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Woman in Love

Brigid Brophy, 7 February 1985

The Life of Jane Austen 
by John Halperin.
Harvester, 400 pp., December 1984, 0 7108 0518 7
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... of the deep, but it utters some common sense. The other, which predominates, is the voice of Mr Collins. Long driven to that conclusion, I came upon Professor Halperin himself, some three hundred pages into his book, pronouncing that the Rev. James Stanier Clarke, the librarian to the Prince Regent who transmitted to Jane Austen his employer’s permission ...

At Manchester Art Gallery

Inigo Thomas: Annie Swynnerton, 27 September 2018

... her husband’s money. In that ambition she seems to have been mostly successful. James, Rodin, Thomas Beecham, Edith Wharton, Sargent were among her many fans and beneficiaries. In August 1911, James wrote to Alice, his sister-in-law, and explained why he was at Hunter’s house. ‘I am adding day to day here, as you see – partly because it helps to ...

At the V&A

Jenny Turner: Ballgowns, 5 July 2012

... I was reckoning VB as among the all-time greats’). In 2011, the Big Brother contestant Imogen Thomas wore a navy-blue one for her hearing at the High Court in connection with the Ryan Giggs v. News Group superinjunction. And in Ballgowns: British Glamour since 1950 at the V&A (until 6 January 2013), you can see a full-length one-shouldered pink silk ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘The Hunger Games’, 17 December 2015

... bank or shopping mall is handy. The heroine’s name combines a plant with a character from Thomas Hardy: Katniss Everdeen. If you frivolously mishear it as Catnip, as I did, you can be reassured: that’s what a friend calls her in the novel. The chief bad guy is called Coriolanus, and the place where it all happens, to quote the first book, is a ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Fastsellers, 22 March 2001

... of the Times Writer’s Guide (HarperCollins posing as Times Books, £19.99), a compendium of the Collins Wordpower series, written by the late Graham King, who will be remembered, according to Philip Howard’s Foreword and fortunately for King, as ‘more than the marketing man who transformed the Sun and the Sunday Times’, though we musn’t forget he ...

Crapper

Thomas Lynch, 21 March 1996

... La Rochefoucauld Don Paterson and I were crossing the Wolfe Tone Bridge in Galway contemplating Thomas Crapper. This was at early o’clock in the morning on our way back from an awful curry at the only Indian restaurant open in Galway in the wee hours. The night was mild, and our thoughts drifted towards talk of Crapper as the air behind us burned with the ...

Gosserie

J.I.M. Stewart, 5 April 1984

Edmund Gosse: A Literary Landscape 1849-1928 
by Ann Thwaite.
Secker, 567 pp., £15, April 1984, 0 436 52146 6
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... aristocrats in stately halls. His last public appearance is in January 1928 as a pall-bearer at Thomas Hardy’s funeral in Westminster Abbey along with the Prime Minister, Kipling, Shaw, Housman, Barrie, Galsworthy, and the Masters of the Queen’s College, Oxford and Magdalene College, Cambridge – all of whom (with the exception of the dons) I recall as ...

Jane Austen’s Word Process

Marilyn Butler, 25 June 1987

Computation into Criticism: A Study of Jane Austen’s Novels and an Experiment in Method 
by J.F Burrows.
Oxford, 245 pp., £25, February 1987, 0 19 812856 8
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... are those of Pride and Prejudice, but the content puts one more in mind of Austen’s contemporary Thomas Malthus, whose Essay on Population sets off equally stylishly to display the elegancies of arithmetic: ‘It is a truth not generally acknowledged that, in most discussions of works of English fiction, we proceed as if a third, two-fifths, a half of our ...

Embarrassed

Graham Hough, 7 October 1982

Thomas Hardy: A Biography 
by Michael Millgate.
Oxford, 637 pp., £15, June 1982, 0 19 211725 4
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The Collected Letters of Thomas Hardy. Vol. III: 1902-1908 
edited by Richard Purdy and Michael Millgate.
Oxford, 367 pp., £19.50, July 1982, 0 19 812620 4
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The Neglected Hardy: Thomas Hardy’s Lesser Novels 
by Richard Taylor.
Macmillan, 202 pp., £17.50, May 1982, 0 333 31051 9
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Good Little Thomas Hardy 
by C.H. Salter.
Macmillan, 200 pp., £15, August 1982, 0 333 29387 8
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Thomas Hardy and Women: Sexual Ideology and Narrative Form 
by Penny Boumelha.
Harvester, 178 pp., £18.95, April 1982, 0 7108 0018 5
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Illustration and the Novels of Thomas Hardy 
by Arlene Jackson.
Macmillan, 151 pp., £15, October 1981, 0 333 32303 3
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... There has been an abundance of good critical writing about Thomas Hardy, from Lionel Johnson in 1894 to our own day, but his biography has been in a curious condition from the start. The authorised version (Early Life, 1928; Later Years, 1930) is supposed to be by Florence, his second wife, but is wholly composed from notes by Hardy himself, and for the most part actually dictated by him ...

Bard of Tropes

Jonathan Lamb: Thomas Chatterton, 20 September 2001

Thomas Chatterton and Romantic Culture 
by Nick Groom.
Palgrave, 300 pp., £55, September 1999, 0 333 72586 7
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... public attention with pastiche and forgery. Chatterton not only invented the character and work of Thomas Rowley, supposedly a Bristol monk, but also carefully presented it in faded ink on artificially aged parchment, strangely intent on fooling connoisseurs of medieval literature such as Horace Walpole, author of the earliest Gothic novel, The Castle of ...

When Ireland Became Divided

Garret FitzGerald: The Free State’s Fight for Recognition, 21 January 1999

Documents on Irish Foreign Policy. Vol. I: 1919-22 
edited by Ronan Fanning.
Royal Irish Academy and Department of Foreign Affairs, 548 pp., £30, October 1998, 1 874045 63 1
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... Éireann was proscribed in September 1919. In the subsequent guerrilla warfare of 1919-21 Michael Collins, the Minister for Finance and Director of Intelligence of the Volunteers or Irish Republican Army, rose to prominence. In 1920 Britain established Home Rule states – one substantive, comprising the six Unionist-majority north-eastern counties, and one ...
Body Work 
by Peter Brooks.
Harvard, 325 pp., £39.95, May 1993, 0 674 07724 5
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... theory section of the local bookshop from the soft porn shelves, sort out the latest Jackie Collins from the later Roland Barthes. Many an eager masturbator must have borne away some sexy-looking tome only to find himself reading up on the floating signifier. Sexuality began in the late Sixties, as an extension of radical politics into regions it had ...

Like Unruly Children in a Citizenship Class

John Barrell: A hero for Howard, 21 April 2005

The Laughter of Triumph: William Hone and the Fight for a Free Press 
by Ben Wilson.
Faber, 455 pp., £16.99, April 2005, 0 571 22470 9
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... Tory faithful no doubt knew, Howard was picking up on a speech made a few weeks earlier by Tim Collins, his shadow education secretary, to the National Catholic Heads’ Conference. In a zealous attack on the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, the only school subject Collins had discussed at any length was ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘Miami Vice’, 17 August 2006

Miami Vice 
directed by Michael Mann.
August 2006
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... the episodes often look like music videos, an effect enhanced by guest appearances from Phil Collins, Willie Nelson, Little Richard, Miles Davis and many others. But the other, complementary theory of the series’ origin names a news story about vice cops using repossessed goods as a glossy cover for their assumed criminal characters. This is why Don ...

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