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The Beautiful Undead

Jenny Turner: Vegetarian Vampires, 26 March 2009

directed by Catherine Hardwick.
November 2008
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Breaking Dawn 
by Stephenie Meyer.
Atom, 757 pp., £12.99, August 2008, 978 1 905654 28 4
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... Over the winter, you may have seen posters for a movie, certificate 12A (‘moderate fantasy violence and horror . . . limited bloody images’): a bunch of teenagers, Hollywood-dishy, but coloured to look like corpses, with greenish-tarnished complexions and uncanny eyes. The movie, Twilight, is about a coven of high-school vampires in the American Pacific Northwest, and is adapted from the first of a series of four novels by Stephenie Meyer; the last instalment, Breaking Dawn, came out last year ...

And he drowned the cat

Tessa Hadley: Jean Stafford’s Pessimism, 18 June 2020

Complete Novels 
by Jean Stafford.
Library of America, 912 pp., £34, November 2019, 978 1 59853 644 7
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... an impressive 380,000 copies and she went on to publish two more, The Mountain Lion (1947) and The Catherine Wheel (1952). Throughout the 1950s, her short stories were a fixture in the New Yorker. She published nothing substantial in the 1960s, though her Collected Stories, which came out with Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 1969, was awarded a Pulitzer the ...

I was Mary Queen of Scots

Colm Tóibín: Biographical empathy, 21 October 2004

My Heart Is My Own: The Life of Mary Queen of Scots 
by John Guy.
Harper Perennial, 574 pp., £8.99, August 2004, 1 84115 753 8
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Elizabeth and Mary: Cousins, Rivals, Queens 
by Jane Dunn.
Harper Perennial, 592 pp., £8.99, March 2004, 9780006531920
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... in amatory adventures – the virile Bothwell.’ These novels are full of villains – Catherine de Medici and the Earl of Moray – and gentle playmates for the young queen. They are full of serious historical research and wild, passionate moments of self-abandon. There are marvellous scenes in the first book, most of the fun provided by the ...

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