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Alan Bennett: Bennett’s Dissection, 1 January 2009

... was once more exotically planted than with the pines that grow here now, as the Edwardian botanist Reginald Farrer used to sow the seeds he brought home from the Orient by firing them across the water into the cliff with a shotgun. The church clock is striking five when we turn back, the waterfall now illuminated under its own self-generated power, the same ...

‘A Being full of Witching’

Charles Nicholl: The ‘poor half-harlot’ of Hazlitt’s affections, 18 May 2000

... year, up in Highgate. The address sounds pleasant enough – 6 Prospect Terrace, on leafy North Hill – but if he was there for reasons of health it was to no avail. He died there on 6 October 1852, at the age of 28, his head horribly swollen by cerebral dropsy or ‘water on the brain’. The informant entered on the death certificate is one of his ...

Courage, mon amie

Terry Castle: Disquiet on the Western Front, 4 April 2002

... at the bedroom window! The tattered rendition of the Last Post, by a pair of insect-buglers on the hill opposite, didn’t help. A prayer was said; the bouquets deposited; the tremors persisted. I had yet to see any Night of the Living Dead movies at this point; but when I did, back in San Diego a few years later, alone in the cheerless TV ‘den’ of the ...

Love in a Dark Time

Colm Tóibín: Oscar Wilde, 19 April 2001

The Complete Letters of Oscar Wilde 
edited by Merlin Holland and Rupert Hart-Davis.
Fourth Estate, 1270 pp., £35, November 2000, 1 85702 781 7
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... a disguise, a hunted life, all that is not for me, to whom you have been revealed on that high hill where beautiful things are transfigured. O sweetest of all boys, most loved of all loves, my soul clings to your soul, my life is your life, and in all the world of pain and pleasure you are my ideal of admiration and joy.’ Five days later, Wilde was ...

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