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Todd Almighty

Peter Medawar, 16 February 1984

A Time to Remember: The Autobiography of a Chemist 
by Alexander Todd.
Cambridge, 257 pp., £15, November 1983, 0 521 25593 7
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... Lord Todd’s describing himself as ‘a chemist’ is not mock modesty but a true representation of how he sees himself and chooses to be seen by others – no ordinary chemist, mind you, but the supremo of British chemistry for very many years and a figure of world rank as well. He is a Nobel Laureate and a peer and has been President of the Royal Society and the Head of a Cambridge College; he has earned, too, what must surely be the rarest and most prestigious of all doubles – membership of our own Order of Merit and of the Order Pour le Mérite, the German model of our own ...

Theirs and No One Else’s

Nicholas Spice: Conductors’ Music, 16 March 2023

directed by Todd Field.
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Richard Wagner’s Essays on Conducting: A New Translation with Critical Commentary 
by Chris Walton.
Rochester, 306 pp., £26.99, February 2021, 978 1 64825 012 5
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In Good Hands: The Making of a Modern Conductor 
by Alice Farnham.
Faber, 298 pp., £16.99, January, 978 0 571 37050 4
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... of conductors’ music, and it was not an unpredictable choice as the work at the centre of Todd Field’s film Tár, about an internationally acclaimed conductor, Lydia Tár, whose spectacular fall from grace follows revelations about her serial grooming and abuse, for sexual favours, of younger colleagues and protégés. Bach’s Sixth ...

A Girl’s Right to Have Fun

Susan Pedersen: Young Women at Work Between the Wars, 5 October 2006

Young Women, Work and Family in England 1918-50 
by Selina Todd.
Oxford, 272 pp., £50, September 2005, 0 19 928275 7
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... considerable number of social historians and a rising generation of graduate students into the new field of cultural history. Master narratives of all sorts – ‘secularisation’, ‘the rise of the middle class’ – came under attack: indeed, no sooner had gender history’s notion of ‘the rise of separate spheres’ emerged than Amanda Vickery, in a ...

Out of the house

Dinah Birch, 30 August 1990

The Sign of Angellica: Women, Writing and Fiction, 1660-1800 
by Janet Todd.
Virago, 328 pp., £12.99, April 1989, 0 86068 576 4
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Uneven Developments: The Ideological Work of Gender in Mid-Victorian Britain 
by Mary Poovey.
Virago, 282 pp., £12.99, February 1989, 1 85381 035 5
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The Woman Question. Society and Literature In Britain and America, 1837-1883: Vols I-III 
edited by Elizabeth Helsinger, Robin Lauterbach Sheets and William Veeder.
Chicago, 146 pp., £7.95, February 1989, 0 226 32666 7
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Sexual Science: The Victorian Construction of Womanhood 
by Cynthia Eagle Russett.
Harvard, 245 pp., £15.95, June 1989, 9780674802902
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... clear that more cogent and complete ways of understanding the literary past were called for. Janet Todd was among the first to recognise this need, and her developing work has made a substantial contribution towards fulfilling it. One of the most valuable things she has to offer her readers is information. Her studies of women’s writing in the 18th century ...

The Faster the Better

Paul Driver: Anatomising Mendelssohn, 3 February 2005

Mendelssohn: A Life in Music 
by Larry Todd.
Oxford, 683 pp., £25, October 2003, 0 19 511043 9
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... life is legendary though not unduly eventful. Now we have it in the kind of detail few need. Larry Todd’s book, in the modern academic fashion, is a chronicle of day by day. It is a chronicle, too, of piece by piece, and song by song, both Felix’s and those of his elder sister, Fanny. Todd has also discovered who lived ...

Its Rolling Furious Eyes

James Vincent: Automata, 22 February 2024

Miracles and Machines: A 16th-Century Automaton and Its Legend 
by Elizabeth King and W. David Todd.
Getty, 245 pp., £39.99, August 2023, 978 1 60606 839 7
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... he fell, received a visit from the dead monk and recovered, but as Elizabeth King and David Todd detail, the supposed origin of the machine is supported more by circumstantial evidence than positive proof; it’s an ‘elegant hypothesis’, the authors conclude. More interesting than the clockwork Diego’s uncertain provenance, however, is the ...
Dust-bowl Migrants in the American Imagination 
by Charles Shindo.
Kansas, 252 pp., £22.50, January 1997, 0 7006 0810 9
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In the Country of Country 
by Nicholas Dawidoff.
Faber, 365 pp., £12.99, June 1997, 0 571 19174 6
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... reforms inconsistent with the migrants’ own desires’. Similarly, the folklorists Charles Todd and Robert Sonkin, sent west under the aegis of Alan Lomax and the Library of Congress to record what might be left of the migrants’ musical lore, paid no attention to what the Okies – by now into commercialised country and western music – wanted to ...

