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My Granny

Patrick Wall, 20 May 1982

The Monkey Puzzle 
by John Gribbin and Jeremy Cherfas.
Bodley Head, 279 pp., £8.50, April 1982, 0 370 30469 1
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Darwinism Defended: A Guide to the Evolution Controversies 
by Michael Ruse.
Addison-Wesley, 356 pp., £6.95, April 1982, 0 201 06273 9
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The Aquatic Ape: A Theory of Human Evolution 
by Elaine Morgan.
Souvenir, 168 pp., £7.95, March 1982, 0 285 62509 8
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The Neck of the Giraffe, or Where Darwin went wrong 
by Francis Hitching.
Pan, 288 pp., £2.50, April 1982, 0 330 26643 8
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... the library which could be called ‘The Descent of Authors who write on the Descent of Man’. Ms Elaine Morgan is a fe-fi-fo-fuminist who writes books on the origin of the hu-person race. She is famous for her Descent of Woman. Here, in The Aquatic Ape, she takes rather seriously what I had always assumed to be one of these elaborate joke fantasies ...

Keep Calm

Rosemary Hill: Desperate Housewives, 24 May 2007

Can Any Mother Help Me? Fifty Years of Friendship through a Secret Magazine 
by Jenna Bailey.
Faber, 330 pp., £16.99, March 2007, 978 0 571 23313 7
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... younger generation and one of the few who is identifiable beyond her pseudonym as the Welsh writer Elaine Morgan, embarked on a career as a playwright and scriptwriter for Dr Finlay’s Casebook. Her husband, who had agreed they could have another baby if she earned a thousand pounds, did the typing. Elektra became a marriage guidance counsellor and found ...

Keep me

Alison Jolly: Natural selection and females, 10 August 2000

Mother Nature: Natural Selection and the Female of the Species 
by Sarah Blaffer Hrdy.
Chatto, 697 pp., £20, November 1999, 0 7011 6625 8
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... plump, except the ‘aquatic ape’ hypothesis championed by Sir Alister Hardy, and, recently, by Elaine Morgan and Simon Bearder. So far, they are a minority of three among physical anthropologists – but I confess it’s a lovely idea that we could have spent a million years on a tropical beach, shedding our fur and tossing our babies into the water ...


Ronald Bryden, 10 December 1987

The Life of Kenneth Tynan 
by Kathleen Tynan.
Weidenfeld, 407 pp., £16.95, September 1987, 9780297790822
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... decision she does not say) at comparing notes with her predecessor, the previous title-holder, Elaine Dundy. Before she dwindled into a wife, Kathleen Halton was an excellent journalist, from a family of some renown in the business, and she has done her leg-work conscientiously and well, excavating all the truth she could uncover about the erratic, divided ...


Pat Rogers, 7 August 1986

Mothers of the Novel: One Hundred Good Women Writers before Jane Austen 
by Dale Spender.
Pandora, 357 pp., £12.95, May 1986, 0 86358 081 5
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Scribbling Sisters 
by Dale Spender and Lynne Spender.
Camden Press, 188 pp., £4.95, May 1986, 0 948491 00 0
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A Woman of No Character: An Autobiography of Mrs Manley 
by Fidelis Morgan.
Faber, 176 pp., £9.95, June 1986, 0 571 13934 5
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by Fanny Burney.
Virago, 919 pp., £6.95, May 1986, 0 86068 775 9
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Millenium Hall 
by Sarah Scott.
Virago, 207 pp., £4.95, May 1986, 0 86068 780 5
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by Susan Ferrier.
Virago, 513 pp., £4.50, February 1986, 0 86068 765 1
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by Maria Edgeworth.
Pandora, 434 pp., £4.95, May 1986, 0 86358 074 2
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by Mary Brunton.
Pandora, 437 pp., £4.95, May 1986, 9780863580840
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The Female Quixote: The Adventures of Arabella 
by Charlotte Lennox.
Pandora, 423 pp., £4.95, May 1986, 0 86358 080 7
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... a house of correction. Mrs Manley turns up in an ingenious ‘autobiography’ ghosted by Fidelis Morgan. She uses episodes from the published writings ‘which are widely acknowledged to be autobiographical’, and fills out the existing record on Manley in a number of places. We are told that her very name should be not Delarivière but Delarivier ...

Colloquially Speaking

Patrick McGuinness: Poetry from Britain and Ireland after 1945, 1 April 1999

The Penguin Book of Poetry from Britain and Ireland since 1945 
edited by Simon Armitage and Robert Crawford.
Viking, 480 pp., £10.99, September 1998, 0 670 86829 9
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The Firebox: Poetry from Britain and Ireland after 1945 
edited by Sean O’Brien.
Picador, 534 pp., £16.99, October 1998, 0 330 36918 0
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... is far from being a stranger to mainstream anthologies, while Basil Bunting, Dylan Thomas, Edwin Morgan, R.S. Thomas, Iain Crichton Smith, Thom Gunn, Hugh MacDiarmid and Norman MacCaig are unassailably part of our consciousness of the poetic landscape. Auden and MacNeice, too, though the omission in both books of Stephen Spender suggests that he has slipped ...

Waiting for the Poetry

Ange Mlinko: Was Adrienne Rich a poet?, 15 July 2021

The Power of Adrienne Rich: A Biography 
by Hilary Holladay.
Doubleday, 416 pp., £25, November 2020, 978 0 385 54150 3
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Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution 
by Adrienne Rich.
Norton, 345 pp., £13.99, May, 978 0 393 54142 7
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... over entirely as a radical feminist and lesbian, structuring her work and friendships, with Robin Morgan, Audre Lorde, June Jordan and Mary Daly, among other luminaries of the Second Wave, around the precepts of women’s liberation. Her style was now one of ‘unapologetic, even flagrant, raggedness – a move towards fulfilling her long-ago desire to write ...

Sorrows of a Polygamist

Mark Ford: Ted Hughes in His Cage, 17 March 2016

Ted Hughes: The Unauthorised Life 
by Jonathan Bate.
William Collins, 662 pp., £30, October 2015, 978 0 00 811822 8
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... of which had already been revealed by Emma Tennant in her memoir, Burnt Diaries (1999), and by Elaine Feinstein in her biography of Hughes from 2001. Like his hero Robert Graves, Hughes tirelessly pursued the White Goddess, or the Goddess of Complete Being as he called her in his study of Shakespeare, both in his imagination and in the forms that she ...

One Summer in America

Eliot Weinberger, 26 September 2019

... bringing money and resources into his state. Besides the Russians, he is being helped by his wife, Elaine Chao, the secretary of transportation. Chao has an aide assigned as a special liaison for Kentucky projects – no other state has one – and has already approved $78 million in grants.*The president tells an interviewer that he would certainly take ...

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