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Walking on Eyeballs

E.S. Turner: The history of gout, 7 January 1999

Gout: The Patrician Malady 
by Roy Porter and G.S. Rousseau.
Yale, 393 pp., £25, September 1998, 0 300 07386 0
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... without it. Some thought it was the hallmark of genius, a view obstinately perpetuated by Havelock Ellis. In short, it was an honour to have gout and the phrase ‘the honour of the gout’ was in free use. The authors quote Earl Nugent’s apology to the Duke of Newcastle for failing to wait on him: ‘He received the Honor of His Grace’s card here, where ...

Best Known for His Guzzleosity

Helen Hackett: Shakespeare’s Authors, 11 March 2010

Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare? 
by James Shapiro.
Faber, 367 pp., £20, April 2010, 978 0 571 23576 6
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... people to read novels as realistic narratives which must have drawn on their authors’ lives; Jane Eyre, subtitled ‘An Autobiography’, is one example, David Copperfield another. The Brontës tried to conceal their identities behind the pseudonyms of Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell, and the consequences ...

The Moronic Inferno

Martin Amis, 1 April 1982

The Dean’s December 
by Saul Bellow.
Secker, 312 pp., £7.95, March 1982, 0 436 03952 4
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... cartoonish); at the other end of the scale, John Braine offers us Tom Metfield, Jack Royston, Jane Framsby (can these people really exist, in our minds or anywhere else, with such leadenly humdrum, such dead names?). Saul Bellow’s inventions are Dickensian in their resonance and relish. But they also have a dialectical point to make. British critics ...

Simply Doing It

Thomas Laqueur, 22 February 1996

The Facts of Life: The Creation of Sexual Knowledge in Britain 1650-1950 
by Roy Porter and Lesley Hall.
Yale, 414 pp., £19.95, January 1995, 0 300 06221 4
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... Sir Patrick Geddes and J.A. Thomason’s popular volume, The Evolution of Sex, and Havelock Ellis’s massive Studies in the Psychology of Sex, as well as a host of more technical studies and the amateur anthropology of the Men and Women’s Club all brought sex under the sign of ‘science’. Edward Carpenter and John Addington Symonds presented ...

Oh for the oo tray

William Feaver: Edward Burra, 13 December 2007

Edward Burra: Twentieth-Century Eye 
by Jane Stevenson.
Cape, 496 pp., £30, November 2007, 978 0 224 07875 7
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... good, he found, for grandiose magic lantern effects. Presumably it was decided early on by Jane Stevenson or Cape (perhaps both) that, given the wealth of filmed interviews, surviving correspondence with racy friends and the ever interesting state of his health tested by remarkably extensive travels, Edward Burra: Twentieth-Century Eye could be ...

With the wind in our shrouds

Mary Beard, 26 July 1990

The Making of ‘The Golden Bough’: The Origin and Growth of an Argument 
by Robert Fraser.
Macmillan, 240 pp., £35, July 1990, 0 333 49631 0
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... of travel and adventure. It is the story of a young English couple, Felix Thurstan and Miss Muriel Ellis, washed overboard from a steamer in the South Seas and cast up on an island called Boupari, where the religious habits of the natives are a close replica of those described by Frazer. There are some ludicrous moments in the tale: Felix (by now desperately ...

Body Parts

Lawrence Stone, 24 November 1994

The Making of Victorian Sexuality 
by Michael Mason.
Oxford, 338 pp., £17.95, April 1994, 0 19 812247 0
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The Making of Victorian Sexual Attitudes 
by Michael Mason.
Oxford, 256 pp., £17.99, October 1994, 0 19 812292 6
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... middle classes, as well as the poor, by 1800. There is no way around the fact that the novels of Jane Austen were free from the coarse sexual innuendoes of Aphra Behn, Defoe, Fielding or Smollett, while Dickens ignored the subject of sex altogether. Michael Mason’s main problem is to determine how prudery affected behaviour. Was it merely a veneer of ...

Unhoused

Terry Eagleton: Anonymity, 22 May 2008

Anonymity: A Secret History of English Literature 
by John Mullan.
Faber, 374 pp., £17.99, January 2008, 978 0 571 19514 5
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... latter book stands in for the drastic elision of the human subject in the former. The fact that Jane Austen could create Emma Woodhouse as well as Fanny Price tells us something about Mansfield Park’s view of its own heroine. If we did not know that industrial imagery in William Blake’s work generally carries a negative charge, it would be harder to ...

Plugs of Muscle

Joanna Kavenna, 5 July 2001

A Friend of the Earth 
by T.C. Boyle.
Bloomsbury, 275 pp., £15.99, October 2000, 9780747547532
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... sexuality: sadism, masochism, fetishism, ‘antipathetic sexual instinct’) and Havelock Ellis, whose study Sexual Inversion was published in 1897 and banned in England after the Wilde trial. Unable to decide whether they should blame McCormick or his cool, mannish wife, his doctors confidently advise a variety of vastly expensive, increasingly ...

Ismism

Evan Kindley: Modernist Magazines, 23 January 2014

The Oxford Critical and Cultural History of Modernist Magazines: Volume I: Britain and Ireland 1880-1955 
edited by Peter Brooker and Andrew Thacker.
Oxford, 976 pp., £35, May 2013, 978 0 19 965429 1
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The Oxford Critical and Cultural History of Modernist Magazines: Volume II: North America 1894-1960 
edited by Peter Brooker and Andrew Thacker.
Oxford, 1088 pp., £140, July 2012, 978 0 19 965429 1
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The Oxford Critical and Cultural History of Modernist Magazines: Volume III: Europe 1880-1940 
edited by Peter Brooker, Sascha Bru, Andrew Thacker and Christian Weikop.
Oxford, 1471690 pp., £145, March 2013, 978 0 19 965958 6
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... There were other tricks: expats and émigrés – notably Margaret Anderson and Jane Heap at the Little Review and George Plimpton at the Paris Review – were sometimes able to take advantage of favourable exchange rates. Some publishers financed themselves by playing the art market; the Surrealists funded many of their activities in this ...

Predatory Sex Aliens

Gary Indiana: Burroughs, 7 May 2014

Call Me Burroughs: A Life 
by Barry Miles.
Twelve, 718 pp., £17, January 2014, 978 1 4555 1195 2
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... his wake – John Hawkes, Rudolph Wurlitzer, Renata Adler, Lynne Tillman, Kathy Acker, Bret Easton Ellis and Tao Lin come to mind – but innovative narrative fiction has enjoyed far greater support from publishers and readers in Europe. The bulk of published American fiction consists of cookie-cutter, middle-class ‘problem novels’ by tenured academics and ...

All change. This train is cancelled

Iain Sinclair: The Dome, 13 May 1999

... Sir Francis Drake and Sir Francis Chichester, visits by Samuel Pepys, location work for the latest Jane Austen or for Harrison Ford (more bombs) in Patriot Games – are trumpeted, while the dark history of the Greenwich marshes, a decayed industrial wilderness, is brutally elided. The tongue of poisoned land, a couple of miles to the east of the Royal Naval ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: What I did in 2005, 5 January 2006

... 16 March. To St Etheldreda’s, Ely Place for the funeral of Anna Haycraft (aka Alice Thomas Ellis) who died a week or so ago in Wales and whose body had therefore to be brought down for the funeral and then presumably taken back to Wales to be buried beside Colin, her late husband, at their Welsh farmhouse. This, I gather, is pretty remote and the track ...

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