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Wordsworth and the Well-Hidden Corpse

Marilyn Butler, 6 August 1992

The Lyrical Ballads: Longman Annotated Texts 
edited by Michael Mason.
Longman, 419 pp., £29.99, April 1992, 0 582 03302 0
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Strange Power of Speech: Wordsworth, Coleridge and Literary Possession 
by Susan Eilenberg.
Oxford, 278 pp., £30, May 1992, 0 19 506856 4
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The Politics of Nature: Wordsworth and Some Contemporaries 
by Nicholas Roe.
Macmillan, 186 pp., £35, April 1992, 0 333 52314 8
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... history repressed is more interesting than history expressed, as in the poetry of Southey, Scott, even Shelley. Besides, this historical foraging into the bad conscience of Wordsworth the ex-radical challenges the portrait of Wordsworth as counter-revolutionary which began to take shape around 1950, to be gradually developed by some of the leading ...

What’s wrong with that man?

Christian Lorentzen: Donald Antrim, 20 November 2014

The Emerald Light in the Air: Stories 
by Donald Antrim.
Granta, 158 pp., £12.99, November 2014, 978 1 84708 649 5
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... you’re in the wrong corridor. You’ll have to make a half-turn and backtrack through Sir Walter Scott. This is tricky. Be careful not to go too far because the Waverley novels will return you, inevitably, to The Castle of Perseverance, and you’ll never get out. It’s better to remain in the 19th century if you can get there. As you know, we’ve had ...

Trapped in Miss America’s Boudoir

Glyn Maxwell, 27 April 2000

... Susan Faludi’s book ‘Stiffed’ is about ‘The Betrayal of the Modern Man’.* What follows is an interview with the ‘Modern Man’. Can you share any childhood memories with us? Well ... one night I was lying in bed, pretending to be asleep, waiting for my father to come in. He’d promised that he’d reveal to me a miraculous inheritance ...

At the V&A

Marina Warner: ‘Hollywood Costume’, 20 December 2012

... as it sounded so familiar, but it turns out the music was specially commissioned, from Julian Scott.) Montages of film clips play throughout on further screens, concocting essence of Hollywood in several flavours: romance, western, fantasy, history, sci-fi, thriller, noir. But the same costumes look very different on screen; the face, the gestures, and ...

Not Enough Delilahs

Andrew O’Hagan: Lillian Ross, 4 July 2019

Picture 
by Lillian Ross.
NYRB, 219 pp., £14.99, June 2019, 978 1 68137 315 7
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... lecture, with examples, demonstrating that Ephron was the world’s worst writer, even worse than Susan Sontag, Gore Vidal and Renata Adler. A few years later, I would understand the hatred when Ephron wrote a very funny account (‘The Legend’) of her mother throwing Lillian out of a party.Great reporting isn’t usually harmed by the reporter having a ...

The way out of a room is not through the door

Christian Lorentzen: Charles Manson, 7 November 2013

Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson 
by Jeff Guinn.
Simon and Schuster, 495 pp., £20, August 2013, 978 0 85720 893 4
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... she could dance at a club called Ritzy Ray’s. That might have been the place she met Colonel Scott, a small-time local con artist who made his dimes collecting tolls from drivers crossing a free bridge. When Kathleen got pregnant, Scott told her he’d been summoned away on military business. In fact, he was a civilian ...

Born to Lying

Theo Tait: Le Carré, 3 December 2015

John le Carré: The Biography 
by Adam Sisman.
Bloomsbury, 652 pp., £25, October 2015, 978 1 4088 2792 5
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... his marriage. Cornwell became passionately involved with the writer James Kennaway and his wife, Susan, a glamorous couple described by one friend as ‘Scott and Zelda, with manners’. James was an enthusiastic philanderer, which he explained to Susan with reference to his artistic ...

