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Sam, Caroline, Janet, Stella, Len, Helen and Bob

Susan Pedersen: Mass Observation, 21 September 2017

Seven Lives from Mass Observation: Britain in the Late 20th Century 
by James Hinton.
Oxford, 207 pp., £25, October 2016, 978 0 19 878713 6
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... is not the reason I, for one, read history. You can admire Hinton’s achievement but still look forward to historians bringing some rather different questions to the Mass Observation ...

Bilal and Samir

Swee Chai Ang, 7 January 1988

... Medical Aid for Palestinians came into being in 1984. This programme sponsored Pauline Cutting, Susan Wighton and the rest of the volunteers from nine nations whose efforts are commemorated in this book. The decision to send medical volunteers to work in these conditions was a difficult one. It would have been so much simpler just to raise the money and ...

Pen Men

Elaine Showalter, 20 March 1986

Men and Feminism in Modern Literature 
by Declan Kiberd.
Macmillan, 250 pp., £13.95, September 1985, 0 333 38353 2
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Women Writing about Men 
by Jane Miller.
Virago, 256 pp., £10.95, January 1986, 0 86068 473 3
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Phallic Critiques: Masculinity and 20th-century Literature 
by Peter Schwenger.
Routledge, 172 pp., £29.50, September 1985, 0 7102 0164 8
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... women writers.’ Furthermore, he told a large audience, ‘there are not that many women, like Susan Sontag, who are intellectuals first, poets and novelists second.’ Since ‘more men ... are deeply interested in intellectual matters than women,’ he concluded, to have invited more women simply for the sake of fairness would have meant ‘lowering the ...

Adulterers’ Distress

Philip Horne, 21 July 1983

A Nail on the Head 
by Clare Boylan.
Hamish Hamilton, 135 pp., £7.95, July 1983, 0 241 11001 7
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New Stories 8: An Arts Council Anthology 
edited by Karl Miller.
Hutchinson, 227 pp., £8.95, May 1983, 9780091523800
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The Handyman 
by Penelope Mortimer.
Allen Lane, 199 pp., £6.95, May 1983, 0 7139 1364 9
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Open the Door 
by Rosemary Manning.
Cape, 180 pp., £7.95, June 1983, 0 224 02112 5
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A Boy’s Own Story 
by Edmund White.
Picador, 218 pp., £2.50, July 1983, 0 330 28151 8
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... give a range of ages, occupations and habitations. The stories are so arranged as to bring forward analogies of subject that focus in several instances considerable differences of treatment. Oliver Sacks’s stirring ‘The Leg’, a true story of paralysis which deals in eloquently measured prose with, the author’s loss of the sense of his left ...

Restoring St. George’s

Peter Campbell: In Bloomsbury, 20 November 2003

... from that poor, south side of town you could enter by way of the great porch. You were then drawn forward by the light which streamed down from the clerestory windows set in the top – the attic storey, as it were – of the cube. A turn to the right brought you face to face with the altar. It is hard to think of the huge portico as the equivalent of the ...


Christopher Hitchens: Men (and Women) of the Year, 14 December 1995

... Steinberg, the celebrated victim of fatal child abuse; the crowds who wanted to do the same for Susan Smith, only to turn instantly into a lynch mob on learning that she killed her children. ‘Vicarious identification’ is just right. You hear bar-room nutters referring confidently to ‘O.J. ’, just as they once dropped the name ‘Ollie’. He’s ...
... who really does have a ‘heart’) and she ‘died so grotesquely that her little body had fallen forward into the trunk’: but in this version she lies looking quite composed, on her back. Ford wanted the grotesquerie, and prepared for it by an anecdote about a cow, here omitted. Maisie must not, at this point, look like a Pre-Raphaelite Ophelia. In ...

Human Boys

Penelope Fitzgerald, 7 December 1989

True Confessions of Adrian Albert Mole, Margaret Hilda Roberts and Robert and Susan Lilian Townsend 
by Sue Townsend.
Methuen, 117 pp., £5.99, August 1989, 0 413 62450 1
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CounterBlasts No 9: Mr Bevan’s Dream 
by Sue Townsend.
Chatto, 74 pp., £2.99, November 1989, 0 7011 3468 2
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... war, we are at conflict ... I am reading Scoop by a woman called Evelyn Waugh’). There are steps forward, too, into adult experience. He runs away from home, getting as far as Manchester, although his disappearance seems to cause no stir – nothing about him on the Six O’Clock News – and he has to write a card addressed to himself: ‘Come ...

At The Hutton Enquiry

Daniel Soar: Hutton’s Big Top, 11 September 2003

... after all), the ISC wouldn’t object to a press release stating that an unnamed official had come forward as a possible source for Andrew Gilligan’s suspect reports and that he was available as a witness to the Committee, if they wished to call him. The ISC was set up in 1994 to scrutinise the work of the several Intelligence agencies; it reports to the ...

