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Dying to Make a Point

Shadi Bartsch: Death and the Ancients, 15 November 2007

Death in Ancient Rome 
by Catharine Edwards.
Yale, 287 pp., £25, June 2007, 978 0 300 11208 5
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The Death of Socrates: Hero, Villain, Chatterbox, Saint 
by Emily Wilson.
Profile, 247 pp., £15.99, August 2007, 978 1 86197 762 5
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... than political ones. This arc from early to imperial Rome provides the organising principle for Catharine Edwards’s excellent book, which takes death and the representation of death as lenses through which to highlight some of the most striking characteristics of Roman culture. In analysing the ancient treatment of death, she shows that it is not ...

Stage Emperor

James Davidson, 28 April 1994

Reflections of Nero: Culture, History and Representation 
edited by Jás Elsner and Jamie Masters.
Duckworth, 239 pp., £35, January 1994, 0 7156 2479 2
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... At Rome, on the other hand, there was no respectable tradition of sacred theatre, and, as Catharine Edwards points out, the status of the theatre was very different. Actors were classified along with gladiators and prostitutes as infames, ‘without reputation’. Usually such people were slaves or foreigners and a Roman citizen who joined their ...

Self-Made Women

John Sutherland, 11 July 1991

The Feminist Companion to Literature in English: Women Writers from the Middle Ages to the Present 
edited by Virginia Blain, Isobel Grundy and Patricia Clements.
Batsford, 1231 pp., £35, August 1990, 0 7134 5848 8
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The Presence of the Present: Topics of the Day in the Victorian Novel 
by Richard Altick.
Ohio State, 854 pp., $45, March 1991, 0 8142 0518 6
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... These were achieved with the help of powerful and rich men like the Duke of Bedford and Passmore Edwards, and are tainted by the association. The Companion does, however, go out of its way to point to the ‘warm portrayal of the intense bonds between women’ in her fiction, with an implied Sapphic diagnosis. (That whirring you hear is Mrs Humphry Ward ...

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