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Suck, chéri

E.S. Turner: The history of sweets, 29 October 1998

Sugar-Plums and Sherbet: A Prehistory of Sweets 
by Laura Mason.
Prospect, 250 pp., £20, June 1998, 0 907325 83 1
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... balls, presumably) but with Nelson’s Buttons, Wellington Sticks and Bonaparte’s Ribs. Laura Mason is introduced as a food historian with a scientific background. She is thoroughly at home with the technicalities of sugar-boiling, a subtle process which at one stage produces a hard sweet that is ‘a vibrant jewel of suckability’ and at the ...

Hoist that dollymop’s sail

John Sutherland: New Victorian Novels, 31 October 2002

Fingersmith 
by Sarah Waters.
Virago, 549 pp., £12.99, February 2002, 1 86049 882 5
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The Crimson Petal and the White 
by Michel Faber.
Canongate, 838 pp., £17.99, October 2002, 1 84195 323 7
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... and was filmed as a lush Gainsborough melodrama in 1944, launching the careers of James Mason (the villainous Lord Manderstoke) and Stewart Granger (heroic Harry). The Balliol-educated son of an Oxford don, Sadleir was a publisher with Constable and eventually ran the firm. He was also the greatest Victorian bibliophile of his generation and his ...

Mixed Up

Joanna Kavenna: In the génocidaire’s wake, 3 March 2005

The Optimists 
by Andrew Miller.
Sceptre, 313 pp., £16.99, March 2005, 9780340825129
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... in the present is as maniacal as Pynchon in the past: The Crying of Lot 49 is as outlandish as Mason & Dixon. Miller is entitled to switch anything he likes; they’re his novels and he can romp it up in ruffs or sober it up in jeans, as he prefers. But the question of why he does it is an interesting one. Miller is loquacious on the theme of historical ...

Driving through a Postcard

Christian Lorentzen: In New Hampshire, 3 March 2016

... industry. When the signal faded I switched over to AM and found the right-wing talk-show host Laura Ingraham asking Donald Rumsfeld whether it was possible that the country was on the verge of another five decades of domination by the Democratic Party, as had been the case from the 1930s until 1980, when Ronald Reagan restored normality and routed the ...

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