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Baby-Sitter

Elaine Showalter, 14 June 1990

Simone de Beauvoir: A Biography 
by Deirdre Bair.
Cape, 718 pp., £19.95, June 1990, 9780224020480
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Lettres à Sartre. Vol I: 1930-1939 
by Simone de Beauvoir, edited by Sylvie Le Bon de Beauvoir.
Gallimard, 400 pp., frs 120, February 1990, 2 07 071829 8
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Lettres à Sartre. Vol II: 1940-1963 
by Simone de Beauvoir, edited by Sylvie Le Bon de Beauvoir.
Gallimard, 443 pp., frs 120, February 1990, 2 07 071864 6
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Journal de Guerre, Septembre 1939-Janvier 1941 
by Simone de Beauvoir, edited by Sylvie Le Bon de Beauvoir.
Gallimard, 371 pp., February 1990, 2 07 071809 3
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In the Shadow of Sartre 
by Liliane Siegel, translated by Barbara Wright.
182 pp., £12.95, May 1990, 9780002153362
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... as a writer’. While in an earlier generation many women regarded her relationship with Jean-Paul Sartre as a brave and inspiring model of liberated sexuality, many feminists today see her lifelong insistence that his superior intellect entitled him to her unqualified service as a form of self-abasement that perpetuated the most conventional elements of ...

Happy in Heaven

Patrick O’Brian, 10 February 1994

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry: The Life and Death of the Little Prince 
by Paul Webster.
Macmillan, 276 pp., £17.99, September 1993, 0 333 54872 8
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... he was not dead at all, while others comb the bed of the Mediterranean to this day, and some – Paul Webster is one – cannot make up their minds. His book begins with an apparently factual account: ‘A few minutes after midday, the distinctive twin-boom Lightning roared into view at a low altitude to the west of Nice, twisted towards the sea and ...

The Patient’s Story

Thomas McKeown, 15 May 1980

Health, Medicine and Mortality in the 16th Century 
edited by Charles Webster.
Cambridge, 417 pp., £18.50, December 1979, 0 521 22643 0
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... life, with patients, and with systems of health care’. The first volume, edited by Charles Webster, is of particular interest as an indication of the aims and methods of the series. Health, Medicine and Mortality in the 16th Century is said (on the dust-cover) to be the first volume to deal with such a wide spectrum of issues related to ...

Dictionaries

Randolph Quirk, 25 October 1979

Collins Dictionary of the English Language 
by P. Hanks, T.H. Long and L. Urdang.
Collins, 1690 pp., £7.95
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... edifice ‘a building’. For all their bright newness, dictionaries of the 1970s (such as the Webster 8th Collegiate, the Longman Modern English Dictionary, the revised Chambers, the 6th Concise Oxford, the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, the Oxford Paperback) are still basically concerned with translating a relatively foreign language into a ...

Out of the closet

Tom Paulin, 29 October 1987

Emily Dickinson 
by Helen McNeil.
Virago, 208 pp., £3.50, April 1986, 0 86068 619 1
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Emily Dickinson: Looking to Canaan 
by John Robinson.
Faber, 191 pp., £3.95, August 1986, 0 571 13943 4
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Emily Dickinson: A Poet’s Grammar 
by Christanne Miller.
Harvard, 212 pp., £15.95, July 1987, 0 674 25035 4
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Emily Dickinson: The Poet on the Second Story 
by Jerome Loving.
Cambridge, 128 pp., £20, April 1987, 0 521 32781 4
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... authenticity, and its origin may be traced to that codifier of male dominance in marriage, St Paul. In II Corinthians iii, Paul seeks to abolish the distinction between readers of written texts or ‘epistles of commendation’ and the writers of such texts. He asserts that ‘ye’ – the Corinthians he is addressing ...

Jungle Joys

Alfred Appel Jr: Wa-Wa-Wa with the Duke, 5 September 2002

... richer sound banks achieved by the saxophone section, expanded to five with the addition of Ben Webster’s tenor in late 1939. By turns volcanic and lyrical (‘Rosebud,’ he seems about to whisper at the end of ballads), Webster became the band’s most compelling solo voice, a great instrumental crooner and jungle ...

Into the Underworld

Iain Sinclair: The Hackney Underworld, 22 January 2015

... though the audience could choose to bury you at any moment’. She summoned up a quote from Paul Celan: ‘There was earth inside them, and they dug.’ Chiara Ambrosio, like many others calibrating the difficulty of existence in an increasingly pressured environment, where substantial memory traces are redacted and the surface of things is revamped on ...

Success

Marilyn Butler, 18 November 1982

The Trouble of an Index: Byron’s Letters and Journals, Vol. XII 
edited by Leslie Marchand.
Murray, 166 pp., £15, May 1982, 0 7195 3885 8
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Lord Byron: Selected Letters and Journals 
edited by Leslie Marchand.
Murray, 404 pp., £12.50, October 1982, 0 7195 3974 9
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Byron 
by Frederic Raphael.
Thames and Hudson, 224 pp., £8.95, July 1982, 0 500 01278 4
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Byron’s Political and Cultural Influence in 19th-Century Europe: A Symposium 
edited by Paul Graham Trueblood.
Macmillan, 210 pp., £15, April 1981, 0 333 29389 4
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Byron and Joyce through Homer 
by Hermione de Almeida.
Macmillan, 233 pp., £15, October 1982, 0 333 30072 6
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Byron: A Poet Before His Public 
by Philip Martin.
Cambridge, 253 pp., £18.50, July 1982, 0 521 24186 3
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... Letters and Journals is Byron’s flirtation in 1813 with Lady Frances Wedderburn Webster, who was beautiful, new-married, and virtuous. While she and Byron played billiards under the nose of her husband, and passed increasingly passionate notes to one another in books, Byron was keeping Lady Melbourne posted on how ...

