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You’ve got to get used to it

John Bayley: David Piper, 15 October 1998

I am well, who are you? 
by David Piper, edited by Anne Piper.
Anne Piper, 96 pp., £12, March 1998, 0 9532123 0 0
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... made use of in ways that are contextually effective, and surprisingly original. That is what David Piper contrived to do in a brilliant one-off war novel, Trial by Battle. It describes the experiences of a young officer, the reverse of professional, during the 1941 Malayan campaign between the British-Indian Army and the Japanese: the campaign which led up to ...

At the Barbican

Jeremy Harding: Pilger pictures, 23 August 2001

... one of the Mirror, under a close-up of three blanched skulls taken by Pilger’s colleague Eric Piper, talks of a society consigned to ‘an age of slavery, without families and sentiment, without machines, schools, books, medicine, music’. The pages themselves seem old, the events not nearly old enough.The photos from Cambodia are among the most ...

East Hoathly makes a night of it

Marilyn Butler, 6 December 1984

The Diary of Thomas Turner 1754-1765 
edited by David Vaisey.
Oxford, 386 pp., £17.50, November 1984, 0 19 211782 3
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John Clare’s Autobiographical Writings 
edited by Eric Robinson.
Oxford, 185 pp., £7.95, September 1983, 0 19 211774 2
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John Clare: The Journals, Essays, and the Journey from Essex 
edited by Anne Tibble.
Carcanet, 139 pp., £6.95, October 1980, 0 85635 344 2
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The Natural History Prose Writings of John Clare 
edited by Margaret Grainger.
Oxford, 397 pp., £35, January 1984, 0 19 818517 0
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John Clare and the Folk Tradition 
by George Deacon.
Sinclair Browne, 397 pp., £15, February 1983, 0 86300 008 8
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... village. On Thursday 27 December 1756 two of Turner’s neighbours, Thomas Fuller and William Piper, arrived uninvited and stayed smoking and drinking (‘sponging,’ their host records bitterly) until they began to quarrel, because Tho. Fuller told that which in my opinion was really true, viz., Master Piper, being ...

The Vicar of Chippenham

Christopher Haigh: Religion and the life-cycle, 15 October 1998

Birth, Marriage and Death: Ritual, Religion and the Life-Cycle in Tudor and Stuart England 
by David Cressy.
Oxford, 641 pp., £25, May 1998, 0 19 820168 0
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... own liturgical inclinations, or did they belong to families and communities, who paid the clerical piper and wanted to call the ritual tune? The clergy usually tried to keep control, prescribing conditions for their services. They were presumably encouraged in this by the introduction of parish registers in 1538 (a surprising omission from Cressy’s ...

Nothing could have been odder or more prophetic

Gillian Darley: Ruins, 29 November 2001

In Ruins 
by Christopher Woodward.
Chatto, 280 pp., £12.99, September 2001, 9780701168964
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... ardent restorers of the Gothic Revival. At the time of Garrick’s Shakespeare Jubilee in 1769, Anne Hathaway’s cottage in Stratford-upon-Avon had just been revealed as his birthplace. A shrine was all that was needed to give Bardolatry its focus and the run-down timber-framed house served the purpose well enough. Over the years it became a museum filled ...


David Gascoyne: Notebook, New Year 1991, 25 January 1996

... infant Théo. Everything impeccable. Driven back after tea to boulevard Voltaire. Acquired bottle Piper-Heidsieck for later. Tuesday 1 January: SpentRéveillon with Jean-Claude, Annick and friend. Clive James on BBC1 after midnight. Next day, Brasserie lunch in place du Châtelet. Taxi to Musée d’Orsay. Like many other furious people, found it closed ...

Englishmen’s Castles

Gavin Stamp, 7 February 1980

The Victorian Country House 
by Mark Girouard.
Yale, 470 pp., £14.95, September 1980, 0 300 02390 1
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The Artist and the Country House 
by John Harris.
Sotheby Parke Bernet, 376 pp., £37.50, November 1980, 0 85667 053 7
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National Trust Studies 1980 
edited by Gervase Jackson-Stops.
Sotheby Parke Bernet, 175 pp., £8.95, October 1980, 0 85667 065 0
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... 1860s: a truly English middle-class domestic architecture had to await the advent of the ‘Queen Anne’ style. Dr Girouard is entertaining on all of this, illuminating about the obscure complexities of country-house planning, and, above all, readable and consistently interesting: the book is a classic of unpedantic scholarship. This new edition has been ...


Fraser MacDonald: Balmorality, 16 November 2023

... green – but the queen wears a Balmoral tartan skirt. Only the royal family and their personal piper are allowed to be clad in Prince Albert’s design (which was intended to resemble Deeside’s rough-hewn granite and not a midprice hotel lobby).At one level, nothing in the drawing-room scene is surprising. Balmoral has always been a byword for ...


Pat Rogers, 6 November 1986

Hume and the Heroic Portrait: Studies in 18th-Century Imagery 
by Edgar Wind, edited by Jaynie Anderson.
Oxford, 139 pp., £29.50, May 1986, 0 19 817371 7
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Augustan Studies: Essays in honour of Irvin Ehrenpreis 
edited by Douglas Lane Patey and Timothy Keegan.
University of Delaware Press, 270 pp., £24.50, May 1986, 9780874132724
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The 18th Century: The Intellectual and Cultural Context of English Literature 1700-1789 
by James Sambrook.
Longman, 290 pp., £15.95, April 1986, 0 582 49306 4
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... does not have the sweep of Gombrich’s mind, he is without the charm and finesse with which David Piper writes: yet his criticism of Reynolds in this volume reaches to a deeper level of penetration than any of them achieved on the artist. Why this should be is a teasing question. I am inclined to think that the answer may be banal, not to say dull. We learn ...

When the beam of light has gone

Peter Wollen: Godard Turns Over, 17 September 1998

The Films of Jean-Luc Godard 
by Wheeler Winston Dixon.
SUNY, 290 pp., £17.99, March 1997, 0 7914 3285 8
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Speaking about Godard 
by Kaja Silverman and Harun Farocki.
New York, 256 pp., $55, July 1998, 0 8147 8066 0
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... pieces. La Chinoise was about a group of would-be revolutionary students, with the lead played by Anne Wiazemsky, whom Godard was soon to marry, and who appeared in five of his subsequent films. The turning-point came with Le Gai savoir, which was both his first film for television and also his most experimental and politically committed work to date, a ...

Back from the Underworld

Marina Warner: The Liveliness of the Dead, 17 August 2017

The Work of the Dead: A Cultural History of Mortal Remains 
by Thomas Laqueur.
Princeton, 711 pp., £27.95, October 2015, 978 0 691 15778 8
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... poppy installation, Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red; when the artists Paul Cummins and Tom Piper cascaded thousands of scarlet ceramic sculptures from the battlements of the Tower of London (888,246, to be precise, one for each of the fallen) to mark the centenary of the First World War, they imported the significance of massacre to a new site, and it ...

A Cousin of Colonel Heneage

Robert Crawford: Was Eliot a Swell?, 18 April 2019

The Letters of T.S. Eliot, Volume VIII: 1936-38 
edited by Valerie Eliot and John Haffenden.
Faber, 1100 pp., £50, January 2019, 978 0 571 31638 0
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... never made use of it afterwards – not even for a walk-on part alongside ‘Col. the Hon. Gerald Piper’ in The Family Reunion – his noting of Colonel Heneage’s name is characteristic. ‘I daresay that I found some obscure attraction in the name,’ he wrote of Burnt Norton, which he used as the title for the first of his Four Quartets. He visited the ...

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