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Butcher Boy

Michael Kulikowski: Mithridates, 22 April 2010

The Poison King: The Life and Legend of Mithridates, Rome’s Deadliest Enemy 
by Adrienne Mayor.
Princeton, 448 pp., £20.95, November 2009, 978 0 691 12683 8
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... his assumption of his inheritance. The Pontus that Mithridates took over was exceptionally rich in the minerals needed to forge good steel and in the timber from which ancient navies were built, but it had long been a kingdom between two worlds, its rulers facing both the Persian east and the Hellenised west. In the brutal aftermath of Alexander’s ...

Adieu, madame

Terry Castle: Sarah Bernhardt, 4 November 2010

Sarah: The Life of Sarah Bernhardt 
by Robert Gottlieb.
Yale, 233 pp., £18.99, October 2010, 978 0 300 14127 6
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... Phèdre (1874); Doña Sol in Hugo’s Hernani (1877); Marguerite in La Dame aux camélias (1880); Adrienne Lecouvreur, in Scribe and Legouvé’s eponymous tear-jerker (also 1880); and Fédora, doomed title character in the first of several wildly popular melodramas – La Tosca and Théodora would follow – Sardou wrote for Bernhardt between 1882 and ...

A Predilection for the Zinger

Rebecca Mead: Lorrie Moore, 10 December 1998

Birds of America 
by Lorrie Moore.
Faber, 291 pp., £9.99, November 1998, 0 571 19529 6
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... truth: Just once, before he was born, she said: ‘Healthy? I just want the kid to be rich.’ A joke, for God’s sake! After he was born she announced that her life had become a daily sequence of mind-wrecking chores, the same ones over and over again, like a novel by Mrs Camus. Another joke! The baby enters Paediatric Oncology, Peed Onk, and ...

If It Weren’t for Charlotte

Alice Spawls: The Brontës, 16 November 2017

... many of those who have written about the Brontës describe the importance of the novels to them. Adrienne Rich said she had ‘never lost the sense that [Jane Eyre] contains through and beyond the force of its creator’s imagination some nourishment I needed then and still need today’. Barker tells us that ‘if anyone had asked me what was my ...

No Haute Cuisine in Africa

Ernest Gellner, 2 September 1982

Cooking, Cuisine and Class: A Study in Comparative Sociology 
by Jack Goody.
Cambridge, 253 pp., £19.50, June 1982, 0 521 24455 2
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... illustrates what happens when testing is attempted by summarising some evidently valuable work by Adrienne Lehrer. But it would greatly help further testing if those who propound these ideas displayed more conscientiousness in formulating them, rather than being content with ‘initial plausibility’ plus rhetoric plus a shower of ethnographic ...

Getting back

Adrian Poole, 1 July 1982

A crowd is not company 
by Robert Kee.
Cape, 240 pp., £7.50, May 1982, 9780224020039
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Bedbugs 
by Clive Sinclair.
Allison and Busby, 109 pp., £6.95, May 1982, 0 85031 454 2
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New Writing and Writers 19 
John Calder, 262 pp., £6.95, April 1982, 0 7145 3811 6Show More
Zhenia’s Childhood 
by Boris Pasternak, translated by Alec Brown.
Allison and Busby, 115 pp., £6.95, May 1982, 0 85031 466 6
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... the Dutch into an English version that reads with remarkable fluency and elegance: the translator, Adrienne Dixon, deserves credit. Whether the translator of the four Pasternak stories published for the first time in English as Zhenia’s Childhood deserves credit or not is very difficult for the Russianless reader to decide. For a start he is strangely ...

How Molly Bloom Got Her Apostrophes

Lawrence Rainey, 19 June 1997

Ulysses 
by James Joyce, edited by Danis Rose.
Picador, 739 pp., £20, June 1997, 0 330 35229 6
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... they agreed on a plan for a deluxe edition of 1000 copies. Acting on the advice of her friend Adrienne Monnier, who had already published five deluxe editions, Beach decided on Maurice Darantiere, located in Dijon, as the printer. The result was confusion for all concerned. When Joyce reached his agreement with Beach in April, he had already completed the ...

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