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Anne Summers, 25 March 1993

Rules of Desire: Sex in Britain, World War One to the Present 
by Cate Haste.
Chatto, 356 pp., £14.99, June 1992, 9780701140168
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Marie Stopes and the Sexual Revolution 
by June Rose.
Faber, 272 pp., £14.99, September 1992, 0 05 711620 2
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Familiar Exploitation: A New Analysis of Marriage in Contemporary Western Societies 
by Christine Delphy and Diana Leonard.
Polity, 301 pp., £45, June 1992, 0 7456 0858 2
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The Transformation of Intimacy: Sexuality, Love and Eroticism in Modern Societies 
by Anthony Giddens.
Polity, 212 pp., £19.50, July 1992, 0 7456 1012 9
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... adventures within a framework differing only in minor details from that established by the late Ruth Hall in her 1977 biography. It is particularly surprising to find that in some quarters Rose is thought to have ‘discovered’ that Stopes was a eugenist: Hall made this perfectly clear, and it has long been a ...

Vile Bodies

Rosemary Dinnage, 18 September 1980

Prostitutes: Our Life 
edited by Claude Jaget, translated by Anna Furse, Suize Fleming and Ruth Hall.
Falling Wall Press, 221 pp., £8.50, May 1980, 0 905046 12 9
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... Prostitution is not going to disappear for a long time, says one of the six women who tells her story here, so it is time people accepted prostitutes. ‘They could at least be ready to look them in the face and acknowledge them,’ she says; and so say the other five, and the heads of the prostitutes’ collectives who have contributed chapters, and the male journalist who edits the book; fair play, both legally and socially, is what they ask for, for working women who have simply struck a private bargain with another individual ...

Two Poems

Ruth Padel, 18 September 1997

... apart and shot Medea. She sat there stunned while Eros laughed, flashing back from the high-roofed hall, his arrow smouldering in her heart, the sudden start of flame. Then her soul gave in to its melting pain, going up like the handful of twigs a woman nests round a single blazing coal. A below-the-breadline woman, straight from fairy tale, whose task is ...
Daring to Excel: The Story of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain 
by Ruth Railton.
Secker, 466 pp., £20, August 1992, 0 436 23359 2
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... Ruth gave the Prime Minister as a Christmas card an old map of the Broadstairs area of Kent.’ The Prime Minister thanked her for it, writing from Chequers ‘in his own hand’. In his 1970-74 diaries Cecil King records a warm relationship between his wife, Dame Ruth Railton, and Edward Heath ...

Gosh oh gee

Alan Allport: ‘Being Boys’, 21 November 2013

Being Boys: Youth, Leisure and Identity in the Interwar Years 
by Melanie Tebbutt.
Manchester, 352 pp., £75, February 2012, 978 0 7190 6613 9
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... whether or not to break it off. So he sought advice in a distinctively modern way: he wrote to Ruth English, agony aunt of Everybody’s, a weekly tabloid. Advice columns very quickly became common in British newspapers and magazines in the late 1930s. Though the concept of the agony aunt extended as far back as the 17th century, it took the launch of the ...

One Night in Maidenhead

Jean McNicol, 30 October 1997

Noel Coward and Radclyffe HallKindred Spirits 
by Terry Castle.
Columbia, 150 pp., £15.95, November 1996, 0 231 10596 7
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Your John: The Love Letters of Radclyffe Hall 
edited by Joanne Glasgow.
New York, 273 pp., £20, March 1997, 0 8147 3092 2
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Radclyffe HallA Woman Called John 
by Sally Cline.
Murray, 434 pp., £25, June 1997, 9780719554087
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... pioneer that’s got left behind. I believe she’s the beginning of things like me.’ Radclyffe Hall has long since been left behind, along with Joan Ogden, the heroine of her first novel, The Unlit Lamp, and the character to whom these words refer. The young women she had overheard, Ogden thought, were ‘aggressively intelligent ... not at all ...

True Grit

David Craig, 8 February 1996

Wainwright: The Biography 
by Hunter Davies.
Joseph, 356 pp., £16.99, October 1995, 0 7181 3909 7
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... Once there was a town hall official in Cumberland who was so enthralled by the mountains that he walked and walked them, penetrating every byway, surveying every vista. To amuse himself he drew them and wrote about them, year after year. And the more his marriage languished, the more he walked, and drew, and wrote, until the seven volumes of A Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells were complete ...

Jam Tomorrow

F.M.L. Thompson, 31 August 1989

Clichés of Urban Doom, and Other Essays 
by Ruth Glass.
Blackwell, 266 pp., £25, November 1988, 0 631 12806 9
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Cities of Tomorrow: An Intellectual History of Urban Planning and Design in the 20th Century 
by Peter Hall.
Blackwell, 473 pp., £25, November 1988, 0 631 13444 1
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London 2001 
by Peter Hall.
Unwin Hyman, 226 pp., £17.95, January 1989, 9780044451617
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The Big Smoke: A History of Air Pollution in London since Medieval Times 
by Peter Brimblecombe.
Routledge, 185 pp., £12.95, March 1989, 0 415 03001 3
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New York Unbound: The City and the Politics of the Future 
edited by Peter Salins.
Blackwell, 223 pp., £35, December 1988, 1 55786 008 4
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The Idea of a Town: The Anthropology of Urban Forms in Rome, Italy and the Ancient World 
by Joseph Rykwert.
MIT, 241 pp., $15, September 1988, 0 262 68056 4
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... environment. In the introduction to the collection of her reprinted essays Clichés of Urban Doom, Ruth Glass offers a forceful, eloquent and polemical expression of the view that planning, along with all the basic values and institutions of the modern democratic welfare state, has been uprooted and up-ended since 1979 by a gigantic conjuring trick which has ...

