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More Like a Mistress

Tom Crewe: Mr and Mrs Disraeli, 16 July 2015

Mr and Mrs Disraeli: A Strange Romance 
by Daisy Hay.
Chatto, 308 pp., £20, January 2015, 978 0 7011 8912 9
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... our dreams, be ourselves and never give up; thus Disraeli became a model of self-empowerment. Daisy Hay makes it clear that Disraeli’s wife, Mary Anne, was in some ways even more of an interloper than Disraeli, whose family wealth and connections (his father, Isaac, was a successful littérateur) are often underplayed. Of undistinguished parentage ...

Dining Room Radicals

Rosemary Hill, 7 April 2022

Dinner with Joseph Johnson: Books and Friendship in a Revolutionary Age 
by Daisy Hay.
Chatto, 518 pp., £25, April, 978 1 78474 018 4
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... were recovered. That isn’t surprising. What is more remarkable is that we know about their loss. Daisy Hay’s book covers a period in the second half of the 18th century when the magnification of the historical record is rapidly increasing. Details are becoming ever sharper. Hogarth’s ‘scenes of furniture’ take posterity through the front ...

The Road to West Egg

Thomas Powers, 4 July 2013

Careless People: Murder, Mayhem and the Invention of ‘The Great Gatsby’ 
by Sarah Churchwell.
Virago, 306 pp., £16.99, June 2013, 978 1 84408 766 2
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The Great Gatsby 
directed by Baz Luhrmann.
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... writing in an office above the garage. Scholars have long known that the leading women in Gatsby, Daisy Buchanan and Jordan Baker, were based on Fitzgerald’s early girlfriend, Ginevra King, and her classmate at the Westover School in Connecticut, Edith Cummings, a noted golfer. The men in the story are not so easy to pin down, beginning with Nick ...


Andrew O’Hagan: Pukey poetry anthologies, 4 November 2004

Poems to Last a Lifetime 
edited by Daisy Goodwin.
HarperCollins, 308 pp., £18.99, October 2004, 0 00 717707 0
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All the Poems You Need to Say I Do 
edited by Peter Forbes.
Picador, 197 pp., £10, October 2004, 0 330 43388 1
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... energetic to head up the whole operation, or it’s dead before it starts. Thankfully, there’s Daisy Goodwin, who has lovely dark hair and perfect teeth: just the person to encourage the use of poetry as a kind of mental flossing. The message is slick and pretty as an ad for Colgate: regular reading of poetry keeps you sparkling, even if it sometimes seems ...


Diana Stone: Nightmares in Harare, 7 March 2019

... they sway towards each other, and their hearing aids clash and buzz with feedback. They sing ‘Daisy, Daisy’ and ‘Waltzing Matilda’: not everyone is singing the same verse or even the same song at the same time, but everyone is singing.*In retaliation to the planned stayaway, the government shuts down the internet ...

How bad can it get?

LRB Contributors: On Johnson’s Britain, 15 August 2019

... Davies, Sionaidh Douglas-Scott, Lorna Finlayson, Daniel Finn, Katrina Forrester, Jeremy Harding, Daisy Hildyard, Colin Kidd, James Meek, Ferdinand Mount, Jan-Werner Müller, Jonathan Parry, David RuncimanNeal Ascherson‘On​ 17 June poor France fell. That day, as we trudged past Greenwich … a tug skipper yelled gaily across the water: “Now we know ...

Updike’s Innocence

Craig Raine, 25 January 1990

Just Looking: Essays on Art 
by John Updike.
Deutsch, 210 pp., £19.95, November 1989, 0 233 98501 8
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... implausible, is brought to a successful, hazy yet blunt erotic conclusion: Black-eyed susans, daisy fleabane, chicory, goldenrod, butter-and-eggs each flower of which was like a tiny dancer leaping, legs together, scudded past the tractor wheels. Stretched scatterings of flowers moved in a piece, like the heavens, constellated by my ...


Alan Bennett: What I did in 1996, 2 January 1997

... slang for the plantain, particularly the ribwort, and that these were used to bind up sheaves of hay; children, whether golden or otherwise, used to play a game not unlike conkers with the flowers on their long stems, in the course of which, presumably, the flowers disintegrated, or came to dust. 1 July. Watch Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket, which was ...

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