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Above the kissing line

E.S. Turner, 28 January 1993

My Ascent of Mont Blanc 
by Henriette d’Angeville, translated by Jennifer Barnes.
HarperCollins, 132 pp., £17.99, December 1992, 0 00 215717 9
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Backwards to Britain 
by Jules Verne, translated by Janice Valls-Russell.
Chambers, 227 pp., £14.99, October 1992, 0 550 23000 9
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... It calls for a certain robustness of spirit to embark on an escapade which, with ill luck, could create six widows and 27 orphans. Such robustness was possessed by Mademoiselle Henriette d’Angeville, the first lady (repeat, lady) to climb Mont Blanc. She claims to have weighed the human odds beforehand, but it is hard to picture her with her six guides, on that bright September morning in 1838, ticking off the potential casualties on her fingers and then, in the face of tout Chamonix, boldly crying: ‘Excelsior!’ Henriette d’Angeville, château-reared and in good physical shape, was then 44 ...

Pseud’s Corner

John Sutherland, 17 July 1980

Duffy 
by Dan Kavanagh.
Cape, 181 pp., £4.95, July 1980, 0 224 01822 1
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Moscow Gold 
by John Salisbury.
Futura, 320 pp., £1.10, March 1980, 0 7088 1702 5
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The Middle Ground 
by Margaret Drabble.
Weidenfeld, 248 pp., £5.95, June 1980, 0 297 77808 0
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The Boy Who Followed Ripley 
by Patricia Highsmith.
Heinemann, 292 pp., £6.50, April 1980, 0 434 33520 7
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... the best-selling genre in America), he was obliged to change his name to the outrageously feminine Jennifer Wilde. Love’s Tender Fury made him/her a millionaire, but also something of a laughing-stock in the book trade. Given the present economics of fiction and the dominance of the woman reader, the tide of trans-sexual pseudonymy is now running strongly ...

The Englishness of English

Roy Harris, 6 November 1980

Studies in English Linguistics for Randolph Quirk 
edited by Sidney Greenbaum and Jan Svartvik.
Longman, 304 pp., £18, September 1980, 0 582 55079 3
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... Dwight Bolinger, P.H. Matthews, Sven Jacobson, M.A.K. Halliday, Rodney Huddleston, Geoffrey Leech, Jennifer Coates, F.R. Palmer, R.A. Close, John Sinclair, Jan Firbas, Nils Enkvist, David Crystal, Jan Svartvik, Wolf-Dietrich Bald, Nelson Francis, Morton Bloomfield, E.L. Epstein, John Lyons, Archibald Hill, James Sledd, R.I. McDavid Jr, R.K. O’Cain, Linda ...

Her Body or the Sea

Ian Patterson: Ann Quin, 21 June 2018

The Unmapped Country: Stories and Fragments 
by Ann Quin.
And Other Stories, 192 pp., £10, January 2018, 978 1 911508 14 4
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... me in mind of, for all their obvious differences, is Ivy Compton-Burnett. The first sentence of Jennifer Hodgson’s elegant and incisive introduction to this welcome new collection states the case for her in unequivocal terms: ‘Ann Quin was a rare breed in British writing: radically experimental, working-class and a woman.’ This is right and ...

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