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Verie Sillie People

Keith Thomas: Bacon’s Lives

7 February 2013
The Oxford Francis Bacon Vol. I: Early Writings 1584-96 
edited by Alan Stewart, with Harriet Knight.
Oxford, 1066 pp., £200, September 2012, 978 0 19 818313 6
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... time for the mastership of the Rolls. It was during these years of frustrated ambition and conflicting objectives that Bacon composed the works contained in the collection edited by Alan Stewart with HarrietKnight. The Oxford Francis Bacon is a major scholarly project conceived by the late Graham Rees and administered nowadays by an editorial advisory board of 16 experts under the direction of Brian ...
21 May 1981
Jane Austen’s ‘Sir Charles Grandison’ 
edited by Brian Southam.
Oxford, 150 pp., £7.95, March 1981, 0 19 812637 9
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... bundle of papers. These lines represent two false starts at Act Two, which is to deal with much the most stageworthy sequence in the story, the abduction and attempted forced marriage of the heroine, Harriet Byron, by the villainous Sir Hargrave Pollexfen: Act the 2d. Scene the 1st. Southam devotes little attention to these false starts, but they must be highly significant. The first idea was to begin ...
15 March 1984
Swans Reflecting Elephants: My Early Years 
by Edward James, edited by George Melly.
Weidenfeld, 178 pp., £8.95, July 1982, 0 297 77988 5
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... would inherit West Dean. His American cousin, Arthur, was even richer than his father and when Edward came down from Oxford in 1929 he went to New York to spend the winter with Arthur and his wife Harriet. They were childless and it was thought that Edward might inherit. Arthur was worth about four hundred million dollars, but when the Depression came he was down to a mere 98 million. Harriet had ...

Puellilia

Pat Rogers

7 August 1986
Mothers of the Novel: One Hundred Good Women Writers before Jane Austen 
by Dale Spender.
Pandora, 357 pp., £12.95, May 1986, 0 86358 081 5
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Scribbling Sisters 
by Dale Spender and Lynne Spender.
Camden Press, 188 pp., £4.95, May 1986, 0 948491 00 0
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A Woman of No Character: An Autobiography of Mrs Manley 
by Fidelis Morgan.
Faber, 176 pp., £9.95, June 1986, 0 571 13934 5
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Cecilia 
by Fanny Burney.
Virago, 919 pp., £6.95, May 1986, 0 86068 775 9
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Millenium Hall 
by Sarah Scott.
Virago, 207 pp., £4.95, May 1986, 0 86068 780 5
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Marriage 
by Susan Ferrier.
Virago, 513 pp., £4.50, February 1986, 0 86068 765 1
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Belinda 
by Maria Edgeworth.
Pandora, 434 pp., £4.95, May 1986, 0 86358 074 2
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Self-Control 
by Mary Brunton.
Pandora, 437 pp., £4.95, May 1986, 9780863580840
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The Female Quixote: The Adventures of Arabella 
by Charlotte Lennox.
Pandora, 423 pp., £4.95, May 1986, 0 86358 080 7
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... Spender refers to errors in Sarah Fielding’s memorial tablet as ‘symptomatic of the “mistakes” in the documentation of women’s lives’. But is the matter remedied by calling Ellis Cornelia Knight ‘Cornelius’? Or Helen Maria Williams ‘Helena’? Or Lady Mary Wortley Montagu ‘Montague’? Or Cecilia ‘Cecelia’? Or Anne Ehrenpreis ‘Ehrenpries’? Or Patricia Köster ‘Koster’? Or ...

The Italy of Human Beings

Frances Wilson: Felicia Hemans

16 November 2000
Felicia Hemans: ‘Records of Woman’ with Other Poems 
edited by Paula Feldman.
Kentucky, 248 pp., £15.50, September 1999, 0 8131 0964 7
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... Felicia Browne in an attempt to initiate a friendship – which her mother discouraged. Feldman and Trinder have both suggested that Mrs Browne’s action saved her daughter from the dismal fate of Harriet Westbrook, Shelley’s first wife. But it seems unlikely that the organised, ambitious and Christian young poet would have been attracted to a disorderly atheist like Shelley, or that she would have ...

Outside the text

Marilyn Butler

19 December 1985
The Beauty of Inflections: Literary Investigations in Historical Method and Theory 
by Jerome McGann.
Oxford, 352 pp., £19.50, May 1985, 0 19 811730 2
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The Politics of Language: 1791-1819 
by Olivia Smith.
Oxford, 269 pp., £19.50, December 1984, 0 19 812817 7
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... of every year schoolchildren and university students buckle down to read imaginative books by dead authors. Undergraduates reading English at Cambridge may begin with an essay on Gawain and the Green Knight. At Oxford they tackle In Memoriam. O-Levellers could be confronting Romeo and Juliet and A-Levellers the poems of Herbert. The central question all of them ask of a work is what it means, and ...

Sister-Sister

Terry Castle

3 August 1995
Jane Austen’s Letters 
edited by Deirde Le Faye.
Oxford, 621 pp., £30, March 1995, 0 19 811764 7
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... a series of letters Austen wrote to her novel-writing niece, Anna Austen, in 1814 (Anna had sent some chapters-in-progress to her aunt for criticism) and a set from 1817 to her niece, Fanny Knight, who was debating over several marriage proposals. The former correspondence contains a number of much-quoted pieces of authorial advice (‘3 or 4 Families in a Country Village is the very thing to ...

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