England’s Ideology

Roy Porter, 5 August 1982

Coram’s Children: The London Foundling Hospital in the 18th Century 
by Ruth McClure.
Yale, 321 pp., £15, September 1981, 0 300 02465 7
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Children of the Empire 
by Gillian Wagner.
Weidenfeld, 284 pp., £10.95, March 1982, 0 297 78047 6
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... the charity, though bishop governors were notably few, and women were absent. The Hospital was, in Ruth McClure’s words, the pioneer case of ‘incorporated associative benevolence’, with the aim, as Joseph Massie put it, that ‘Charity, Humanity, Patriotism and Economy be made to go hand in hand’. Popean, if not quite Mandevillian, in their ...

The Henry James Show

Ruth Bernard Yeazell, 7 January 1988

Henry James: A Life 
by Leon Edel.
Collins, 740 pp., £25, July 1987, 0 00 217870 2
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The Complete Notebooks of Henry James 
edited by Leon Edel and Lyall Powers.
Oxford, 662 pp., £25, March 1987, 0 19 503782 0
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... by a touch of incestuous and homo-erotic feeling. Writing in the New Republic in 1979, Richard Hall faulted the five-volume biography for manifesting ‘a peculiar timidity at the centre of the work’. What was missing from Edel’s account, according to Hall, was not so much James’s ‘homo-erotic bent’ – Edel ...

Maisie’s Sisters

Ruth Bernard Yeazell: Sargent’s Daughters, 5 August 2010

Sargent’s Daughters: The Biography of a Painting 
by Erica Hirshler.
MFA, 262 pp., £23.95, October 2009, 978 0 87846 742 6
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... a history. Hirshler says the room in which the girls pose was the ‘grande antichambre’ – the hall – of the Boits’ modern apartment in the eighth arrondissement of Paris; if it was really as unfurnished as it appears in Sargent’s painting, visitors must have found it an odd introduction to a household otherwise overflowing with ...

Keeping Score

Ian Jackman: Joe DiMaggio, 10 May 2001

Joe DiMaggio: The Hero’s Life 
by Richard Ben Cramer.
Simon and Schuster, 560 pp., £20, April 2001, 0 684 85391 4
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... nightclubs and cash would be put in a trust account at the Bowery Bank, which was where Tammany Hall bosses kept their money, so it must have seemed safe. DiMaggio had a million dollars in the Bowery Bank when he retired in 1951, which made it easier to turn down the paltry $100,000 the Yankees offered him to go on playing. He always made good copy. Before ...

So Very Silent

John Pemble: Victorian Corpse Trade, 25 October 2012

Dying for Victorian Medicine: English Anatomy and Its Trade in the Dead Poor, c.1834-1929 
by Elizabeth Hurren.
Palgrave, 380 pp., £65, December 2011, 978 0 230 21966 3
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Dickens and the Workhouse: Oliver Twist and the London Poor 
by Ruth Richardson.
Oxford, 370 pp., £16.99, February 2012, 978 0 19 964588 6
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... Georgian workhouse has been saved from demolition because it’s reckoned, on evidence detailed by Ruth Richardson in Dickens and the Workhouse, that it must be the most famous workhouse of all – the one in Oliver Twist. The claim isn’t convincing. Oliver Twist’s workhouse is 75 miles north of London and if it ever existed outside Dickens’s imagination ...

Short Cuts

Harry Stopes: Life on Licence, 9 December 2019

... Together held its first workshops at Grendon in 2014, under the direction of Ruth Armstrong and Amy Ludlow, from Cambridge’s Institute of Criminology. John had been sceptical at first. ‘The lads were always talking about it, “Oh they’re just studying us like lab rats,” but as the weeks went by … ...

Silence

Alan Hollinghurst, 17 September 1981

Shuttlecock 
by Graham Swift.
Allen Lane, 220 pp., £6.95, September 1981, 0 7139 1413 0
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The Frights 
by Nicholas Salaman.
Alison Press/Secker, 170 pp., £6.95, September 1981, 0 436 44085 7
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March House 
by Mary Hocking.
Chatto, 222 pp., £6.95, August 1981, 0 7011 2586 1
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The Missing Person 
by Doris Grumbach.
Hamish Hamilton, 252 pp., £7.95, August 1981, 0 241 10660 5
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... out of place, Adam decided, belonging to daytime, like the smell of Turkish cigarettes in the hall after breakfast, or kedgeree.’ But apart from this sort of poetic awareness, which Salaman shares with the children, the novel shows both children and adults to be prone to self-induced fear and the exercise of cruelty. The relationships in the family are ...

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