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Tang of Blood

Christian Lorentzen: Something to Do with Capitalism, 5 June 2014

... the scene at Eleanor’s deathbed (‘The scent of bitter almonds lingered around her corpse’). Kathryn Hughes in the Guardian says that Holmes’s support for the theory that Eleanor was murdered by her caddish partner Edward Aveling ‘is as much metaphorical as literal’, and criticises her for diminishing Eleanor’s previous suicide attempt and ...

No wonder it ached

Dinah Birch: George Eliot, 13 May 1999

The Journals of George Eliot 
edited by Margaret Harris and Judith Johnston.
Cambridge, 447 pp., £55, February 1999, 0 521 57412 9
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George Eliot: The Last Victorian 
by Kathryn Hughes.
Fourth Estate, 384 pp., £20, November 1998, 1 85702 420 6
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... have appeared since then, including several biographical studies in the last ten years. Kathryn Hughes’s vigorous and readable account breaks little new ground, but it is winningly sympathetic and psychologically shrewd. Her identification of the coldness of George Eliot’s mother as a crucial factor in the edgy emotional hunger that drove ...

Hidden Consequences

John Mullan: Byron, 6 November 2003

Byron: Life and Legend 
by Fiona MacCarthy.
Faber, 674 pp., £9.99, November 2003, 0 571 17997 5
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... life is indeed sharpened by all the stories we already have. In the Guardian the historian Kathryn Hughes thought that ‘Byron was indeed someone special,’ but ‘not, perhaps, because of his poetry, which is hardly read now.’ Coinciding with this biography, an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know: The ...

Mr Trendy Sicko

James Wolcott, 23 May 2019

by Brett Easton Ellis.
Picador, 261 pp., £16.99, May 2019, 978 1 5290 1239 2
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... McCarthy, Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy, Molly Ringwald – almost any actor who appeared in a John Hughes teen film qualified). The Literary Brat Pack was a journalistic readymade, roping together a number of writers who may have scarcely known each other and treating them as a floating soirée. It was cartoonish and unfair to most of the individuals ...

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