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Hiberbole

Patricia Craig

17 April 1986
Somerville and Ross: The World of the Irish R.M. 
by Gifford Lewis.
Viking, 251 pp., £12.95, October 1985, 0 670 80760 5
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... ordinary English, when it came to strong feelings, caused a good deal of improvisation among the Somervilles and their family connections. A feeling for the comically expressive phrase, we learn from GiffordLewis’s affectionate study, asserted itself early on in the literary cousins. They couldn’t have been better placed to gratify it, what with family loquacity, and with Irish servants and ...

Lily and Lolly

Sarah Rigby

18 July 1996
The Yeats Sisters: A Biography of Susan and Elizabeth Yeats 
by Joan Hardwick.
Pandora, 263 pp., £8.99, January 1996, 0 04 440924 9
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... is an angel, the other a demon’ – but her defensiveness can be tiresome. In any case, she is not the first biographer to think about Lily and Lolly, and her book covers much of the same ground as GiffordLewis’s The Yeats Sisters and the Cuala Press, which came out in 1994. In her Introduction, Hardwick says that her book will set out to look at the sisters’ background, to create ‘an awareness ...
31 August 1989
Carrington: A Life of Dora Carrington 1893-1932 
by Gretchen Gerzina.
Murray, 342 pp., £18.95, June 1989, 0 7195 4688 5
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Lydia and Maynard: Letters between Lydia Lopokova and John Maynard Keynes 
edited by Polly Hill and Richard Keynes.
Deutsch, 367 pp., £17.95, September 1989, 0 233 98283 3
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Mazo de la Roche: The Hidden Life 
by Joan Givner.
Oxford, 273 pp., £18, July 1989, 0 19 540705 9
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Vera Brittain and Winifred Holtby: A Working Partnership 
by Jean Kennard.
University Press of New England, 224 pp., £24, July 1989, 0 87451 474 6
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Dangerous by Degrees: Women at Oxford and the Somerville College Novelists 
by Susan Leonardi.
Rutgers, 254 pp., $33, May 1989, 0 8135 1366 9
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The Selected Letters of Somerville and Ross 
edited by Gifford Lewis.
Faber, 308 pp., £14.99, July 1989, 0 571 15348 8
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... miles apart – bustling, outspoken Castletownshend in County Cork and the ruinous great House of Ross in Galway. They should be read together with Somerville and Ross: The World of the Irish R.M. by GiffordLewis, who is also the helpful editor of these Selected Letters. The earlier book is very well illustrated, and takes the story up to Martin’s death and Edith’s gallant 34 years of survival ...

Runagately Rogue

Tobias Gregory: Puritans and Others

25 August 2011
The Plain Man’s Pathways to Heaven: Kinds of Christianity in Post-Reformation England, 1570-1640 
by Christopher Haigh.
Oxford, 284 pp., £32, September 2009, 978 0 19 921650 5
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... English Catholics who lived without incident, many continuing to attend their now Protestant parish churches and being buried in now Protestant churchyards. Books of popular homiletics such as George Gifford’s Country Divinity (1581), Arthur Dent’s The Plain Man’s Pathway to Heaven (1601) and Lewis Bayley’s The Practice of Piety (1611) aimed to set forth the rudiments of soul-saving doctrine in ...

Bravo, old sport

Christopher Hitchens

4 April 1991
Critical Crossings: The New York Intellectuals in Post-War America 
by Neil Jumonville.
California, 291 pp., £24.95, January 1991, 0 520 06858 0
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... short story for publication in the student magazine of Northwestern University. (It took third prize in the competition.) Entitled ‘The Hell It Can’t’, the story was intended to rebuke Sinclair Lewis’s Popular Front novel It Can’t Happen Here. I once went to the labour of digging up this un-anthologised tale, which describes an episode of vicious fascist violence, and could see in it, if I ...

Why edit socially?

Marilyn Butler

20 October 1994
Lord Byron: The Complete Poetical Works, Vol. VII 
edited by Byron.
Oxford, 445 pp., £52.50, March 1993, 0 19 812328 0
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The New Oxford Book of Romantic Period Verse 
edited by Jerome McGann.
Oxford, 832 pp., £25, April 1993, 0 19 214158 9
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... the poet to the poem. Each Byron poem or volume of poems is shown to have its own complex history, involving other people: an amanuensis (sometimes Mary Shelley), the publisher (Murray), his editor (Gifford), friends with or without authority to act for the poet, readers, shady piratical publishers and shadowy fakers, forgers and parodists. The ‘social’ emphasis brings out the process whereby a poem ...

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