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Terror on the Vineyard

Terry Castle: Boss Ladies, Watch Out!, 15 April 1999

A Likely Story: One Summer with Lillian Hellman 
by Rosemary Mahoney.
Doubleday, 273 pp., $23.95, November 1998, 9780385479318
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... with chilling sangfroid – to Sartre. It is somehow not surprising that, with the publication of Rosemary Mahoney’s memoir A Likely Story, Lillian Hellman (1905-84) should sustain a similar assault. Over the course of a long and controversial life Hellman herself was hardly a stranger to same-sex animus. Her first play, The Children’s Hour ...

Valet of the Dolls

Andrew O’Hagan: Sinatra, 24 July 2003

Mr S.: The Last Word on Frank Sinatra 
by George Jacobs and William Stadiem.
Sidgwick, 261 pp., £16.99, June 2003, 0 283 07370 5
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... semi-penitents who rush to take up the pen as soon as they lay down the Hoover. Who can forget Rosemary Mahoney, who spent a summer scrubbing Lillian Hellman’s floors in Martha’s Vineyard? On taking the job, she thought of Hellman as a brilliant writer, a woman ‘brave and strong and full of noble ideas’, but after a few twists of Hellman’s ...

Who would you have been?

Jessica Olin: No Kids!, 26 August 2015

Selfish, Shallow and Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids 
edited by Meghan Daum.
Picador, 282 pp., £17.99, May 2015, 978 1 250 05293 3
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... For some, it seemed ‘an interesting future possibility’, like ‘joining the Peace Corps’. Rosemary Mahoney ‘used to imagine what my children would look like, and those pleasant imaginings made me love them so much that when I finally snapped to I would actually miss their faces’. For others, the desire comes as a gut-punch, visceral and ...

Amor vincit Vinnie

Marilyn Butler, 21 February 1985

Foreign Affairs 
by Alison Lurie.
Joseph, 291 pp., £8.95, January 1985, 0 7181 2516 9
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... their demanding one-year-old. But soon, through Vinnie, the handsome Fred meets a titled actress, Rosemary Radley, who seems twice over a lady since she plays an aristocrat in a current TV soap-opera. Through Rosemary, Fred enters a world of smart restaurants, theatres, parties and country-house weekends. He begins to ...

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