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New Women

Patricia Beer, 17 July 1980

The Odd Women 
by George Gissing.
Virago, 336 pp., £2.50, May 1980, 0 86068 140 8
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The Beth Book 
by Sarah Grand.
Virago, 527 pp., £3.50, January 1980, 0 86068 088 6
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... of women at the end of the 19th century. Gissing’s The Odd Women is one of them. Another is Sarah Grand’s The Beth Book, published in 1897. One would expect the man’s treatment of the subject to differ from the woman’s, but though the two books are as dissimilar as they could be, the difference has little to do with gender. From the point of ...

Timo of Corinth

Julian Symons, 6 August 1992

A Choice of Murder 
by Peter Vansittart.
Peter Owen, 216 pp., £14.99, June 1992, 0 7206 0832 5
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Portrait of the Artist’s Wife 
by Barbara Anderson.
Secker, 309 pp., £13.99, June 1992, 9780436200977
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Turtle Moon 
by Alice Hoffman.
Macmillan, 255 pp., £14.99, June 1992, 0 333 57867 8
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Double Down 
by Tom Kakonis.
Macmillan, 308 pp., £14.99, April 1992, 0 333 57492 3
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... encomium calls ‘New Zealand’s most venerated writer’, Jack Macalister. Present is wife Sarah, who urges those present to read his books, the Macalister girls Dora and Emily, twenty years apart in age, and Jack’s friend and first publisher Charles Bremner, who was also Sarah’s lover. Funeral and reception ...

Hospitalism

Sarah Perry: Victorian ‘Hospitalism’, 5 July 2018

The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister’s Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine 
by Lindsey Fitzharris.
Allen Lane, 304 pp., £16.99, October 2017, 978 0 241 26249 8
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... any poison attending the corpse, and he would have survived essentially unscathed. This was the Grand Guignol stage on which Joseph Lister – the subject of Lindsey Fitzharris’s agreeably grisly and fastidiously detailed book The Butchering Art – took his place. Born into a Quaker family, Lister was tall, handsome and abstemious. He stammered and was ...

Crimewatch UK

John Upton: The Tabloids, the Judges and the Mob, 21 September 2000

... and unthinking, vengeful behaviour on the ground. Two cases stand out: those of Myra Hindley and Sarah Payne. In both public fury has prevailed over fairness, the interests of the bereaved over those of the community as a whole. In 1966, Myra Hindley and Ian Brady were convicted of the murder of two children whom they had abducted and tortured. They received ...

Donne’s Reputation

Sarah Wintle, 20 November 1980

English Renaissance Studies 
edited by John Carey.
Oxford, 320 pp., £15, March 1980, 0 19 812093 1
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... Milton, but Milton studies never even faltered. Indeed, important books like Ricks’s Milton’s Grand Style were conceived of as counterblasts to the Leavis-Eliot offensive. Barbara Everett’s piece is too: her starting-point is Eliot’s treatment of Milton’s name-dropping in the first of his essays on that poet – treatment which she proves to be ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘The Truth’, 13 August 2020

... continue a quarrel about the past.At the heart of the quarrel is the memory of an actress called Sarah, who once rivalled Fabienne in the cinema and in Lumir’s affections. Sarah drowned when she went swimming after drinking too much – some critics believe the character is modelled on Deneuve’s sister, Françoise ...

Cut, Kill, Dig, Drill

Jonathan Raban: Sarah Palin’s Cunning, 9 October 2008

... Sarah Palin has put a new face and voice to the long-standing, powerful, but inchoate movement in US political life that one might see as a mutant variety of Poujadism, inflected with a modern American accent. There are echoes of the Poujadist agenda of 1950s France in its contempt for metropolitan elites, fuelling the resentment of the provinces towards the capital and the countryside towards the city, in its xenophobic strain of nationalism, sturdy, paysan resistance to taxation, hostility to big business, and conviction that politicians are out to exploit the common man ...

Prep-School Girl

Sarah Wintle, 4 April 1985

... my companions, one of whom I already knew a little as the cold and formidable daughter of rather grand friends of my parents. It was because she was crying, and because I instinctively knew that the next day she would still seem cold and formidable, that I at once recognised that the place set a challenge which would demand all the stoic endurance a child ...

