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I, too, write a little

Lorna Sage: Katherine Mansfield, 18 June 1998

The Katherine Mansfield Notebooks: Vol I 
edited by Margaret Scott.
Lincoln University Press, 310 pp., NZ $79.95, September 1997, 0 908896 48 4
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The Katherine Mansfield Notebooks: Vol II 
edited by Margaret Scott.
Lincoln University Press, 355 pp., NZ $79.95, September 1997, 0 908896 49 2
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... the Journal and the Scrapbook, though it’s long been known that there was no such distinction. Margaret Scott, who is also co-editor of the five-volume Mansfield Collected Letters, has worked for years on these Mansfield papers at the Turnbull Library in Wellington, New Zealand, where most of them are kept (the rest are in Chicago), and where she was ...

Finishing Touches

Susannah Clapp, 20 December 1984

Charlotte Mew and her Friends 
by Penelope Fitzgerald.
Collins, 240 pp., £12.95, July 1984, 0 00 217008 6
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The Collected Letters of Katherine Mansfield. Vol. I: 1903-17 
edited by Vincent O’Sullivan and Margaret Scott.
Oxford, 376 pp., £15, September 1984, 0 19 812613 1
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... Nation, Mew was summoned to a series of poetry readings given by the culturally avid Mrs Dawson Scott, who later founded International PEN. ‘The Farmer’s Bride’ treats the case of a man inflamed with desire for his young wife, a wild little fay who runs away from him and is recaptured and incarcerated in her own house. It is remarkable for giving ...

No Fol-de-Rols

Margaret Anne Doody: Men in suits, 14 November 2002

The Three-Piece Suit and Modern Masculinity: England 1550-1850 
by David Kuchta.
California, 299 pp., £29.95, May 2002, 0 520 21493 5
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... he describes. His index has no entries for Austen, Dickens, Fielding, Pope, Richardson, Rousseau, Scott, Swift or Trollope. Relying entirely on historians and polemicists, Kuchta not only eschews literature as a source but also disdains to consult modern art historians or historians of costume. The result is that we get an idealised ‘plain’ view of what ...

The Stamp of One Defect

David Edgar: Jeremy Thorpe, 29 July 2015

Jeremy Thorpe 
by Michael Bloch.
Little, Brown, 606 pp., £25, December 2014, 978 0 316 85685 0
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Closet Queens: Some 20th-Century British Politicians 
by Michael Bloch.
Little, Brown, 320 pp., £25, May 2015, 978 1 4087 0412 7
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... overfond of aristocratic titles and the ceremonial and sartorial trappings that went with them (Margaret Thatcher once berated him for his trademark Homburg). His most famous bon mot was that, in sacking a third of his cabinet on the Night of the Long Knives, Harold Macmillan demonstrated the truth that ‘greater love hath no man than this, that he lay ...

Had we lived …

Jenny Diski: The Afterlife of Captain Scott, 9 February 2006

Scott of the Antarctic: A Life of Courage and Tragedy in the Extreme South 
by David Crane.
HarperCollins, 637 pp., £25, November 2005, 0 00 715068 7
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... The pictures show interiors of the base camp huts built and lived in between 1901 and 1912 by Scott’s and Shackleton’s polar expeditions. The huts and their contents have been preserved intact, and the photographs show intensely close details of things long left behind: ragged shirts and socks hanging up on lines, wooden cases forming a wall, a jar of ...

Beyond Discussion

Neal Ascherson, 3 April 1980

The Last Word: An Eye-Witness Account of the Thorpe Trial 
by Auberon Waugh.
Joseph, 240 pp., £6.50, February 1980, 0 7181 1799 9
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... events are easily forgotten. Thorpe and the others were accused of conspiring to murder Norman Scott; Thorpe, additionally, of inciting the murder of Scott. The latter claimed to have been Thorpe’s lover, and stated that a gunman had shot his dog and attempted to shoot him on Porlock Moor. The gunman, Andrew ...

Poetry to Thrill an Oyster

Gregory Woods: Fitz-Greene Halleck, 16 November 2000

The American Byron: Homosexuality and the Fall of Fitz-Greene Halleck 
by John W.M. Hallock.
Wisconsin, 226 pp., £14.95, April 2000, 0 299 16804 2
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... Halleck (1790-1867) travelled to Europe in 1822 he was carrying letters of introduction to Byron, Scott, Southey, Wordsworth, Lafayette and Talleyrand, though he never actually met any of them – whether through shyness or negligence or something else is not clear. Dickens called on Halleck on arrival in New York in 1842, but later wrote him off as a mere ...

