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High Time for Reform

Rosalind Mitchison, 1 May 1980

The Philosophic Radicals: Nine Studies in Theory and Practice, 1817-1841 
by William Thomas.
Oxford, 491 pp., £15, December 1979, 0 19 822490 7
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... is stressed. Then we have the rigid, limited, puritan monolith of James Mill, applying the Bell and Lancaster system, not only in the horrifying way in which his own children were to be educated, but as a description of the progress of different branches of the family of nations: ‘The human race is like a growing family in which some members were ...

Superchild

John Bayley, 6 September 1984

The Diary of Virginia Woolf. Vol. V: 1936-1941 
edited by Anne Olivier Bell and Andrew McNeillie.
Chatto, 402 pp., £17.50, June 1984, 0 7012 0566 0
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Deceived with Kindness: A Bloomsbury Childhood 
by Angelica Garnett.
Chatto, 181 pp., £9.95, August 1984, 0 7011 2821 6
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... seeing him at the dinner-table. Surprising, in view of this, that so perceptive an admirer as Stuart Hampshire should have remarked of the first volume of the Diary that it gave ‘an almost unequalled account of the imagination working’. Is not the impression of a different process, of writing and seeing as a substitute for imagining? Her imagination ...

Three Women

Andrew O’Hagan: Work in progress, 10 December 1998

... tenants up for removal. And in every block they took turns to watch the street. They stood with a bell. First sight of the bailiff’s officer the alarm bell would ring out the strikers’ angelus. And down the women would come from all parts of the building. ‘Some with flour, if baking, wet clothes, if washing,’ wrote ...

Flirting

P.N. Furbank, 18 November 1982

The English World: History, Character and People 
edited by Robert Blake.
Thames and Hudson, 268 pp., £14.95, September 1982, 0 500 25083 9
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The English Gentleman: The Rise and Fall of an Ideal 
by Philip Mason.
Deutsch, 240 pp., £9.95, September 1982, 9780233974897
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... The profound patriotism of Shelley and Byron, the inability to think logically of John Stuart Mill and Cardinal Newman and Lewis Carroll? No, it won’t do, and Orwell, for once, was talking through his hat – perhaps relaxing in what he considered an ‘English’ manner. It really seems, then, not quite proper that distinguished experts should ...

Vienna discovers its past

Peter Pulzer, 1 August 1985

Refugee Scholars in America: Their Impact and their Experiences 
by Lewis Coser.
Yale, 351 pp., £25, October 1984, 0 300 03193 9
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The Viennese Enlightenment 
by Mark Francis.
Croom Helm, 176 pp., £15.95, May 1985, 0 7099 1065 7
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The Jews of Vienna, 1867-1914: Assimilation and Identity 
by Marsha Rozenblit.
SUNY, 368 pp., $39.50, July 1984, 0 87395 844 6
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... enquiries’ in America; art history at that time was ‘sporadic and provincial’. Coser quotes Stuart Hughes’s assertion that the refugee scholars ‘deprovincialised’ America. That is slightly harsh. A man like Walter Cook, of the New York University Institute of Fine Art, who found chairs for many eminent exiles and quipped, ‘Hitler shakes the tree ...

Jolly Jack and the Preacher

Patrick Parrinder, 20 April 1989

A Culture for Democracy: Mass Communication and the Cultivated Mind in Britain between the Wars 
by D.L. LeMahieu.
Oxford, 396 pp., £35, June 1988, 0 19 820137 0
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... of their time was spent attacking the other stall-holders. After Wordsworth, Carlyle, Newman, John Stuart Mill and Matthew Arnold spoke up for the liberal university and the higher journalism as natural bulwarks against the tide of commercialism. In LeMahieu’s eyes such figures stand convicted of a cultural élitism which stemmed from their-groundless ...

Post-Nationalism

Geoffrey Hawthorn, 3 December 1992

English Questions 
by Perry Anderson.
Verso, 370 pp., £39.95, May 1992, 0 86091 375 9
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A Zone of Engagement 
by Perry Anderson.
Verso, 384 pp., £39.95, May 1992, 0 86091 377 5
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... popular rule. No modern politics can deliver that, and there are persuasive arguments, from John Stuart Mill to Schumpeter, to suggest that we’d be unwise to try to make it do so. The more serious criticism is that there’s little mention in the Treaty on Union of an active government for Europe. The purpose of rule, to maximise the benefits of social ...

On the horse Parsnip

John Bayley, 8 February 1990

Boris Pasternak: The Tragic Years 1930-1960 
by Evgeny Pasternak.
Collins Harvill, 278 pp., £15, January 1990, 0 00 272045 0
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Boris Pasternak 
by Peter Levi.
Hutchinson, 310 pp., £17.95, January 1990, 0 09 173886 5
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Boris Pasternak: A Literary Biography. Vol.I: 1890-1928 
by Christopher Barnes.
Cambridge, 507 pp., £35, November 1989, 0 521 25957 6
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Poems 1955-1959 and An Essay in Autobiography 
by Boris Pasternak, translated by Michael Harari and Manya Harari.
Collins Harvill, 212 pp., £6.95, January 1990, 9780002710657
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The Year 1905 
by Boris Pasternak, translated by Richard Chappell.
Spenser, £4.95, April 1989, 0 9513843 0 9
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... opinion has always varied sharply about the actual merits of the book. A judge as sensitive as Stuart Hampshire finds its genius in the love relation between Lara and Zhivago, while the poet Anna Akhmatova, although she admired Pasternak as a poet, could not take him seriously as a deep sage and public figure, or even as a lover, and professed maliciously ...

