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Getting the Ick

John Kerrigan: Consent in Shakespeare, 14 December 2023

Shakespeare on Consent 
by Amanda Bailey.
Routledge, 197 pp., £17.99, March, 978 0 367 18453 7
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Shakespeare and Virtue: A Handbook 
edited by Julia Reinhard Lupton and Donovan Sherman.
Cambridge, 421 pp., £95, January, 978 1 108 84340 9
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Shakespeare and Disgust: The History and Science of Early Modern Revulsion 
by Bradley J. Irish.
Bloomsbury, 270 pp., £75, March, 978 1 350 21398 2
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... natural taste,/Now I do wish it, love it, long for it.’Both these​ speeches are highlighted in Bradley J. Irish’s Shakespeare and Disgust because they show the importance of the visceral. In the early modern period, as now, people were triggered by the actual or perceived risk of what is contaminating, infected or ...

Our Jewels, Our Pictures

Freya Johnston: Michael Field’s Diary, 1 June 2023

Chains of Love and Beauty: The Diary of Michael Field 
by Carolyn Dever.
Princeton, 261 pp., £30, July 2022, 978 0 691 20344 7
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... Field in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. The search function directs you first to ‘Bradley, Katharine Harris’ and then to ‘Cooper, Edith Emma’. Click on the second name, however, and you aren’t taken to a biography of Cooper but back to her aunt, Bradley. These convoluted preliminaries seem ...

What Fred Did

Owen Bennett-Jones: Go-Betweens in Northern Ireland, 22 January 2015

... the British settled on a Derry businessman, Brendan Duddy, as their middleman. Supported by Denis Bradley, a former priest who officiated at McGuinness’s wedding, and Noel Gallagher, another Northern Irish businessman with good links to Sinn Féin, Duddy established what became known as ‘the link’: a back channel ...


Susan McKay: Breakdown in Power-Sharing, 8 March 2018

... Stormont Assembly collapsed early last year, has urged the Conservative secretary of state, Karen Bradley, who has been in office for a matter of weeks, not only to ‘set a budget but also to take key decisions impacting on our schools, infrastructure and hospitals’. She wants, in other words, that Northern Ireland be returned to direct rule from ...

Short Cuts

Andrew O’Hagan: Ageing Crims, 4 June 2015

... bantamweight boxer and friend of the world champion Benny Lynch, he was every inch the son of Irish immigrants – five foot four inches, to be exact – and he moved in a world of thieves and chancers that blended very naturally with the world of other folk heroes in the Glasgow of the 1920s. Michael O’Hagan was the kind of hard man feared and admired ...


Fintan O’Toole: The Case of Darren Graham, 6 September 2007

... with amateur players. But the GAA is a big deal. Of all the institutions that emerged from the Irish nationalist cultural revival of the 19th century, it is the only one still unequivocally in rude good health. It embodies a sense of Irish identity that is tangible, local and pleasurable. It also embodies the unspoken ...

It’s not the bus: it’s us

Thomas Sugrue: Stars, Stripes and Civil Rights, 20 November 2008

The Soiling of Old Glory: The Story of a Photograph that Shocked America 
by Louis Masur.
Bloomsbury US, 224 pp., $24.95, April 2008, 978 1 59691 364 6
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... against court-mandated school desegregation. In 1974, a federal judge, W. Arthur Garrity Jr, had ordered the Boston school district to remedy its racial imbalance by sending students, usually by bus, to schools outside their racially homogeneous neighbourhoods. Boston’s whites – mostly Irish Catholic and ...

Over the Top

Michael Howard, 8 February 1996

A Genius for War: A Life of General George Patton 
by Carlo D’Este.
HarperCollins, 977 pp., £25, November 1995, 0 00 215882 5
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... some of my other generals!’ Both remarks might have been made about General George S. Patton Jr, and no doubt frequently were. His sanity was seriously in question. As S.L.A. Marshall, the most judicious of American military historians, put it: ‘Any man who thinks that he is the reincarnation of Hannibal or some such isn’t quite possessed of all his ...

