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Cumin-coated

Colin Burrow: Two Novels about Lost Bellinis, 14 August 2008

The Bellini Card 
by Jason Goodwin.
Faber, 306 pp., £12.99, July 2008, 978 0 571 23992 4
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The Bellini Madonna 
by Elizabeth Lowry.
Quercus, 343 pp., July 2008, 978 1 84724 364 5
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... deserve something a bit more nourishing than the plot, which is 100 per cent cumin-coated tripe. Elizabeth Lowry’s The Bellini Madonna, mercifully, is set not in a Venice that’s trying to be a fake Canaletto but in a ‘17th-century manor house with Victorian accretions’, which a few pages later acquires ‘two sweeping Georgian side ...

Soldier, Sailor, Poacher

E.S. Turner, 3 October 1985

Great Britons: 20th-Century Lives 
by Harold Oxbury.
Oxford, 371 pp., £14.95, September 1985, 0 19 211599 5
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The Oxford Book of Military Anecdotes 
edited by Max Hastings.
Oxford, 514 pp., £9.50, October 1985, 0 19 214107 4
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The Long Affray: The Poaching Wars in Britain 
by Harry Hopkins.
Secker, 344 pp., £12.95, August 1985, 9780436201028
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... and De Valera. The subtitle ‘20th-century Lives’ does not disqualify a Great Victorian like Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, who was born in 1836 and in 1873 became the first woman member of the British Medical Association (she died in 1917). Harold Oxbury is principal editor of the Concise Dictionary of National Biography 1901-1970 and it is from the parent ...

His Peach Stone

Christopher Tayler: J.G. Farrell, 2 December 2010

J.G. Farrell in His Own Words: Selected Letters and Diaries 
edited by Lavinia Greacen.
Cork, 464 pp., €19.95, September 2010, 978 1 85918 476 9
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... which took shape rapidly and was published in 1970, winning praise from William Trevor and Elizabeth Bowen. ‘If I had bothered to look at [my] diary,’ he noted two months after its publication, ‘I wd also have used the “flight of stone steps leading up into thin air”, which I simply forgot.’ He had added a detail to his version of the ...

Colette

Angela Carter, 2 October 1980

... the unself-conscious picaresque adventuring that formed the artistic apprenticeships of Melville, Lowry, Conrad, while other socio-economic factors mean that those women who see most of the beastly backside of the world – prostitutes – are least in a position to utilise this invaluable experience as art. Norman Mailer has said that there won’t be a ...

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