Major and Minor

Frank Kermode, 6 June 1985

The Oxford Companion to English Literature 
edited by Margaret Drabble.
Oxford, 1155 pp., £15, April 1985, 0 19 866130 4
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... updated in three subsequent editions and many reprints. It has now been extensively re-edited by Margaret Drabble, aided by an impressive list of experts. The original editor, Sir Paul Harvey, explained that his intention was to be useful to ordinary everyday readers. He offered the dates and brief biographies of a large number of English authors, listed the ...

Miz Peggy

Penelope Gilliatt, 15 September 1983

The Road to Tara: The Life of Margaret Mitchell 
by Anne Edwards.
Hodder, 369 pp., £9.95, July 1983, 0 340 32348 5
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... From Anne Edwards’s biography of Margaret Mitchell, we know that Peggy Mitchell had ‘sailor-blue eyes’. We also know that she stood four feet eight, which is mighty small for the militant author of Gone with the Wind. At this size she mounted, or climbed up a ladder to, a large horse. Wheeling him (fervently: her whole life was led in adverbs) and crying ‘Look at me!’ to the South in general, she fell off ...

Boundary Books

Margaret Meek, 21 February 1980

Kate Crackernuts 
by Katharine Briggs.
Kestrel, 224 pp., £2.95, September 1980, 0 7226 5557 6
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Socialisation through Children’s Literature: The Soviet Example 
by Felicity Ann O’Dell.
Cambridge, 278 pp., £14, January 1979, 9780521219686
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Divide and Rule 
by Jan Mark.
Kestrel, 248 pp., £3.50, October 1980, 0 7226 5620 3
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... meaning of the event enhances the power of the magic. The dialect is as authentic as anything in Scott and promotes the arresting strangeness. The text balances plain telling with charged saying. Its author expects the discourse to strike deep chords, though we may, if Scots and Yorkshire are unfamiliar in our ears, miss many of the resonances. The fantasy ...

English Proust

Christopher Prendergast, 8 July 1993

In Search of Lost Time 
by Marcel Proust, translated by C.K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin, revised by D.J. Enright.
Chatto, £15, November 1992, 0 7011 3992 7
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... has become something of a party game. To my knowledge, there are five versions currently on offer. Scott Moncrieff renders it as ‘For a long time I used to go to bed early.’ Terence Kilmartin reproduced this in his revised translation, but Enright, in his revision of Kilmartin, has altered ‘used to go’ to ‘would go’. In addition, James Grieve’s ...

Toshie Trashed

Gavin Stamp: The Glasgow School of Art Fire, 18 June 2014

... The Scott Street exterior of the west wing of Glasgow School of Art in 1933. I had​ the daily pleasure of seeing the west wing of the Glasgow School of Art, with its castle-like stonework and triple tall oriels rising dramatically from the steep slope of Scott Street, when, for more than a decade, I taught architectural history at the Mackintosh School of Architecture ...

A Sequence from ‘Camera Obscura’

Robin Robertson, 22 August 1996

... carsinto the forensic flash, flash of cameras.Around her, the Pre-Raphaelite beautiesof Julia Margaret Cameron,the mongols of Arbus.Track east to the Caltonwhere Nelson’s upturned telescopestands staring at the ground,where the observatory lies empty, closeda century ago by railway smokefrom Waverley: the Enlightenment below.Gulls mill like ash around ...

Our Flexible Friends

Conor Gearty, 18 April 1996

Scott Inquiry Report 
by Richard Scott.
HMSO, 2386 pp., £45, February 1996, 0 10 262796 7
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... The most remarkable aspect of the Scott Report is its simplicity. The famous length and the differing interpretations to which it has been subjected since its publication suggest a learned and complex treatise full of ambiguity and complex allusion, a sort of political bible with Sir Richard Scott in the role of the Yahweh/ Saviour and Robin Cook and Ian Lang fighting it out to play St Paul ...

Mohocks

Liam McIlvanney: The House of Blackwood, 5 June 2003

The House of Blackwood: Author-Publisher Relations in the Victorian Era 
by David Finkelstein.
Pennsylvania State, 199 pp., £44.95, April 2002, 0 271 02179 9
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... includes James Hogg’s The Shepherd’s Calendar, John Galt’s ‘theoretical histories’ and Margaret Oliphant’s tales of terror. It’s common to think of Blackwood’s as a stolid redoubt of middlebrow English respectability, the kind of torpid organ invoked by Orwell in ‘England Your England’: ‘If you were a patriot you read Blackwood’s ...

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