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History as a Bunch of Flowers

James Davidson: Jacob Burckhardt

20 August 1998
The Greeks and Greek Civilisation 
by Jacob Burckhardt, edited by Oswyn Murray, translated by Sheila Stern.
HarperCollins, 449 pp., £24.99, May 1998, 0 00 255855 6
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... him and now is a long and uncertain one, but let’s not be too etymological about this. The search for origins is an inexact science at the best of times. Thanks to the efforts of Oswyn Murray and SheilaStern, a Great Blue Whale is swimming for the first time in English waters. Tiddlers everywhere should be pleased to accept the invitation to swim in its posthumous wake ...

Making It

Melissa Benn: New Feminism?

5 February 1998
Different for Girls: How Culture Creates Women 
by Joan Smith.
Chatto, 176 pp., £10.99, September 1997, 9780701165123
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The New Feminism 
by Natasha Walter.
Little, Brown, 278 pp., £17.50, January 1998, 0 316 88234 8
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A Century of Women: The History of Women in Britain and the United States 
by Sheila​ Rowbotham.
Penguin, 752 pp., £20, June 1997, 0 670 87420 5
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... and dinners.) So I can’t, as they say, relate to the pc feminism that Walter summons to life in order heroically to slay. The New Feminism is an interesting combination of American optimism and stern empiricism. From time to time it reads as though some Old Left economic and civil-libertarian demands were being presented by a marketing agency geared up to press home each Unique Selling Point. It ...

Homage to Mrs Brater

Rosemary Ashton

7 August 1986
George Eliot 
by Gillian Beer.
Harvester, 272 pp., £16.95, May 1986, 0 7108 0506 3
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German Women in the 18th and 19th Centuries: A Social and Literary History 
edited by Ruth-Ellen Joeres and Mary Jo Maynes.
Indiana, 356 pp., $29.95, January 1986, 0 253 32578 1
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Red Jenny: A Life with Karl Marx 
by H.F. Peters.
Allen and Unwin, 182 pp., £12.95, May 1986, 0 04 928053 8
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Wives of Fame: Mary Livingstone, Jenny Marx, Emma Darwin 
by Edna Healey.
Sidgwick, 210 pp., £12.95, April 1986, 0 283 98552 6
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A Mid-Victorian Feminist: Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon 
by Sheila​ Herstein.
Yale, 224 pp., £16.95, January 1986, 0 300 03317 6
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George Eliot and Blackmail 
by Alexander Welsh.
Harvard, 400 pp., £20.50, November 1985, 0 674 34872 9
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... its limitations, in which case do they render study valueless? One sympathises with the researcher, who too often, as in Gudrun Wedel’s case here, evades the issue while seeming to meet it with stern rhetoric: ‘Criticism did not only revolve around the fact that in a woman’s biography a woman is actually the main figure but also that many unimportant and redundant details are conveyed – ...


Sheila​ Fitzpatrick: Stalin’s Origins

1 November 2007
Young Stalin 
by Simon Sebag Montefiore.
Weidenfeld, 397 pp., £25, May 2007, 978 0 297 85068 7
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... loaded with silks and spices from Persia and Turkestan, fruit and wineskins from the lush Georgian countryside, ambled through the gates of the Caravanserai’). But for Stalin, Tiflis meant a stern seminary education and, running parallel to this, his induction, first into the world of literature forbidden by the seminary, from Zola and Victor Hugo to Tolstoy and Saltykov-Shchedrin, and then ...

Who gets the dacha?

Sheila​ Fitzpatrick: Marshal Zhukov

24 January 2013
Stalin’s General: The Life of Georgy Zhukov 
by Geoffrey Roberts.
Icon, 375 pp., £25, August 2012, 978 1 84831 442 9
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... invasion as defence minister in 1956; and in 1957 rescued Khrushchev from the challenge of the Anti-Party Group. At the Geneva summit in 1955, he made the cover of Time, pictured with an air of stern determination in front of a heavily fortified Kremlin, as if he were the Soviet leader. Even in his periods of disgrace, the Russian people loved him and saw him as one of them, or so we are told ...
19 June 1986
The Old Gringo 
translated by Margaret Sayers Peden and Carlos Fuentes, by Carlos Fuentes.
Deutsch, 199 pp., £8.95, May 1986, 0 233 97862 3
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Where the air is clear 
by Carlos Fuentes, translated by Sam Hileman.
Deutsch, 376 pp., £4.95, June 1986, 0 233 97937 9
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Farewell to the Sea 
by Reinaldo Arenas, translated by Andrew Hurley.
Viking, 412 pp., £12.95, May 1986, 0 670 52960 5
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Digging up the mountains 
by Neil Bissoondath.
Deutsch, 247 pp., £8.95, May 1986, 0 233 97851 8
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... absence of trustworthy state authority, he sees the Latin American novelist as a moral legislator, the uniquely impartial and wise arbiter of values. Fuentes’s ideal novelist also works under the stern injunction to ‘write everything that history has not said, otherwise it will be forgotten’. This is not, as the smug Anglo-Saxon might surmise, because semi-literate Latin America has too little ...

Mother One, Mother Two

Jeremy Harding: A memoir

31 March 2005
... broker, was recommending to investors. The other, far more important volumes for Maureen – the lapidary texts – were One Hundred and One Dalmatians by Dodie Smith and The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford. Her copy of The Incredible Journey was one of the few things that she managed to hang onto till the end of her days. It tells the story of two dogs and a cat, who wander through Canada ...

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