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A Little Pickle for the Husband

Michael Mason, 1 April 1999

Beeton's Book of Household Management 
by Isabella Beeton.
Southover, 1112 pp., £29.95, November 1998, 9781870962155
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... started early. Within a decade of Isabella Beeton’s death in 1865 the publishers Ward, Lock and Tyler had acquired an astonishing degree of control over the ‘Beeton’ name. Isabella’s widower Sam, who had been the original publisher of her book but was now bankrupted, lost in the courts the right to use his surname even for his own productions. At ...


Russell Davies, 18 June 1981

Short Lives 
by Katinka Matson.
Picador, 366 pp., £2.50, February 1981, 9780330262194
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... a much more private reason: namely, as a sort of commemorative apologia for the life of Thomas ‘Tyler’ Bootman, a semi-published and semi-vagabond poet with whom Ms Matson spent 13 unofficially and sometimes loosely attached years. Bootman, whose career is affectingly summarised, sounds like one of those figures who never quite escape studenthood. His ...

Canterbury Tale

Charles Nicholl, 8 December 1988

Christopher Marlowe and Canterbury 
by William Urry, edited by Andrew Butcher.
Faber, 184 pp., £12.95, May 1988, 0 571 14566 3
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John Weever 
by E.A.J. Honigmann.
Manchester, 134 pp., £27.50, April 1987, 0 7190 2217 7
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Rare Sir William Davenant 
by Mary Edmond.
Manchester, 264 pp., £27.50, July 1987, 9780719022869
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... touchy aggressive temper – intellectual and physical – prefigured in his father. His sister Anne seems to have been a handful as well. Like him she was known as a ‘swearer’ and ‘blasphemer of the name of God’, and in 1626, well into her fifties, she set about an unfortunate neighbour, one Prowde, with a staff and a dagger. Marlowe’s origins ...

There isn’t any inside!

Adam Mars-Jones: William Gaddis, 23 September 2021

The Recognitions 
by William Gaddis.
NYRB, 992 pp., £24, November 2020, 978 1 68137 466 6
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by William Gaddis.
NYRB, 784 pp., £20, October 2020, 978 1 68137 468 0
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... too wasn’t he …It’s a good bet that the 1933 novel The Young and Evil, whose authors Parker Tyler and Charles Henri Ford turn up the dial of camp to Spinal Tap levels, is an intermediate influence. Gaddis misses the lightness of Firbank’s compression, preferring to fill pages with lines that are variously clever, stupid and clever-clever, hoping the ...

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