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No looking at my elephant

Mary Wellesley: Menageries, 15 December 2016

Menagerie: The History of Exotic Animals in England 1100-1837 
by Caroline Grigson.
Oxford, 349 pp., £25, January 2016, 978 0 19 871470 5
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... not to send me any Bears, Eagles, Leopards or Tygers, for I am overstock’d with them already.’ Caroline Grigson’s account of the history of exotic animals in England, which stretches from the medieval period to the closure of the Royal Menagerie at the Tower of London in the 1830s, is filled with stories of royal and aristocratic whim. Often ...

Firm Lines

Hermione Lee, 17 November 1983

Bartleby in Manhattan, and Other Essays 
by Elizabeth Hardwick.
Weidenfeld, 292 pp., £8.95, September 1983, 0 297 78357 2
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... what is certainly a chilling and gossipy account of Auden’s personal habits, she quotes Geoffrey Grigson’s ‘beautiful tribute’ to Auden’s ‘great poetry’ in which we find ‘explicit recipes for being human’. Grigson might seem an odd model for benevolence, but it is appropriate that Hardwick’s book ends ...

Put a fist through it

Harriet Baker: The Hampstead Modernists, 8 October 2020

Circles and Squares: The Lives and Art of the Hampstead Modernists 
by Caroline Maclean.
Bloomsbury, 296 pp., £30, April, 978 1 4088 8969 5
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The See-Through House: My Father in Full Colour 
by Shelley Klein.
Chatto, 271 pp., £16.99, April, 978 1 78474 310 9
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... always’ and that she was sure that something ‘very big’ was about to happen in her work. Caroline Maclean argues that the holiday in Happisburgh defined a moment in British sculpture. When, a few weeks later, Hepworth pierced a hole in the centre of a piece of pink alabaster, she felt ‘intense pleasure, unlike anything she had experienced while ...

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