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Remembering Janet Hobhouse

Elisa Segrave, 11 March 1993

... Janet Hobhouse, whom I first met in a street in Paris in 1974, was someone who inspired strong emotions. Being with her was like being on a roller-coaster, an exhilarating, intense, even frightening experience – a roller-coaster you often wanted to get off. She was direct, sometimes to the point of insensitivity, and couldn’t understand why other people weren’t as direct as she was ...

Dressed in black

Margaret Anne Doody, 11 March 1993

The Furies 
by Janet Hobhouse.
Bloomsbury, 296 pp., £15.99, October 1992, 0 7475 1270 1
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... the female forces of retribution; and since Orestes at last escapes maternal retribution, Janet Hobhouse’s Helen is arguably the more tragic character of the two. Yet the saddest page of the book comes before the story: ‘Hobhouse, Janet, 1948-91 ... Copyright 1993 by the ...

Fiction and Failure

Adrian Poole, 15 April 1982

Blind Understanding 
by Stanley Middleton.
Hutchinson, 159 pp., £7.50, March 1982, 0 09 146990 2
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Fifty Stories 
by Kay Boyle.
Penguin, 648 pp., £2.95, February 1982, 0 14 005922 9
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Unsolicited Gift 
by Jacqueline Simms.
Chatto, 151 pp., £6.95, March 1982, 0 7011 2616 7
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Nellie without Hugo 
by Janet Hobhouse.
Cape, 192 pp., £6.95, March 1982, 0 224 01969 4
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Levitation: Five Fictions 
by Cynthia Ozick.
Secker, 157 pp., £6.95, March 1982, 0 436 25482 4
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... have served as subtitle to Unsolicited Gift, if one wished to match the calculated inelegance of Janet Hob-house’s title, Nellie without Hugo, also a first novel. This novel, as its title announces, is also concerned with an absence and its effect on a marriage, though in this case it is less complicatedly a husband rather than a dead sister who inspires ...

Sisyphus at the Selectric

James Wolcott: Undoing Philip Roth, 20 May 2021

Philip Roth: The Biography 
by Blake Bailey.
Cape, 898 pp., £30, April, 978 0 224 09817 5
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Philip Roth: A Counterlife 
by Ira Nadel.
Oxford, 546 pp., £22.99, May, 978 0 19 984610 8
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Here We Are: My Friendship with Philip Roth 
by Benjamin Taylor.
Penguin, 192 pp., £18, May 2020, 978 0 525 50524 2
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... Ass, Copper: Rereading Philip Roth) and the fictionalised portraits of Roth in his former lover Janet Hobhouse’s The Furies, his former protégé Alan Lelchuk’s Ziff: A Life? and his former protégée-lover Lisa Halliday’s Asymmetry – it may feel at times as if we’ve made this expedition before, with Claire Bloom hovering overhead.But ...

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