pp., £25, June 1988, 0 300 04284 1
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A Kingdom without a King: The Journal of the Provisional Government in the Revolution of 1688 
by Robert Beddard.
Phaidon, 192 pp., £14.95, November 1988, 9780714825007
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... to the Revolution of 1789; and it was thought as well to say nothing in favour of Hampden, or Russell, or Sydney, for fear it might give spirits to Robespierre, Danton or Marat.’ Four years later the same journal warned, in terms drawn from Fox, that while ‘the doctrine of resistance’ was to be commended for having ‘placed the present Royal family ...

Respectful Perversion

John Pemble: Gilbert and Sullivan, 16 June 2011

Gilbert and Sullivan: Gender, Genre, Parody 
by Carolyn Williams.
Columbia, 454 pp., £24, January 2011, 978 0 231 14804 7
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... on, HMS Pinafore is still afloat. Refitted and relaunched by directors like Joseph Papp, Jonathan Miller, Ken Russell and Mark Savage as post-copyright, post-D’Oyly Carte G&S, not only Pinafore, but The Pirates of Penzance, The Mikado and Princess Ida too have been successfully revived on both sides of the ...

Without Map or Compass

Sionaidh Douglas-Scott: Brexit and the Constitution, 24 May 2018

... in the Article 50 process – a matter that had to be sorted out by the Supreme Court in the Miller case). Since the EU referendum vote, although formally non-binding, was carried out on a UK-wide basis, with no protection for different results in the devolved nations, Scotland and Northern Ireland’s vote to remain in the EU is treated as being of no ...

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