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Frocks and Shocks

Hilary Mantel: Jane Boleyn, 24 April 2008

Jane Boleyn: The Infamous Lady Rochford 
by Julia Fox.
Phoenix, 398 pp., £9.99, March 2008, 978 0 7538 2386 6
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... him included incest with Anne, and his own wife is suspected of laying the accusation against him. Fox has set out to find the traces of Jane, and to see if her role can be reworked. Is she maligned, misunderstood? Biography must surely begin with an act of imagination. Julia Fox says: ‘I’m not sure quite how Jane ...

What’s wrong with rights?

Julia Annas, 15 August 1991

Feminism without Illusions: A Critique of Individualism 
by Elizabeth Fox-Genovese.
North Carolina, 347 pp., $27.45, June 1991, 0 8078 1940 9
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... written by an author distinguished in her own area, 19th-century history of the American South. Fox-Genovese takes us, on a variety of issues, through the various options of current feminism, and is visibly struggling with its legacy. The official overall target of the book is ‘individualism’. This is defined as ‘the systematic theory of ...


Lorna Scott Fox, 22 September 1994

The Still Moment 
by Paul Binding.
Virago, 290 pp., £20, May 1994, 1 85381 441 5
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... child. Gloria’s alternative fate is held up for pity in the figure of her estranged mentor, Julia Mortimer, the schoolteacher bitterly dying during the two days’ present time of the book. She was a fighter, and wanted to improve everybody, and where did that get her? Or them? Losing Battles underpins the vernacular of its story-tellers with Welty’s ...

Where is this England?

Bernard Porter: The Opium War, 3 November 2011

The Opium War: Drugs, Dreams and the Making of China 
by Julia Lovell.
Picador, 458 pp., £25, September 2011, 978 0 330 45747 7
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... of the diplomatic row over the opium issue in 1839-42 (the period of the First Opium War, which Julia Lovell’s book focuses on) revolved around who should ‘kowtow’ to whom. It hardly seems surprising that the event has slipped British historical memory. I don’t imagine the topic will make it into Michael Gove’s ‘patriotic’ school history ...

What makes Rupert run?

Ross McKibbin: Murdoch’s Politics, 20 June 2013

Murdoch’s Politics: How One Man’s Thirst for Wealth & Power Shapes Our World 
by David McKnight.
Pluto, 260 pp., £12.99, February 2013, 978 0 7453 3346 5
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... the ideas promoted by these people really mattered to Murdoch; that his papers and TV networks – Fox News in particular – were much more organs of opinion than his British or Australian tabloids. I’m not sure how true that is. ‘Opinion’ comes in many forms and the opinions of the Sun or the Sydney Daily Telegraph are not exactly hidden – as ...

Was Ma Hump to blame?

John Sutherland: Aldous Huxley, 11 July 2002

Aldous Huxley: An English Intellectual 
by Nicholas Murray.
Little, Brown, 496 pp., £20, April 2002, 0 316 85492 1
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The Cat's Meow 
directed by Peter Bogdanovich.
April 2002
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... three events as having formed young Aldous’s personality: the premature death of his mother, Julia Huxley (née Arnold), when he was 14; his temporary blindness three years later; and – most damaging – the suicide of his older brother, Trevenen, who hanged himself when Aldous was 20. These traumas resurface, symptomatically, everywhere in his ...

At Tate Britain

Peter Campbell: How We Are, 5 July 2007

... Sir John Herschel’s stubbly chin and wild white hair as they emerge from draped velvet in Julia Margaret Cameron’s photograph do not conform to the painterly canon of images of great men. But many early art photographs do recall paintings. Country people in Peter Henry Emerson’s pictures from the 1880s and 1890s of rural life in East Anglia have a ...

The Wickedest Woman in Paris

Colm Tóibín, 6 September 2007

Red Carpets and Other Banana Skins 
by Rupert Everett.
Abacus, 406 pp., £7.99, July 2007, 978 0 349 12058 4
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... Lord Snowdon’s number but the number he was actually calling from, which belonged to Robert Fox and his wife, Celestia. Fox was arrested. ‘Robert’s been arrested,’ his wife said when she rang Rupert and Min. ‘We were just going to bed, and the doorbell rang. Twelve policemen burst into the house and pinned ...


Mary Beard: Set in Tunisia, 14 December 2006

... The whole thing is lined by two great porticoes, lookalikes of the Basilica Aemilia and Basilica Julia in the Roman Forum, except that here they are complete with their upper storeys. But it is not all grand public buildings. There is an entire Pompeian-style house, with painted reception rooms and an elegant peristyle garden (this must have appeared as many ...

The Eerie One

Bee Wilson: Peter Lorre, 23 March 2006

The Lost One: A Life of Peter Lorre 
by Stephen Youngkin.
Kentucky, 613 pp., $39.95, September 2005, 0 8131 2360 7
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... any attempt to describe the appearance of Peter Lorre must deal with those eyes. What teeth are to Julia Roberts and lips to Angelina Jolie, his bulging eyes were to Peter Lorre, his unavoidable calling card and a feature quite out of proportion with the norm. He featured in Looney Tunes more than once as a caricature – just two vast eyes and a menacing ...

Who was he?

Charles Nicholl: Joe the Ripper, 7 February 2008

The Fox and the Flies: The World of Joseph Silver, Racketeer and Psychopath 
by Charles van Onselen.
Cape, 672 pp., £20, April 2007, 978 0 224 07929 7
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... of Death’s laboratory’. Van Onselen’s long, disturbing and magnificently dogged book, The Fox and the Flies, takes us through a grim terrain spread across three continents, a world of squalor and violence, of prostitutes and pimps, of tenements and penitentiaries – the world of the ‘white slave trade’ – but it is to here that the trail keeps ...

Eat grass

Jenny Turner: The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Bank, 15 July 1999

The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing 
by Melissa Bank.
Viking, 274 pp., £9.99, July 1999, 9780670883004
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... parents were, too. All he really had to do with us was show up. More had been expected of him as Julia’s boyfriend and at that party. More would be expected of him everywhere. I didn’t know what had happened between him and Julia. It scared me to think that my brother had failed at loving someone. I had no idea myself ...

The Body in the Library Is Never Our Own

Ian Patterson: On Ngaio Marsh, 5 November 2020

... the Lamprey family in Surfeit of Lampreys, published 25 years earlier. (‘God bless my soul!’ Fox said. ‘Your memory!’) Even in Last Ditch (1977), it turns out quite casually that Julia Pharamond was née Lamprey. ‘“I think long ago you met some of my relations.” “I believe I did,” said Alleyn.’But for ...

Travels with My Mom

Terry Castle: In Santa Fe, 16 August 2007

... adventure for her. I seem to have been spared: restaurant clatter and the boomy voices of Fox News emanating from the big-screen TV at the bar, thank god, have clearly flooded out her hearing aids. Justice served too: Paris Hilton dragged shrieking back to jail after three days on the lam.My mother, 81 and widowed for 12 years, is ...

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