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The Clothed Life

Joanna Biggs: Linda Grant, 31 March 2011

We Had It So Good 
by Linda Grant.
Virago, 344 pp., £14.99, January 2011, 978 1 84408 637 5
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... Linda Grant’s new novel, We Had It So Good, begins in sunshine. There’s the epigraph: ‘He had like many another been born in full sunlight and lived to see night fall.’ (That’s from Waugh’s Men at Arms.) Then the first image: Stephen Newman in his shorts, aged nine, on the ‘most exciting day’ of his life – a day spent in the fur storage depot in which his father looks after Marilyn Monroe’s mink ...

Making It

Melissa Benn: New Feminism?, 5 February 1998

Different for Girls: How Culture Creates Women 
by Joan Smith.
Chatto, 176 pp., £10.99, September 1997, 9780701165123
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The New Feminism 
by Natasha Walter.
Little, Brown, 278 pp., £17.50, January 1998, 0 316 88234 8
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A Century of Women: The History of Women in Britain and the United States 
by Sheila Rowbotham.
Penguin, 752 pp., £20, June 1997, 0 670 87420 5
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... have done their bit and an array of cultural critics and journalists – Suzanne Moore, Linda Grant, Joan Smith, Beatrix Campbell, Susie Orbach, even Julie Burchill – have established a niche in newspaper and broadcast journalism. Others, like Lynne Segal and Lisa Jardine, have climbed the academic ladder. Even so, the shortage of media ...

Crimes of Passion

Sam Sifton, 11 January 1990

Missing Beauty: A True Story of Murder and Obsession 
by Teresa Carpenter.
Hamish Hamilton, 478 pp., £15.95, October 1989, 0 241 12775 0
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Wasted: The Preppie Murder 
by Linda Wolfe.
Simon and Schuster, 303 pp., $19.95, September 1989, 0 671 64184 0
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... He was an associate professor on the tenure track, a gifted scientist, and a successful grant-getter. He was married and he lived a quiet suburban life just outside the city with his wife and three children. He was also beginning a relationship with a young, dark-haired woman named Robin Benedict who worked as a prostitute in a bar called Good Time ...

We are all Scots here

Linda Colley: Scotland and Empire, 12 December 2002

The Scottish Empire 
by Michael Fry.
Tuckwell/Birlinn, 580 pp., £16.99, November 2002, 9781841582597
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... much evidence of such cross-cultural relationships – for instance, among the men led by Cuthbert Grant at the Battle of Seven Oaks in 1816 in what is now Winnipeg. But it remains unclear whether Highlanders were inherently more receptive to indigenous connections, or whether their marked poverty and land hunger drove them disproportionately into frontier ...


Gabriele Annan, 25 March 1993

Alias Olympia: A Woman’s Search for Manet’s Notorious Model and Her Own Desire 
by Eunice Lipton.
Thames and Hudson, 192 pp., £14.95, March 1993, 0 500 23651 8
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... but a simper. Lipton starts with a meeting at Hunter College between herself and the art historian Linda Nochlin, whose works are also advertised on the dust-jacket. ‘Nochlin was taller than I expected and more girlish. Also less pretty. I assumed that if she was a woman and well-known, she couldn’t be “girlish”; who would take her ...

I hope it hurt

Jo Applin: Nochlin’s Question, 4 November 2021

Women Artists: The Linda Nochlin Reader 
edited by Maura Reilly.
Thames and Hudson, 472 pp., £28, March 2020, 978 0 500 29555 7
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Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists? 
by Linda Nochlin.
Thames and Hudson, 111 pp., £9.99, January, 978 0 500 02384 6
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... The question​ ‘Why are there no great women artists?’ was first put to Linda Nochlin in 1970 by the New York gallerist Richard Feigen. It was a genuine inquiry. He would love, he said, to show women artists. The problem was he couldn’t find any good enough. Stumped for an answer at the time, Nochlin continued to consider the question ...

A Magazine of Wisdom

Linda Colley, 4 September 1997

Edmund Burke: A Life in Caricature 
by Nicholas Robinson.
Yale, 214 pp., £30, October 1996, 0 300 06801 8
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The Writings and Speeches of Edmund Burke. Vol. III: Party, Parliament and the American War 1774-80 
edited by Warren Elofson and John Woods.
Oxford, 713 pp., £75, September 1996, 0 19 822414 1
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Edmund Burke and India: Political Morality and Empire 
by Frederick Whelan.
Pittsburgh, 384 pp., £39.95, December 1996, 0 8229 3927 4
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... French Canadians: ‘He would be willing to give a Canadian every indulgence in his power, but not grant the indulgence at the expense of the English.’ But it is the violence of his language at Britain’s recruitment of blacks and Indians against the American rebels which shocks, perfectly consistent though it is with his particular veneration of an ...

