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Keeping up the fight

Paul Delany, 24 January 1991

D.H. Lawrence: A Biography 
by Jeffrey Meyers.
Macmillan, 446 pp., £19.95, August 1990, 0 333 49247 1
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D.H. Lawrence 
by Tony Pinkney.
Harvester, 180 pp., £30, June 1990, 0 7108 1347 3
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England, My England, and Other Stories 
by D.H. Lawrence, edited by Bruce Steele.
Cambridge, 285 pp., £37.50, March 1990, 0 521 35267 3
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The ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’ Trial (Regina v. Penguin Books Limited) 
edited by H. Montgomery Hyde.
Bodley Head, 333 pp., £18, June 1990, 0 370 31105 1
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Boy 
by James Hanley.
Deutsch, 191 pp., £11.99, August 1990, 0 233 98578 6
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D.H. Lawrence: A Literary Life 
by John Worthen.
Macmillan, 196 pp., £27.50, September 1989, 0 333 43352 1
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... When Willie Hopkin first caught sight of D.H. Lawrence in his pram, he thought him a ‘puny, fragile little specimen’. Forty-four years later the fragile specimen died, reduced by tuberculosis to a weight of 90 pounds. It is understandable, then, that Jeffrey Meyers should make much of Lawrence’s ‘lifelong invalidism’, and conclude his biography with an appendix called ‘A History of Illness ...

Oscar and Constance

Tom Paulin, 17 November 1983

The Last Testament of Oscar Wilde 
by Peter Ackroyd.
Hamish Hamilton, 185 pp., £7.95, April 1983, 0 241 10964 7
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The Importance of Being Constance: A Biography of Oscar Wilde’s Wife 
by Joyce Bentley.
Hale, 160 pp., £8.75, May 1983, 0 7090 0538 5
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Mrs Oscar Wilde: A Woman of Some Importance 
by Anne Clark Amor.
Sidgwick, 249 pp., £8.95, June 1983, 9780283989674
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... 1882, Oscar Wilde travelled to a huge mining town in the Rocky Mountains called Leadville, where he lectured the miners on the ‘secret of Botticelli’. A fortnight later, he gave a lecture at the State University of Nebraska. Afterwards the students took him out to the State penitentiary where ...

A Little Pickle for the Husband

Michael Mason, 1 April 1999

Beeton's Book of Household Management 
by Isabella Beeton.
Southover, 1112 pp., £29.95, November 1998, 9781870962155
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... on to give the facts of Eliza Acton’s life. The first biographies, a pair by Nancy Spain and Montgomery Hyde, appeared soon after the last war, and the reality of Isabella Beeton did then make some headway against the phantom. Today, many people know that she was a newly married woman in her early twenties when she compiled her immense text, and ...

A Hideous Skeleton, with Cries and Dismal Howlings

Nina Auerbach: The haunting of the Hudson Valley, 24 June 2004

Possessions: The History and Uses of Haunting in the Hudson Valley 
by Judith Richardson.
Harvard, 296 pp., £19.95, October 2003, 0 674 01161 9
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... memory inspired commemorative sites associated with the last ten days of his life. A window he might have looked through in West Haverstraw became the ‘André window’; a well in Mount Pleasant from which he might have drunk was glorified as the ‘André well’, and ‘André Hill’ – where ...

Husbands and Wives

Terry Castle: Claude & Marcel, Gertrude & Alice, 13 December 2007

Don’t Kiss Me: The Art of Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore 
edited by Louise Downie.
Tate Gallery, 240 pp., £25, June 2006, 1 59711 025 6
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Two Lives: Gertrude and Alice 
by Janet Malcolm.
Yale, 229 pp., £16.99, October 2007, 978 0 300 12551 1
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... of Jesus Christ on the Cross – at once gauzy, grisly and homoerotic – provoked a scandal when he exhibited the photographs in 1898. The most prominent practitioner of the style in recent years has been the rubber-visaged, now slightly shopworn Cindy Sherman – known particularly for the gender-bending self-portraits she made in the 1970s and ...

Scotch Urchins

Denton Fox, 22 May 1986

Alexander Montgomerie 
by R.D.S. Jack.
Scottish Academic Press, 140 pp., £4.50, June 1985, 0 7073 0367 2
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Letters of King James VI and I 
edited by G.P.V. Akrigg.
California, 546 pp., £32.75, November 1984, 0 520 04707 9
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The Concise Scots Dictionary 
by Mairi Robinson.
Aberdeen University Press, 819 pp., £17.50, August 1985, 0 08 028491 4
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... which it were fruitless to defend him – seem to have been inherent in his nature; but withal he was possessed of many noble qualities.’ The canon of his work is very uncertain, and there is no good edition of the poems – and indeed only a very brave or foolish scholar would undertake such an edition. Nor is there any consensus on the quality of his ...

The Real Magic

David Sylvester, 8 June 1995

A Biographical Dictionary of Film 
by David Thomson.
Deutsch, 834 pp., £25, November 1994, 0 233 98859 9
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... inquisitiveness that makes the action ambiguous. Cagney is charged with restlessness, and yet he always contrives to discharge the agitation daintily or with conscious style. Watch him listen to other players and you will realise how often other actors cruised. If he is frightening it is because of that attentiveness ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: Allelujah!, 3 January 2019

...  20 December 2017. Nick Hytner rings saying he hopes to put on the hospital play at the Bridge next year and had I had any thoughts about the title? Off the cuff I suggest Past Caring, which I’m sure has been used, but will serve, if only for the announcement of the season in the New Year.As an early Christmas present Bridget has given us a cow creamer she has made ...

Upriver

Iain Sinclair: The Thames, 25 June 2009

Thames: Sacred River 
by Peter Ackroyd.
Vintage, 608 pp., £14.99, August 2008, 978 0 09 942255 6
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... working and the permanent utility trenches have migrated a couple of hundred yards to the south. He scuttles away, rucksack on stooped shoulders, distancing himself from his earlier disguise as wall-walker, acrobat; a workaday man of the crowd. But even with the rucksack – wrong colour, wrong shape – the man stands out: too furtive, too fiercely ...

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