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27 November 1997
A Traitor’s Kiss: The Life of Richard Brinsley Sheridan 
by Fintan O’Toole.
Granta, 516 pp., £20, October 1997, 1 86207 026 1
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Richard Brinsley Sheridan: A Life 
by Linda Kelly.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 366 pp., £25, April 1997, 1 85619 207 5
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Sheridan’s Nightingale: The Story of Elizabeth Linley 
by Alan Chedzoy.
Allison and Busby, 322 pp., £15.99, April 1997, 0 7490 0264 6
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... career’. His biography comes hard on the heels of Linda Kelly’s, and it would be comforting to report that O’Toole’s was the rehash, but the Granta puff has it the right way round, while AlanChedzoy’s life of the first Mrs Sheridan (the noted soprano and beauty Elizabeth Linley) is more boisterously entertaining than either of them. The subject of all this feverish activity was born in ...

Lawful Charm

Donald Davie

6 July 1995
Selected Poems 
by William Barnes, edited by Andrew Motion.
Penguin, 171 pp., £6.99, May 1994, 0 14 042379 6
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Selected Poems 
by William Barnes, read by Alan Chedzoy.
Canto, £6.99
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... was himself a lexicographer, as his sort of philologist has to be. However, this poem, ‘Moss’, is from Poems Partly of Rural Life in National English (1846). It is good enough to make us question AlanChedzoy’s confident assertion, on the excellent tape from Canto Publications, that Barnes’s dialect poems are plainly superior to his poems in Standard English, much as Burns in Scots is, we may ...

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