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Learning to speak

Gay Clifford, 21 February 1980

Gya/Ecology: The Metaethics of Radical Feminism 
by Mary Daly.
Women’s Press, 485 pp., £8.95, November 1980, 0 7043 2829 1
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The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the 19th Century 
by Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar.
Yale, 719 pp., £15.75, October 1980, 0 300 02286 7
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Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes 
by Margaret Dickie Uroff.
Illinois, 235 pp., £6.95, November 1980, 0 252 00734 4
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Women Writing and Writing about Women 
edited by Mary Jacobus.
Croom Helm, 201 pp., £9.50, October 1980, 0 85664 745 4
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... books, though it is the kind of strain that implies energy, not exhausted repression or defeat. Mary Daly is a theologian trained at Fribourg. Her two earlier books, The Church and the Second Sex and Beyond God the father, analysed the misogynist basis of Christianity and its influence on western thinking. In the latter, she suggested that to be human ...

Reading as a woman

Christopher Norris, 4 April 1985

Pure Lust: Elemental Feminist Philosophy 
by Mary Daly.
Women’s Press, 407 pp., £14.95, January 1985, 9780704328471
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Feminist Literary Studies: An Introduction 
by K.K. Ruthven.
Cambridge, 162 pp., £16.50, December 1984, 0 521 26454 5
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Women: The Longest Revolution 
by Juliet Mitchell.
Virago, 334 pp., £5.95, April 1984, 0 86068 399 0
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Hélène Cixous: Writing the Feminine 
by Verena Andermatt Conley.
Nebraska, 181 pp., £20.35, March 1985, 0 8032 1424 3
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Women who do and women who don’t 
by Robyn Rowland.
Routledge, 242 pp., £5.95, May 1984, 0 7102 0296 2
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The Sexual Politics of Jean-Jacques Rousseau 
by Joel Schwartz.
Chicago, 196 pp., £14.45, June 1984, 0 226 74223 7
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... role. Those who come fore-armed with legitimating theories might as well be manning the missiles. Mary Daly puts the case with maximum force in her attack on the protocols of male-centred logic and language. Pure Lust is a wild hybrid of a book, outrageously mixing history and myth, Joycean word-play and a kind of Heideggerian questing-back for the ...

Signor Cock

Roy Porter, 25 June 1987

by Andrea Dworkin.
Secker, 259 pp., £10.95, June 1987, 0 436 13961 8
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... form ... Intercourse is the pure, sterile, formal expression of men’s contempt for women.’ Mary Daly says that ‘this monumental work is feminist theory at its best – clear, coherent, profound, shocking.’ Is it? Or is it just another barrage of bombast whose self-indulgent hyperbole undermines its own insights? I take it for granted that no ...

Pick the small ones

Marina Warner: Girls Are Rubbish, 17 February 2005

Never Marry a Woman with Big Feet: Women in Proverbs from around the World 
by Mineke Schipper.
Yale, 422 pp., £35, April 2004, 0 300 10249 6
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... Greer beside her, and her crew of investigators fast behind (they include Kate Millett, purser; Mary Daly, doctor; Erica Jong, navigator). Soon, the whole group is making earnest inquiry of the only untouched indigenous individuals they will ever have the good fortune to question, for Dorinda and Hippolito have no knowledge of custom, opinion, power ...

The First Bacchante

Lorna Sage: ‘The Ground Beneath Her Feet’, 29 April 1999

The Ground Beneath Her Feet 
by Salman Rushdie.
Cape, 575 pp., £18, April 1999, 0 224 04419 2
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... sort, they mistake the meaning of their own performance, particularly Vina, ‘who took books by Mary Daly and Enid Blyton with her when she went on tour’, who believes in pretty well anything that’s on offer, and who loves America because You get to be an American just by wanting ... However you get through your day in New York, then that’s a ...

Brutish Babies

David Wootton: Witchcraft, 11 November 1999

Shaman of Oberstdorf: Chonrad Stoeckhlin and the Phantoms of the Night 
by Wolfgang Behringer, translated by H.C.Erik Midelfort.
Virginia, 203 pp., £14.50, September 1998, 0 8139 1853 7
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Thinking with Demons: The Idea of Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe 
by Stuart Clark.
Oxford, 845 pp., £25, October 1999, 0 19 820001 3
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Witchcraft in Tudor and Stuart England 
by Alan Macfarlane.
Routledge, 368 pp., £55, April 1999, 0 415 19611 6
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The Bewitching of Anne Gunter: A Horrible and True Story of Football, Witchcraft, Murder and the King of England 
by James Sharpe.
Profile, 256 pp., £16.99, November 1999, 9781861970480
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... often than chickens. Naturally, witch trials have been a crucial subject for feminists (such as Mary Daly and Marianne Hester), though a feminist analysis is complicated by the fact that women were usually the accusers as well as the accused, and the witch-hunt has not lived up to initial expectations that it would prove to be a holocaust previously ...

