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Great Tradition

Robert Barnard

18 December 1980
Plaster Sinners 
by Colin Watson.
Eyre Methuen, 160 pp., £5.95, September 1980, 0 413 39040 3
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Photo-Finish 
by Ngaio Marsh.
Collins, 262 pp., £5.95, September 1980, 0 00 231857 1
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The Predator 
by Russell Braddon.
Joseph, 192 pp., £5.95, October 1980, 0 7181 1958 4
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... soprano. Ngaio Marsh apparently got her damehood for creating from nothing a New Zealand theatre. Now she has done the same for opera. Opera seeps in around the edges of The Predator, a thriller by RussellBraddon, perhaps as a sort of residue of his long-ago biography of Joan Sutherland. In fact, Mr Braddon finally lost me around page fifty, where a duet from Bellini’s La Straniera is played and all ...

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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... book also conveys an intriguing sense of the uncertain status of the area. In 1825, when Robert Peel complained that ‘if the national gallery were banished to the neighbourhood of St Giles’s and Russell-square it would much lessen the value of the collection,’ he was implying that Bloomsbury was irredeemably dodgy. It bordered a notorious slum, and the university and its partner institutions were ...

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