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Mansions in Bloom

Ruth Richardson, 23 May 1991

A Paradise out of a Common Field: The Pleasures and Plenty of the Victorian Garden 
by Joan Morgan and Alison Richards.
Century, 256 pp., £16.95, May 1990, 0 7126 2209 8
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Private Gardens of London 
by Arabella Lennox-Boyd.
Weidenfeld, 224 pp., £25, September 1990, 0 297 83025 2
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The Greatest Glasshouse: The Rainforest Recreated 
edited by Sue Minter.
HMSO, 216 pp., £25, July 1990, 0 11 250035 8
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Religion and Society in a Cotswold Vale: Nailsworth, Gloucestershire, 1780-1865 
by Albion Urdank.
California, 448 pp., $47.50, May 1990, 0 520 06670 7
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... The garden whose pleasures and plenty are described in A Paradise out of a Common Field is neither typical nor representative. Its owner is extremely rich, and its location a Victorian form of Arcadia: a place where money is no object, where all the world is the topmost Society, and where the servant class knows its place. Perhaps because this flawless corner of Victoria’s England is so very unlike what we know of it from Dickens and Mayhew, George Eliot and Mrs Gaskell, it seems rather an unreal landscape ...

Everybody’s Joan

Marina Warner, 6 December 2012

... in 1911. The song was adopted by the Resistance during World War Two, because Domrémy, Joan of Arc’s birthplace, stood in the part of Lorraine that had not been ceded to Prussia after the French defeat in 1871, and from that time until the end of the First World War, the recovery of Alsace-Lorraine was the touchstone of French national ...

Social Stations

Susannah Clapp, 1 October 1981

Edwardian Childhoods 
by Thea Thompson.
Routledge, 232 pp., £9.75, February 1981, 0 7100 0676 4
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... social spiral, suggest that it is class which makes us. Edwardian Childhoods begins with Tommy Morgan’s account of his upbringing in East Lane – ‘Hard Street they called it’ – with two brothers, five sisters and parents who were ‘known as the two biggest drunkards in Waterloo and Blackfriars’. It was a childhood spent in cramped rooms and ...

Endgame

John Bayley, 17 March 1988

End of a Journey: An Autobiographical Journal 1979-1981 
by Philip Toynbee.
Bloomsbury, 422 pp., £25, February 1988, 0 7475 0132 7
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... deep reasons for admiring The Fountain. I quickly suppressed my almost Pavlovian sneer at Charles Morgan, and realised that what she found in the book is the thing that matters. (Not that this alters my opinion about Charles Morgan, but it made me dubious about the whole business of literary criticism. I remember my own ...

So much was expected

R.W. Johnson, 3 December 1992

Harold Wilson 
by Ben Pimlott.
HarperCollins, 811 pp., £20, October 1992, 0 00 215189 8
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Harold Wilson 
by Austen Morgan.
Pluto, 625 pp., £25, May 1992, 0 7453 0635 7
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... seems clear enough. Well, not quite, for Pimlott is quoting one Wilson source on the matter, while Morgan, citing Harold on a different occasion, tells us that this all happened on 18 July, not 4 July, and that the idea that the romance would have been over had Gladys believed the stuff about becoming prime minister, was really just a family joke and not ...

At the Pool

Inigo Thomas, 21 June 2018

... jamboree was in nearby Miami’s South Beach that year). Will Self and his American publisher, Morgan Entrekin, arrived as I was leaving. The vast expanse of water and the huge hotel behind it made Self momentarily speechless. ‘Belly of an architect,’ he said, using the title of the Peter Greenaway movie to express his amazement. ‘A pool is ...

