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They Supped with the King

Bee Wilson: Mistresses

6 January 2011
Mistresses: A History of the Other Woman 
by Elizabeth Abbott.
Duckworth, 510 pp., £20, 0 7156 3946 3
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... lover, though it can be hard to tell the difference. One way to try to escape being a mistress is simply to call yourself something else, but there is no guarantee that anyone else will follow suit. ElizabethAbbott’s panoramic survey contains numerous examples of women who find themselves loving unavailable men but feeling disgust at the label of mistress (how happy they would have been to know that ...

Noonday Devils

Marina Warner

6 June 1996
Tituba Reluctant Witch of Salem: Devilish Indians and Puritan Fantasies 
by Elaine Breslaw.
New York, 237 pp., $24.95, February 1996, 0 8147 1227 4
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... what is most alarming is that obloquy rarely fell on the abusers and violators – even when the hidings ended fatally. Norton found ‘one of the most tragic cases’ concerned a maidservant called ElizabethAbbott, who in 1624 turned to neighbours for help again and again against the beatings ‘with smale lyne or whip corde ... sometimes with fish hooks attached’ to which she was subjected by her ...
21 April 1983
The Religion of Protestants: The Church in English Society 1559-1625 
by Patrick Collinson.
Oxford, 297 pp., £17.50, January 1983, 0 19 822685 3
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Reactions to the English Civil War 1642-1649 
by John Morrill.
Macmillan, 257 pp., £14, November 1982, 0 333 27565 9
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The World of the Muggletonians 
by Christopher Hill, Barry Reay and William Lamont.
Temple Smith, 195 pp., £12.50, February 1983, 0 85117 226 1
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The Life of John Milton 
by A.N. Wilson.
Oxford, 278 pp., £9.95, January 1983, 0 19 211776 9
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Complete Prose Works of John Milton. Vol. 8: 1666-1682 
edited by Maurice Kelley.
Yale, 625 pp., £55, January 1983, 0 300 02561 0
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The Poet’s Time: Politics and Religion in the Works of Andrew Marvell 
by Warren Chernaik.
Cambridge, 249 pp., £19.50, February 1983, 9780521247733
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...  although the speculative tone of the lecture-hall has been appropriately retained. Many other scholars have recently explored the development of the Church of England over the two long reigns of Elizabeth I and James I, and one of Collinson’s achievements, executed with singular modesty and generosity, has been to draw their conclusions together and to set them in perspective. But the findings which ...

The Angry Men

Jean McNicol: Harriet Harman

14 December 2017
A Woman’s Work 
by Harriet Harman.
Allen Lane, 405 pp., £20, February 2017, 978 0 241 27494 1
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The Women Who Shaped Politics 
by Sophy Ridge.
Coronet, 295 pp., £20, March 2017, 978 1 4736 3876 1
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... pattern of impunity and abuse’ has been disrupted before, to little long-term effect. Harman and her three sisters were born into an upper-middle-class London family: her father (whose sister, Elizabeth, became Lady Longford; Antonia Fraser is Harman’s cousin) was a doctor and her mother had qualified as a barrister, though she gave up work when she had children. Their four daughters were to be ...

You better not tell me you forgot

Terry Castle: How to Spot Members of the Tribe

27 September 2012
All We Know: Three Lives 
by Lisa Cohen.
Farrar Straus, 429 pp., £22.50, July 2012, 978 0 374 17649 5
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... lesbian salonnière Natalie Barney; Dolly Wilde (Oscar’s opium-addicted niece); Marie Laurencin, painter and friend of Picasso; the Ballets Russes dancer Tamara Karsavina; the photographer Berenice Abbott; modernist designer Eileen Gray; Jane Heap and Margaret Anderson, editors of the avant-garde literary magazine the Little Review; not to mention Colette, Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, Djuna ...

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