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To the Cleaners

Nicholas Penny, 4 July 1985

The Ravished Image: Or, How to Ruin Masterpieces by Restoration 
by Sarah Walden.
Weidenfeld, 174 pp., £12.95, April 1985, 0 297 78407 2
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... of gargantuan ice-creams (which turn out to be blow-ups of tiny pickings of pigment). This book by Sarah Walden is an attempt to disturb the euphoria which publicity of this sort is designed to induce, although her villains are operating in this country and in the United States rather than on the Continent. The dust jacket combines low sensationalism with ...

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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... fancy shapes after dinner’). He was ‘patchily informed about the Old Masters’, according to Sarah Walden, ‘and seems to have taken surprisingly little trouble to familiarise himself with their works or techniques’. Except for a trip to the Netherlands to study Hals, he never joined in pilgrimages to aesthetically hallowed sites, but looked at ...

So Amused

Sarah Rigby: Fay Weldon, 11 July 2002

Auto da Fay 
by Fay Weldon.
Flamingo, 366 pp., £15.99, May 2002, 9780007109920
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... throws books at unsuspecting children; and, most disturbingly, the weeping ghost in the Saffron Walden house she shares with her mother and sister in early adulthood. This ghost’s presence is powerful: the cat seems to stare and hiss at it and when Weldon is alone with her baby one night, it so terrifies her that she is unable to leave the bedroom to get ...

Populist Palatial

Rosemary Hill: The View from Piccadilly, 4 March 2021

London’s West End: Creating the Pleasure District, 1800-1914 
by Rohan McWilliam.
Oxford, 400 pp., £30, September 2020, 978 0 19 882341 4
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Survey of London: Volume 53, Oxford Street 
edited by Andrew Saint.
Paul Mellon Centre, 421 pp., £75, April 2020, 978 1 913107 08 6
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... when the first great actor-managers – Philip Kemble, with his brother Charles and their sister Sarah Siddons – transformed the drama. A generation of great actors met a generation of great critics, including Hazlitt, Coleridge and Byron, and the London theatre was a centre of literary and intellectual life as never before or since. In an auditorium ...

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