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Brian Harrison, 6 December 1984

Significant Sisters: The Grassroots of Active Feminism 1839-1939 
by Margaret Forster.
Secker, 353 pp., £12.50, September 1984, 0 436 16113 3
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Stepping Stones to Women’s Liberty: Feminist Ideas in the Women’s Movement 1900-1918 
by Les Garner.
Gower, 142 pp., £15, July 1984, 0 435 32357 1
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Women First: The Female Tradition in English Physical Education 1880-1980 
by Sheila Fletcher.
Athlone, 194 pp., £18, July 1984, 0 485 11248 5
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A Woman’s Place: An Oral History of Working-Class Women 1890-1940 
by Elizabeth Roberts.
Blackwell, 246 pp., £14.95, September 1984, 0 631 13572 3
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... contemporary strength, plausibility and tenacity of anti-feminist ideas. As a historian of ideas, Les Garner’s approach is very different: he aims to give Edwardian suffragism in 1984 what Aileen Kraditor gave American suffragism in 1965 – an exposition and analysis of the movement’s more theoretical statements. This is not fertile territory; in ...

Carnival Time

Peter Craven, 18 February 1988

The Remake 
by Clive James.
Cape, 223 pp., £10.95, October 1987, 0 224 02515 5
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In the Land of Oz 
by Howard Jacobson.
Hamish Hamilton, 380 pp., £12.95, September 1987, 0 241 12110 8
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... long poem in its recent history. He has more sympathy and less nonsense to offer on the subject of Les Murray, though again he cannot resist a facile categorisation whereby Murray is ‘prelapsarian’ and in touch with an ‘outside world’ which vindicates his nationalism – a quality which is apparently denied to younger poets like Wearne. It’s also ...


Alan Bennett: Where I was in 1993, 16 December 1993

... Ealing Studios plot.11 May. To Weston. Besides the women Mam’s room now has two men, Cyril and Les. Cyril is small and plump with a little secret smile, as if he’s sitting on an egg; Les has a bad chest and does what Mam would once have called ‘ruttles’, i.e. gargles with phlegm. He can’t speak except as part of ...

Miss Lachrymose

Liz Brown: Doris Day’s Performances, 11 September 2008

Doris Day: The Untold Story of the Girl Next Door 
by David Kaufman.
Virgin, 628 pp., £29.95, June 2008, 978 1 905264 30 8
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... as the singer for a band, before going on to work with Bob Crosby (Bing’s brother) and then with Les Brown and His Band of Renown. She accepted the name but never warmed to it and even now, it’s said, rarely answers to it in her private life. ‘It sounds,’ she once said, ‘like I’m starring at the Gaiety Theater.’ Her brother, Paul, called her ...

A Laugh a Year

Jonathan Beckman: The Smile, 18 June 2015

The Smile Revolution in Eighteenth-Century Paris 
by Colin Jones.
Oxford, 231 pp., £22.99, September 2014, 978 0 19 871581 8
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... beneath them, so when decay became too painful to bear, the only resort was to an opérateur pour les dents, someone with no medical qualifications who removed the throbbing tooth with a pair of pliers. Opérateurs were itinerant and performed their surgery on platforms in public, more for the entertainment of the crowd than the wellbeing of the patient: one ...

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