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Ulysses: A Critical and Synoptic Edition 
by James Joyce, edited by Hans Walter Gabler, Wolfhard Steppe and Claus Melchior.
Garland, 1919 pp., $200, May 1984, 0 8240 4375 8
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James Joyce 
by Richard Ellmann.
Oxford, 900 pp., £8.95, March 1984, 0 19 281465 6
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... new Ulysses. ‘On the whole,’ Raine claimed, about misprints, ‘I couldn’t give a fuppenny tuck.’ Not even if the botched printing were of his own verses? More to the point: suppose it were discovered that the printing of Paradise Lost is botched, with lines and half-lines dropped, wouldn’t English poets, critics, and common readers agree that a ...

Sour Notes

D.A.N. Jones, 17 November 1983

Peter Hall’s Diaries: The Story of a Dramatic Battle 
edited by John Goodwin.
Hamish Hamilton, 507 pp., £12.95, November 1983, 0 241 11047 5
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... He is too busy – much too busy. He is a mouth worker. He has followed the example of expansive Richard Crossman, dictating a diary to a machine, instructing manual workers to type out the ever-rolling stream of consciousness. Between 1972 and 1980 Hall dictated more than a million words, he tells us, as source material for future historians. To John ...

Pious Girls and Swearing Fathers

Patricia Craig, 1 June 1989

English Children and their Magazines 1751-1945 
by Kirsten Drotner.
Yale, 272 pp., £16.95, January 1988, 0 300 04010 5
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Frank Richards: The Chap behind the Chums 
by Mary Cadogan.
Viking, 258 pp., £14.95, October 1988, 0 670 81946 8
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A History of Children’s Book Illustration 
by Joyce Irene Whalley and Tessa Rose Chester.
Murray/Victoria and Albert Museum, 268 pp., £35, April 1988, 0 7195 4584 6
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Manchester Polytechnic Library of Children’s Books 1840-1939: ‘From Morality to Adventure’ 
by W.H. Shercliff.
Bracken Books/Studio Editions, 203 pp., £25, September 1988, 0 901276 18 9
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Children’s Modern First Editions: Their Value to Collectors 
by Joseph Connolly.
Macdonald, 336 pp., £17.95, October 1988, 0 356 15741 5
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... of Charles Hamilton and his works that Coker was derived in part from Hamilton’s elder brother Richard, whose Christian name provided the famous pseudonym, and who, quite clearly, was anything but a lout in the eyes of the author. And there’s a Cliff House character named Dolly whom Drotner persists in calling Jolly, as though to superimpose mood over ...

Are women nicer than men?

Michael Wood, 21 February 1985

The Dark Hole Days 
by Una Woods.
Blackstaff, 127 pp., £3.50, December 1984, 0 85640 316 4
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Superior Women 
by Alice Adams.
Heinemann, 374 pp., £8.95, January 1985, 0 434 00631 9
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The Collected Stories 
by Frank Tuohy.
Macmillan, 410 pp., £12.95, December 1984, 0 333 38534 9
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The Apple in the Dark 
by Clarice Lispector, translated by Gregory Rabassa.
Virago, 361 pp., £10.95, January 1985, 0 86068 605 1
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Family Ties 
by Clarice Lispector and Giovanni Pontiero.
Carcanet, 140 pp., £8.95, January 1985, 0 85636 569 6
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... of Communism the emergence of Senator McCarthy; the Civil Rights movement; Vietnam; the return of Richard Nixon; Watergate – it is all there, introduced with a swift and studied casualness. ‘Meanwhile, the war in Europe ends, the bomb is dropped on Hiroshima, then Nagasaki ... ’ Meanwhile? I suppose there is a blurry sort of truthfulness in this ...

Mighty Merry

E.S. Turner, 25 May 1995

The Diary of Samuel Pepys. Eleven Volumes, including Companion and Index 
edited by R.C. Latham and W. Matthews.
HarperCollins, 267 pp., £8.99, February 1995, 0 00 499021 8
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... And there it was, a day in the life of a young man on the make: business, spectacle, a good tuck-in, a row with the wife and a spot of do-it-yourself. The diarist’s more sensitive feelings were not to the fore that night. Instead of writing something like, ‘But Lord, what a world is this, when a major-generall is cut up like a bullock at Smith ...

Laertes has a daughter

Bee Wilson: The Redgraves, 6 June 2013

The Redgraves: A Family Epic 
by Donald Spoto.
Robson, 361 pp., £25, November 2012, 978 1 84954 394 1
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The House of Redgrave: The Lives of a Theatrical Dynasty 
by Tim Adler.
Aurum, 336 pp., £20, July 2012, 978 1 84513 623 9
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... who inherited the Shakespearean gifts of his parents, at the age of 11 learning the whole of Richard II by heart in six weeks? Or with Vanessa, the best actor of them all, whom her father called ‘divinely mad’ with a conscience the ‘size of Grand Central Station’? Of these two books on the family Spoto’s is by far the more serious and ...

Robin’s Hoods

Patrick Wormald, 5 May 1983

Robin Hood 
by J.C. Holt.
Thames and Hudson, 208 pp., £8.95, May 1982, 0 500 25081 2
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The Early History of Glastonbury: An Edition, Translation and Study of William of Malmesbury’s ‘De Antiquitate Glastonie Ecclesie’ 
by John Scott.
Boydell, 224 pp., £25, January 1982, 9780851151540
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by John Michell.
Thames and Hudson, 168 pp., £8.50, March 1982, 9780500012611
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... companions, Little John, Will Scarlett (or something similar), Much the Miller’s son and Friar Tuck. He is at home in Sherwood Forest and the sworn enemy of the Sheriff of Nottingham. He is an archer of genius and a master of disguise. He is loyal to the king, and ‘dyde pore men moch god’, but he had no time for the wealthy and grasping religious ...

The Great Dissembler

James Wood: Thomas More’s Bad Character, 16 April 1998

The Life of Thomas More 
by Peter Ackroyd.
Chatto, 435 pp., £20, March 1998, 1 85619 711 5
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... behind by More. At times, he seems to have known exactly what lay ahead. In his History of King Richard III (1513), he wrote that ‘kings’ games ... were stage plays, and for the more part played upon scaffolds.’ The ‘More part’, indeed. At other times, only we, in retrospect, can see how the ironies of this life buckle. Who else could have ...

Strap on an ox-head

Patricia Lockwood: Christ comes to Stockholm, 6 January 2022

The Morning Star 
by Karl Ove Knausgaard, translated by Martin Aitken.
Harvill Secker, 666 pp., £20, September 2021, 978 1 910701 71 3
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... there is often a sense of personal insult, as if they were watching him sit down across from them, tuck a napkin into his collar and make a long meal of their time. But as the worst book of the Bible, Leviticus, tells us: ‘All fat is the Lord’s.’ All your time will be eaten by someone – why not him, who has made such a huge crazy claim on it? It is a ...

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