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Wendy Steiner

28 June 1990
The New Women and the Old Men: Love, Sex and the Women Question 
by Ruth Brandon.
Secker, 294 pp., £16.95, January 1990, 0 436 06722 6
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... force of such conceits these days, hard to remember that getting married was not always an act of political defiance (or defeat) and having children was not invariably a part of ‘having it all’. RuthBrandon’s intelligent study, The New Women and the Old Men: Love, Sex and the Woman Question, focuses on a crucial stage in the politicisation of privacy, describing the personal involvements of ...

The Perfect Plot Device

Dinah Birch: Governesses

17 July 2008
Other People’s Daughters: The Life and Times of the Governess 
by Ruth Brandon.
Weidenfeld, 303 pp., £20, March 2008, 978 0 297 85113 4
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... achieve autonomy, however demanding and risky, as the proprietors of schools. The bleak image of the private governess has become a cliché, but it has clear foundations in fact. It is odd to find RuthBrandon, in Other People’s Daughters, exclaiming over the afflictions of the governess as though they were a new discovery. Her study treads familiar ground, which is not made more original by the ...

Adieu, madame

Terry Castle: Sarah Bernhardt

4 November 2010
Sarah: The Life of Sarah Bernhardt 
by Robert Gottlieb.
Yale, 233 pp., £18.99, October 2010, 978 0 300 14127 6
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... in 1967 entitled Madame Sarah. (In the requisite Mucha-decorated dustjacket, it became a supermarket bestseller in the US in that long-ago Summer of Love.) And the prolific biographer and novelist RuthBrandon produced another excellent life in the 1990s. My own favourite Bernhardt book is Robert Fizdale and Arthur Gold’s The Divine Sarah (1991): an epic yet intimate jaunt through Bernhardt’s ...

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