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Lamb’s Tails

Christopher Driver, 19 June 1986

All Manners of Food: Eating and Taste in England and France from the Middle Ages to the Present 
by Stephen Mennell.
Blackwell, 380 pp., £14.95, October 1985, 0 631 13244 9
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Curye on Inglysch: English Culinary Manuscripts of the 14th Century including ‘The Forme of Cury’ 
edited by Constance Hieatt and Sharon Butler.
Oxford, for the Early English Text Society, 224 pp., £6.50, April 1985, 0 19 722409 1
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The English Cookbook 
by Victor Gordon.
Cape, 304 pp., £12.50, November 1985, 0 224 02300 4
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... However, for what has been set before us may the Lord make us truly thankful, for Hieatt and Butler’s work on these texts is beyond praise. The Forme of Cury, for instance, is popularly known from its 18th-century editions. But only the other day an expensive advertisement in a food magazine was put together under the misapprehension that Cury ...

I like you

Hermione Lee: Boston Marriage, 24 May 2007

Between Women: Friendship, Desire and Marriage in Victorian England 
by Sharon Marcus.
Princeton, 356 pp., £12.95, March 2007, 978 0 691 12835 1
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... This ‘matrilineal, incestuous, adulterous, polygamous, homosexual household’, as Sharon Marcus describes it in Between Women, was not, however, ‘branded as deviant’. Cushman was indeed ‘unimpeachable’. Female marriages like hers, in which couples called each other ‘sposa’, ‘wedded wife’ and ‘hubbie’, and whose members ...

What’s the difference?

Arianne Shahvisi: Sex in the Brain, 8 September 2022

The Gendered Brain: The New Neuroscience That Shatters the Myth of the Female Brain 
by Gina Rippon.
Vintage, 424 pp., £9.99, September 2020, 978 1 78470 681 4
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The Better Half: On the Genetic Superiority of Women 
by Sharon Moalem.
Penguin, 274 pp., £9.99, March 2021, 978 0 241 39689 6
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... of fairy-tale fear-mongering that puts them in league with the far right. Theirs is, as Judith Butler writes, ‘a rich fantasy, and one that comes from powerful fears, but it does not describe a social reality’. Trans women are more likely to be sexually assaulted than cis women, and vulnerability to violence is, for most women, a more concrete ...

Pipe down back there!

Terry Castle: The Willa Cather Wars, 14 December 2000

Willa Cather and the Politics of Criticism 
by Joan Acocella.
Nebraska, 127 pp., £13.50, August 2000, 0 8032 1046 9
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... central and most caustic satire of her book for one of the blockbusters of 1980s Cather criticism: Sharon O’Brien’s influential Willa Cather: The Emerging Voice, a massive, often ponderous study of the writer’s early life and career published by Oxford in 1987. O’Brien’s claim to fame, put somewhat cartoonishly, is that she was the first major ...


Alan Bennett: Notes on 1997, 1 January 1998

... whether such considerations are too subtle to be picked up by the psephologists, among whom David Butler figures, as he has done in every election that I can recall.2 May, Chicago. Sitting on my bag at O’Hare waiting for the other to come round on the carousel, I become aware of a small white terrier sniffing round me. Thinking it might slyly cock its ...

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