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Careful Mismanagement

J.L. Heilbron, 11 January 1990

Multiple Exposures: Chronicles of the Radiation Age 
by Catherine Caufield.
Secker, 304 pp., £12.95, January 1989, 0 436 09478 9
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The Demise of Nuclear Energy? Lessons for Democratic Control of Technology 
by Joseph Morone and Edward Woodhouse.
Yale, 172 pp., £20, May 1989, 0 300 04448 8
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... out of concern that the public would panic if told the truth. The policy has failed. Morone and Woodhouse, in their useful Lessons for Democratic Control of Technology, suggest that had the establishment been less paternalistic and greedy, and more open to public scrutiny and debate, when the industry expanded prematurely in the Sixties, it might now not be ...

Denying Dolores

Michael Mason, 11 October 1990

Children’s Sexual Encounters with Adults 
by C.K. Li, D.J. West and T.P. Woodhouse.
Duckworth, 343 pp., £39.95, July 1990, 0 7156 2290 0
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Child Pornography: An Investigation 
by Tim Tate.
Methuen, 319 pp., £14.99, July 1990, 0 413 61540 5
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... It falls into two quite separate sections: the first part, written by Professor West and Mr Woodhouse, reports research into adult males’ recollections of their juvenile sexual encounters with grown-ups, of both sexes, and the second part, by Dr Li, which is more ambitious and novel, centres on a series of interviews with 20 male paedophiles. I hasten ...


Terry Castle, 3 August 1995

Jane Austen’s Letters 
edited by Deirde Le Faye.
Oxford, 621 pp., £30, March 1995, 0 19 811764 7
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... a dubious decorum. What was their relationship like? In a telling family memoir from 1867, James Edward Austen-Leigh, Austen’s nephew, described it thus: Their sisterly affection for each other could scarcely be exceeded. Perhaps it began on Jane’s side with a feeling of deference natural to a loving child towards a kind elder sister. Something of this ...

Hard Romance

Barbara Everett, 8 February 1996

... pretty Willoughby. And, for all his mild and sane decency, dullest and weakest of all is surely Edward Ferrars, for most of the novel in thrall to vile relatives and cunning hangers-on. Reginald Farrer interestingly complained that Brandon is ‘so remote in the story’. There may be a purpose here: Brandon’s real self is his estate Delaford, its ...

Yawning and Screaming

John Bayley, 5 February 1987

Jane Austen 
by Tony Tanner.
Macmillan, 291 pp., £20, November 1986, 0 333 32317 3
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... love of fools and foolishness, that she turned back to them. It is the same with the absurd Sir Edward, who ‘knew his business’ when it came to seduction, and who thinks that Timbuktu would be an ideal venue for the rape of Clara Brereton, although his indigence ‘obliged him to prefer the quietest sort of ruin for the object of his affections’. The ...

I’ll be back

Marjorie Garber: Sequels, 19 August 1999

Part Two: Reflections on the Sequel 
edited by Paul Budra and Betty Schellenberg.
Toronto, 217 pp., £40, February 1999, 0 8020 0915 8
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... of Meriton; that the ‘considerable sum’ Mrs Norris gave William Price was one pound; that Mr Woodhouse survived his daughter’s marriage, and kept her and Mr Knightley from settling at Donwell, about two years; and that the letters placed by Frank Churchill before Jane Fairfax, which she swept away unread, contained the word ‘pardon’. Of the good ...

Floating Hair v. Blue Pencil

Frank Kermode, 6 June 1996

Revision and Romantic Authorship 
by Zachary Leader.
Oxford, 354 pp., £40, March 1996, 0 19 812264 0
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... is still possible to argue, the finest of their period. Auden’s scrupulous editor and executor, Edward Mendelson, has invariably respected and supported the poet’s decisions, but manages to have it both ways by including in a separate volume, The English Auden, the original versions of poems that were later either revised or rejected. This expensive ...

Don’t sit around and giggle

Jessica Olin: College Girls, 10 May 2007

College Girls: Bluestockings, Sex Kittens and Coeds, Then and Now 
by Lynn Peril.
Norton, 408 pp., £10.99, October 2006, 0 393 32715 9
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... century, arguments against higher education for women were awash with scientific misinformation: Edward Clarke, author of the bestselling Sex in Education, or A Fair Chance for the Girls (1873), was well in line with mainstream science when he claimed that ‘the rigours of study during the menstrual period would destroy a woman’s reproductive ...

Outside the text

Marilyn Butler, 19 December 1985

The Beauty of Inflections: Literary Investigations in Historical Method and Theory 
by Jerome McGann.
Oxford, 352 pp., £19.50, May 1985, 0 19 811730 2
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The Politics of Language: 1791-1819 
by Olivia Smith.
Oxford, 269 pp., £19.50, December 1984, 0 19 812817 7
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... it was largely won in scholars’ libraries, and it took years to get. The historical critic Edward Said has recently reflected of Eliot and the New Critics, now so widely reviled for conservatism and élitism, that in one respect at least they were populists when they began: they argued that you didn’t need scholarly or philological knowledge, you had ...


Alan Bennett: What I did in 1995, 4 January 1996

... as I have the last five months. 17 February. To Leeds where the decent cupola’d building on Woodhouse Moore that housed both the public library and the police station has been converted into a pub, The Feast and Firkin. The Woodman, the pub opposite St Chad’s, has been renamed Woodies Ale Bar, in homage, I suppose, to Cheers. The more real community ...

I, Lowborn Cur

Colin Burrow: Literary Names, 22 November 2012

Literary Names: Personal Names in English Literature 
by Alastair Fowler.
Oxford, 283 pp., £19.99, September 2012, 978 0 19 959222 7
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... which give almost nothing away about status or nature (Fanny Price, Elizabeth Bennet and Emma Woodhouse), but she could in some circumstances use names which suggest meaning: the wild Marianne Dashwood is an early example of a flighty heroine lost in a moral forest, and Mr Knightley, well, he’s not going to be a cad, is he? The fact that Austen called ...

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