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Christina and the Sid

Penelope Fitzgerald

18 March 1982
Christina Rossetti: A Divided Life 
by Georgina Battiscombe.
Constable, 233 pp., £9.50, May 1981, 0 09 461950 6
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The Golden Veil 
by Paddy Kitchen.
Hamish Hamilton, 286 pp., £7.95, May 1981, 0 241 10584 6
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The Little Holland House Album 
by Edward Burne-Jones and John Christian.
Dalrymple Press, 39 pp., £38, April 1981, 0 9507301 0 6
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... mode, as Professor G.B. Trevelyan has done in his recent Victorian Devotional Poetry. But the story itself could not be more clearly told. If A Divided Life is deliberately subdued in tone, PaddyKitchen’s novel The Golden Veil is flat. The subject is Elizabeth Eleanor Siddall (or Siddal, as Rossetti preferred to spell it), the milliner’s apprentice who became Beatrice to Dante Gabriel. Beatrice ...

At Tate Britain

James Cahill: Frank Bowling

15 August 2019
... and white photographs on which it was based, a disarming counterpoint. They show the spiralling ironwork staircase at the RCA, with Bowling dangling precariously from the opening at the top, while PaddyKitchen, his wife at the time, walks coolly downstairs. In the painting, Bowling looks like one of Bacon’s amorphous furies. A second, ghostlike version of him stands near the bottom, poised to ...

Eating Jesus

Andrew O’Hagan

8 July 1993
Paddy​ Clarke Ha Ha Ha 
by Roddy Doyle.
Secker, 282 pp., £12.99, June 1993, 0 436 20135 6
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... told them things were missing. A few days later, I smashed the cross in a fit of something; just broke the green man to bits. I then went downstairs and caught them slapping like crazy outside the kitchen. He stood by the door with a couple of Tesco bags filled with jumpers and stuff. His face was crimson. My mother led me by the head into the kitchen and closed the door. Paddy Clarke, the ten-year ...

Her Body or the Sea

Ian Patterson: Ann Quin

21 June 2018
The Unmapped Country: Stories and Fragments 
by Ann Quin.
And Other Stories, 192 pp., £10, January 2018, 978 1 911508 14 4
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... Modern American Fiction’ (a list that includes Burroughs, Creeley, Henry Miller and Hubert Selby Jr), but that seems to be the only time Quin’s novels were formally categorised as experimental. PaddyKitchen was right when she wrote (in a piece in the London Magazine in 1979) that Quin ‘was not one of those authors who self-consciously strove to be an innovator, rather she had to seek a ...

Short Cuts

Joanna Biggs: At the Food Bank

5 December 2013
... suede pouch. Orange Pekoe! His favourite! Just a shame it wasn’t single estate. The first Trussell Trust food bank was in a shed in Salisbury – a fancy shed, with a pitched roof and a veranda. Paddy Henderson, the charity’s cofounder, had been fundraising for Bulgarian orphans in 2000 when he received a call from someone in his own town who couldn’t afford to eat. Food banks are ...


Adam Reiss: On a Dawn Raid

18 November 2010
... some of the men who’ll be arrested this morning are violent and the police hold in their collective memory the death of Stephen Oake, the Special Branch detective stabbed by a suspect with a kitchen knife when a house he was searching hadn’t been secured. Much better, the theory goes, to do a lot of shouting and avoid anything more serious. For the team I’m accompanying, these issues should ...


Kathleen Burk: Election Diary

23 April 1992
... interview all three of the main party leaders. It was illuminating. Kinnock hardly seemed the same man as the one on Today in Parliament: he was in control both of himself and of the interview. Paddy Ashdown likewise was very impressive, and Major handled Dimbleby’s probing questions with very little difficulty. Either the wine had eroded my critical powers, or lack of exposure to television ...


C.H. Sisson

22 February 1990
C.S.Lewis: A Biography 
by A.N. Wilson.
Collins, 334 pp., £15, February 1990, 0 00 215137 5
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... would have developed differently had he lived, though the emotional aberration – if it is allowed to call it that – seems already to have been established, in its main lines, before the news of Paddy Moore’s death came through. Before Jack had undergone – in Oxford – ‘his only piece of practical training for trench warfare’, ‘he had reached the point where he could not bear to see his ...

Last Stand

Stephen Smith

8 May 1997
Solidarity on the Water front: The Liver pool Lock-Out of 1995-96 
by Michael Lavalette and Jane Kennedy.
Liver Press, 147 pp., £5.95, December 1996, 1 871201 06 3
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... could be found of switching it off. Orwell’s report on the ‘industrial districts’ of the North, published exactly 60 years ago, includes an encounter with some dockers in a ‘frowzy firelit kitchen’: This was Saturday night and a hefty young stevedore was drunk and was reeling about the room. He turned, saw me and lurched towards me with broad red face thrust out and a dangerous-looking ...


Jenny Turner: The Deborah Orr I Knew

9 February 2020
... from Brixton Tube, and never coffee, always tea). She lived, it turned out, only a few minutes away from me, in a one-bed attic flat in Hayter Road, and it was incredible: turquoise sofa, light oak kitchen, black ceramics, cream walls, grey floors and an elegant dado she’d made herself out of black and cream and turquoise mosaic tiles. She writes a lot in her memoir about her mum’s exquisite ...
6 August 1981
... in one another’s arms at a wake. In some remote mountainy country we approach a lighted cottage, with no other habitation, seemingly, within a mile. It consists of two storeys: downstairs, the kitchen and ‘the’ room, always so called; upstairs, two rooms for sleeping. Up there on the big white bed peacefully smoothed out lies the corpse arranged with crossed hands between four calm candles ...


Anne Enright: The Monsters of #MeToo

24 October 2019
... hallway, that he shouted ‘rape’ at another woman over dinner, that he was particularly nasty to Latina writers (he is from the Dominican Republic) and so shame-bound he is unable to clean his own kitchen. This case was seen as a turning point in the #MeToo tide, when, after five months of investigation initiated by the Pulitzer board, of which he is a member, Díaz was not fired. But many of the men ...
28 April 2011
... the firms would be obliged to give them a fixed contract. Somehow Selekt has not noticed it is getting fewer empty crates back than it sends full crates out. When I followed the postwoman to the kitchen, I saw, like some recurring nightmare, 20 more crates filled with letters. Selekt’s crates are yellow and stamped with the black hunting horn logo of Deutsche Post, the former German state mail ...

The Man in the Clearing

Iain Sinclair: Meeting Gary Snyder

24 May 2012
... four buildings, one pond, two well pumps, close to a hundred chickens, 17 fruit trees, two cats, about ninety cords of firewood and three chainsaws’. The bees were destroyed by black bears. The kitchen garden went dry in winter and was raided by deer. The chickens were taken by northern goshawks, red-tailed hawks, racoons, feral dogs, bobcats. The forest was full of noises. When visitors arrived in ...


Mike Kirby: Discharged

30 July 2014
... out of the oven. Peter got 24-hour care, and I did three seven-hour shifts a week. I enjoyed the connectedness that working always gave me, the benchmarks at the end of every shift: pill box empty, kitchen clean, patient clean and medicated, wastebaskets empty, shift annotated. In the later days of the boot camp, when some of the pressure was off, we were marched over to a building to talk about our ...

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