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6 February 1986
Travels with a Superior Person 
by Lord Curzon, edited by Peter King.
Sidgwick, 191 pp., £12.95, October 1985, 0 283 99294 8
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The Ladies of Castlebrae 
by A. Whigham Price.
Alan Sutton, 242 pp., £10.95, October 1985, 0 86299 228 1
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Lizzie: A Victorian Lady’s Amazon Adventure 
by Tony Morrison, Anne Brown and Ann Rose.
BBC, 160 pp., £9.95, November 1985, 0 563 20424 9
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Miss Fane in India 
by [author], edited by John Pemble.
Alan Sutton, 246 pp., £10.95, October 1985, 0 86299 240 0
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Explorers Extraordinary 
by John Keay.
Murray/BBC Publications, 195 pp., £10.95, November 1985, 0 7195 4249 9
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A Visit to Germany, Italy and Malta 1840-41 
by Hans Christian Andersen, translated by Grace Thornton.
Peter Owen, 182 pp., £12.50, October 1985, 0 7206 0636 5
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The Irish Sketch-Book 1842 
by William Makepeace Thackeray.
Blackstaff, 368 pp., £9.95, December 1985, 0 85640 340 7
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Mr Rowlandson’s England 
by Robert Southey, edited by John Steel.
Antique Collectors’ Club, 202 pp., £14.95, November 1985, 0 907462 77 4
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... afar is highly resistible: ‘a girdle of amethysts encircled its waist; the breath of beauty fanned its radiant shoulders; its head was crowned with a diadem of rubies and pearls.’ (What, no chalcedon? No chrysoprase?) Curzon did his stint of quiet spying, but his curiosity extended everywhere. He met many rulers, a number of whom were later ...

Bringers of Ill Luck and Bad Weather

Penelope Fitzgerald: Anne Enright

2 March 2000
What Are You Like 
by Anne Enright.
Cape, 257 pp., £10, March 2000, 0 224 06063 5
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... In Anne Enright’s collection The Portable Virgin (published in 1991) the first story is about Cathy, who works in the handbag department of a large Dublin store. Cathy classifies the customers by the bags she induces them to buy, bags which ‘take them one step beyond who they thought they might be.’. Cathy marries late, but only falls violently in love when a ‘loose, rangy woman’ comes into the store and fingers the most beautiful of imports, ‘an Argentinian calf-skin shoulder bag in tobacco brown ...


Anne Enright: Looking at the Wallpaper

2 January 1997
... father had so carefully cut and laid on the floor of her Morris Minor, swirls of gick green on a brown smear with yellow specks. Box-room, my eye. She crawled over that carpet from the living-room into the hall when she was two and loved every dizzy bit of it. Now she has to drive around in it, give people lifts and lie, her clutch pedal pressed into the ...
4 September 1980
Queen Anne 
by Edward Gregg.
Routledge, 483 pp., £17.50, April 1980, 0 7100 0400 1
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... practice, the Act of Settlement settled little, except the succession in the House of Hanover upon Anne’s death without issue, and it affected Anne not at all, since most of its other provisions were either soon repealed, or were not scheduled to come into operation until after her death, or simply formalised existing ...

At the Nasher Sculpture Centre

Anne Wagner: Neanderthal Art

5 April 2018
... the gneiss axe from Mauritania flaunts a crazy quilt of stripes in honey yellow and warm earthy brown. From left to right, iron stone handaxe from Kathu Pan, South Africa, c.600,000 BCE; the West Tofts handaxe, knapped around a fossil shell; handaxe from Gesher Benot Ya’aqov, Israel c.780,000 BCE. But even the most exuberant combinations of ...


Nicholas Spice

17 May 1984
Present Times 
by David Storey.
Cape, 270 pp., £8.95, May 1984, 0 224 02188 5
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The Uses of Fiction: Essays on the Modern Novel in Honour of Arnold Kettle 
edited by Douglas Jefferson and Graham Martin.
Open University, 296 pp., £15, December 1982, 9780335101818
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The Hawthorn Goddess 
by Glyn Hughes.
Chatto, 232 pp., £8.95, April 1984, 0 7011 2818 6
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... falls. Attercliffe goes home to his ‘four-bedroomed, one bathroomed, one living-roomed (dining-annexed), one-kitchened “executive” dwelling’ at 24 Walton Lane on the outskirts of Morristown. Through the window he sees Elise his eldest daughter washing her hair in the kitchen sink. He opens the front door. A figure darts ...