Getting it right

Tam Dalyell, 18 July 1985

The Ponting Affair 
by Richard Norton-Taylor.
Cecil Woolf, 144 pp., £5.95, June 1985, 0 900821 74 4
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Who Killed Hilda Murrell? 
by Judith Cook.
New English Library, 182 pp., £1.95, June 1985, 0 450 05885 9
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... This is no exaggeration. Simply a statement of fact. I am in a position to know. However right Paul Rogers, Lee Chadwick, Arthur Gavshon and I may have been, the fact is that without the sustained interest of Guardian readers, and, in my case, the Labour Party up and down the country, there was no way which the professors of Belgrano Studies, as David ...

Mizzled

Roy Harris, 21 February 1985

Longman Dictionary of the English Language 
by Randolph Quirk.
Longman, 1875 pp., £14.95, October 1984, 0 582 55511 6
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The Private Lives of English Words 
by Louis Heller, Alexander Humez and Malcah Dror.
Routledge, 333 pp., £12.95, May 1984, 0 7102 0006 4
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The Penguin Dictionary of Troublesome Words 
by Bill Bryson.
Viking, 173 pp., £7.95, April 1984, 0 7139 1653 2
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The Origins of English Words: A Discursive Dictionary of Indo-European Roots 
by Joseph Shipley.
Johns Hopkins, 637 pp., $39.95, May 1984, 0 8018 3004 4
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A Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English 
by Eric Partidge and Paul Beale.
Routledge, 1400 pp., £45, May 1984, 0 7100 9820 0
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... data-base for Longman is still the corpus of some thirteen million quotations amassed by Merriam-Webster. So the claim that this dictionary presents ‘a record or inventory of the English language as it is really used in writing and speech’ should perhaps be taken with a pinch of salt. It is evident that the preponderance of written evidence cannot but ...

Sticktoitiveness

John Sutherland, 8 June 1995

Empire of Words: The Reign of the ‘OED’ 
by John Willinsky.
Princeton, 258 pp., £19.95, November 1994, 0 691 03719 1
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... No longer will scholars use OED in the same way that Scrabble players use the Shorter Oxford and Webster, as a Bible on matters linguistic. Nor, one imagines, could a post-Willinsky scholar do what Raymond Williams did in the Fifties and base a major intellectual enterprise on the confident assumption that OED represents ‘a systematic, reliable and ...

The Big Man

Alex de Waal: The Rwandan Genocide, 3 November 2016

From War to Genocide: Criminal Politics in Rwanda 1990-94 
by André Guichaoua, translated by Don Webster.
Wisconsin, 424 pp., £73.95, October 2015, 978 0 299 29820 3
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... became the dominant narrative, and indeed it is the basis of the state ideology of President Paul Kagame, who heads the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), which took power by overthrowing the genocidal regime. It suits Kagame because it justifies his seizure of the state and his determination not to cede power. The basic fact – that the genocide was an ...

Terrorism

Ian Gilmour, 23 October 1986

Britain’s Civil Wars: Counter-Insurgency in the 20th Century 
by Charles Townshend.
Faber, 220 pp., £14.95, June 1986, 0 571 13802 0
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Terrorism and the Liberal State 
by Paul Wilkinson.
Macmillan, 322 pp., £25, May 1986, 0 333 39490 9
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Terrorism: How the West can win 
edited by Benjamin Netanyahu.
Weidenfeld, 254 pp., £14.95, August 1986, 0 297 79025 0
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Political Murder: From Tyrannicide to Terrorism 
by Franklin Ford.
Harvard, 440 pp., £24.95, November 1985, 0 674 68635 7
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The Financing of Terror 
by James Adams.
New English Library, 294 pp., £12.95, July 1986, 0 450 06086 1
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They dare to speak out: People and institutions confront Israel’s lobby 
by Paul Findley.
Lawrence Hill (Connecticut), 362 pp., $16.95, May 1985, 0 88208 179 9
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... pursuing. In this country sensible discussion of terrorism is still possible. Charles Townshend, Paul Wilkinson and James Adams are immune to the hysteria that has afflicted Reagan’s America. Performing a miracle of compression, Mr Townshend tells the story of British ‘counter-insurgency’ in Ireland, the Middle East, India, Malaya, South Africa and ...

In place of fairies

Simon Schaffer, 2 December 1982

Stolen Lightning: The Social Theory of Magic 
by Daniel O’Keefe.
Martin Robertson, 581 pp., £17.50, September 1982, 0 85520 486 9
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Scienze, Credenze Occulti, Livelli di Cultura 
edited by Paola Zambelli.
Leo Olschki, 562 pp., April 1982, 88 222 3069 8
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... structure and to the theme of Stolen Lightning. This is not a book that describes magic – Paul Daniels and his friends in the Magic Circle can rest easy. Instead, it is a book that celebrates a kind of magic, the magical arcana of high social science. As the author frequently points out, modern sociology and anthropology have been dominated by the ...

Little Mania

Ian Gilmour: The disgraceful Lady Caroline Lamb, 19 May 2005

Lady Caroline Lamb 
by Paul Douglass.
Palgrave, 354 pp., £16.99, December 2004, 1 4039 6605 2
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... vanity . . . Dear Caroline’s perverseness makes me wretched whenever I think of it.’ Paul Douglass does not conceal the widespread belittlement and criticism of Caroline Lamb, but whenever it is at all possible to do so, he takes a charitable view of his heroine. He gives her, he tells us, ‘my sympathy, my laughter and astonishment, my ...

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