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Bowling along

Kitty Hauser: The motorist who first saw England, 17 March 2005

In Search of H.V. Morton 
by Michael Bartholomew.
Methuen, 248 pp., £18.99, April 2004, 0 413 77138 5
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... did so expertly on existing myths of national identity and history. Not until now, however, with Michael Bartholomew’s biography, has much been known about Morton. Bartholomew’s book is an unexpectedly enlightening read. It turns out that the narrator of Morton’s travel books was an invention of their ...

Middle Positions

John Hedley Brooke, 21 July 1983

Archetypes and Ancestors: Palaeontology in Victorian London 1850-1875 
by Adrian Desmond.
Blond and Briggs, 287 pp., £15.95, October 1982, 0 85634 121 5
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Evolution without Evidence: Charles Darwin and ‘The Origin Species’ 
by Barry Gale.
Harvester, 238 pp., £18.95, January 1983, 0 7108 0442 3
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The Secular Ark: Studies in the History of Biogeography 
by Janet Browne.
Yale, 273 pp., £21, May 1983, 0 300 02460 6
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The Descent of Darwin: A Handbook of Doubts about Darwinsm 
by Brain Leith.
Collins, 174 pp., £7.95, December 1982, 0 00 219548 8
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... point that Desmond brings out so well – drawing on the work of Martin Rudwick, Peter Bowler and Michael Bartholomew – is that Darwin’s Origin of Species actually caught Huxley on the wrong foot. If the future of scientific naturalism was, after all, to be bound up with an evolutionary theory, there was a respect in which Huxley had backed the wrong ...

Saints on Sundays, Devils All the Week After

Patrick Collinson: London Burnings, 19 September 2002

The Antichrist’s Lewd Hat: Protestants, Papists and Players in Post-Reformation England 
by Peter Lake and Michael Questier.
Yale, 731 pp., £30, February 2002, 0 300 08884 1
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... the ways of the Court to make it, eventually, with James I, and in the ways of the street to write Bartholomew Fair (a chapter on this play, along with The Alchemist, and another on Measure for Measure, is the prize which awaits us inside all the wrappings, at the end of this pass-the-parcel of a book). Like the play itself, The Antichrist’s Lewd Hat is a ...

Pity the monsters

Richard Altick, 18 December 1980

The Elephant Man 
by Bernard Pomerance.
Faber, 71 pp., £2.25, June 1980, 0 571 11569 1
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The Elephant Man: the Book of the Film 
by Joy Kuhn.
Virgin, 90 pp., £6.95, October 1980, 9780907080091
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The Elephant Man 
by Christine Sparks.
Futura, 272 pp., £1.25, August 1980, 0 7088 1942 7
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The Elephant Man and Other Reminiscences 
by Frederick Treves.
Star, 126 pp., £95, August 1980, 0 352 30747 1
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The Elephant Man and Other Freaks 
by Sian Richards.
Futura, 197 pp., £1.25, October 1980, 0 7088 1927 3
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The True History of the Elephant Man 
by Michael Howell and Peter Ford.
Allison and Busby, 190 pp., £6.95, March 1980, 0 85031 353 8
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... long tradition of the London exhibition trade. The printers of Seven Dials and the mountebanks of Bartholomew Fair squeezed additional revenue from a popular freakish attraction by producing and hawking descriptive pamphlets, ballads, prints, and ‘autobiographies’ ghosted by the same hacks who concocted dying speeches to be sold at the site of public ...

The Pig Walked Free

Michael Grayshott: Animal Trials, 5 December 2013

Animal Trials 
by Edward Payson Evans.
Hesperus, 146 pp., £9.99, February 2013, 978 1 84391 382 5
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... casuistic lines of argument in order to secure a technical knockout. One French lawyer, Bartholomew Chassené, sought to excuse the failure of his clients – rats – to appear in court by citing ‘the length and difficulty of the journey and the serious perils which attended it, owing to the unwearied vigilance of their mortal enemies, the ...

Shakespeare and the Stage

John Kerrigan, 21 April 1983

Elizabethan Popular Theatre: Plays in Performance 
by Michael Hattaway.
Routledge, 234 pp., £14.95, January 1983, 0 7100 9052 8
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Shakespeare the Director 
by Ann Pasternak Slater.
Harvester, 244 pp., £18.95, December 1982, 0 7108 0446 6
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... irresistible, when everything essential to that theatre actually lies beyond archaeology. As Michael Hattaway reminds us in his eloquent new study of Elizabethan Popular Theatre, the Rose, the Curtain, the Globe and the rest did not define the drama that they housed. Far more important than the ‘wooden O’ and ‘cockpit’ were those shared attitudes ...

In search of Eaffry Johnson

Brigid Brophy, 22 January 1981

Reconstructing Aphra 
by Angeline Goreau.
Oxford, 339 pp., £8.95, November 1980, 0 19 822663 2
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... through. In one of my ration I found the baptism, on 14 December 1640, of Eaffry Johnson at St Michael’s in Harbledown, a village half a mile outside Canterbury towards which I sometimes feel the fates nudging me, since I had already visited it in the course of Michael Levey’s research for his biography of Walter ...

