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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 ...


Alan Bennett: Where I was in 1993

16 December 1993
... Now the papers are full of the latest scandal, the bugged phone call between the Prince of Wales and Mrs Parker-Bowles. I read none of it, as I didn’t read the earlier Diana tapes, not out of disapproval or moral superiority, just genuine lack of interest. I wish it would all go away. Sickened by the ...

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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... and the gung-ho housewife have been fixed for years now, but the person who played Doris Day is less clear. It’s difficult even to know what to call her. The band leader Barney Rapp came up with the name Day, after Doris’s rendition of ‘Day after Day’. It was 1939 and she was 17, just starting out, in her first spot as the singer for a band, before ...

A Laugh a Year

Jonathan Beckman: The Smile

17 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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... days, and during Lent and Advent’. Though Erasmus praised folly, he also wrote, following Ecclesiasticus, that ‘the wise man is hardly heard laughing at all.’ The worst mistake one could make was ‘showing all one’s teeth’ while laughing – dogs showed their teeth. For hundreds of years there had been sound reasons for not opening one’s mouth ...

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