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27 May 1993
Dorothy L. Sayers: Her Life and Soul 
by Barbara Reynolds.
Hodder, 398 pp., £25, March 1993, 0 340 58151 4
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... I have been reading again The Mind of the Maker by Dorothy L. Sayers. BarbaraReynolds says that this book – together with her famous series of radio dramas The Man Born to be King – is her greatest work. And BarbaraReynolds should know. She is the goddaughter of Sayers; she is a ...

Mad for Love

Tobias Gregory: ‘Orlando Furioso’

9 September 2010
‘Orlando Furioso’: A New Verse Translation 
by Ludovico Ariosto, translated by David Slavitt.
Harvard, 672 pp., £29.95, November 2009, 978 0 674 03535 5
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... who need to be taught that ‘poetry can be fun,’ Slavitt’s version may fill a niche. For others, there are other translations. The previous version in English verse was done in the 1970s by BarbaraReynolds. It is more conservative metrically and stylistically; Slavitt describes it as not ‘funny enough, or sprightly enough’, but Reynolds’s restraint is better suited to the poem’s ...
20 February 1997
... In Well Street, Hackney, shortly before midnight on 11 February 1982, Terry McCluskie and his friend Raymond Reynolds picked a fight with a total stranger, Robert Ford, and stabbed him to death. Ford was 15 years old and had just taken his girl-friend home after spending an evening at a local Citizens’ Band radio ...

Lincoln, Illinois

William Fiennes

6 March 1997
All the Days and Nights: The Collected Stories 
by William Maxwell.
Harvill, 415 pp., £10.99, January 1997, 1 86046 308 8
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So Long, See You Tomorrow 
by William Maxwell.
Harvill, 135 pp., £8.99, January 1997, 9781860463075
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... riding past on his new bicycle, who’d hurled the paper over her fence. Maxwell recycles his longer fiction too. In a story called ‘The Gardens of Mont-Saint-Michel’ (1969), John and Dorothy Reynolds are driving to Mont-St-Michel with their daughter Alison and their niece Linda. They recall a previous visit: Eighteen years ago, they had arrived in Pontorson from Cherbourg, by train, by a series ...

Guinea Pigs

Barbara​ Taylor: Eighteenth-Century Surveillance Culture

8 February 2007
The Spirit of Despotism: Invasions of Privacy in the 1790s 
by John Barrell.
Oxford, 278 pp., £53, January 2006, 0 19 928120 3
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... of the dominant discourses of public and private in 18th-century Britain. The Spirit of Despotism briefly alludes to it, but one of Barrell’s earlier books, The Political Theory of Painting from Reynolds to Hazlitt (1986), gives an excellent account of it, tracing its roots in Aristotelian political theory and demonstrating its hold over the aristocratic imagination until the mid-century, when it ...
5 May 1983
Philip Larkin 
by Andrew Motion.
Methuen, 96 pp., £1.95, October 1982, 0 416 32270 0
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... effect has been defined in terms of his own peculiar use of symbolism, the symbolism that Yeats got from the French poets, especially Mallarmé. In her essay ‘Philip Larkin: After Symbolism’ Barbara Everett has pointed out these French, echoes: the fact that, for example, ‘Sympathy in White Major’ is a kind of symbolist parody of Gautier’s ‘Symphonie en Blanc Majeur’, and ‘Arrivals ...

His and Hers

Matthew Reynolds: Robert Browning

9 October 2008
The Poems of Robert Browning. Vol. III: 1847-61 
edited by John Woolford, Daniel Karlin and Joseph Phelan.
Longman, 753 pp., £100, November 2007, 978 0 582 08453 7
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... especially at moments when the poems shadow or mime or parody one another. Browning later formalised this innovation in the ten rigidly parallel monologues of The Ring and the Book, a structure that Barbara Everett (in a brilliant essay published in the LRB 25 years ago) likened unanswerably to ‘other and baser Victorian misunderstandings about the nature of the aesthetic, from wax flowers under glass ...
6 February 2014
Becoming a Londoner: A Diary 
by David Plante.
Bloomsbury, 534 pp., £20, September 2013, 978 1 4088 3975 1
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The Animals: Love Letters between Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy 
edited by Katherine Bucknell.
Chatto, 481 pp., £25, September 2013, 978 0 7011 8678 4
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... way to glory. Take Frank Kermode’s Not Entitled, a memoir typical of a generation of men who thought things were best said by not being said at all. Plante, however, is a throwback to the days of Barbara Skelton and the Comtesse de Boigne. In the years covered by his diary, he seems to have had an ear permanently cocked. Or was it his leg? Or was it his cock? Whichever, he was alert to the ...

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