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Swaying at the Stove

Rosemary Hill: The Cult of Elizabeth David

9 December 1999
Elizabeth David: A Biography 
by Lisa Chaney.
Pan, 482 pp., £10, September 1999, 0 330 36762 5
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Waiting at the Kitchen Table. Elizabeth David: The Authorised Biography 
by Artemis Cooper.
Viking, 364 pp., £20, November 1999, 0 7181 4224 1
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... Evelyn Waugh admired her writing and she was praised, often wildly overpraised, as an author. Lisa Chaney goes so far as to describe her as a highly complex and driven artist. David also managed to make domestic cookery glamorous. No comfortable Mrs Beetonish connotations attached to her striking, much photographed good looks. The compound of ...

His Greatest Pretend

Dinah Birch: The man behind Pan

1 September 2005
Hide-and-Seek with Angels: A Life of J.M. Barrie 
by Lisa Chaney.
Hutchinson, 402 pp., £20, June 2005, 0 09 179539 7
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... that girls could be children: they were, like Wendy, really mothers in waiting. An anxious idealisation of his own forceful mother shaped his personality from the first. The story of his life seems almost too transparent in the clues it offers to his distinctive mind. Born in 1860 to a handloom weaver, Barrie was brought up in Kirriemuir, a small town ...

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