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The Price of Artichokes

Nicholas Howe: Ippolito d’Este’s excesses, 17 March 2005

The Cardinal’s Hat: Money, Ambition and Housekeeping in a Renaissance Court 
by Mary Hollingsworth.
Profile, 320 pp., £8.99, April 2005, 1 86197 770 0
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... of a splendid income, a strong body and a large network of connections. He is not yet, as Mary Hollingsworth scrupulously notes, the Ippolito who became a great art patron in Rome after his appointment as a cardinal, nor is he ‘the builder of the magnificent Villa d’Este at Tivoli and the benefactor of the musician Palestrina’. He is a ...

Promises aren’t always kept

Jenny Diski: Goblin. Hobgoblin. Ugly Duckling, 8 October 2015

... asks and believes in her. Even a Jew? Why? A gratuity. A gift given freely, regardless. And yet Mary Mother of Christ doesn’t really give freely – she wants you to ask and for you to believe in her. Not quite gratuitous. Others offer pills or potions that the medical establishment has overlooked, but which in the right doses (always either huge or ...

You better not tell me you forgot

Terry Castle: How to Spot Members of the Tribe, 27 September 2012

All We Know: Three Lives 
by Lisa Cohen.
Farrar Straus, 429 pp., £22.50, July 2012, 978 0 374 17649 5
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... society hostess Muriel Draper, John Dos Passos, Dorothy Parker, Nancy Mitford, Dawn Powell, even Mary McCarthy, whose rivalrousness towards other intellectual women is legendary. The fact that Murphy seems to have been one of the kindliest people on earth no doubt only magnified her attractiveness. Though lacking scholarly training (like Virginia ...

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