Adieu, madame

Terry Castle: Sarah Bernhardt, 4 November 2010

SarahThe Life of Sarah Bernhardt 
by Robert Gottlieb.
Yale, 233 pp., £18.99, October 2010, 978 0 300 14127 6
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... Sarah Bernhardt’s strangest gift – or so it seems a hundred years after the fact – was her ability to make the most improbable people go cuckoo over her. An otherwise mopey young D.H. Lawrence, for example. In 1908, having seen her perform one of her signature roles – Marguerite, the doomed courtesan in La Dame aux camélias – Lawrence sounds like a decadent schoolgirl on heat: ‘Oh, to see her, and to hear her, a wild creature, a gazelle with a beautiful panther’s fascination and fury, sobbing and sighing like a deer sobs, wounded to death, and all the time with the sheen of silk, the glitter of diamonds … She represents the primeval passions of woman, and she is fascinating to an extraordinary degree ...

Wives, Queens, Distant Princesses

John Bayley, 23 October 1986

The Bondage of Love: A Life of Mrs Samuel Taylor Coleridge 
by Molly Lefebure.
Gollancz, 287 pp., £15.95, July 1986, 0 575 03871 3
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Jane Welsh Carlyle 
by Virginia Surtees.
Michael Russell, 294 pp., £12.95, September 1986, 0 85955 134 2
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... called the Wordsworths, a brother and sister, about whom Sam was wildly enthusiastic but whom Sarah correctly divined to be a dire threat. What was so objectionable about these Wordsworths? Well, to begin with they were so quietly but insufferably pleased with themselves, so convinced that they represented sensibility in its highest form. Then William was ...

Preceding Backwardness

Margaret Anne Doody, 9 January 1992

Women’s Lives and the 18th-Century English Novel 
by Elizabeth Bergan Brophy.
University of South Florida Press, 291 pp., $29.95, April 1991, 0 8130 1036 5
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Fictions of Modesty: Women and Courtship in the English Novel 
by Ruth Bernard Yeazell.
Chicago, 306 pp., £19.95, August 1991, 0 226 95096 4
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... from the novels, restricted to the work of seven novelists: Samuel Richardson, Henry Fielding, Sarah Fielding, Charlotte Lennox, Sarah Scott, Clara Reeve and Frances Burney. (There are occasional references to other writers, such as Jane Austen.) A segment on, for instance, ‘Daughters’ will discuss daughters and the ...

Feast of Darks

Christine Stansell: Whistler, 23 October 2003

Whistler, Women and Fashion 
by Margaret MacDonald and Susan Grace Galassi et al.
Yale, 243 pp., £35, May 2003, 0 300 09906 1
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Whistler and His Mother: An Unexpected Relationship 
by Sarah Walden.
Gibson Square, 242 pp., £15.99, July 2003, 1 903933 28 5
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... or his influence. Whistler mostly couldn’t be bothered to learn from other artists. He knew many grand people, from Baudelaire to Wilde to Proust, and basked in the admiration of some important painters, notably Degas and Monet, but his comments on art were either self-inflating pronouncements or insults (a Sargent portrait, he said, showed the ‘cleverness ...

At the Venice Biennale

Alice Spawls: All the World’s Futures, 17 June 2015

... chainsaw sculptures in the Arsenale The Swiss Pavilion The French Pavilion The British Pavilion Sarah Lucas for the British Pavilion The Greek Pavilion Sarah Sze’s ‘Landscape for an Event Suspended Indefinitely’ Sammy Baloji for the Belgian Pavilion The Armstrong Mitchell Crane near the Arsenale A Bruce Nauman neon ...

Ghosting

Andrew O’Hagan: Julian Assange, 6 March 2014

... residence with stags’ heads in the hall. In the dining room there were laptops everywhere. Sarah Harrison, Assange’s personal assistant and girlfriend, was wearing a woolly jumper and kept scraping her ringlets off her face. Another girl, maybe Spanish or South American or Eastern European, came into the drawing room where the fire was blazing. I ...

The End

Angela Carter, 18 September 1986

A Land Apart: A South African Reader 
edited by André Brink and J.M. Coetzee.
Faber, 252 pp., £9.95, August 1986, 0 571 13933 7
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Where Sixpence lives 
by Norma Kitson.
Chatto, 352 pp., £9.95, September 1986, 0 7011 3085 7
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... then, was a little girl, she lived in a big house in Durban. The small son of her mother’s maid Sarah was allowed to come and stay for a few weeks every year; the Crankos used to call him ‘Sixpence’. The rest of the year, Sixpence lived miles away in Zululand with his brothers and sisters. Whenever Sarah lost her ...

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