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No Concubine

Mary Beard, 28 June 1990

The Oxford Book of Marriage 
edited by Helge Rubinstein.
Oxford, 383 pp., £15, March 1990, 0 19 214150 3
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The Oriental, the Ancient and the Primitive: Systems of Marriage and the Family in the Pre-Industrial Societies of Eurasia 
by Jack Goody.
Cambridge, 542 pp., £37.50, February 1990, 0 521 36574 0
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... then,’ you say. ‘But we’ve only got blue.’ Smile please; kiss the bride; you’ve passed. Rubinstein’s Book of Marriage does not touch on the routine, understated bad taste of so many British weddings. The nearest her anthology gets to a Registry Office is in Joan Didion’s account of the Las Vegas wedding ‘chapels’, whose extravagant ...

You’re only interested in Hitler, not me

Susan Pedersen: Shirley Williams, 19 December 2013

Shirley Williams: The Biography 
by Mark Peel.
Biteback, 461 pp., £25, September 2013, 978 1 84954 604 1
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... to both parents’ efforts but also – as Williams admits – to the loving support of Hilary and Helge Rubinstein, with whom she and Bernard shared a house when both couples’ children were small. ‘I should have thought more deeply about the changes in Bernard over these years,’ Williams concluded long after the fact. In 1970 Bernard left; it took ...

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