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Harriet Guest

Harriet Guest lectures in English at University College London. She is due to publish a book on the 18th-century poet Christopher Smart.

Laundry

Harriet Guest, 10 December 1987

Let there not be a single stripe, a single spot, a single stray grey sock or tartan-bordered handkerchief, implores Miss Sumpter, that goes with the white wash into the tub or into the machine, or pure whiteness will be lost forever. Heavily soiled cotton and linen whites must of course be pre-washed before allowed into contact with more delicate fabrics – woollens and silks and polyesters and so forth: even so, and although quite a quantity of the heavier, tougher fabrics may be allowed to press up close in the wash with one another, be tumbled this way and that and still not lose their purity, it is preferable to wash a white blouse, or white stockings, or a white shirt, quite separately.

Mr Lion, Mr Cock and Mr Cat

Roger Lonsdale, 5 April 1990

Harriet Guest’s starting-point is Donald Davie’s suggestion in 1958 that Christopher Smart might be considered ‘the greatest poet between Pope and Wordsworth’. Her...

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