Bereft and Beruffed

Michael Dobson: Shakespeare’s Last Plays, 6 June 2019

Shakespeare’s Lyric Stage: Myth, Music and Poetry in the Last Plays 
by Seth Lerer.
Chicago, 276 pp., £20.50, November 2018, 978 0 226 58254 2
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... towards fairy tale, in ways Ben Jonson, for one, found embarrassing: in 1614, in the induction to Bartholomew Fair, Jonson promised that his play would not include a ‘servant-monster’ like Caliban, and he ridiculed The Two Noble Kinsmen in the play itself. In ‘An Ode on Himself’, 15 years later, Jonson was still lamenting that theatre audiences ...


Alan Bennett: What I Did in 2015, 7 January 2016

... R. of course notices as I don’t the absurd hat the serving woman is wearing). One of the saints, Bartholomew in the penultimate room, has always looked to me like Arnold Bennett (the author, not my cousin the policeman) but somehow I miss seeing one of my favourites, the Kenwood self-portrait against its two circles, which is there but I pass it by. I also ...

Bastard Foreigners

Michael Dobson: Shakespeare v. the English, 2 July 2020

Shakespeare’s Englishes: Against Englishness 
by Margaret Tudeau-Clayton.
Cambridge, 245 pp., £75, October 2019, 978 1 108 49373 4
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... tries to deny one at the expense of the other, and in practice neither did Jonson, the author of Bartholomew Fair.The most notable lingering false opposition within her book, however, and a more pervasive one, is ‘older, Catholic’ (good) v. ‘Protestant’ (bad). She finds it ‘ironic’ that the Book of Common Prayer (whose desire to offer ...

Old Dad dead?

Michael Neill: Thomas Middleton, 4 December 2008

Thomas Middleton: The Collected Works 
edited by Gary Taylor and John Lavagnino.
Oxford, 2016 pp., £85, November 2007, 978 0 19 818569 7
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Thomas Middleton and Early Modern Textual Culture: A Companion to the Collected Works 
edited by Gary Taylor and John Lavagnino.
Oxford, 1183 pp., £100, November 2007, 978 0 19 818570 3
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... tenderness that illuminates that show of superannuated lechery: ‘Thou whoreson little tidy Bartholomew boar-pig,’ Shakespeare’s warm-hearted, half-infatuated whore coos, ‘when wilt thou leave fighting o’ days and foining o’ nights, and begin to patch up thine old body for heaven?’ Hals’s painting – knowing, cynically indulgent and full ...

Jangling Monarchy

Tom Paulin: Milton and the Regicides, 8 August 2002

A Companion to Milton 
by Thomas N. Corns.
Blackwell, 528 pp., £80, June 2001, 0 631 21408 9
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The Life of John Milton: A Critical Biography 
by Barbara K. Lewalski.
Blackwell, 816 pp., £25, December 2000, 0 631 17665 9
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... difficult to read Milton’s narrative in Paradise Lost in this way – we visualise the Archangel Michael’s two-handed sword not as the double lever on a printing press, but simply as a sword, while we see ‘chaos’ and the ‘abyss’ physically, as part of outer space. Yet Milton, the adept student of Spenser, was designing a flexibly symbolic ...

Pepys’s Place

Pat Rogers, 16 June 1983

The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Vol X: Companion and Vol XI: Index 
edited by Robert Latham.
Bell and Hyman, 626 pp., £19.50, February 1983, 0 7135 1993 2
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The Diary of John Evelyn 
edited by John Bowle.
Oxford, 476 pp., £19.50, April 1983, 0 19 251011 8
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The Brave Courtier: Sir William Temple 
by Richard Faber.
Faber, 187 pp., £15, February 1983, 0 571 11982 4
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... be possible to treat some of this material in a wider ideological context, as has been done by Michael Hunter in Science and Society in Restoration England (1981), with its impressive analysis of the scientific community at local and national level. Some of the diplomatic history seems faintly old-fashioned, and maybe we needed an entry on the United ...

Friend to Sir Philip Sidney

Blair Worden, 3 July 1986

The Prose Works of Fulke Greville, Lord Brooke 
edited by John Gouws.
Oxford, 279 pp., £40, March 1986, 0 19 812746 4
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... their response to the assaults on civil and religious freedom in the Europe of the Massacre of St Bartholomew (which Sidney witnessed in Paris), of the Duke of Alva and of Mary Queen of Scots. In essence, it is the response found in the theories of contract and resistance developed by Sidney’s friends and allies abroad ...


Jonathan Rée: Ventriloquists, 10 May 2001

Dumbstruck: A Cultural History of Ventriloquism 
by Steven Connor.
Oxford, 449 pp., £25, November 2000, 0 19 818433 6
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... offers a frightening gallery of rogue vents – from Eric von Stroheim in The Great Gabbo to Michael Redgrave in Dead of Night and Anthony Hopkins in Magic – who have been led astray by their dummy-selves; and real vents can be just as mixed up as fictional ones. When the English entertainer Arthur Prince died in 1948, his jolly partner Jim was ...

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