At the V&A

Marina Warner: ‘Hollywood Costume’, 20 December 2012

... Landis has set out the rooms to argue for the unsung importance of costume; the show puts forward detailed insider knowledge, with four veteran Hollywood designers – all of them women – specially featured: Edith Head (d. 1981), for example, who worked with Hitchcock, is responsible for that neat-as-a-pin look that does so much to sharpen fears of ...

Tennyson’s Text

Danny Karlin, 12 November 1987

The Poems of Tennyson 
edited by Christopher Ricks.
Longman, 662 pp., £40, May 1987, 0 582 49239 4
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Tennyson’s ‘Maud’: A Definitive Edition 
edited by Susan Shatto.
Athlone, 296 pp., £28, August 1986, 0 485 11294 9
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The Letters of Alfred Lord Tennyson. Vol.2: 1851-1870 
edited by Cecil Lang and Edgar Shannon.
Oxford, 585 pp., £40, May 1987, 0 19 812691 3
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The New Oxford Book of Victorian Verse 
edited by Christopher Ricks.
Oxford, 654 pp., £15.95, June 1987, 0 19 214154 6
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... drafts, second thoughts, cancelled readings and emendations), accompanied by a fanfare of notes; Susan Shatto’s edition of ‘Maud’, devoting yet more minute attention to this single work (it is unhappily labelled ‘a definitive edition’ – what on earth is the indefinite article doing there?); and the highly-praised Lang-Shannon edition of ...

Forget that I exist

Susan Eilenberg: Mary Wollstonecraft, 30 November 2000

Mary Wollstonecraft: A Revolutionary Life 
by Janet Todd.
Weidenfeld, 516 pp., £25, April 2000, 0 297 84299 4
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... ran away to France. (The voluptuous Mrs Fuseli refused to share her husband with this strangely forward former prude and threw her out of the house, an experience that taught Wollstonecraft how to behave when, years later, a married woman herself, she had occasion to forbid an importunate Miss Pinkerton from harassing her not altogether unwilling husband ...

Votes for Women, Chastity for Men

Brian Harrison, 21 January 1988

Troublesome People: Enemies of War, 1916-1986 
by Caroline Moorehead.
Hamish Hamilton, 344 pp., £14.95, April 1987, 0 241 12105 1
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Sex and Suffrage in Britain, 1860-1914 
by Susan Kingsley Kent.
Princeton, 295 pp., £22, June 1987, 0 691 05497 5
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Women, Marriage and Politics, 1860-1914 
by Pat Jalland.
Oxford, 366 pp., £19.50, November 1986, 0 19 822668 3
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An Edwardian Mixed Doubles: The Bosanquets versus the Webbs. A Study in British Social Policy, 1890-1929 
by A.M. McBriar.
Oxford, 407 pp., £35, July 1987, 0 19 820111 7
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... will never want to read it.’ One serious but incidental error in Moorehead is amply corrected by Susan Kingsley Kent, for no attentive reader of Sex and Suffrage will swallow Moorehead’s assertion that ‘by the time war broke out’ – in 1914 – ‘the battle for the female vote in Britain was just nine years old.’ By linking the campaigns for sexual ...

Hattersley’s Specifics

Michael Stewart, 19 March 1987

Choose freedom: The Future for Democratic Socialism 
by Roy Hattersley.
Joseph, 265 pp., £12.95, January 1987, 0 7181 2483 9
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Power, Competition and the State. Vol. I: Britain in Search of Balance, 1940-61 
by Keith Middlemas.
Methuen, 404 pp., £25, October 1986, 0 333 41412 8
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... that his book seeks to demonstrate. (Subtle politician that he is, Hattersley refers us to Susan Crosland’s biography of her husband ‘for a full account of the conversation’ between him and Crosland. In fact, Mrs Crosland’s book contains hardly any fuller an account: but it does contain ample evidence of the fact that Tony Crosland liked Roy ...

Perfect Light

Jenny Diski, 9 July 1992

Diana: Her True Story 
by Andrew Morton.
Michael O’Mara, 165 pp., £14.99, June 1992, 1 85479 191 5
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Shared Lives 
by Lyndall Gordon.
Bloomsbury, 285 pp., £16.99, April 1992, 0 7475 1164 0
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Antonia White: Diaries 1958-1979 
edited by Susan Chitty.
Constable, 352 pp., £19.95, May 1992, 0 09 470660 3
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... to it (a Mars Bar is always a good way of getting fast energy after a long nap), or we may look forward, in years to come, to ghosted memoirs and to a stream of chat show appearances by the personality of all personalities: the one that got away from the innermost sanctum of the Royal Family. Fergie, eat your heart out. It’s hardly surprising that some ...

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