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How did she get those feet?

Alice Spawls: The Female Detective

20 February 2014
The Notting Hill Mystery: The First Detective Novel 
by Charles Warren Adams.
British Library, 312 pp., £8.99, February 2012, 978 0 7123 5859 0
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The Female Detective: The Original Lady Detective 
by Andrew Forrester.
British Library, 328 pp., £8.99, October 2012, 978 0 7123 5878 1
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Revelations of a Lady Detective 
by William Stephens Hayward.
British Library, 278 pp., £8.99, February 2013, 978 0 7123 5896 5
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... statements, a plan of the victim’s house, a facsimile of a fragment of a letter in French, a transcript of the fragment and then an attempt to complete and translate it. The book’s author, CharlesAdams, may have been trying to compensate for the flimsy plot. Twin girls, who share a psychic ability to feel each other’s pain, are separated as children when the younger, Catherine, is stolen by ...

That sh—te Creech

James Buchan: The Scottish Enlightenment

5 April 2007
The Enlightenment and the Book: Scottish Authors and Their Publishers in 18th-Century Britain, Ireland and America 
by Richard Sher.
Chicago, 815 pp., £25.50, February 2007, 978 0 226 75252 5
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... In March 1776, James Boswell and Samuel Johnson visited Pembroke College, Oxford and called on the master, William Adams. According to Richard Sher, Boswell wrote in his journal how dismayed he had been to see in the master’s library a copy of the quarto edition of David Hume’s Essays and Treatises on Several ...

No Accident

Zachary Leader: Gore Vidal’s Golden Age

21 June 2001
The Golden Age: A Novel 
by Gore Vidal.
Little, Brown, 467 pp., £17.99, October 2000, 0 316 85409 3
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... before Vidal had conceived the sequence as a whole, the demands of history and imagination are for the most part equally addressed. Though the central fictional character of Burr, the narrator, Charles Schuyler, is fairly one-dimensional (his guilt about betraying Burr, for example, is reiterated rather than developed), the novel’s principal historical figures – Burr, Jefferson and Hamilton ...

‘Mmmmm’ not ‘Hmmm’

Michael Wood: Katharine Hepburn

11 September 2003
Kate Remembered 
by A. Scott Berg.
Simon and Schuster, 318 pp., £18.99, July 2003, 0 7432 0676 2
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... when she’s supposed to be falling for the mush; and with Hepburn . . . Well, this is what Scott Berg’s vivid and subtle memoir is all about. Berg, the biographer of Maxwell Perkins, Sam Goldwyn, Charles Lindbergh and (in the works) Woodrow Wilson, first met Hepburn in 1982, when she was 75, and was a close friend until she died at the end of June this year. On his first visit, before they have ...

Herstory

Linda Colley

9 July 1992
The Republican Virago: The Life and Times of Catharine Macaulay 
by Bridget Hill.
Oxford, 263 pp., £30, March 1992, 0 19 812978 5
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... Moreover – and as in Austen’s case – a minority of women were beginning to write history, not women’s history, but something which, in the circumstances, was far more challenging. Mercy Otis Warren and Hannah Adams in America, and Catharine Macaulay in Britain, all addressed themselves to political and patriotic history. Unenfranchised and excluded from all public office, they nonetheless ...

The Getaway Car

Glen Newey: Machiavelli

21 January 2016
Machiavellian Democracy 
by John McCormick.
Cambridge, 252 pp., £21.99, March 2011, 978 0 521 53090 3
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Machiavelli in the Making 
by Claude Lefort, translated by Michael Smith.
Northwestern, 512 pp., £32.50, January 2012, 978 0 8101 2438 7
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Redeeming ‘The Prince’: The Meaning of Machiavelli’s Masterpiece 
by Maurizio Viroli.
Princeton, 189 pp., £18.95, October 2013, 978 0 691 16001 6
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... world has often been offset by a nod to his eminence as a republican theorist, but in Nedham’s time that gave monarchists another count for the bill of indictment. In The Famous Tragedie of King Charles I (1649), Cromwell was goaded to ever greater wickedness by the New Model Army chaplain Hugh Peter, his sidekick ‘i’the Machiavilian world’: the future Lord Protector’s outsize red toper’s ...

O brambles, chain me too

Tom Paulin: Life and Vowels of Andrew Marvell

25 November 1999
World Enough and Time: The Life of Andrew Marvell 
by Nicholas Murray.
Little, Brown, 294 pp., £20, September 1999, 0 316 64863 9
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Marvell and Liberty 
edited by Warren​ Chernaik and Martin Dzelzainis.
Macmillan, 365 pp., £47.50, July 1999, 0 333 72585 9
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Andrew Marvell 
edited by Thomas Healy.
Longman, 212 pp., £12.99, September 1998, 0 582 21910 8
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... in-Chief – or Lord General – of the Parliamentary forces. Fairfax resigned because he did not want to take military action against the Scots; he had also been opposed to the execution of Charles. Though Fairfax’s outlook and his Horatian retirement from public life are reflected subtly in the poems, Marvell came to admire Cromwell in the years from 1653 to Cromwell’s death in 1658 – he ...

How We Remember

Gilberto Perez: Terrence Malick

12 September 2013
... frightful tale – all this the author renders with sympathetic accuracy. Malick has compared Holly to Nancy Drew or Tom Sawyer as an ‘innocent abroad’. Badlands was loosely based on the case of Charles Starkweather, who went on a killing spree in Nebraska and Wyoming in the late 1950s together with his teenage girlfriend, Caril Ann Fugate. In the movie Holly meets Kit (Martin Sheen) in a South ...

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