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6 July 1989
Laughter and the Love of Friends: A Memoir 1945 to the Present Day 
by Ursula Wyndham.
Lennard, 208 pp., £14.95, March 1989, 1 85291 061 5
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1939: The Last Season of Peace 
by Angela Lambert.
Weidenfeld, 235 pp., £14.95, April 1989, 0 297 79539 2
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Rosehill: Portraits from a Midland City 
by Carol Lake.
Bloomsbury, 179 pp., £12.95, May 1989, 9780747503019
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... after they have made love his face wears an expression of ‘noble ecstacy’. Ursula Wyndham sometimes meanders, but she is not mealy-mouthed: she tells her own idiosyncratic story. As recorded by AngelaLambert, the slightly younger debutantes of the 1939 Season were less adventurous and more euphemistic: they recall a few gropes ‘round the bosom area’, a rumour that one girl had ‘crossed the ...

Aubade before Breakfast

Tom Crewe: Balfour and the Souls

30 March 2016
Balfour’s World: Aristocracy and Political Culture at the Fin de Siècle 
by Nancy Ellenberger.
Boydell, 414 pp., £30, September 2015, 978 1 78327 037 8
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... acknowledged, the ‘laughter and delight’ had long since become ‘imponderable as gossamer and dew’. Historians have continued to strain after the nature of their collective significance. AngelaLambert tried hard in 1984: ‘Many others who enjoyed the same privileges remained boring and boorish … It is not easy to be unfailingly charming, lively and original.’ Unfortunately, she did ...

Soul Bellow

Craig Raine

12 November 1987
More die of heartbreak 
by Saul Bellow.
Alison Press/Secker, 335 pp., £10.95, October 1987, 0 436 03962 1
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... Malraux or some Jew for brains. Commonest fantasy there is.’ So common, in fact, that it has already been given an outing in Mr Sammler’s Planet: ‘he fetched back, for example, a statement by Angela Gruner, blurted out after several drinks when she was laughing, gay, and evidently feeling free (to the point of brutality) with old Uncle Sammler. “A Jew brain, a black cock, a Nordic beauty,” ...

The Immortal Coil

Richard Barnett: Faraday’s Letters

21 March 2013
The Correspondence of Michael Faraday Vol. VI, 1860-67 
by Frank James.
IET, 919 pp., £85, December 2011, 978 0 86341 957 7
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... the chemist Justus von Liebig, the geologists Louis Agassiz, William Buckland, Charles Lyell and Roderick Murchison, the astronomer John Herschel, the philosopher William Whewell, the philanthropist Angela Burdett-Coutts, the ‘Enchantress of Numbers’ Ada, Countess of Lovelace, and many others. And his clubbability did not end with his death. Throughout the 20th century his image, his name and his ...

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