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On holiday

Amit Chaudhuri, 21 July 1994

The Harafish 
by Naguib Mahfouz, translated by Catherine Cobham.
Doubleday, 406 pp., £15.99, June 1994, 0 385 40362 3
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... Naguib Mahfouz made his name with his trilogy of Cairo life – Palace Walk, Palace of Desire and Sugar Street – first published in Arabic in the late Fifties. At first glance, The Harafish, which was originally published in 1977, bears little resemblance to, say, Palace Walk. The latter is a story of a family in an ‘alley’ in Cairo in the first half of the 20th century, and is told in a straightforward chronological manner that seems to owe something to the 19th-century European novel ...

Round the (Next) Bend

Simon Adams: Sir Walter Ralegh, 6 July 2000

The Letters of Sir Walter Raleigh 
edited by Agnes Latham and Joyce Youings.
Exeter, 403 pp., £45, July 1999, 0 85989 527 0
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... good pupil to my lord of Leicester, who was wont to put all his passions in his pocket’. Catherine de’ Medici said that one should avoid making open enemies because one would need them as friends in the future. Contemporaries – friendly or hostile – appear to have been unanimous in describing Ralegh as proud, arrogant and aggressive: ‘in ...

The Virtue of Incest

Marina Warner, 7 October 1993

Elizabeth’s Glass 
by Marc Shell.
Nebraska, 365 pp., £30.95, July 1993, 0 8032 4216 6
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... it was written out, and enclosed between embroidered covers, as a New Year’s present for Catherine Parr, Elizabeth’s fourth stepmother, and her last. This text has never been edited or analysed before, in spite of its fascination as a holograph manuscript by the future Gloriana. Astraea, Una, the Faerie Queene. Marc Shell expresses surprise at ...

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