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Un Dret Egal

David A. Bell: Political Sentiment, 15 November 2007

Inventing Human Rights: A History 
by Lynn Hunt.
Norton, 272 pp., £15.99, April 2007, 978 0 393 06095 9
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... Letters). Instead, Hunt draws attention to epistolary novels of private lives and loves, above all Richardson’s Pamela and Clarissa, and Rousseau’s Julie. These books received frenzied popular and critical acclaim, but not because they said anything about constitutions and rights, even allegorically. What they did do, according to Hunt, was to encourage ...

Pay Attention, Class

Robert Hanks: Giles Foden, 10 September 2009

by Giles Foden.
Faber, 353 pp., £16.99, June 2009, 978 0 571 20522 6
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... conflict. (The character of Ryman, Foden notes in an afterword, draws on the real-life Lewis Fry Richardson, a relation by marriage of Foden’s father-in-law.) Meadows is supposed to wheedle information about the number out of Ryman; but, by his own account an ‘inward, unreflexive creature’, he is singularly unqualified for the job. Foden provides a ...

Collapse of the Sofa Cushions

Ruth Bernard Yeazell, 24 March 1994

Victorian Poetry: Poetry, Poetics and Politics 
by Isobel Armstrong.
Routledge, 545 pp., £35, October 1993, 0 415 03016 1
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The Woman Reader: 1837-1914 
by Kate Flint.
Oxford, 366 pp., £25, October 1993, 0 19 811719 1
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... book of 1881 confidently assured its readers, before going on to issue the usual warnings against Richardson and Smollett. For Sarah Stickney Ellis, poetry was particularly suited to women readers because it is removed from ‘the realities of material and animal existence’. On the other hand, much of the autobiographical evidence that Flint has assembled ...


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 ...

Dear Miss Boothby

Margaret Anne Doody, 5 November 1992

The Letters of Samuel Johnson: Vol. I: 1731-1772, Vol. II: 1773-1776, Vol. III: 1777-1781 
edited by Bruce Redford.
Oxford, 431 pp., £25, February 1992, 0 19 811287 4
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... almost equally with Boswell. Writing the journal letters, writing, as his friend Samuel Richardson called it, ‘to the moment’, gave Johnson an invaluable record of his travels and responses to draw upon in shaping his travel book. He was never a diarist, in the sense of a journal-keeper: his diaries were for private prayers and ...

The Stuntman

David Runciman: Richard Branson, 20 March 2014

Branson: Behind the Mask 
by Tom Bower.
Faber, 368 pp., £20, February 2014, 978 0 571 29710 8
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... No one would mistake Richard Branson for Roman Abramovich, any more than they would mistake Joan Templeman, the second Mrs Branson, who has almost no public profile, for Dasha Zhukova, Abramovich’s current squeeze, who most recently appeared in the papers perched imperiously on a chair made to look like an inverted, near-naked black woman, an image ...

My Darlings

Colm Tóibín: Drinking with Samuel Beckett, 5 April 2007

... Shawn Keogh himself, and later that year played opposite McKenna as the Dauphin in Shaw’s Saint Joan, her great part. McKenna later said: ‘I compared every other actor who played the part with Jackie. He would never play a line for a cheap laugh, like the others did. In the cathedral scene, for instance, he says of ...

Women beware men

Margaret Anne Doody, 23 July 1992

Backlash: The Undeclared War against Women 
by Susan Faludi.
Chatto, 592 pp., £9.99, March 1992, 0 7011 4643 5
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The War against Women 
by Marilyn French.
Hamish Hamilton, 229 pp., £9.99, March 1992, 0 241 13271 1
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... revised her 1991 American edition for the 1992 British edition. This version, with a Preface by Joan Smith, includes information regarding the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia. Marilyn French deals with Southern and Eastern countries, including the ‘Third World’ – a term which she thinks passé and dishonest. Both books are contemporary and ...

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