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Tousy-Mousy

Anne Barton: Mary Shelley

8 February 2001
Mary Shelley 
by Miranda Seymour.
Murray, 665 pp., £25, October 2000, 0 7195 5711 9
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Mary Shelley in Her Times 
edited by Betty Bennett and Stuart Curran.
Johns Hopkins, 311 pp., £33, September 2000, 0 8018 6334 1
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Mary Shelley's Fictions 
edited by Michael Eberle-Sinatra.
Palgrave, 250 pp., £40, August 2000, 0 333 77106 0
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... such excellent studies in the accurately entitled Literary Lives series (published by Palgrave) as Michael O’Neill’s Percy Bysshe Shelley (1989) or Caroline Franklin’s Byron (2000), not-very-literary biographies, some running to four hundred and more pages, continue to accumulate in the bookshops. There (presumably) they attract readers far more ...

Cockneyism

Gregory Dart: Leigh Hunt

18 December 2003
The Selected Writings of Leigh Hunt 
edited by Robert Morrison and Michael Eberle-Sinatra.
Pickering & Chatto, £495, July 2003, 1 85196 714 1
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... At first Dickens tried to deny that Harold Skimpole, the parasitical aesthete of Bleak House, had been based on his friend Leigh Hunt; but later he confessed, not a little proudly, that the character was ‘the most exact portrait that was ever painted in words . . . it is an absolute reproduction of a real man.’ Skimpole is a corrosive presence in the novel, a serene-faced sponger who claims to know nothing of ‘the world ...

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