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Grub Street Snob

Terry Eagleton: ‘Fanny Hill’

13 September 2012
Fanny Hill in Bombay: The Making and Unmaking of John​ Cleland 
by Hal Gladfelder.
Johns Hopkins, 311 pp., £28.50, July 2012, 978 1 4214 0490 5
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... Hill in Bombay is a title designed to catch the eye of more than 18th-century scholars, and there isn’t much in the book to justify it. It is an impressively learned, scrupulously detailed study of JohnCleland, author of one of the most salacious pieces of fiction in the English language; but it is no disrespect to Hal Gladfelder to wonder whether the Johns Hopkins press would have been quite so ...

All Woman

Michael Mason

23 May 1985
‘Men’: A Documentary 
by Anna Ford.
Weidenfeld, 196 pp., £10.95, March 1985, 0 297 78468 4
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Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure 
by John Cleland, edited by Peter Sabor.
Oxford, 256 pp., £1.95, February 1985, 0 19 281634 9
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... What she is observing most of the time in this book is not the attitudes and behaviour of men, but family life in our culture. The quotation-marks on the jacket are, after all, deserved. JohnCleland’s Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure, generally known to the world as Fanny Hill, bases itself on a female sharing of emotions – more fictitiously, but not more factitiously, than ‘Men’. Each of ...

Think again, wimp

John​ Sutherland: Virgin Porn

16 April 1998
Sugar and Spice: A Black Lace Short Story Collection 
edited by Kerri Sharp.
Black Lace, 292 pp., £7.99, October 1997, 0 352 33227 1
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Ménage 
by Emma Holly.
Black Lace, 261 pp., £5.99, January 1998, 9780352332318
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... inherited a couple of editors, Peter Darvill-Evans and Kerri Sharp, who had the wit to see that there was an untapped market for ‘erotic fiction written by women for women’ – Femporn. Since JohnCleland, men have written pornography for men under female pseudonyms: a tradition which had been continued by Nexus. But this would be the real thing. The Black Lace imprint was launched in July ...

I met murder on the way

Colin Kidd: Castlereagh

24 May 2012
Castlereagh: Enlightenment, War and Tyranny 
by John​ Bew.
Quercus, 722 pp., £25, September 2011, 978 0 85738 186 6
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... south. Needless to say, the London media tend to focus on the outlandish elements in the loyalist worldview. Few books have done as much to reveal the latent liberalism of the Unionist tradition as John Bew’s The Glory of Being Britons: Civic Unionism in 19th-Century Belfast (2009). Bew challenged the prevalent notion that Unionism was at best a reflex response to Irish nationalism and at worst ...

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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... up more than one hundred women novelists before Jane Austen and no more than thirty men’. Then follows a remarkable passage: ‘Among the neglected men I have found Robert Bage, Henry Brooke, John Bunyan, Geoffrey Chaucer, Thomas Delaney [sic], Emanuel Ford, William Godwin, Richard Graves, Robert Greene, Robert Henryson, Charles Johnstone, Charles Lever, M.G. Lewis, Thomas Lodge, Henry ...
4 August 1988
Eros Revived: Erotica of the Enlightenment in England and America 
by Peter Wagner.
Secker, 498 pp., £30, March 1988, 0 436 56051 8
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’Tis Nature’s Fault: Unauthorised Sexuality during the Enlightenment 
edited by Robert Purks Maccubin.
Cambridge, 260 pp., £25, March 1988, 0 521 34539 1
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The New Eighteenth Century: Theory, Politics, English Literature 
edited by Felicity Nussbaum and Laura Brown.
Methuen, 320 pp., £28, February 1988, 0 416 01631 6
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... of the original Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure to the shorter and less explicit Memoirs of Fanny Hill, Wagner concentrates on the exclusion of a homosexual scene, while Sabor cleverly suggests how Cleland’s expurgated text actually makes fun of the business of censorship. ‘At times,’ he writes, ‘the bowdlerised text pruriently draws attention to deleted material in Sternian fashion, through a ...
6 February 1986
Literature and Popular Culture in 18th-Century England 
by Pat Rogers.
Harvester, 215 pp., £22.50, April 1985, 0 7108 0981 6
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Eighteenth-Century Encounters: Studies in Literature and Society in the Age of Walpole 
by Pat Rogers.
Harvester, 173 pp., £22.50, April 1985, 0 7108 0986 7
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Order from Confusion Sprung: Studies in 18th-Century Literature from Swift to Cowper 
by Claude Rawson.
Allen and Unwin, 431 pp., £30, August 1985, 0 04 800019 1
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Jonathan Swift 
edited by Angus Ross and David Woolley.
Oxford, 722 pp., £6.95, June 1984, 0 19 281337 4
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... freak-shows, raree-shows, masquerades, bear-baiting, boxing matches, newspapers, gossip, advertising. When he refers to Heidegger, he doesn’t mean the philosopher but the operatic impresario John James Heidegger (c.1665-1749). In Literature and Popular Culture in 18th-Century England, as in his Grub Street (1972) and its abridged version Hacks and Dunces (1980), he proposes to describe ‘how ...

‘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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... holiday destinations was that the sorry but inevitable business of anglicising them hadn’t quite taken. Then the Troubles flared up again; and the IRA bombing campaign came to the mainland; and John McGrath wrote The Cheviot, the Stag and the Black, Black Oil; and suddenly it was 1974, and there were two close-run general elections, and not only did the Ulster Unionists matter even in England ...

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