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Just Sceaux Stories

Angelica Goodden

23 February 1995
Madame duDeffand and Her World 
by Benedetta Craveri, translated by Teresa Waugh.
Halban, 481 pp., £20, November 1994, 1 870015 51 7
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Lettres à Voltaire 
by Madame duDeffand, edited by Chantal Thomas.
Rivages, 215 pp., frs 55, October 1994, 2 86930 839 6
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... It is as well to establish at the outset what Madame duDeffand was not. She was not, whatever the publisher of Benedetta Craveri’s book may claim, a woman who ‘approached love and sex with a frankness centuries ahead of her time’: her time was the 18th-century Regency, which took a casual view of fidelity, and the hedonistic age of Louis XV ...
2 August 1984
The Collected Letters of Thomas Hardy. Vol. IV: 1909-1913 
edited by Richard Little Purdy and Michael Millgate.
Oxford, 337 pp., £21, March 1984, 0 19 812621 2
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The Letters and Prose Writings of William Cowper. Vol. IV: 1792-1799 
edited by James King and Charles Ryskamp.
Oxford, 498 pp., £48, March 1984, 0 19 812681 6
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The Land and Literature of England: A Historical Account 
by Robert M. Adams.
Norton, 555 pp., £21, March 1984, 0 393 01704 4
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The Complete Poetical Works of Thomas Hardy. Vol. II 
edited by Samuel Hynes.
Oxford, 543 pp., £35, June 1984, 0 19 812783 9
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... is not one of those whose communications one reads for their own sakes, as one does the letters of Madame de Sevigné, Madame duDeffand, Edward Fitzgerald – or indeed of William Cowper, the new edition of whose Letters and Prose Writings has just reached its fourth volume. Yet ...
6 December 1984
The Lyttelton Hart-Davis Letters: Correspondence of George Lyttelton and Rupert Hart-Davis. 
edited by Rupert Hart-Davis.
Murray, 193 pp., £13.50, April 1984, 0 7195 4108 5
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... house-master’. This was in 1926. The origin of the correspondence ‘was a dinner party in 1955 during which George’ – by this time retired and living in Suffolk – ‘complained that no one wrote to him’ and Hart-Davis ‘accepted his challenge’. Thereafter the letters were regular – or unrelenting. When they started Lyttelton was 71 and ...

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