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Sprawson makes a splash

John Bayley, 23 July 1992

Haunts of the Black Masseur: The Swimmer as Hero 
by Charles Sprawson.
Cape, 307 pp., £15.99, June 1992, 0 224 02730 1
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... were like. But the most sober writers become filled with inspiration by a bathing scene. Even L.P. Hartley in The Go-Between waxes lyrical as he describes how his costumeless young hero has to watch from the bank as the giggling girls of the house party splash each other in their long linen bathing dresses, which undulate about them as they set out more ...

Chicory and Daisies

Stephanie Burt: William Carlos Williams, 7 March 2002

Collected Poems: Volume I 
by William Carlos Williams, edited by A. Walton Litz and Christopher MacGowan.
Carcanet, 579 pp., £12.95, December 2000, 1 85754 522 2
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Collected Poems: Volume II 
by William Carlos Williams, edited by A. Walton Litz and Christopher MacGowan.
Carcanet, 553 pp., £12.95, December 2000, 1 85754 523 0
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... painters have paid too much attention to the ism and not enough to the painting,’ William Carlos Williams wrote in 1928. Something similar could be said about Williams’s own critics: since his death in 1963, attention to his theories and to his life has been getting in the way of his poems. With ...

Beware of counterfeits

Dror Wahrman: 18th-century fakery, 6 June 2002

The Perreaus and Mrs Rudd: Forgery and Betrayal in 18th-Century London 
by Donna Andrew and Randall McGowen.
California, 346 pp., £24.95, November 2001, 0 520 22062 5
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The Smart: The True Story of Margaret Caroline Rudd and the Unfortunate Perreau Brothers 
by Sarah Bakewell.
Chatto, 321 pp., £17.99, April 2001, 9780701171094
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... with the female lead is offset only by his boundless greed; a blind judge, the famous Sir John Fielding, who is widely believed to have been deceived by the enchanting villainess, despite his legendary reputation for discerning innocence or guilt in the voices of defendants; a rich and gullible Jewish sugar-daddy who attracts hints of anti-semitism; a ...

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