Living Doll and Lilac Fairy

Penelope Fitzgerald, 31 August 1989

Carrington: A Life of Dora Carrington 1893-1932 
by Gretchen Gerzina.
Murray, 342 pp., £18.95, June 1989, 0 7195 4688 5
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Lydia and Maynard: Letters between Lydia Lopokova and John Maynard Keynes 
edited by Polly Hill and Richard Keynes.
Deutsch, 367 pp., £17.95, September 1989, 0 233 98283 3
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Mazo de la Roche: The Hidden Life 
by Joan Givner.
Oxford, 273 pp., £18, July 1989, 0 19 540705 9
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Vera Brittain and Winifred Holtby: A Working Partnership 
by Jean Kennard.
University Press of New England, 224 pp., £24, July 1989, 0 87451 474 6
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Dangerous by Degrees: Women at Oxford and the Somerville College Novelists 
by Susan Leonardi.
Rutgers, 254 pp., $33, May 1989, 0 8135 1366 9
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The Selected Letters of Somerville and Ross 
edited by Gifford Lewis.
Faber, 308 pp., £14.99, July 1989, 0 571 15348 8
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... at close quarters, and Maynard would be lost to them. ‘How we all used to underrate her,’ said Morgan Forster. Their correspondence between 1918 and 1925, when they married, has been edited by a niece and a nephew, Polly Hill and Richard Keynes, who rightly believe that it will be ‘of value and interest and will not offend their ghosts’. In an ...

Ten Poets

Denis Donoghue, 7 November 1985

Selected Poems 
by Donald Davie.
Carcanet, 124 pp., £2.95, April 1985, 9780856355950
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Collected Poems: 1947-1980 
by Allen Ginsberg.
Viking, 837 pp., £16.95, April 1985, 0 670 80683 8
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Instant Chronicles: A Life 
by D.J. Enright.
Oxford, 58 pp., £4.50, April 1985, 9780019211970
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Selected Poems 
by Edwin Morgan.
Carcanet, 139 pp., £2.95, April 1985, 0 85635 596 8
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Selected Poems 
by Jeffrey Wainwright.
Carcanet, 79 pp., £2.95, April 1985, 0 85635 598 4
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Selected Poems 
by Gillian Clarke.
Carcanet, 112 pp., £2.95, April 1985, 0 85635 594 1
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The Price of Stone 
by Richard Murphy.
Faber, 92 pp., £4, May 1985, 0 571 13568 4
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Selected Poems 
by Iain Crichton Smith.
Carcanet, 121 pp., £2.95, April 1985, 0 85635 597 6
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Selected Poems 
by Sylvia Townsend Warner.
Carcanet, 95 pp., £2.95, April 1985, 0 85635 585 2
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From the Irish 
by James Simmons.
Blackstaff, 78 pp., £3.95, May 1985, 0 85640 331 8
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... forgets himself long enough to remember someone else distinct from himself – in this case, Joan Burroughs: it is a decent, humane poem, continuous with the best, the most exactly cadenced, work of Creeley, Snyder and O’Hara. In other poems, such as ‘My Alba’, there is an uncertain Blues tenderness to mitigate Ginsberg’s otherwise appalling ...

Puellilia

Pat Rogers, 7 August 1986

Mothers of the Novel: One Hundred Good Women Writers before Jane Austen 
by Dale Spender.
Pandora, 357 pp., £12.95, May 1986, 0 86358 081 5
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Scribbling Sisters 
by Dale Spender and Lynne Spender.
Camden Press, 188 pp., £4.95, May 1986, 0 948491 00 0
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A Woman of No Character: An Autobiography of Mrs Manley 
by Fidelis Morgan.
Faber, 176 pp., £9.95, June 1986, 0 571 13934 5
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Cecilia 
by Fanny Burney.
Virago, 919 pp., £6.95, May 1986, 0 86068 775 9
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Millenium Hall 
by Sarah Scott.
Virago, 207 pp., £4.95, May 1986, 0 86068 780 5
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Marriage 
by Susan Ferrier.
Virago, 513 pp., £4.50, February 1986, 0 86068 765 1
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Belinda 
by Maria Edgeworth.
Pandora, 434 pp., £4.95, May 1986, 0 86358 074 2
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Self-Control 
by Mary Brunton.
Pandora, 437 pp., £4.95, May 1986, 9780863580840
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The Female Quixote: The Adventures of Arabella 
by Charlotte Lennox.
Pandora, 423 pp., £4.95, May 1986, 0 86358 080 7
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... a house of correction. Mrs Manley turns up in an ingenious ‘autobiography’ ghosted by Fidelis Morgan. She uses episodes from the published writings ‘which are widely acknowledged to be autobiographical’, and fills out the existing record on Manley in a number of places. We are told that her very name should be not Delarivière but Delarivier ...

