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At the Hop

Sukhdev Sandhu, 20 February 1997

Black England: Life before Emancipation 
by Gretchen Gerzina.
Murray, 244 pp., £19.99, October 1995, 0 7195 5251 6
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Reconstructing the Black Past: Blacks in Britain 1780-1830 
by Norma Myers.
Cass, 162 pp., £27.50, July 1996, 0 7146 4576 1
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... that slavery existed here as well as in the colonies. Despite the titles of Norma Myers’s and Gretchen Gerzina’s contributions to this new historiography, both deal mainly with metropolitan black history (Black London was the title of the American edition of Gerzina’s book). Neither writer refers to Gory, the ...

Living Doll and Lilac Fairy

Penelope Fitzgerald, 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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... a boy) she was not anxious for sex. Affectionate words were easier, and gave so much pleasure. Gerzina’s chapter headings – ‘The First Triangle’, ‘The Second Triangle’, ‘Separations and Unions’, ‘Picking up the pieces’, ‘Compromise’ – suggest how much pain and havoc were caused. One of Mark Gertler’s letters to her in 1917 ...

‘We prefer their company’

Sadiah Qureshi: Black British History, 14 June 2017

Black and British: A Forgotten History 
by David Olusoga.
Pan Macmillan, 624 pp., £25, November 2016, 978 1 4472 9973 8
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... In​ the early 1990s, the historian Gretchen Gerzina went to a London bookshop looking for a copy of Peter Fryer’s Staying Power: The History of Black People in Britain (1984). When she asked the shop assistant for help she was told ‘Madam, there were no black people in England before 1945.’ In fact, as David Olusoga’s remarkable book shows, people racialised as black have been in Britain for more than two thousand years ...

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