The Sage of Polygon Road

Claire Tomalin, 28 September 1989

The Works of Mary Wollstonecraft, Vols I-VII 
edited by Janet Todd and Marilyn Butler.
Pickering & Chatto, 2530 pp., £245, August 1989, 1 85196 006 6
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... she wrote after that is interesting, and often surprising. Her editors, Marilyn Butler and Janet Todd, have chosen to include all her known translations, her anthology The Female Reader, and her book reviews. This generosity does not work entirely in her favour. Elements of Morality, Young Grandison and the Reader have been hard to find: but how many readers ...


Patrick Wormald, 19 November 1981

Roman Britain 
by Peter Salway.
Oxford, 824 pp., £19.50, August 1981, 9780198217176
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Roman Britain 
by Malcolm Tood.
Fontana, 285 pp., £2.95, May 1981, 0 00 633756 2
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... part of the Roman Empire can claim as much. Yet the quantity and quality of specialist work in the field are such that both authors can claim, with some justice, that a new übersicht is needed. Roman Britain was itself paradoxical. Clearly, it was highly prized by Rome. It was defended by a standing army infinitely greater than the regular forces available to ...

Cite ourselves!

Richard J. Evans: The Annales School, 3 December 2009

The Annales School: An Intellectual History 
by André Burguière, translated by Jane Marie Todd.
Cornell, 309 pp., £24.95, 0 8014 4665 1
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... et sociale, and from the beginning proclaimed its ambition to play a leading role in the field of economic and social history in France. Bloch and Febvre advocated a broadening of the historian’s vision to encompass not only standard topics of economic history such as trade and currency, agrarian society, transport and technology, but also ...

Not Telling

Ronan Bennett, 23 September 1993

The Blue Afternoon 
by William Boyd.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 324 pp., £14.99, September 1993, 1 85619 366 7
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... a storyteller, and has never been shy of letting us know it. In The New Confessions John James Todd speaks confidentially to the reader: ‘Anyway, I digress. Let me tell you something about this enterprise upon which we have both – you and I – embarked. Here is the story of a life. My life ... If on occasion I have used some innocent embellishment it ...

Zimbabwe is kenge

J.D.F. Jones, 7 July 1983

Under the Skin 
by David Caute.
Allen Lane, 447 pp., £14.95, February 1983, 0 7139 1357 6
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The K-Factor 
by David Caute.
Joseph, 216 pp., £8.95, May 1983, 0 7181 2260 7
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... numbers (an abbreviation of ‘taken the gap’, a homegrown metaphor borrowed from the rugby field). The South Africans have meddled, because Mugabe to them is the Antichrist and a successful black government cannot be endured, least of all on the north bank of the Limpopo. But it wasn’t Pretoria’s mischief that caused Zimbabwe to split open along ...


John Bayley, 4 December 1986

Evelyn Waugh: The Early Years 1903-1939 
by Martin Stannard.
Dent, 537 pp., £14.95, October 1986, 0 460 04632 2
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... deeper than that, as is shown by the disingenuousness of Waugh’s reply to it. He describes Mr Todd’s imprisonment of Tony Last at the end of the novel as ‘a conceit in the Webster manner’, and goes on to call his ‘scheme’ that of ‘a Gothic man in the hands of savages – first Mrs Beaver etc, then the real ones, finally the silver foxes at ...

Eat it

Terry Eagleton: Marcel Mauss, 8 June 2006

Marcel Mauss: A Biography 
by Marcel Fournier, translated by Jane Marie Todd.
Princeton, 442 pp., £22.95, January 2006, 0 691 11777 2
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... abridged version of his biography of Mauss, translated into lucid English by Jane Marie Todd, is a masterpiece of erudition, though scarcely scintillating. The book runs headlong into the problem of all life-histories of intellectuals: the fact that there is no reason to suppose that people are interesting just because their ideas are. We would not ...


Karl Whitney: The golf course is burning, 2 June 2016

... station started to heat up and, in 1981, a hole in the ground opened up beneath a 12-year-old boy, Todd Domboski, who clung to an exposed tree root until he was rescued. The town was evacuated; although a few people still live there, most residents accepted a federal buyout and moved elsewhere. (There were more than a thousand residents in 1962 and only ten in ...

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