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Bananas Book

Eric Korn, 22 November 1979

Saturday Night Reader 
edited by Emma Tennant.
W.H. Allen, 246 pp., £5.95
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... new to standard English, but from talent, hard work and intelligent teaching.But what to say of Hilary Bailey, whose story about an Amazonian herb which procures immortality is written as if the whole of 20th-century Science Fiction hadn’t happened: written as if for publication in the Strand Magazine for 1899? The self-consciousness of the style ...

Crusoe and Daughter

Patricia Craig, 20 June 1985

Crusoe’s Daughter 
by Jane Gardam.
Hamish Hamilton, 224 pp., £8.95, May 1985, 0 241 11526 4
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The Tie that Binds 
by Kent Haruf.
Joseph, 246 pp., £9.95, May 1985, 0 7181 2561 4
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Hannie Richards, or The Intrepid Adventures of a Restless Wife 
by Hilary Bailey.
Virago, 265 pp., £8.95, May 1985, 9780860683469
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A Fine Excess 
by Jane Ellison.
Secker, 183 pp., £8.95, May 1985, 0 436 14601 0
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Victory over Japan 
by Ellen Gilchrist.
Faber, 277 pp., £9.95, May 1985, 0 571 13446 7
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... is grim, colloquial and energetic, as befits the out-of doors storyteller. Hannie Richards, in Hilary Bailey’s novel of that title, gets about. This is tongue-in cheek picaresque, with an adventuress for heroine. Hannie, for a fee, accepts preposterous commissions. It’s nothing to her to snatch a putative messiah from the clutches of ...

Unhappy Families

Angela Carter, 16 September 1982

The Beauties and Furies 
by Christina Stead.
Virago, 329 pp., £3.95, July 1982, 0 86068 175 0
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... naturalism, so much so that, in her introduction to the Virago edition of The Beauties and Furies, Hilary Bailey seems disconcerted that ‘this great writer of naturalism’ should have produced a novel so resistant to a naturalist reading. (Any novel in which a prostitute advertises her wares by reciting the poetry of Baudelaire is scarely in the ...


David Edgar: The Angry Brigade, 16 December 2004

The Angry Brigade: The Cause and the Case 
by Gordon Carr.
ChristieBooks, 168 pp., £34, July 2003, 1 873976 21 6
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Granny Made Me an Anarchist 
by Stuart Christie.
Scribner, 423 pp., £10.99, September 2004, 0 7432 5918 1
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... Newington Four plus another four libertarian and anarchist activists entered the dock at the Old Bailey for what was to prove the longest criminal trial in Britain. After six months, the original four (John Barker, Hilary Creek, Anna Mendelson and Jim Greenfield) were convicted by a majority verdict of conspiracy ‘with ...

Take Myra Hindley

Nicola Lacey, 19 November 1992

Eve was framed: Women and British Justice 
by Helena Kennedy.
Chatto, 285 pp., £16.99, October 1992, 0 7011 3523 9
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... other distortions of our criminal process. Over the last fifteen years, research by writers like Hilary Allen, Pat Carlen, Susan Edwards and Carol Smart has begun to give us a clearer picture of how women are treated in the criminal process – by the police, by their lawyers, in court, in prison, as victims. Certain important themes stand out. Because of ...

The dead are all around us

Hilary Mantel: Helen Duncan, 10 May 2001

Hellish Nell: Last of Britain’s Witches 
by Malcolm Gaskill.
Fourth Estate, 402 pp., £15.99, April 2001, 1 84115 109 2
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... detriment of necessary work in the Courts? The person tried and convicted at the war-damaged Old Bailey was a stout and ailing Scotswoman called Helen Duncan, whom few people loved and many exploited. She was not a witch in any popular sense of the word; she did not fly, wear a pointed hat or have congress with the devil, and neither she nor her followers ...

Utterly in Awe

Jenny Turner: Lynn Barber, 5 June 2014

A Curious Career 
by Lynn Barber.
Bloomsbury, 224 pp., £16.99, May 2014, 978 1 4088 3719 1
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... a lovely lad Rafa Nadal is I shall scream.’ ‘Don’t ever make the mistake of underestimating Hilary Mantel.’ ‘I don’t want to give a cool appraisal of Jeremy Irons … I just want to boil him in oil.’ She’s like Christ enthroned in a gilded Quattrocentro painting, attended by apostles, the legions of the damned at her feet: Marianne ...

Fed up with Ibiza

Jenny Turner: Sybille Bedford, 1 April 2021

Sybille Bedford: An Appetite for Life 
by Selina Hastings.
Chatto, 432 pp., £35, November 2020, 978 1 78474 113 6
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... all of them are occluded, attenuated, elaborated, in one way or another. This is one reason, as Hilary Mantel, for example, has noted, that the novels are easier to follow when you already know their stories in outline (as might also happen with fiction that embroiders well-known personalities from history, like Robespierre or Thomas Cromwell). You might ...

What We’re about to Receive

Jeremy Harding: Food Insecurity, 13 May 2010

... landowners to lease to people who’d like to grow food. Four months before the election campaign, Hilary Benn announced a modest £50 million funding top-up for food and farming R&D over the next five years. In Food 2030, Defra insists that Britain must find a way to farm and fish ‘sustainably’ – that word again – setting out targets and measurements ...

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