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As God Intended

Rosemary Hill: Capability Brown, 5 January 2012

The Omnipotent Magician: Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown 1716-83 
by Jane Brown.
Chatto, 384 pp., £20, March 2011, 978 0 7011 8212 0
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... papers. Jane Brown has worked hard to fill in the gaps. She has found out that his mother was Ursula, née Hall, and that she was, like his father William, from a local family in Northumbria. She has also uncovered suggestive evidence that Brown had an illegitimate daughter, for whom he provided after his death. Otherwise, the biographical narrative ...

Ever Closer Union?

Perry Anderson, 7 January 2021

... the top prize – formally enjoy equal status under the president, currently the CDU politician Ursula von der Leyen. In reality, as the former director-general of the Legal Service, the all-purpose Brussels fixer Jean-Claude Piris (22 years in the saddle) pointed out in 2012, since this would mean that the fourteen commissioners from the Union’s smallest ...

He, She, One, They, Ho, Hus, Hum, Ita

Amia Srinivasan: How Should I Refer to You?, 2 July 2020

What’s Your Pronoun? Beyond He and She 
by Dennis Baron.
Liveright, 304 pp., £16.99, February, 978 1 63149 604 2
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... the singular ‘they’ as its word of the decade. It shows up in plenty of respectable places. Ursula Le Guin – who also experimented with e/es/en in her feminist science fiction – called the prohibition on the singular ‘they’ a ‘fake rule’ enforced by ‘grammar bullies’. So far, I have used ‘they’ and its cognates ...

Ruthless and Truthless

Ferdinand Mount: Rotten Government, 6 May 2021

The Assault on Truth: Boris Johnson, Donald Trump and the Emergence of a New Moral Barbarism 
by Peter Oborne.
Simon and Schuster, 192 pp., £12.99, February, 978 1 3985 0100 3
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Political Advice: Past, Present and Future 
edited by Colin Kidd and Jacqueline Rose.
I.B. Tauris, 240 pp., £21.99, February, 978 1 83860 120 1
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... and strangely neglected. As the bargaining reached its frenzied climax, leading Brexiters such as Martin Howe QC, a member of the Eurosceptic Tory MP Bill Cash’s self-styled Star Chamber, said that Johnson should reject the EU’s ‘one-sided and damaging trade agreement’: ‘Once the EU has pocketed its huge concessions on goods, with the UK getting ...

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