‘Where’s yer Wullie Shakespeare noo?’

Michael Dobson: 17th-century literary culture, 11 September 2008

Archipelagic English: Literature, History, and Politics 1603-1707 
by John Kerrigan.
Oxford, 599 pp., March 2008, 978 0 19 818384 6
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... altogether: the Hawthornden of William Drummond; the Dublin of James Shirley; the Wales of Morgan Llwyd, Henry Vaughan and Katherine Philips; the Munster of Roger Boyle; the Edinburgh of Sir George Mackenzie and William Cleland; the Derry of William Philips. Its historical scope is just as broad. After a final chapter on Daniel Defoe’s activities in ...

Sheer Enthusiasm

Thomas Chatterton Williams: Zadie Smith, 30 August 2018

Feel Free: Essays 
by Zadie Smith.
Hamish Hamilton, 464 pp., £20, February 2018, 978 0 241 14689 7
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... Several​ of the last century’s finest non-fiction writers – Joan Didion, Susan Sontag, James Baldwin – longed to be novelists. In interviews with the Paris Review, each touched on the tension and insecurity involved in their dual métier. Sontag wrote in surprisingly aspirational tones of ‘the novelist [I’d] finally given myself permission to be ...

As Many Pairs of Shoes as She Likes

Jenny Turner: On Feminism, 15 December 2011

... perpetual sharp-elbowed jostle for the moral high ground. Looked at one way – in the manner of Joan Didion, for example, in her harsh, oddly clouded but startlingly acute essay of 1972 on the Women’s Movement – the idea of feminism is obviously Marxist, being about the ‘invention’, as Didion put it, ‘of women as a “class”’, a total ...

Swanker

Ronald Bryden, 10 December 1987

The Life of Kenneth Tynan 
by Kathleen Tynan.
Weidenfeld, 407 pp., £16.95, September 1987, 9780297790822
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... dramaturg. ‘How shall we slaughter the little bastard?’ snorted Olivier, handing his letter to Joan Plowright, whom he had married in the interim. Tynan had contributed, Olivier believed, to his – Olivier’s – first wife’s mental breakdown by his derisive reviews. More recently, he had attacked the Chichester Festival, under cover of which Olivier ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: What I did in 2014, 8 January 2015

... upon a time when one saw an old couple walking along holding hands the thought was of Darby and Joan. Nowadays one just wonders which of them it is who has Alzheimer’s.1 June, Cambridge. On parade (on King’s Parade in fact) just after ten, where the calming presence of Richard Lloyd Morgan, the chaplain of ...

The Atmosphere of the Clyde

Jean McNicol: Red Clydeside, 2 January 2020

When the Clyde Ran Red: A Social History of Red Clydeside 
by Maggie Craig.
Birlinn, 313 pp., £9.99, March 2018, 978 1 78027 506 2
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Glasgow 1919: The Rise of Red Clydeside 
by Kenny MacAskill.
Biteback, 310 pp., £20, January 2019, 978 1 78590 454 7
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John Maclean: Hero of Red Clydeside 
by Henry Bell.
Pluto, 242 pp., £14.99, October 2018, 978 0 7453 3838 5
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... however, there was ‘no clear demarcation between “revolutionary” and “reformist”’, as Joan Smith points out in The ILP on Clydeside, 1893-1932, and, in Glasgow at least, the ILP and BSP ‘shared similar policies and held joint demonstrations’ and were involved in both political and industrial activism (nationally, the SDF/BSP was much less ...

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