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22 June 2000
The Clear Stream: A Life of Winifred Holtby 
by Marion Shaw.
Virago, 335 pp., £18.99, August 1999, 1 86049 537 0
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... and, whatever its intentions, Testament of Friendship is more like the second volume of Brittain’s own memoirs than the story of Holtby’s life. ‘Vera was always the star in the relationship,’ MarionShaw writes in this new biography of Holtby, the first since Brittain’s; in her view, Testament of Friendship does Holtby an injustice, making her out to be a slightly pitiable figure in comparison ...

Ripping the pig

Robert Bernard Martin

5 August 1982
The Letters of Alfred Lord Tennyson: Vol. 1 1821-1850 
edited by Cecil Lang and Edgar Shannon.
Oxford, 366 pp., £17.50, February 1982, 0 19 812569 0
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Tennyson: ‘In Memoriam’ 
edited by Susan Shatto and Marion Shaw.
Oxford, 397 pp., £25, March 1982, 0 19 812747 2
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... Two months after Tennyson’s death Burne-Jones was reluctantly following the instructions of the poet’s widow and son in repainting the portrait of Tennyson as a young man which now hangs in the National Portrait Gallery. Emily Tennyson had never liked the picture, perhaps in part because she also disliked Edward FitzGerald, who had originally commissioned it from Samuel Laurence. Earlier she had ...
19 July 1984
Henry James Letters. Vol. IV: 1895-1915 
edited by Leon Edel.
Harvard, 835 pp., £24, April 1984, 9780674387836
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... a naturally public man. He achieved for himself in his own lifetime an incomparable public position, as the acknowledged ‘Master’ – a position more unassailable than Kipling’s or Bernard Shaw’s – yet he frankly also longed for a popular following and declared only half-jokingly in a letter to W.Morton Fullerton in 1902: ‘I would have written, if I could, like Anthony Hope and Marion ...

Thanks to the Fels-Naptha Soap King

Miles Taylor: George Lansbury

22 May 2003
George Lansbury: At the Heart of Old Labour 
by John Shepherd.
Oxford, 407 pp., £35, September 2002, 0 19 820164 8
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... to a remarkable range of literary talent. Launched on the same day as news of the Titanic’s fate reached Britain, the paper gave space to Hilaire Belloc, G.K. Chesterton, H.G. Wells, George Bernard Shaw, the young Rebecca West (briefly) and Osbert Sitwell, in addition to G.D.H. Cole and the gifted cartoonist Will Dyson. Later, as leader of the Labour Party in the 1930s, Lansbury presided over a ...

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