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Michael Neve, 3 September 1981

The Opium-Eater: A Life of Thomas de Quincey 
by Grevel Lindop.
Dent, 433 pp., £12, July 1981, 0 460 04358 7
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... and excuse for the output – or lack of it – in these writers. It is also possible, and Grevel Lindop suggests this in his new biography, that the drug is wryly irrelevant to the work: that it doesn’t explain very much. And doubting drugs need not be confined to doubting their part in the creative life. Like Hogg, another grinder of literary ...


Frank Kermode: Being a critic, 27 May 1999

... he found doing shorter pieces to strict editorial deadlines a godsend. De Quincey frequented what Grevel Lindop calls ‘the fluid frontier between the academic and the journalistic worlds’ of early 19th-century Edinburgh and London, though he had little time for Scottish professors. Indeed De Quincey, and Blackwood’s Magazine, seem to ...


John Kerrigan, 13 October 1988

Archaic Figure 
by Amy Clampitt.
Faber, 113 pp., £4.95, February 1988, 0 571 15043 8
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by Grevel Lindop.
Carcanet, 95 pp., £6.95, July 1987, 0 85635 697 2
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Sleeping rough 
by Charles Boyle.
Carcanet, 64 pp., £5.95, November 1987, 0 85635 731 6
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This Other Life 
by Peter Robinson.
Carcanet, 96 pp., £5.95, April 1988, 0 85635 737 5
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In the Hot-House 
by Alan Jenkins.
Chatto, 60 pp., £4.95, May 1988, 0 7011 3312 0
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Monterey Cypress 
by Lachlan Mackinnon.
Chatto, 62 pp., £4.95, May 1988, 0 7011 3264 7
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My Darling Camel 
by Selima Hill.
Chatto, 64 pp., £4.95, May 1988, 0 7011 3286 8
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The Air Mines of Mistila 
by Philip Gross and Sylvia Kantaris.
Bloodaxe, 80 pp., £4.95, June 1988, 1 85224 055 5
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by Edward Kamau Brathwaite.
Oxford, 131 pp., £6.95, April 1988, 0 19 281987 9
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The Arkansas Testament 
by Derek Walcott.
Faber, 117 pp., £3.95, March 1988, 9780571149094
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... a series of books by young poets gravitating towards the idea of travel. Of those under review, Grevel Lindop’s Tourists is the most transparently accomplished. Lucid of contour, with a syntax almost too elegiacally attuned to form, his work displays, even when not concerned with journeying, the kind of internal ‘itinerary’ which (in ...

‘I love you, defiant witch!’

Michael Newton: Charles Williams, 8 September 2016

Charles Williams: The Third Inkling 
by Grevel Lindop.
Oxford, 493 pp., £25, October 2015, 978 0 19 928415 3
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... world. To all those he influenced, Williams stood as a symbol of undaunted integrity. What Grevel Lindop’s excellent new biography exposes, with all too disturbing force, is just how compromised he was. He came from a very ordinary lower-middle-class family. He was born in 1886 near the Holloway Road, not far from where the Pooters famously ...

Drink it, don’t eat it or smoke it

Mike Jay: De Quincey, 13 May 2010

The English Opium-Eater: A Biography of Thomas De Quincey 
by Robert Morrison.
Weidenfeld, 462 pp., £25, November 2009, 978 0 297 85279 7
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... Quincey’s works that emerged in 2000-3, to which he contributed under the general editorship of Grevel Lindop. But the problem with cradle to grave biographies of De Quincey has never been paucity of material; rather, it’s the way it’s distributed across his long and often tedious life. On the crucial formative episodes, his youthful adventures in ...

The Animalcule

Nicholas Spice: Little Mr De Quincey, 18 May 2017

Guilty Thing: A Life of Thomas De Quincey 
by Frances Wilson.
Bloomsbury, 397 pp., £25, April 2016, 978 1 4088 3977 5
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... debts. Things improved steadily when his daughter Margaret took over the running of the household. Grevel Lindop, the general editor of The Works of Thomas De Quincey, speaks in The Opium-Eater, his 1981 biography, of De Quincey’s ‘curious optimism’ and his capacity for feats of sustained creative work. For all his sickly appearance, his ...

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