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The cook always wins

Claire Hall: Galen v. Gym Bros, 21 March 2024

Galen: Writings on Health 
translated by P.N. Singer.
Cambridge, 510 pp., £120, March 2023, 978 1 009 15951 7
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... grounding in logic, epistemology and cosmology. Thrasybulus, one of the two texts in P.N. Singer’s new translation of Galen’s writings on health, is a speech given at a formal debate between a doctor and a gym trainer. In style if not in content, it’s a standard piece of ancient rhetoric. Many debates took the form of bracing dichotomies ...

Escape of a Half-Naked Sailor

P.N. Furbank: ‘Three Queer Lives’, 29 November 2001

Three Queer Lives: An Alternative Biography of Fred Barnes, Naomi Jacob and Arthur Marshall 
by Paul Bailey.
Hamish Hamilton, 242 pp., £14.99, October 2001, 0 241 13455 2
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... His is a poignant story. Born in 1885 in Birmingham, the son of a prosperous butcher, he became a singer, dancer and light comedian, specialising in the role of the elegant young man-about-town. Very good-looking, in a lustrous-eyed, crinkly-haired ‘period’ way, and stylish in his footwork and stage presence, he had, in the years just before the First ...

Walking like Swinburne

P.N. Furbank, 12 July 1990

Serious Pleasures: The Life of Stephen Tennant 
by Philip Hoare.
Hamish Hamilton, 463 pp., £20, June 1990, 0 241 12416 6
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... other man he had ever met who walked like Swinburne’. The remark reminds one that, in ‘A Singer Asleep’, Hardy was inspired to a subtle pastiche of Swinburne. There was a good deal of the aesthete, not to mention the Fin-de-Siècle, in Hardy. Tennant was really a Restoration-style aristocratic fop, but, this being Britain and the 20th century, his ...

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