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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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... we are once again given little more than the story of Stopes’s romantic, litigious and literary adventures within a framework differing only in minor details from that established by the late RuthHall 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 ...

Two Poems

Ruth​ Padel

18 September 1997
... he fiddled till he got the arrow settled in the middle of the string, then slowly chasmed his hands 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 ...
6 January 1994
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 ...
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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... Honey, she’s a forerunner, that’s what she is, a kind of 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 ...

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 ...

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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... good, then the way has been re-opened for all manner of planning controls designed to conserve the 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 ...

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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... Joan’s replies became less and less frequent. By Christmas he felt frustrated, but wasn’t sure 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 ...
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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... of lawyers and doctors, several of them Masons. In time, royalty did not blush to patronise 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 ...

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 ...

Short Cuts

Harry Stopes: Life on Licence

9 December 2019
... But for a lot of the men, home was where their troubles started. So the last square is just called “Safe”.’Learning 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,” ...

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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... effect of these revisions is that the sibling rivals of the 1950s have been updated for the 1980s 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 ...

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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... to Julia’s own likeness’ in Sargent’s picture. The inanimate objects in that picture also have 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 ...
10 September 1992
Martha: The Life and Work of Martha Graham 
by Agnes DeMille.
Hutchinson, 509 pp., £20, April 1992, 0 09 175219 1
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Blood Memory: An Autobiography 
by Martha Graham.
Macmillan, 279 pp., £20, March 1992, 0 333 57441 9
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... example, eliminated the whole pictorial memory of represented emotion in any tradition of dance or pictures. She omitted the familiar postures of Grief or Triumph or Abandon that Isadora Duncan and Ruth St Denis had relied on, and which the traditional ballet and the silent film relied on, too, for their associative value. Graham paid no attention to long-standing conventions that made use of ...

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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... married his first wife, Dorothy Arnold, in 1939. He would make well-publicised appearances at certain 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 ...

Saint Jane

D.A.N. Jones

20 October 1983
The Good Father 
by Peter Prince.
Cape, 204 pp., £7.95, September 1983, 0 224 02131 1
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Mrs Pooter’s Diary 
by Keith Waterhouse and John Jensen.
Joseph, 208 pp., £7.95, October 1983, 0 7181 2339 5
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Dandiprat’s Days 
by David Thomson.
Dent, 165 pp., £8.50, September 1983, 0 460 04613 6
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The Dream of a Beast 
by Neil Jordan.
Chatto, 103 pp., £6.95, October 1983, 0 7011 2740 6
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Squeak: A Biography of NPA 1978A 203 
by John Bowen and Eric Fraser.
Faber, 127 pp., £2.95, October 1983, 0 571 13170 0
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The Life and Times of Michael K 
by J.M. Coetzee.
Secker, 250 pp., £7.95, September 1983, 0 436 10297 8
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... of the Grossmith brothers’ Diary of a Nobody, the events seen from dear Carrie’s point of view. However, every truthful diary (even from such sturdy fellows as Edmund Wilson or Sir Peter Hall) shows up the writer in a ludicrous light, all the little manias and depressions exposed. Carrie is as Pooterish as her husband. Much of her time is devoted to plotting against him, devising schemes ...

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