D J Taylor

Passage to Hampstead

Sorting through the books in my study the other night I came across a deeply recherché item: Peter Ackroyd’s Notes for a New Culture, published as long ago as 1976, never reprinted and now omitted from the great man’s bibliographies. The date on the flyleaf reads ‘October 1982’, and instantly the circumstances in which it was obtained came rushing back into my head: the scraped acquaintance; the tentative note; the brown paper parcel left for collection at the offices of The Spectator; and the accompanying letter in which Ackroyd, making adroit use of the double negative, claimed that ‘he wasn’t sure that he didn’t entirely disagree with it all’.

At the time, though hugely admiring of the author,

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'The breadth of Clarke’s knowledge and experience, coupled to a conspicuous absence of pomposity, makes for easy an… ,
    • In this month's Silenced Voices, Lucy Popescu shines a light on Myanmar's persecution of writers and journalists, p… ,
    • Lecture on war and peace in 19th-century Europe by Professor Sir Richard Evans, Thurs 25 Oct, 6.30pm Europe House… ,
    • 'Why, throughout the world, are so many people fascinated by the fiction and reality of espionage? And why of all p… ,
    • . here on books, Muriel Spark and life's tangled dance ,
    • RT : There aren't enough aggressive subtitles these days: ,
    • Churchill's on the cover of the October edition of the magazine. Piers Brendon reviews two new books about the Brit… ,