All Hallows Eve

Thomas Lynch, 8 February 1996

... understand the changes my first wife was going through. I read Betty Friedan, Simone de Beauvoir, Mary Daly. Of course, the failure of that marriage had less to do with gender issues than with sexual etiquette. It was not the changing role of women but her sleeping with her Uncle Fred’s arty friend Ben that raised, among other things, my consciousness ...

Waiting for the Poetry

Ange Mlinko: Was Adrienne Rich a poet?, 15 July 2021

The Power of Adrienne Rich: A Biography 
by Hilary Holladay.
Doubleday, 416 pp., £25, November 2020, 978 0 385 54150 3
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Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution 
by Adrienne Rich.
Norton, 345 pp., £13.99, May, 978 0 393 54142 7
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... and lesbian, structuring her work and friendships, with Robin Morgan, Audre Lorde, June Jordan and Mary Daly, among other luminaries of the Second Wave, around the precepts of women’s liberation. Her style was now one of ‘unapologetic, even flagrant, raggedness – a move towards fulfilling her long-ago desire to write poems that were “messily ...


Colm Tóibín: The Great Irish Famine, 30 July 1998

... at Cambridge). We need information.That ‘second brief study’ which Bradshaw castigates is Mary Daly’s The Famine in Ireland, first published in 1986. This is a briskly-written, useful book, short on emotion, long on detail and cautious examination. Daly is careful not to blame the Administration. ‘The major ...

Dark Emotions

Jenny Turner: The Women’s Liberation Movement, 24 September 2020

directed by Philippa Lowthorpe.
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directed by the Berwick Street Film Collective.
Lux/Koenig/Raven Row, £24, July 2019
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Sisterhood and After: An Oral History of the UK Women's Liberation Movement, 1968-present 
by Margaretta Jolly.
Oxford, 334 pp., £22.99, November 2019, 978 0 19 065884 7
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... companies: the same process that has been the focus of recent strike action at the LSE, St Mary’s Hospital, the Ark Globe Academy in South-East London, and other workplaces organised by the newer, smaller trade unions, such as the United Voices of the World. In 1972, however, cleaners at the MOD in Fulham and two other government buildings were ...

Architectures of Containment

Clair Wills: Ireland’s Lost Children, 20 May 2021

Final Report of the Commission of Investigation into the Mother and Baby Homes 
Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Government of Ireland, 2865 pp., October 2020Show More
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... inquiries into the sexual abuse of children in the dioceses of Dublin (2009) and Cloyne (2011); Mary Daly, a professor of 19th and 20th-century social history, whose work has focused on poverty, emigration and women’s history; and William Duncan, an expert in family law at Trinity College Dublin and one of the authors of The Hague Children’s ...

That was the year that was

Tariq Ali, 24 May 2018

... was the main topic of conversation when a slightly out-of-breath, young upper-class woman called Mary Furness swept in. ‘Sorry for being late,’ she said as she inspected us in turn, looking quizzically at Perry Anderson and at the Black Dwarf people telling Robin off for having sold out by getting married. ‘If you knew where I was yesterday, you’d ...

Benign Promiscuity

Clair Wills: Molly Keane’s Bad Behaviour, 18 March 2021

Good Behaviour 
by Molly Keane.
NYRB, 291 pp., £12, May, 978 1 68137 529 8
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... a second version of herself – and the novel is about the need to do just that.Keane was born Mary Nesta Skrine, in Newbridge, County Kildare in 1904, the third child of Walter Skrine, an upper-class Englishman from Bath, and Agnes ‘Nesta’ Shakespeare Higginson, who came from an austere unionist family in Antrim and was better known as the Celtic ...

‘What is your nation if I may ask?’

Colm Tóibín: Jews in Ireland, 30 September 1999

Jews in 20th-century Ireland: Refugees, Anti-Semitism and the Holocaust 
by Dermot Keogh.
Cork, 336 pp., £45, March 1998, 9781859181492
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... to become a defining feature of Irish Catholic culture.’ Frank Duff, who founded the Legion of Mary and was perhaps the most influential Catholic layman of the time, ‘was an able defender of the Jewish community’, as were some of his colleagues. Anti-semitism in Ireland was kept on the fringes of the Catholic Church. Events like the attack on the Jews ...
... He returned to Ireland, spoke at a few gatherings in his honour and fell in love with Kathleen Daly, the 20-year-old niece of one of his comrades. Soon he went to New York, where he continued to conspire against British rule in Ireland. Kathleen followed him and they got married. Having come from a large and noisy family, she found that she was living ...

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