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Jogging in the woods at Bellagio

Frank Kermode, 19 April 1984

Small World 
by David Lodge.
Secker, 339 pp., £8.95, March 1984, 0 436 25663 0
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... to write a novel. And, with a touch of the professor, Lodge also directs our attention to Patricia Parker’s admirable book Inescapable Romance. For in addition to being a romance, this novel is ‘a tour of the romances’, as Parker said of The Faerie Queene. Particular attention is paid to two belated ...

Cold Front in Arden

Michael Dobson, 31 October 1996

Reading Shakespeare Historically 
by Lisa Jardine.
Routledge, 207 pp., £40, April 1996, 0 415 13490 0
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Purpose of Playing: Shakespeare and the Cultural Politics of the Elizabethan Theatre 
by Louis Montrose.
Chicago, 228 pp., £39.95, May 1996, 0 226 53482 0
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Shakespeare from the Margins: Language, Culture, Context 
by Patricia Parker.
Chicago, 392 pp., £41.50, April 1996, 0 226 64584 3
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Impersonations: Gender and Performance in Shakespear’s England 
by Stephen Orgel.
Cambridge, 179 pp., £30, February 1996, 0 521 56842 0
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... Dream can seem when read through the lens of the MLA bibliography. There is nothing joyless about Patricia Parker’s Shakespeare from the Margins, though in its own way it can be just as frustrating. It’s a book primarily about Shakespeare’s puns, and its energetic demonstration of some of the post-structuralist fun to be had with Shakespearean ...

Puffed up, Slapped down

Rosemary Hill: Charles and Camilla, 7 September 2017

Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life 
by Sally Bedell Smith.
Michael Joseph, 624 pp., £25, April 2017, 978 0 7181 8780 4
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The Duchess: The Untold Story 
by Penny Junor.
William Collins, 320 pp., £20, June 2017, 978 0 00 821100 4
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... her present subject since 1987, when her first biography of Charles resulted in a writ from Andrew Parker Bowles. She assures us that they laugh about it now. It would be easier to feel sorry for Charles if he didn’t feel so intensely and publicly sorry for himself. One of the British words Smith has to explain to her American readers is ‘whingeing’. Yet ...


Jacqueline Rose, 19 June 2014

The Conflict: How Modern Motherhood Undermines the Status of Women 
by Elisabeth Badinter, translated by Adriana Hunter.
Picador, 224 pp., £10.99, June 2013, 978 1 250 03209 6
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Are You My Mother? 
by Alison Bechdel.
Jonathan Cape, 304 pp., £16.99, May 2012, 978 0 224 09352 1
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A Child of One’s Own: Parental Stories 
by Rachel Bowlby.
Oxford, 256 pp., £20, June 2013, 978 0 19 960794 5
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Mothering and Motherhood in Ancient Greece and Rome 
by Lauren Hackworth Petersen and Patricia Salzman-Mitchell.
Texas, 274 pp., £16.99, April 2013, 978 0 292 75434 8
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Sinners? Scroungers? Saints? Unmarried Motherhood in 20th-Century England 
by Pat Thane and Tanya Evans.
Oxford, 240 pp., £24.99, August 2013, 978 0 19 968198 3
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I Don’t Know Why She Bothers: Guilt-Free Motherhood for Thoroughly Modern Womanhood 
by Daisy Waugh.
Weidenfeld, 240 pp., £12.99, July 2013, 978 0 297 86876 7
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... of a hurry to charge Greek thought with misogyny. Motherhood, as Lauren Hackworth Petersen and Patricia Salzman-Mitchell insist in their collection of essays on mothering in the ancient world, was no less an ‘uncontested territory’ then than it is today. Instances abound of women cherished only as nurturers. In one version of the mother as warrior, the ...

Buy birthday present, go to morgue

Colm Tóibín: Diane Arbus, 2 March 2017

Diane Arbus: Portrait of a Photographer 
by Arthur Lubow.
Cape, 734 pp., £35, October 2016, 978 0 224 09770 3
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Silent Dialogues: Diane Arbus and Howard Nemerov 
by Alexander Nemerov.
Fraenkel Gallery, 106 pp., $30, March 2015, 978 1 881337 41 6
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... the duality of a human sensibility’. In her biography of Arbus, first published in 1984, Patricia Bosworth notes ‘the freakishness in normalcy, the normalcy in freakishness’ in it. William Todd Schultz, in his An Emergency in Slow Motion: The Inner Life of Diane Arbus (2011), says that Arbus gave a print of the photograph to her therapist and ...

Barely under Control

Jenny Turner: Who’s in charge?, 7 May 2015

... after two years. For superheads, acclaim from a senior politician often seems to spell trouble. Patricia Sowter, the executive head of the Cuckoo Hall Academy Trust in Enfield, was so admired by Gove that she’s quoted at length, in a special box, in his 2010 Education White Paper, on the subject of the ‘new academy freedoms’. In February, the EFA sent ...

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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... the gallery owner Betty Parsons – even the kooky, spooky, more-than-a-little-ropey Patricia Highsmith, a gothic late-life pal, intriguingly, of Murphy’s. It’s true that the polyamorous de Acosta accounted for many, if not most, of the downright sexual conquests here. To read about her star-studded sex life is to be reminded of those ...

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