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The Ultimate Socket

David Trotter: On Sylvia Townsend Warner, 23 June 2022

Lolly Willowes 
by Sylvia Townsend Warner.
Penguin, 161 pp., £9.99, October 2020, 978 0 241 45488 6
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Valentine Ackland: A Transgressive Life 
by Frances Bingham.
Handheld Press, 344 pp., £15.99, May 2021, 978 1 912766 40 6
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... brothel he frequented, where she would be told to wait in the parlour. There’s no doubt that, as Frances Bingham writes, he amply indulged Molly’s taste for ‘pursuits which were – in contemporary terms – masculine’. Indulgence had its limits, however. Robert reacted violently to the news of an affair with another pupil at a finishing school in ...


Mark Ford: Emily Dickinson’s Manuscripts, 19 June 2014

The Gorgeous Nothings 
by Emily Dickinson.
New Directions, 255 pp., £26.50, October 2013, 978 0 8112 2175 7
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The Marvel of Biographical Bookkeeping 
by Francis Nenik, translated by Katy Derbyshire.
Readux, 64 pp., £3, October 2013, 978 3 944801 00 1
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... of the archive. The complex nature of this archive was well captured in 1945 by Millicent Todd Bingham in her introduction to Bolts of Melody, a selection of more than six hundred poems culled from the vast trove of papers then in her possession. The papers were given to Bingham’s mother, Mabel Loomis Todd, by ...

On the imagining of conspiracy

Christopher Hitchens, 7 November 1991

Harlot’s Ghost 
by Norman Mailer.
Joseph, 1122 pp., £15.99, October 1991, 0 7181 2934 2
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A Very Thin Line: The Iran-Contra Affairs 
by Theodore Draper.
Hill and Wang, 690 pp., $27.95, June 1991, 0 8090 9613 7
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... in America, and on the ‘Commissions’ (one need only think of our Royal ones like Denning and Bingham and Pearce) which act as vectors in the process. First, he enquires: ‘Was the history of all time piled up in a refuse heap at the back of humanity’s barn, too ugly to be shown, while the faked artifacts that were passed around for national ...

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