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South Yorkshire Republic

Beatrix Campbell, 4 June 1987

Forever England 
by Beryl Bainbridge.
Duckworth/BBC, 174 pp., £9.95, April 1987, 0 563 20466 4
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by Alan Sillitoe.
Grafton, 170 pp., £14.95, March 1987, 0 246 12852 6
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Left behind: Journeys into British Politics 
by David Selbourne.
Cape, 174 pp., £10.95, February 1987, 0 224 02370 5
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... It is in poor old times like these that wordsmiths turn their minds to the collective state of the nation. We are driven to ask ourselves who we are, and who is ‘them’, and who is ‘us’. Who is Britain? Are you? Am I? While the Right proclaims a new nationalist project – to make Britain great once again – and in so doing invokes a notion of ‘we’ who share the same stake in some imagined national redemption, the Right’s critics are driven to the backyard of the nation where we will find, not the national ‘we’, but a miscellany of difference, where speech, circumstance, colour, sex and class suggest the experiences of exclusion, of otherness ...

As deadly as the male

D.J. Enright, 12 September 1991

Women Who Kill 
by Ann Jones.
Gollancz, 482 pp., £4.99, August 1991, 0 575 05139 6
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... The woman who kills is exactly what she is supposed not to be,’ Beatrix Campbell declares in her foreword to Women Who Kill. Killing is reckoned unnatural in a woman, or downright impossible: if she does kill, she isn’t a woman. Unlike men, Ann Jones says, women usually confine themselves to killing their intimates, their husbands, lovers, children ...

Sexual Tories

Angus Calder, 17 May 1984

The Common People: A History from the Norman Conquest to the Present 
by J.F.C. Harrison.
Croom Helm and Flamingo, 445 pp., £12.95, March 1984, 0 7099 0125 9
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British Society 1914-45 
by John Stevenson.
Allen Lane/Penguin, 503 pp., £16.95, March 1984, 0 7139 1390 8
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The World We Left Behind: A Chronicle of the Year 1939 
by Robert Kee.
Weidenfeld, 369 pp., £11.95, April 1984, 0 297 78287 8
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Wigan Pier Revisited: Poverty and Politics in the Eighties 
by Beatrix Campbell.
Virago, 272 pp., £4.50, April 1984, 0 86068 417 2
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... such matters. Dr Stevenson is amply equipped with academic snaffles and bits, but instead of Roy Campbell’s ‘bloody horse’ one encounters a beast rather too close for comfort to Gradgrind’s graminivorous quadruped. The book is stuffed with Statistics, and Facts about Acts and Commissions and Surveys and Boards and Plans. It suffers, I am afraid, by ...

Making It

Melissa Benn: New Feminism?, 5 February 1998

Different for Girls: How Culture Creates Women 
by Joan Smith.
Chatto, 176 pp., £10.99, September 1997, 9780701165123
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The New Feminism 
by Natasha Walter.
Little, Brown, 278 pp., £17.50, January 1998, 0 316 88234 8
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A Century of Women: The History of Women in Britain and the United States 
by Sheila Rowbotham.
Penguin, 752 pp., £20, June 1997, 0 670 87420 5
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... sisters is well known and recently threatened to tip into farce with Paglia’s denunciation of Beatrix Campbell as a ‘mediocrity’ and her equally silly declaration that British feminism is jealous of her because it has not produced anyone of stature since Germaine Greer – ‘and she’s Australian.’ But the real problem with the Americans is ...

Plain English

Denis Donoghue, 20 December 1984

Nineteen Eighty-Four: Facsimile Edition 
by George Orwell, edited by Peter Davison.
Secker, 291 pp., £25, July 1984, 9780436350221
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Nineteen Eighty-Four 
by George Orwell, edited by Bernard Crick.
Oxford, 460 pp., £17.50, March 1984, 0 19 818521 9
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Inside the Myth. Orwell: Views from the Left 
edited by Christopher Norris.
Lawrence and Wishart, 287 pp., £12.50, November 1984, 0 85315 599 2
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The Crystal Spirit: A Study of George Orwell 
by George Woodcock.
Fourth Estate, 287 pp., £5.95, November 1984, 0 947795 05 7
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Orwell’s London 
by John Thompson.
Fourth Estate, 119 pp., £9.95, November 1984, 0 947795 00 6
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... Left. The militants are Malcolm Evans, Alan Brown, Alaric Jacob, Bill Alexander, Robert Stradling, Beatrix Campbell, Deirdre Beddoe, Stephen Sedley, Lynette Hunter, Andy Croft, Stuart Hall, Antony Easthope and Christopher Norris. The attacks are now commonplace. Raymond Williams and other writers have been making them for several years. What they amount ...

The way we live now

Ross McKibbin, 11 January 1990

New Times: The Changing Face of Politics in the 1990s 
edited by Stuart Hall and Martin Jacques.
Lawrence and Wishart/Marxism Today, 463 pp., £9.95, November 1989, 0 85315 703 0
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... which depended upon it – trade unions, the Labour Party, the Keynesian state and all. As Beatrix Campbell puts it here, ‘the politics of new times challenges tradition. It moves away from a stark politics formed by dominant protagonists ... It is about people in all their dimensions and identities – as ...

