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Anita Brookner, 3 February 1983

Where I Used to Play on the Green 
by Glyn Hughes.
Gollancz, 192 pp., £7.95, January 1982, 0 575 02997 8
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Virginie 
by John Hawkes.
Chatto, 212 pp., £8.50, January 1983, 0 7011 3908 0
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Ancient Enemies 
by Elizabeth North.
Cape, 230 pp., £7.95, November 1982, 0 224 02052 8
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Dancing Girls 
by Margaret Atwood.
Cape, 240 pp., £7.95, October 1982, 0 224 01835 3
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Master of the Game 
by Sidney Sheldon.
Collins, 495 pp., £8.95, January 1983, 0 00 222614 6
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... compilation of a log-book. But for those who do not care for such complexities, there is always Sidney Sheldon, with his pleasing tales of love and skulduggery in the multi-million-dollar conglomerate zone, of the frail but indomitable heroine who rises above the heartache of her private life in order to get into zinc, armaments, real estate, and ...

Travelling Southwards

Andrew O’Hagan: ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’, 19 July 2012

Fifty Shades of Grey 
by E.L. James.
Arrow, 514 pp., £7.99, April 2012, 978 0 09 957993 9
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... to discover that everything that wasn’t a copy of Jaws was by Jackie Collins, Harold Robbins, Sidney Sheldon, or Danielle Steel. I noted this cultural deficit in my compendium of things to complain about to God but I read The Bitch myself on the way home and remember a very fruity passage in which the heroine, a woman who owned a disco and was ...

Ideas about Inferiority

Sheldon Rothblatt, 4 April 1985

Ability, Merit and Measurement: Mental Testing and English Education 1880-1940 
by Gillian Sutherland and Stephen Sharp.
Oxford, 332 pp., £25, June 1984, 0 19 822632 2
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... biographer, Karl Pearson and the now infamous Sir Cyril Burt and a cast of fellow travellers. Even Sidney Webb cagily voiced eugenical arguments while remaining a committed environmentalist. We encounter the first steps towards academic respectability, such as the founding in 1901 of new journals like Biometrika, and the creation of the Eugenic Education ...

Ideas of Decline

Sheldon Rothblatt, 6 August 1981

English Culture and the Decline of the Industrial Spirit, 1850-1980 
by Martin Wiener.
Cambridge, 217 pp., £9.95, April 1981, 0 521 23418 2
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Peaceful Conquest: The Industrialisation of Europe, 1760-1970 
by Sidney Pollard.
Oxford, 451 pp., £7.95, June 1981, 0 19 877093 6
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... Ultimately, a proper evaluation of Britain’s economic record requires a degree of comparison. Sidney Pollard’s bravura comparative study of the stages of economic growth in Eastern and Western Europe is not in any sense an answer to Wiener. On several occasions he alludes to ‘stagnation’ in the British economy, but this is not intended to be a ...

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