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Vies de Bohème

D.A.N. Jones, 23 April 1987

A Sport of Nature 
by Nadine Gordimer.
Cape, 396 pp., £10.95, April 1987, 0 224 02447 7
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Trust 
by Mary Flanagan.
Bloomsbury, 290 pp., £10.95, April 1987, 0 7475 0001 0
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... minds and laws. It is a relief to turn from this hell-hole to the more mildly sinful world of Mary Flanagan, tracing the history of a naturally, perhaps reluctantly, bohemian girl in Britain. The motherless Clover is the beneficiary of a trust, and the word ‘trust’ recurs, discreetly but frequently, to advertise the theme or structure of ...

Roses

Stephen Wall, 27 June 1991

Regeneration 
by Pat Barker.
Viking, 252 pp., £13.99, May 1991, 0 670 82876 9
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Rose Reason 
by Mary Flanagan.
Bloomsbury, 388 pp., £14.99, April 1991, 0 7475 0888 7
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Rose 
by Rose Boyt.
Chatto, 182 pp., £13.99, April 1991, 0 7011 3728 2
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... historical material it presents with such unpretentious immediacy. Economy isn’t a feature of Mary Flanagan’s narrative method in Rose Reason, but then her time-scale is much more extended. Her heroine is born Frances Mullen among Irish Catholics in Florence, Maine. She takes the name Rose at Confirmation: ‘I saw my chance ...

I even misspell intellectual

Rupert Thomson: Caroline Gordon v. Flannery O’Connor, 2 April 2020

The Letters of Flannery O’Connor and Caroline Gordon 
edited by Christine Flanagan.
Georgia, 272 pp., £31.95, October 2018, 978 0 8203 5408 8
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... According​ to one of her cousins, Mary Flannery O’Connor was ‘a very peculiar child’. When she was six, she drew countless pictures of chickens. To discourage classmates from sharing her lunch, she would sometimes take castor oil sandwiches to school. Her own recollection of herself is characteristically acerbic: ‘a pigeon-toed only child with a receding chin and a you-leave-me-alone-or-I’ll-bite-you complex ...

Uppity Trumpet of the Living Light

Barbara Newman: Hildegard of Bingen, 20 January 2000

Secrets of God: Writings of Hildegard of Bingen 
edited by Sabina Flanagan.
Shambhala, 186 pp., £10.99, August 1998, 1 57062 164 0
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The Letters of Hildegard of Bingen: Vol. II 
translated by Joseph Baird.
Oxford, 215 pp., £36, October 1998, 0 19 512010 8
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Jutta and Hildegard: The Biographical Sources 
edited by Anna Silvas.
Pennsylvania State, 299 pp., £15.50, September 1998, 0 271 01954 9
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Physica 
by Hildegard of Bingen, translated by Priscilla Throop.
Healing Art, 250 pp., £19.99, August 1998, 0 89281 661 9
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On Natural Philosophy and Medicine 
by Hildegard of Bingen, translated by Margret Berger.
Brewer, 166 pp., £12.99, July 1999, 0 85991 551 4
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... from late medieval readers, the novice is well advised to begin with an anthology such as Sabina Flanagan’s Secrets of God. This slender volume by the seer’s Australian biographer provides a sampler of her work. It includes excerpts from each book in Hildegard’s visionary trilogy: Scivias (‘Know the Ways of the Lord’), The Book of Life’s ...

The poet steamed

Iain Sinclair: Tom Raworth, 19 August 2004

Collected Poems 
by Tom Raworth.
Carcanet, 576 pp., £16.95, February 2003, 1 85754 624 5
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Removed for Further Study: The Poetry of Tom Raworth 
edited by Nate Dorward.
The Gig, 288 pp., £15, March 2003, 0 9685294 3 7
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... than the version flourished in early snapshots – the cover of A Serial Biography, the Barry Flanagan etching from Act – but this is still the same mouth, the same disguise. The same bite. The lights are on and there is somebody at home. The speed of eye/ear/mind remains, absolutely, that of a particle accelerator. Heart is everything: the contrary of ...

Erasures

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 distortion which the potato failure ...

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