Let them cut grass

Linda Colley, 16 December 1993

The Downing Street Years 
by Margaret Thatcher.
HarperCollins, 914 pp., £25, October 1993, 0 00 255049 0
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... carefully permed hair, crimplene dresses brought out of mothballs, and sequined evening bags. As Beatrix Campbell and others have shown, such women are the vital, beating heart of virtually every Conservative constituency organisation. They were and are indispensable to the Party – but as devoted subordinates. And under Thatcher that’s where Tory ...


Carolyn Steedman: Tory Ladies , 4 June 1987

... up, lose a few pounds, cut the pussy-cat bows.) I wish, then, that the piece of journalism that Beatrix Campbell’s The Iron Ladies is, was either what it isn’t, or that it would deliver the promise of its title.* I wish it were a book that told me why women vote Conservative. It is a politically apposite question to ask, for though women have moved ...

North and South

Raphael Samuel, 22 June 1995

Coming Back Brockens: A Year in a Mining Village 
by Mark Hudson.
Cape, 320 pp., £16.99, October 1994, 0 224 04170 3
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... grounds of delinquency and drug abuse, attracting notice through murder cases rather than strikes. Beatrix Campbell, in Wigan Pier Revisited, a book published on the very eve of the 1984-5 strike, presciently rehearsed some of these themes, arguing that the famed militancy of the miners was premised on the exploitation of women. She has amplified and ...


Michael Mason, 10 November 1988

Report of the Inquiry into Child Abuse in Cleveland 1987 
by Elizabeth Butler-Sloss.
HMSO, 336 pp., £14.50, July 1988, 0 10 104122 5
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When Salem came to the Boro 
by Stuart Bell.
Pan, 355 pp., £3.99, July 1988, 0 330 30503 4
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The Last Taboo 
by Gay Search.
Penguin, 192 pp., £3.99, August 1988, 0 14 011049 6
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Unofficial Secrets: Child Sexual Abuse – The Cleveland Case 
by Beatrix Campbell.
Virago, 226 pp., £4.50, September 1988, 0 86068 634 5
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... of children’s experiences into something ‘centred upon adult perceptions and concerns’. Beatrix Campbell’s book, for instance, is disfigured by too much fast footwork with the paradoxes of our sexual culture, and by some offensive witticisms (‘anal dilatation is apparently ... rather like an orgasm, or a sneeze, or a duck-billed platypus ...


Peter Campbell, 18 May 1989

Any Old Iron 
by Anthony Burgess.
Hutchinson, 339 pp., £12.95, March 1989, 0 09 173842 3
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The Ragged End 
by John Spurling.
Weidenfeld, 313 pp., £11.95, April 1989, 0 297 79505 8
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Higher Ground 
by Caryl Phillips.
Viking, 224 pp., £11.95, April 1989, 0 670 82620 0
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The Flint Bed 
by Christopher Burns.
Secker, 185 pp., £10.95, April 1989, 0 436 09788 5
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by Ben Elton.
Joseph, 453 pp., £13.95, March 1989, 0 7181 3302 1
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... for some) with names and places. The children of David and Ludmilla, Reginald (Reg), Beatrix (Trixie) and Dan, and the Jewish narrator and his sister Ziphora (Zip, the percussionist who marries Reg), allow the family experience to encompass the Spanish Civil War, the Second World War – as soldier, prisoner or diplomat – terrorism and ...

What are we allowed to say?

David Bromwich, 22 September 2016

... that is missing in a life of organised contacts.‘Debate is not a death sentence,’ Beatrix Campbell recently observed in a letter in the LRB (14 July), ‘and feeling offended is not the same as feeling or being exterminated. There is a human right to life, but there is no right to be not offended.’ The truth is that in some areas we are ...

Dark Emotions

Jenny Turner: The Women’s Liberation Movement, 24 September 2020

directed by Philippa Lowthorpe.
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directed by the Berwick Street Film Collective.
Lux/Koenig/Raven Row, £24, July 2019
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Sisterhood and After: An Oral History of the UK Women's Liberation Movement, 1968-present 
by Margaretta Jolly.
Oxford, 334 pp., £22.99, November 2019, 978 0 19 065884 7
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... threatened to withdraw.The first book-length history of the WLM in Britain was Anna Coote and Beatrix Campbell’s Sweet Freedom, published by Picador in 1982. I was a teenager then, a first-year student at Edinburgh University: I bought it immediately, read it over and over, and I still think it’s a great book, detailed, well-organised, fair. But ...

Does one flare or cling?

Alice Spawls, 5 May 2016

‘Vogue’ 100: A Century of Style 
by Robin Muir.
National Portrait Gallery, 304 pp., £40, February 2016, 978 1 85514 561 0
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‘Vogue’ 100: A Century of Style 
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... The model​ Edie Campbell, long-legged, mullet-haired, horse-mad and posh, adorns the front and back covers of the March issue of British Vogue. On the front, she’s wearing a chiffon crepon dress by Gucci – a semi-see-through affair with cartoon-effect sequined appliqué collar, ruffles, epaulettes and bow. She’s lying on a pink and gold brocade sofa, half-smiling and biting her thumb ...

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