Stifled Truth

Wyatt Mason: Tobias Wolff and fictions of the self, 5 February 2004

Old School 
by Tobias Wolff.
Bloomsbury, 195 pp., £12.99, February 2004, 0 7475 6948 7
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... sons, sisters and brothers’. Most were written by established names, among them Frank Conroy, Stuart Dybeck, Richard Ford, Joyce Carol Oates, Robert Stone and Amy Tan. Those writers known partly for formal experimentation whose work Wolff did include (among them Lorrie Moore, Denis Johnson and Mary Robison) did not, in the stories Wolff selected, engage ...

Tousy-Mousy

Anne Barton: Mary Shelley, 8 February 2001

Mary Shelley 
by Miranda Seymour.
Murray, 665 pp., £25, October 2000, 0 7195 5711 9
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Mary Shelley in Her Times 
edited by Betty Bennett and Stuart Curran.
Johns Hopkins, 311 pp., £33, September 2000, 0 8018 6334 1
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Mary Shelley's Fictions 
edited by Michael Eberle-Sinatra.
Palgrave, 250 pp., £40, August 2000, 0 333 77106 0
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... Mary Shelley issues, and two other collections have now appeared, one edited by Betty Bennett and Stuart Curran, the other by Michael Eberle-Sinatra. Much recent Mary Shelley criticism, as might be expected, is specifically feminist in orientation, some though not all of it concerned with the way her fictions shadow her own life and that of various people she ...

Like a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader

John Lloyd: Globalisation, 2 September 1999

The Lexus and the Olive Tree 
by Thomas Friedman.
HarperCollins, 394 pp., £19.99, May 1999, 0 00 257014 9
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Global Transformation 
by David Held and Anthony McGrew.
Polity, 515 pp., £59.50, March 1999, 0 7456 1498 1
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... question and answer session which followed Anthony Giddens’s first Reith Lecture, the left-wing Stuart Hall argued that globalisation came with a right-wing agenda tied to its tail, one which was destructive of social solidarities, while the right-wing John Redwood objected that it came veined with social-democratic notions which discouraged governments ...

Bournemouth

Andrew O’Hagan: The Bournemouth Set, 21 May 2020

... Stevenson placed a ‘light’ in a model of the Skerryvore lighthouse, and he put a ship’s bell in the garden. (The original lighthouse was built by his uncle Alan, 12 miles south-west of Tiree.) Fanny put benches here and there, so that Stevenson could sit on sunny days with a writing board perched on his knee.Sir Henry Taylor, a colonial reformer and ...

Lotti’s Leap

Penelope Fitzgerald, 1 July 1982

Collected Poems and Prose 
by Charlotte Mew, edited by Val Warner.
Carcanet/Virago, 445 pp., £9.95, October 1981, 0 85635 260 8
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... Street as ‘The Quiet House’. She had a wretched fantasy that one evening when the front-door bell rang, she would answer it and face herself, waiting outside in the street. In September 1898 Fred Mew died of cancer. During his long illness Charlotte had made her first appearance in print with a short story, ‘Passed’, which was published in the Yellow ...

Victorian Vocations

Frank Kermode, 6 December 1984

Frederic Harrison: The Vocations of a Positivist 
by Martha Vogeler.
Oxford, 493 pp., £27.50, September 1984, 0 19 824733 8
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Leslie Stephen: The Godless Victorian 
by Noël Annan.
Weidenfeld, 432 pp., £16.50, September 1984, 0 297 78369 6
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... where it belonged, with the ‘richer classes’. In an age which saw Ruskin calling John Stuart Mill a ‘loathsome cretin’ we needn’t be surprised that Harrison was also capable of strong language. When Joseph Chamberlain was said to have hurt his ankle in 1906, Harrison prayed ‘for the sake of our poor dear country’ that the trouble was ...

Pseud’s Corner

John Sutherland, 17 July 1980

Duffy 
by Dan Kavanagh.
Cape, 181 pp., £4.95, July 1980, 0 224 01822 1
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Moscow Gold 
by John Salisbury.
Futura, 320 pp., £1.10, March 1980, 0 7088 1702 5
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The Middle Ground 
by Margaret Drabble.
Weidenfeld, 248 pp., £5.95, June 1980, 0 297 77808 0
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The Boy Who Followed Ripley 
by Patricia Highsmith.
Heinemann, 292 pp., £6.50, April 1980, 0 434 33520 7
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... on equal terms. So, too, with the slightly more ambiguously gendered Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell. As in surgery, literary sex change is an ugly operation and female chauvinists must rejoice to see a complete turn of the wheel in those areas of fiction where the practice is still necessary. When the Texan six-footer Tom Huff wished to make it big with a ...

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