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Wrong Trowsers

E.S. Turner, 21 July 1994

A History of Men’s Fashion 
by Farid Chenoune, translated by Deke Dusinberre.
Flammarion/Thames & Hudson, 336 pp., £50, October 1993, 2 08 013536 8
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The Englishman’s Suit 
by Hardy Amies.
Quartet, 116 pp., £12, June 1994, 9780704370760
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... space with hortatory stickers? Discuss, but not too much. The translator of Chenoune’s book, Deke Dusinberre, has faced quite a challenge. Sound, fluent English prevails for most of the way, but in the later pages the nature of the material begins to shape the vocabulary and we read of hoods and gals taking part in rumbles, and sandalled cats ...

Revolutionary Chic

Neal Ascherson, 5 November 1992

Chamfort: A Biography 
by Claude Arnaud, translated by Deke Dusinberre.
Chicago, 372 pp., £21.50, May 1992, 0 226 02697 3
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... The noblest and most innocent of all revolutionary manifestos is the Hessische Landbote, written by Georg Büchner in 1834 when he was 20 years old. Addressed to the peasantry of Hesse, the Landbote had almost no effect except to provoke a wave of repression against the young intellectuals who were behind it. It is written, deliberately, in language of Biblical simplicity, and its subtitle might have been spoken by the prophet Isaiah: ‘Peace to the Cottages! War on the Palaces!’ This slogan went straight into the German radical tradition and, from there, into folkmemory and cliché ...

The Wrong Head

Mike Jay: Am I Napoleon?, 21 May 2015

The Man Who Thought He Was Napoleon: Towards a Political History of Madness 
by Laure Murat, translated by Deke Dusinberre.
Chicago, 288 pp., £31.50, October 2014, 978 0 226 02573 5
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... Scarcely​ one year has gone by, and everything has taken on a new countenance.’ Early in the French Revolution, in 1790, Philippe Pinel observed the ‘salutary effects of the progress of liberty’ everywhere he looked. During the Ancien Régime he had seen Paris as an incubator for madness; now he recognised the epidemic of nervous illnesses that had plagued it as symptoms of a ‘social order ready to expire ...

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