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The One-Eyed World of Germaine Greer

Brigid Brophy, 22 November 1979

The Obstacle Race: The Fortunes of Women Painters and Their Work 
by Germaine Greer.
Secker, 373 pp., £12.50, November 1979, 1 86064 677 8
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... 1692), a gentlewoman of the name of Denisch (c. 1750), Katherina Kreitmayer (d. 1726), Margareta Antonia Hölzl (fl. 1767), Theresia Herman (fl. 1781) and Marie Luisa Melling (1762-99) are just some of the women who worked independently as church painters in the 17th and 18th centuries. Early chapters lump women painters together by a thematic ...

The Real Johnny Hall

Penelope Fitzgerald, 3 October 1985

Our Three Selves: A Life of Radclyffe Hall 
by Michael Baker.
Hamish Hamilton, 386 pp., £13.95, June 1985, 0 241 11539 6
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... which Baker evidently feels, about the discrepancy here. John was born as Marguerite Antonia Radclyffe-Hall in a house in Bournemouth called Sunny Lawn. She was not a masculine-looking child; Sir Arthur Sullivan called her ‘Toddles’. But Toddles suffered deeply from the division between her rarely-seen father and her violent, hysterical ...

Gloomy Sunday Afternoons

Caroline Maclean: Modernists at the Movies, 10 September 2009

The Tenth Muse: Writing about Cinema in the Modernist Period 
by Laura Marcus.
Oxford, 562 pp., £39, December 2007, 978 0 19 923027 3
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... earliest film histories is an account of Edison’s life and inventions by Dickson and his sister Antonia. The book includes a photo of a monkey that ‘laughed, actually laughed’ at a filmstrip in a Kinetoscope. By associating the birth and development of cinema with the evolution of the primate, the Dicksons anticipated avant-garde film theories of the ...

It’s the Oil

Jim Holt: Iraq’s Lucrative Mess, 18 October 2007

... foreign companies would not have to invest their earnings in the Iraqi economy,’ the analyst Antonia Juhasz wrote in the New York Times in March, after the draft law was leaked. ‘They could even ride out Iraq’s current “instability” by signing contracts now, while the Iraqi government is at its weakest, and then wait at least two years before ...

The Dark Side of Brazilian Conviviality

Perry Anderson, 24 November 1994

... had radicalised intellectual opposition without yet repressing it, the Faculty on Rua Maria Antonia was an unforgettable place. An inconspicuous, squat building near the centre of the city, with a dingy façade and lugubrious interior, surrounded by a tangle of bars and lanchonetes into which its life continuously spilt out, it was like some magical ...

Red Stars

John Sutherland, 6 December 1984

Wild Berries 
by Yevgeny Yevtushenko, translated by Antonia Bovis.
Macmillan, 296 pp., £8.95, September 1984, 0 333 37559 9
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The Burn 
by Vassily Aksyonov, translated by Michael Glenny.
Hutchinson, 528 pp., £10.95, October 1984, 0 09 155580 9
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Fellow Travellers 
by T.C. Worsley.
Gay Men’s Press, 249 pp., £9.95, September 1984, 0 907040 51 9
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The Power of the Dog 
by Thomas Savage.
Chatto, 276 pp., £9.95, October 1984, 0 7011 3939 0
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The Fourth Protocol 
by Frederick Forsyth.
Hutchinson, 448 pp., £8.95, September 1984, 0 09 158630 5
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The Set-Up 
by Vladimir Volkoff, translated by Alan Sheridan.
Bodley Head, 397 pp., £8.95, September 1984, 0 370 30583 3
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... its wet, warm arms, showering her with thousands of greedy, rough kisses, blinding her with the white zigzag explosions of uncountable lightning bolts, deafening her with ear-splitting rolls of thunder ... Then already hopelessly soaked, she stood up straight, offering her body to the powerful surge of water. For an instant the thought crossed her mind to ...

Getting the Undulation

Benjamin Lytal: Willa Cather’s Letters, 20 February 2014

The Selected Letters of Willa Cather 
edited by Andrew Jewell and Janis Stout.
Knopf, 715 pp., £24, April 2013, 978 0 307 95930 0
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... feel the weight of an Indian baby hanging to her back as she climbed. Cather habitually equates white American dreamers with vanished Native Americans. In A Lost Lady young Niel Herbert observes the decline of Mrs Forrester, the grande dame of Sweet Water, Colorado and retroactively lionises her first husband, the rich old Captain Forrester, who ‘dreamed ...

Benign Promiscuity

Clair Wills: Molly Keane’s Bad Behaviour, 18 March 2021

Good Behaviour 
by Molly Keane.
NYRB, 291 pp., £12, May, 978 1 68137 529 8
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... wrote to Keane that the earl of Longford, Thomas Pakenham (Anglo-Irish historian and brother of Antonia Fraser), ‘is dying to meet you. He has been reading all your old novels under the impression that you are J.G. Farrell’s mother. In any case he thinks they are very good.’ She was not related to J.G. Farrell, who had won the Booker in 1973 with The ...


Rebecca Solnit: After the Oil Spill, 5 August 2010

... the territory the maps show, some probably leaking, but no one is monitoring them. Darryl, a big white-haired guy with a Southern accent and a slight Santa affect, showed me another map, an aerial photograph of a portion of the Louisiana coast, on which you could see all the channels the oil and gas industry has cut through the wetlands, creating straight ...


Iain Sinclair: The Thames, 25 June 2009

Thames: Sacred River 
by Peter Ackroyd.
Vintage, 608 pp., £14.99, August 2008, 978 0 09 942255 6
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... responded by sending in an astonishing £25,000.’ There were messages of endorsement from Lady Antonia Fraser and the feisty historian Andrew Roberts; the Economist saluted the new edition as ‘impeccably postmodern’; 5000 free copies were distributed to schools, a Trojan horse for early indoctrination in traditional values that would be reinforced by ...


Angela Carter, 2 October 1980

... with the long, blond plaits; bride with the ‘splash of red carnations on the bodice of her white wedding gown’; in dinner jacket and monacle; pregnant, looking like ‘a rat dragging a stolen egg’. And so on. But she gives the impression of telling all, in a literary form unclassifiable except as a version of what television has accustomed us to ...

Seven Centuries Too Late

Barbara Newman: Popes in Hell, 15 July 2021

Dante’s Bones: How a Poet Invented Italy 
by Guy Raffa.
Harvard, 370 pp., £28.95, May 2020, 978 0 674 98083 9
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Poetry in Dialogue in the Duecento and Dante 
by David Bowe.
Oxford, 225 pp., £60, November 2020, 978 0 19 884957 5
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Dante’s Christian Ethics: Purgatory and Its Moral Contexts 
by George Corbett.
Cambridge, 233 pp., £75, March 2020, 978 1 108 48941 6
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Why Dante Matters: An Intelligent Person’s Guide 
by John Took.
Bloomsbury, 207 pp., £20, October 2020, 978 1 4729 5103 8
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Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio: Literature, Doctrine, Reality 
by Zygmunt Barański.
Legenda, 658 pp., £75, February 2020, 978 1 78188 879 7
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... she remained in Florence when he went into exile in 1302. We know too that when their daughter Antonia took the veil, she became Suor Beatrice.By any standards but his own, Dante scarcely knew his beloved. His poetic ‘autobiography’, the Vita Nuova, can’t be taken at face value but claims that he and Beatrice met as children, not quite nine years ...

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