Interesting Fellows

Walter Nash, 4 May 1989

The Book of Evidence 
by John Banville.
Secker, 220 pp., £10.95, March 1989, 0 436 03267 8
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by Patrick McCabe.
Aidan Ellis, 252 pp., £11.50, March 1989, 0 85628 180 8
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The Tryst 
by Michael Dibdin.
Faber, 168 pp., £10.99, April 1989, 0 571 15450 6
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by James Hamilton-Paterson.
Macmillan, 264 pp., £12.95, March 1989, 0 333 45194 5
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... and the customary. In Carn, Patrick McCabe describes three decades in the life of a small Irish community. Carn is a small town situated half a mile from the Irish border, a town honoured in Republican annals for the heroism of Commandant Matt Dolan, shot dead in 1922 during a raid on the railway. Dolan has his ...


Glen Newey: Life with WikiLeaks, 6 January 2011

... Freedom, in the words of the old Irish nationalist song, comes from God’s right hand. As with the gift of divine grace, it puts its recipients on the spot. Are we in a fit state to receive it? In The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates Milton observed that most subjects are slaves within doors, no wonder that they strive so much to have the public State conformably govern’d to the inward vitious rule, by which they govern themselves ...
Northern Antiquity: The Post-Medieval Reception of Edda and Saga 
edited by Andrew Wawn.
Hisarlik, 342 pp., £35, October 1994, 1 874312 18 4
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Heritage and Prophecy: Grundtvig and the English-Speaking World 
edited by A.M. Allchin.
Canterbury, 330 pp., £25, January 1994, 9781853110856
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... to combine the status of, if it can be imagined, both the Wesleys, Martin Luther, Jakob Grimm and J.R.R. Tolkien. Would it have made any difference if there had been an English-speaking Grundtvig, or if Grundtvig’s writings had not so often been confined to the limited audience of Danish? If, in fact, the ‘Northern revival’ chronicled by Wawn and his ...

What Europeans Talk about when They Talk about Brexit

LRB Contributors: On Brexit, 3 January 2019

... may be a risk of further frying the brains of the nation with Brexit information overload’ (Irish Independent, 11 December 2018).Border crossings: In mid-December, the Irish army mapped the 310-mile border between Northern Ireland and the Republic, and identified almost three hundred crossing points – nearly a ...


Richard Wollheim: On A.J. Ayer, 27 July 1989

... is: was the view of the world I hold, which my smile betrayed, narrower than that of this elderly Irish peeress? Was her philosophy broader than mine? Are those who disbelieve in fairies dry, cold, paltry, disenchanted corrupters of the young? Few would say yes, because in practice it is generally recognised, despite the humbug of these last few days, that ...

The Ticking Fear

John Kerrigan: Louis MacNeice, 7 February 2008

Louis MacNeice: Collected Poems 
edited by Peter McDonald.
Faber, 836 pp., £30, January 2007, 978 0 571 21574 4
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Louis MacNeice: Selected Poems 
edited by Michael Longley.
Faber, 160 pp., £12.99, April 2007, 978 0 571 23381 6
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I Crossed the Minch 
by Louis MacNeice.
Polygon, 253 pp., £9.99, September 2007, 978 1 84697 014 6
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The Strings Are False: An Unfinished Autobiography 
by Louis MacNeice, edited by E.R. Dodds.
Faber, 288 pp., £9.99, September 2007, 978 0 571 23942 9
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... at Merton (the college where, a few years earlier, T.S. Eliot had written his thesis on F.H. Bradley). ‘Time’s face is not stone nor still his wings,’ he concluded. ‘Our mind, being dead, wishes to have time die/For we, being ghosts, cannot catch hold of things.’ MacNeice’s early poetry plays defensive games with time (too much frequency is ...


John Sutherland, 4 March 1982

The Survivors 
by Elaine Feinstein.
Hutchinson, 316 pp., £7.95, February 1982, 0 09 145850 1
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Helliconia Spring 
by Brian Aldiss.
Cape, 361 pp., £6.95, February 1982, 0 224 01843 4
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The Great Fire of London 
by Peter Ackroyd.
Hamish Hamilton, 169 pp., £7.95, January 1982, 0 241 10704 0
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A Loss of Heart 
by Robert McCrum.
Hamish Hamilton, 282 pp., £7.95, February 1982, 0 241 10705 9
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... families. Two ways of life. And one city, Liverpool, planted on marsh and meadow. A city made by Irish traders first, and then slavers and shipowners, and at last a city of merchants and brokers, who put down their own great mercantile slabs. The town hall. The Liver building. Lime Street Station. This terseness could be seen as a mark of embarrassment and ...

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