Scribbles in a Storm

Neal Ascherson: Who needs a constitution?, 1 April 2021

The Gun, the Ship and the Pen: Warfare, Constitutions and the Making of the Modern World 
by Linda Colley.
Profile, 502 pp., £25, March, 978 1 84668 497 5
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... these documents seemed profoundly exotic.’ In spite of where she came from, which was England, Linda Colley became many years ago the first English intellectual to explain to her nation just how exotic ‘Britishness’ was. Now, with the same pioneering enthusiasm, she has produced a book about constitutions. Not the unwritten playground rules that ...

A Cézanne-Like Vision of Peaches

Lorna Scott Fox, 30 March 2000

Dreaming with His Eyes Open: A Life of Diego Rivera 
by Patrick Marnham.
Bloomsbury, 368 pp., £12.99, November 1999, 0 7475 4450 6
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Diego Rivera: The Detroit Industry Murals 
by Linda Bank Downs.
Norton, 202 pp., £35, March 2000, 0 393 04529 3
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... in Rivera’s Detroit murals, celebrating the dark beauty of the Ford assembly line). He won a grant after graduation and travelled to Spain in 1907, where his study of Ingres and Symbolism was enriched by a fondness for El Greco, bizarre hero of the Spanish avantgarde, and for their anti-hero, the luminous Modernist Joaquín Sorolla. This contradiction ...

Appelfeld 1990

Christopher Ricks, 8 February 1990

... now she must herself attend, and to different trials, the doings of the new-met talkative stranger Linda who confronts prejudice with counter-prejudice (‘But later she came to realise that her lover was a goy in every sense of the word, drunk and violent’), and whose closing happiness is itself drunk and frail and perfectly human and is no happy ...

Scientific Antlers

Steven Shapin: Fraud in the Lab, 4 March 1999

The Baltimore Case: A Trial of Politics, Science and Character 
by Daniel Kevles.
Norton, 509 pp., £21, October 1998, 0 393 04103 4
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... Stewart and Ned Feder and their patron, the Democratic Congressman John Dingell. For the excellent Linda Tripp with her concealed tape-recorder read Imanishi-Kari’s young Irish-American co-worker at MIT, Margot O’Toole, and the 17 pages of laboratory entries she decided to copy from a colleague’s notebook – just in case an accusation of criminal ...


Neal Ascherson: Among the icebergs, 18 October 2007

... Scotland Act. But how many London papers noticed that the new SNP government has quietly appointed Linda Fabiani minister for Europe and external affairs?) The fact is that global warming will make Greenland independent. This is a slightly embarrassing discovery for the Greenlanders, who have instinctive sympathy for the ecowarriors in the rest of the world ...

Enter Hamilton

Eric Foner, 6 October 2016

American Revolutions: A Continental History, 1750-1804 
by Alan Taylor.
Norton, 704 pp., £30, November 2016, 978 0 393 08281 4
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... that established the hemisphere’s second independent nation, Haiti (to which the US refused to grant diplomatic recognition until 1862, an early example of the distinction between good and bad revolutions). The ‘continental’ approach enables Taylor to show how slavery affected the course of the War of Independence. He makes the point that the 13 ...

Men in Aprons

Colin Kidd: Freemasonry, 7 May 1998

Who’s Afraid of Freemasons? The Phenomenon of Freemasonry 
by Alexander Piatigorsky.
Harvill, 398 pp., £25, August 1997, 1 86046 029 1
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... sons and their wives. Similarly, Anderson’s pseudo-historical concern with King Athelstan’s grant of a charter to the Craft meshed with the current cult of an ancient Anglo-Saxon constitution. However, as Anderson’s career indicates, the rise of Freemasonry was far from confined to England. The Craft provides a fascinating sub-plot to ...

Very like St Paul

Ian Sansom: Johnny Cash, 9 March 2006

The Man Called Cash: The Life, Love and Faith of an American Legend 
by Steve Turner.
Bloomsbury, 363 pp., £8.99, February 2006, 0 7475 8079 0
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Walk the Line 
directed by James Mangold.
November 2005
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... extremely restricted in range. His band, The Tennessee Two (Luther Perkins on guitar and Marshall Grant on bass, later augmented by W.S. ‘Fluke’ Holland on drums) were mechanics, and they sounded like it. In his eponymous autobiography Cash claims that ‘Marshall and Luther limited me, it’s true, especially in later years.’ (Perkins died in a house ...

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