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Flavourless Bacon

Irina Dumitrescu: The Wife of Bath, 10 August 2023

The Wife of Bath: A Biography 
by Marion Turner.
Princeton, 320 pp., £20, January, 978 0 691 20601 1
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The Wife of Willesden 
by Zadie Smith.
Hamish Hamilton, 109 pp., £7.99, November 2021, 978 0 241 47196 8
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The Good Wife of Bath 
by Karen Brooks.
William Morrow, 541 pp., £9.99, March 2022, 978 0 06 314283 1
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... new versions​ of ‘The Wife of Bath’s Tale’, by Zadie Smith and the Australian novelist Karen Brooks, show contemporary writers continuing to adapt Alysoun’s story. The Wife of Willesden, Smith’s first play, had its premiere at Kilburn’s Kiln Theatre in 2021. In her introduction, she describes reading the original tale and realising that ...

Shag another

Katrina Forrester: In Bed with the Police, 7 November 2013

Undercover: The True Story of Britain’s Secret Police 
by Rob Evans and Paul Lewis.
Faber and Guardian Books, 346 pp., £12.99, June 2013, 978 0 571 30217 8
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... four sexual relationships while undercover. In May 1987, just before the Debenhams action, he met Karen. It was standard SDS practice for officers to begin by infiltrating less radical groups in order to get to their real targets. Charlotte was Lambert’s way in. But Karen wasn’t an activist, and she gave him no access ...

Underwater Living

James Meek, 5 January 2023

... water, then the second, then the third. Calls came in from people telling them that water in small brooks was flowing the wrong way. ‘We’re scratching our heads because we look out the windows – and this is our normal, simplistic approach – “It’s not raining, what on earth’s happening?”’ Ian Warsap, Black Sluice’s boss, told me. ‘And then ...

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