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Sheila Hale: Dysphasia, 5 March 1998

... This sociable stranger with the donnish manner would like to know who you are and what interests you. He will listen attentively and respond enthusiastically. Whether you speak English, Italian, French or German you will have no doubt that he follows your meaning. The trouble is that however hard you try you will not be able to understand a single word he is saying ...

Not very good at drawing

Nicholas Penny: Titian, 6 June 2013

Titian: His Life 
by Sheila Hale.
Harper, 832 pp., £30, July 2012, 978 0 00 717582 6
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... The inveterate boaster perhaps implies that the old artist is less virile than he is. Sheila Hale concludes somewhat redundantly that ‘although Titian’s women leave us in no doubt that he loved them, blonde or brunette, slim or buxom, whores, courtesans or high-ranking girlfriends of his patrons, we are forced to respect his reticence ...

Learning to Say ‘Cat’

Edmund Gordon: ‘Lean Fall Stand’, 17 June 2021

Lean Fall Stand 
by Jon McGregor.
Fourth Estate, 288 pp., £14.99, April, 978 0 00 820490 7
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... In​ The Man Who Lost His Language (2002), a memoir about her husband’s aphasia, Sheila Hale explains that ‘unless complicated by other neurological disorders, aphasia does not usually affect personality.’ I first read the book in April 2019, when my father was in a stroke ward in Madrid. The only sounds he could manage were ‘yuh’ (which often meant ‘no’) and a few grunts and warbles ...

I had to refrain

Andrew Saint: Pre-Raphaelite Houses, 1 December 2005

Philip Webb: Pioneer of Arts and Crafts Architecture 
by Sheila Kirk.
Wiley-Academy, 336 pp., £29.99, February 2005, 0 470 86808 2
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... of England’s domestic architects and its finest artist in the puritan tradition. This study by Sheila Kirk and the equally thoughtful photographs by Martin Charles that go with it at last set out the full evidence on which this claim can rest. Webb was 18 and embarking on an obscure apprenticeship in Reading when The Seven Lamps of Architecture came out in ...


Colm Tóibín: Alone in Venice, 19 November 2020

... of Titian’s life and is vividly evoked in ‘The Plague and the Pity’, the last chapter of Sheila Hale’s biography of the painter. Between August 1575 and the following February, there were 3696 plague deaths in Venice, about 2 per cent of the population. Most of the cases were ‘in the slums and the crowded ghetto’, ...

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