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Demi-Paradises

Gabriele Annan

7 June 1984
Milady Vine: The Autobiography of Philippe de Rothschild 
edited by Joan Littlewood.
Cape, 247 pp., £10.95, June 1984, 0 224 02208 3
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I meant to marry him: A Personal Memoir 
by Jean MacGibbon.
Gollancz, 182 pp., £10.95, May 1984, 0 575 03412 2
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... Philippe, and if you have sufficient aplomb, other people will accept your creation. Milady Vine goes up like a rocket: not loaded with scientific research equipment: just a celebratory feu de joie. JeanMacGibbon manages to celebrate only at the very end of her memoir. It’s her 70th birthday and there are nine grandchildren round the table. Her journey goes in the opposite direction from the Baron ...

Urgent

Julian Symons

21 February 1991
By Grand Central Station I sat down and wept 
by Elizabeth Smart.
Paladin, 112 pp., £3.99, January 1991, 0 586 09039 8
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The Assumption of the Rogues and Rascals 
by Elizabeth Smart.
Paladin, 112 pp., £3.99, January 1991, 0 586 09040 1
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Necessary Secrets: The Journals of Elizabeth Smart 
edited by Alice Van Wart.
Grafton, 305 pp., £14.99, January 1991, 0 246 13653 7
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... pages of schoolgirlish sentiments and solemnities (‘work is the only only only remedy for life’) is more than enough, and it is a relief when emancipation comes with the appearance of the painter Jean Varda, who whispers: ‘On the thirteenth you will be mine.’ Not for long, however. An affair with Alice Paalen, wife of a Surrealist artist, follows. ‘She leans over me as into a pool, tender ...

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