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Escaping the curssed orange

Norma Clarke: Jane Barker, 5 April 2001

Jane Barker, Exile: A Literary Career 1675-1725 
by Kathryn King.
Oxford, 263 pp., £40, September 2000, 0 19 818702 5
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... a constrained life. The attic has a door giving out onto the leads where she takes the air, looking across the rooftops of London to those institutions of male power, the Palace of Westminster and Westminster Abbey. Like the third storey at Thornfield Hall from whose terrace Jane surveys the landscape, vowing to have her share of life, even if she is a ...

What did she do with those beds?

Thomas Keymer: Eliza Haywood, 3 January 2013

A Political Biography of Eliza Haywood 
by Kathryn King.
Pickering and Chatto, 288 pp., £60, June 2012, 978 1 85196 917 3
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... to the sky; His be yon Juno of majestic size, With cow-like udders, and with ox-like eyes. As Kathryn King observes in the first full-length biography of Haywood for almost a hundred years, these lines are straight out of ‘the well-stocked cabinet of misogynistic satiric conventions’, and they needn’t depict anyone in particular. Edmund ...

On the Game

Kathryn Tidrick, 22 December 1994

Younghusband: The Last Great Imperial Adventurer 
by Patrick French.
HarperCollins, 440 pp., £20, October 1994, 0 00 215733 0
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... no shamefaced bolt for the exit, but a series of firm announcements that all things were still working together for good, as Imperial control was steadily dismantled. Racial calibre and racial virtue were displayed to the end, and the British quit their Empire in fine and deliberate style, leaving behind a collection of territories hopefully christened the ...

See you in hell, punk

Thomas Jones: Kai su, Brutus, 6 December 2018

Brutus: The Noble Conspirator 
by Kathryn Tempest.
Yale, 314 pp., £25, October 2017, 978 0 300 18009 1
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... reason to suppose that Antony means what he says when he calls Brutus ‘the noblest Roman’: speaking over Caesar’s corpse two acts earlier, he does an impressive job of burying Brutus in popular opinion while pretending to praise him, steadily twisting the word ‘honourable’ into a pejorative epithet. Still, ‘noble’ to Shakespeare’s audience in ...

Too Good and Too Silly

Frank Kermode: Could Darcy Swim?, 30 April 2009

The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Jane Austen. Vol. IX: Later Manuscripts 
edited by Janet Todd and Linda Bree.
Cambridge, 742 pp., £65, December 2008, 978 0 521 84348 5
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Jane’s Fame: How Jane Austen Conquered the World 
by Claire Harman.
Canongate, 342 pp., £20, April 2009, 978 1 84767 294 0
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... closer to Austen’s as he describes it: a world of foreign wars, scarce capital, inadequate banking and credit systems, poverty and taxes – on windows, on hair powder and on everything else Pitt could think of. Copeland thinks that harsh economic conditions prevailed during the 1790s when the earlier novels, Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice and ...

He’s Humbert, I’m Dolores

Emily Witt, 21 May 2020

My Dark Vanessa 
by Kate Elizabeth Russell.
Fourth Estate, 384 pp., £12.99, March, 978 0 00 834224 1
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... at a hotel in Portland, Maine, leading a solitary life of squandered potential and heavy drinking. When the book opens she is compulsively monitoring a Facebook post by a woman called Taylor Birch, who has revived an accusation of sexual assault against a former high school teacher. Taylor first made her allegation more than a decade earlier, when she ...

God’s Own

Angus Calder, 12 March 1992

Empire and English Character 
by Kathryn Tidrick.
Tauris, 338 pp., £24.95, August 1990, 1 85043 191 4
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Into Africa: The story of the East African Safari 
by Kenneth Cameron.
Constable, 229 pp., £14.95, June 1990, 0 09 469770 1
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Burton: Snow upon the Desert 
by Frank McLynn.
Murray, 428 pp., £19.95, September 1990, 0 7195 4818 7
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From the Sierras to the Pampas: Richard Burton’s Travels in the Americas, 1860-69 
by Frank McLynn.
Barrie and Jenkins, 258 pp., £16.99, July 1991, 0 7126 3789 3
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The Duke of Puddle Dock: Travels in the Footsteps of Stamford Raffles 
by Nigel Barley.
Viking, 276 pp., £16.99, March 1992, 0 670 83642 7
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... expect to find. No one who has flown over central Africa below the clouds, as I did on routes taking me from Uganda to Kenya, then on to Malawi and Zimbabwe, in November 1991, will underestimate the hardiness and courage of David Livingstone, who traversed, on foot, thousands of miles of bush, mountain and swamp, fearsome to behold even from the air. But ...

Some girls want out

Hilary Mantel: Spectacular saintliness, 4 March 2004

The Voices of Gemma Galgani: The Life and Afterlife of a Modern Saint 
by Rudolph Bell and Cristina Mazzoni.
Chicago, 320 pp., £21, March 2003, 0 226 04196 4
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Saint Thérèse of Lisieux 
by Kathryn Harrison.
Weidenfeld, 160 pp., £14.99, November 2003, 0 297 84728 7
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The Disease of Virgins: Green Sickness, Chlorosis and the Problems of Puberty 
by Helen King.
Routledge, 196 pp., £50, September 2003, 0 415 22662 7
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A Wonderful Little Girl: The True Story of Sarah Jacob, the Welsh Fasting Girl 
by Siân Busby.
Short Books, 157 pp., £5.99, June 2004, 1 904095 70 4
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... We are living through a great era of saint-making. Under John Paul II an industrial revolution has overtaken the Vatican, an age of mass production. Saints are fast-tracked to the top, and there are beatifications by the bucket-load. It seems a shame to have all the virtues required for beatification, but not to get your full name in the Catholic Almanac Online ...

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