A Tale of Three Novels

Michael Holroyd: Violet Trefusis

11 February 2010
... faltering, what warmth, suppleness … like a squirrel among buck hares – a red squirrel among brown nuts.’ Later, when her attachment to Vita was long over, Virginia confided to the composer Ethel Smyth that she ‘didn’t take to Trefusis’. What precisely she didn’t take to was Tandem, a novel that strays haphazardly into the future. Despite many ...

At the British Museum

Anne Wagner: Käthe Kollwitz

2 January 2020
... a lift ground imprinted by both fabric and Ziegler’s transfer paper – all before printing in brown ink on copperplate paper. Each step involved experiment and evaluation; the phrase ‘mixed media’ doesn’t do it justice.The exhibition catalogue helpfully provides close-ups of six different works, which recall, but cannot replace, the encounters that ...

Lotti’s Leap

Penelope Fitzgerald

1 July 1982
Collected Poems and Prose 
by Charlotte Mew, edited by Val Warner.
Carcanet/Virago, 445 pp., £9.95, October 1981, 0 85635 260 8
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... group allowed for a certain release of emotion – in fact, for Miss Harrison’s soppy side: the Brownings, the Brontës, Alice Meynell, Francis Thompson, Tagore’s ‘King of the Dark Chamber’ and ‘The Post Office’. When Charlotte Mew found her individual voice, all these influences persisted, just as her school friends remained her first and last ...

No wonder it ached

Dinah Birch: George Eliot

13 May 1999
The Journals of George Eliot 
edited by Margaret Harris and Judith Johnston.
Cambridge, 447 pp., £55, February 1999, 0 521 57412 9
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George Eliot: The Last Victorian 
by Kathryn Hughes.
Fourth Estate, 384 pp., £20, November 1998, 1 85702 420 6
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... her own name? One reason is that it has never been quite clear what it was. She began life as Mary Anne Evans, daughter of Robert Evans, a sturdy and prosperous land agent in Warwickshire. But Mary Anne sounds rather like a servant’s name (the White Rabbit’s housemaid is called Mary Ann). As the rising fortunes of the ...

At the V&A

Jenny Turner: Ballgowns

5 July 2012
... same ugly, theatrical dresses you can see life-size on display, worn by skinny department-store mannequins, with books and lampshades and hedges for faces. The fabrics themselves are digitally panoptic too, what with the current fashion for grotesque hyperrealist prints. I particularly enjoyed a frock by the very of-the-moment Mary Katrantzou, a simple short ...

Going underground

Elaine Showalter

12 May 1994
The Silent Woman: Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes 
by Janet Malcolm.
Knopf, 208 pp., $23, April 1994, 0 679 43158 6
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... she publish big chunks of previously unpublished correspondence between Ted Hughes, Olwyn Hughes, Anne Stevenson and Al Alvarez? While she so vehemently condemns the motives of those who rifle the drawers of the dead, Malcolm is herself impelled to do the same, and it is this pull between its overt and covert narratives that makes The Silent Woman such a tour ...

Brave as hell

John Kerrigan

21 June 1984
Enderby’s Dark Lady, or No End to Enderby 
by Anthony Burgess.
Hutchinson, 160 pp., £7.95, March 1984, 0 09 156050 0
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Shakespeare’s Sonnets: A Modern Edition 
edited by A.L. Rowse.
Macmillan, 311 pp., £20, March 1984, 0 333 36386 8
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... was a major form. Forgotten now, or doomed to be read only by critics, books like Miss Severn’s Anne Hathaway; or, Shakespeare in Love enjoyed mass appeal in Victorian England. One fatuous confection by Robert Folkestone Williams, The Youth of Shakespeare, went through six editions in three countries, besides being translated into German, and the author was ...
10 October 1991
The Charge of the Parasols: Women’s Entry to the Medical Profession 
by Catriona Blake.
Women’s Press, 254 pp., £6.95, October 1990, 0 7043 4239 1
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Women under the Knife: A History of Surgery 
by Ann Dally.
Radius, 289 pp., £18.99, April 1991, 9780091745080
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The Science of Woman: Gynaecology and Gender in England, 1800-1929 
by Ornella Moscucci.
Cambridge, 278 pp., £35, April 1991, 0 521 32741 5
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... Comparable justifications were found for the practice of female circumcision. Isaac Baker Brown’s London Surgical Home for Diseases of Women was established in 1858 largely for the performance of clitoridectomies on women whose illnesses were deemed the result of an excess of ‘peripheral excitement’: patients ranged from a dressmaker with ...

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