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Drugs, anyone?

Seamus Perry: George Meredith, 18 June 2015

Modern Love and Poems of the English Roadside, with Poems and Ballads 
by George Meredith, edited by Criscillia Benford and Rebecca Mitchell.
Yale, 390 pp., £40, April 2015, 978 0 300 17317 8
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... Love and Poems of the English Roadside, with Poems and Ballads is the awkwardly titled text that Rebecca Mitchell and Criscillia Benford have edited in handsome style. ‘Modern Love’ is a sort of dark sister-piece to the sunshine of ‘Love in a Valley’, and not at all what his contemporaries admired in him; as this edition demonstrates, the ...

Short Cuts

Christopher Tayler: Costume Drama, 11 October 2012

... as Wyndham Lewis did in 1914: ‘What balls!’ So even given the participation of Tom Stoppard, Rebecca Hall and Benedict Cumberbatch, it was surprising to see a Ford adaptation given five hours on BBC2. Ford was last unloosed in this way in 1981, when Julian Mitchell adapted The Good Soldier for Granada Television. That ...

Antigone on Your Knee

Terry Eagleton, 6 February 2020

A Cultural History of Tragedy: Vols I-VI 
edited by Rebecca Bushnell.
Bloomsbury Academic, 1302 pp., £395, November 2019, 978 1 4742 8814 9
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... Cowan remarks that tragedy ‘was born under tyranny but flowered under democracy’, though Mitchell Greenberg notes that in the 17th century tragic theatre enjoyed a golden period in an age of political absolutism. It is also worth asking why the decline of tragedy coincided with the waning of such power. The scholars who write in the volume on ...

The Tarnished Age

Richard Mayne, 3 September 1981

David O. Selznick’s Hollywood 
by Ronald Haver.
Secker, 425 pp., £35, December 1980, 0 436 19128 8
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My Early life 
by Ronald Reagan and Richard Hubler.
Sidgwick, 316 pp., £7.95, April 1981, 0 283 98771 5
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Naming Names 
by Victor Navasky.
Viking, 482 pp., $15.95, October 1980, 0 670 50393 2
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... intent on shaping every detail himself. This upset ambitious directors. When Alfred Hitchcock made Rebecca, Spell-bound and The Paradine Case, he was told to stop ‘cutting in the camera’, and to shoot enough film for Selznick to control the editing. Not surprisingly, these were three of Hitchcock’s feebler films. Much of Selznick’s work was inspired by ...

Death in Plain Sight

Marina Warner: Emily Davison, Modern Martyr, 4 July 2013

... Union, but her independent – and extreme – militancy caused a breach. In the words of David Mitchell, a biographer of Christabel Pankhurst, she became ‘an incorrigible freelance’. In the summer of 1913, newsreel cameras captured her running across the course of the most popular race of the year, the Epsom Derby, falling under a horse and lying prone ...

Mother-Haters and Other Rebels

Barbara Taylor: Heroine Chic, 3 January 2002

Inventing Herself: Claiming a Feminist Intellectual Heritage 
by Elaine Showalter.
Picador, 384 pp., £16.99, June 2001, 0 330 34669 5
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... eulogised as feminist foremothers: Margaret Mead and her fellow anthropologists of the 1920s, Rebecca West and the pioneers of British ‘New Feminism’, Emma Goldman, Mary McCarthy and Hannah Arendt (the last two, both openly hostile to feminism, qualify on the grounds that as ‘trouble-makers and rule-breakers’ they lived the feminism they ...

‘The Meeting of the Waters’

John Barrell, 27 July 2017

... male soloists, and only five by women; but over the next forty years some celebrated contraltos, Rebecca Isaacs, Louisa Pyne, Antoinette Sterling and Janet Patey, achieved almost exclusive ownership of the song: the databases show Patey performing it at least 43 times. Between 1850 and 1890 I found only 40 performances by male solo singers as against 197 by ...

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