From the outset of Gordon’s
mission doubts existed about whether it was an advisory or an executive
role, about what Gordon could accomplish once appointed governor-general
of the Sudan and about what would happen if his life became endangered.
Whatever Gordon’s motives, 1 he felt compelled to remain in Khartoum and
the Government dared not order him to withdraw. As the Mahdist siege
symphony he proposed to write in 1898 on the subject of General Charles
Gordon, who perished at the hands of Islamist fanatics in Sudan in
1885. 4 That it
did not eventuate is due to three factors. First, having promised to
produce the symphony for the Three Choirs Festival in September 1899,
Elgar informed the Worcester organising committee in May of that year
that he could not fulfil the obligation
The oratory of Gordon Brown
Gordon Brown entered Parliament as MP for Dunfermline East (later Kirkcaldy
and Cowdenbeath) in 1983. He rose quickly through the party ranks to become
Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury in 1987, and was soon marked out as a face
for the future (Mandelson, 2010). Brown’s impressive parliamentary performances
while filling in as Shadow Chancellor in 1988 dramatically increased his profile, and
he was subsequently appointed to that position in July 1992. The sudden death of
John Smith on 12 May 1994 triggered a
time when Gordon Brown was succeeding Tony Blair
as Prime Minister, ‘For the first time, since the Act of
Union, England’s constitutional future was coming into
contention, and with it the fundamental assumptions underpinning the
multinational British state’ (2008a: 399). The process of
devolution in the non-English nations of the Union had fashioned
‘new sites for civic
Necromancy, the practice of conjuring and controlling evil spirits, was a popular
pursuit in the courts and cloisters of late medieval and early modern Europe.
Books that gave details on how to conduct magical experiments circulated widely.
Written pseudonymously under the name of the astrologer and translator Michael
Scot (d. 1236), Latin MS 105 from the John Rylands Library, Manchester, is
notable for the inclusion, at the beginning of the manuscript, of a corrupted,
unreadable text that purports to be the Arabic original. Other recensions of the
handbook, which generally travelled under the pseudo-Arabic title of Almuchabola
Absegalim Alkakib Albaon, also stressed the experiments non-Western origins.
Using Latin MS 105 as the main case study, this article aims to investigate the
extent to which a magic books paratextual data conveyed a sense of authority to
its contemporary audience.