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Metropolitan Miscreants

Matthew Bevis: Victorian Bloomsbury, 4 July 2013

Victorian Bloomsbury 
by Rosemary Ashton.
Yale, 380 pp., £25, July 2012, 978 0 300 15447 4
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Metropolitan Art and Literature, 1810-40: Cockney Adventures 
by Gregory Dart.
Cambridge, 297 pp., £55, July 2012, 978 1 107 02492 2
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... where the phylum or the city will end up – or whether the city is making us worse or better. Rosemary Ashton’s Victorian Bloomsbury offers a less vertiginous outlook on the terrain by surveying one corner of it. Her focus is on ‘the activities of an earlier set of Bloomsbury-based pioneers, men and women of the 19th century who fought against ...

Adulation or Eggs

Susan Eilenberg: At home with the Carlyles, 7 October 2004

Thomas and Jane Carlyle: Portrait of a Marriage 
by Rosemary Ashton.
Pimlico, 560 pp., £15, February 2003, 0 7126 6634 6
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... and their intolerance wearing. For all their social success, for all their celebrity – and, as Rosemary Ashton points out, they attracted more attention than any other couple in England – they had to restock their social circles again and again. To Carlyle success seemed a long time coming and his achievement peculiarly liable to be undone. In ...

Dark Fates

Frank Kermode, 5 October 1995

The Blue Flower 
by Penelope Fitzgerald.
Flamingo, 226 pp., £14.99, September 1995, 0 00 223912 4
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... to compare his thought with ‘what little we understand of Fichte’s’, but again wrong, as Rosemary Ashton explains in her admirable book The German Idea, in failing to understand that Fichte and Fichteans differed fundamentally from Kant in rejecting the Thing in Itself. You were to think the Thing only as a preparation for thinking that that ...


Peter Pulzer, 4 September 1986

Little Germany: Exile and Asylum in Victorian England 
by Rosemary Ashton.
Oxford, 304 pp., £17.50, July 1986, 0 19 212239 8
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... juggernaut of Republicanism’. Life was much more awkward for the small group who form Dr Ashton’s subject. They came because they had to. Few knew whether they were going to be here for two years or twenty. England was a refuge, not a home. Some, like the Kinkels, were determined to make the best of it and became ultra-Anglophiles – a ...


Pat Rogers, 7 August 1986

Mothers of the Novel: One Hundred Good Women Writers before Jane Austen 
by Dale Spender.
Pandora, 357 pp., £12.95, May 1986, 0 86358 081 5
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Scribbling Sisters 
by Dale Spender and Lynne Spender.
Camden Press, 188 pp., £4.95, May 1986, 0 948491 00 0
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A Woman of No Character: An Autobiography of Mrs Manley 
by Fidelis Morgan.
Faber, 176 pp., £9.95, June 1986, 0 571 13934 5
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by Fanny Burney.
Virago, 919 pp., £6.95, May 1986, 0 86068 775 9
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Millenium Hall 
by Sarah Scott.
Virago, 207 pp., £4.95, May 1986, 0 86068 780 5
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by Susan Ferrier.
Virago, 513 pp., £4.50, February 1986, 0 86068 765 1
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by Maria Edgeworth.
Pandora, 434 pp., £4.95, May 1986, 0 86358 074 2
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by Mary Brunton.
Pandora, 437 pp., £4.95, May 1986, 9780863580840
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The Female Quixote: The Adventures of Arabella 
by Charlotte Lennox.
Pandora, 423 pp., £4.95, May 1986, 0 86358 080 7
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... the reader. The introductions to both reprint series can only be described as mixed in quality. Rosemary Ashton is excellent on Marriage, Judy Simons coolly precise on Cecilia, and Sara Maitland decent, if thin on Self-Control. But Eva Figes does not get very far with Belinda, and Sandra Shulman on The Female Quixote is childish and vulgar-an immense ...

Our Island Story

Stefan Collini: The New DNB, 20 January 2005

The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 
edited by H.C.G. Matthew and Brian Harrison.
Oxford, sixty volumes, £7,500, September 2004, 9780198614111
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... for Eliot’s ‘study of provincial life’ as ‘astonishingly fully realised’. Actually, Rosemary Ashton is a little nearer to Stephen in manner than some of her more cautiously academic fellow contributors, writing, for example, that ‘Marian’s was a difficult life, but a brave and extremely interesting one.’ Of course, Stephen would ...

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