Saturday, January 10, 2009

Closely Related Varieties

TLS January 25 3008

from Frederic Raphael's review of Graham Greene: A Life in Letters:

In two long 1948 "letters", of a formality that betokens the status which The Heart of the Matter had clinched the matter for him, Greene spells out . . . his notion of the writer's shifty role in society: "Isn't disloyalty as much the writer's virtue as loyalty is the soldier's?". 

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TLS June 13 2008

from Eileen Magnello's review of Andrew Robinson's The Story of Measurement:

The Romans, with the expansion of their empire, brought their own system of measurement, which became the most widely adopted in the Western world. It used different parts of the human body to provide various standards of length, such as the digit (the breadth of the middle part of the first joint of the forefinger), the palm (which measures four digits across the palm) and the foot (sixteen digits or four palms). The Roman mile equalled a thousand paces, and their yard was the length of a stride; but for King Henry I (1068-1135), the royal yard was the length of the arm, which equalled three feet. 

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from Jim Enderby's review of Robyn Stacey and Ashley Hay's Museum: The Macleays, their collections and the search for order:

The photographs . . . vividly illustrate the stunning beauty of Macleays's insect collections, and perhaps that is enough to explain his passion. Many of the butterflies, for example, are exquisite in themselves, but even the humblest examples look extraordinary when arranged into neat rows, with closely related varieties and species placed alongside one another. At first glance, each insect wing shades into the next and the whole page seems to ripple with iridescence, even when the specimens themselves are mostly brown or yellow.

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