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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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... already,’ he wrote to Hans Sloane, who had acted as his buying agent. ‘I beg you would tell him not to send me any Bears, Eagles, Leopards or Tygers, for I am overstock’d with them already.’ CarolineGrigson’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 ...

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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... execution’ of Auden, carried out, she says, with ‘abusive, galling hysteria’. By contrast to 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 ...

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