The Manners of a Hog

Christopher Tayler: Buchan’s Banter, 20 February 2020

Beyond the Thirty-Nine Steps: A Life of John Buchan 
by Ursula Buchan.
Bloomsbury, 479 pp., £25, April 2019, 978 1 4088 7081 5
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... Witch Wood (1927) was his favourite – and his status as a Scottish monument, a descendant of Scott and Stevenson. There’s nothing fanciful about this – Janet Adam Smith reported that Clement Attlee pointed out to her a borrowing from Kidnapped in The Thirty-Nine Steps – and if he had had a slightly different temperament Buchan might have become a ...

Women beware men

Margaret Anne Doody, 23 July 1992

Backlash: The Undeclared War against Women 
by Susan Faludi.
Chatto, 592 pp., £9.99, March 1992, 0 7011 4643 5
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The War against Women 
by Marilyn French.
Hamish Hamilton, 229 pp., £9.99, March 1992, 0 241 13271 1
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... Although first published in the United States, both books deal with England and other countries. Susan Faludi extensively revised her 1991 American edition for the 1992 British edition. This version, with a Preface by Joan Smith, includes information regarding the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia. Marilyn French deals with Southern and Eastern ...

Damn all

Scott Malcomson, 23 September 1993

Culture of Complaint: The Fraying of America 
by Robert Hughes.
Oxford, 224 pp., £12.95, June 1993, 0 19 507676 1
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... not always the ones who were expected to. In West Germany, Anselm Kiefer; in the United States, Susan Rothenberg; and in England, Auerbach and Kossoff.’ Hughes’s optimism shows here in the faith that history judges accurately and that a couple of years – such as the perspective from 1988 to 1986 – is long enough for it to make its judgment. But only ...

Bolsheviks and Bohemians

Angus Calder, 5 April 1984

The Life of Arthur Ransome 
by Hugh Brogan.
Cape, 456 pp., £10.95, January 1984, 0 224 02010 2
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Bohemia in London 
by Arthur Ransome, introduced by Rupert Hart-Davis.
Oxford, 284 pp., £3.50, January 1984, 0 19 281412 5
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... are hardly subversive. Father is in the Navy, where John and Roger expect to follow him. Mate Susan, caring and cooking, is training herself for middle-class wifehood. Her mother, though reared in the Australian outback, is (unlike Ransome’s remarkable second wife) very content to employ servants. Through Slump and Hitler, World War, Cold ...

‘Because I am French!’

Ruth Scurr: Marie Antoinette’s Daughter, 3 July 2008

Marie-Thérèse: The Fate of Marie Antoinette’s Daughter 
by Susan Nagel.
Bloomsbury, 418 pp., £25, July 2008, 978 1 59691 057 7
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... Tuileries. He was well aware of the affinity between his subjects and ‘the heroines of Walter Scott’. Going a step further than James Fenimore Cooper, who saw the Duchesse d’Angoulême in Paris after the Restoration and remarked ‘I never see this woman without a feeling of commiseration and respect,’ Imbert de Saint Amand wrote about her ‘like a ...

Mr Trendy Sicko

James Wolcott, 23 May 2019

White 
by Brett Easton Ellis.
Picador, 261 pp., £16.99, May 2019, 978 1 5290 1239 2
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... a stir: Donna Tartt, David Leavitt, Mary Gaitskill, Lorrie Moore, Amy Hempel, Nancy Lemann, Susan Minot, Mary Robison, Anderson Ferrell – a cast of dozens. Many of those rookies trained at the literary dojo of the author, editor, creative writing teacher and guru-mentor-mindgamer Gordon Lish, who bore the dashing nickname ‘Captain Fiction’. The ...

Balloons and Counter-Balloons

Susan Eilenberg: ‘The Age of Wonder’, 7 January 2010

The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science 
by Richard Holmes.
HarperPress, 380 pp., £9.99, September 2009, 978 0 00 714953 7
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... Holmes remarks). Davy met Godwin and Lamb through Coleridge, and climbed Helvellyn with Southey, Scott and Wordsworth. Mary Shelley absorbed the Vitalism debate into Frankenstein, writing into her fiction Priestley, Cavendish, Aldini, Lawrence, Davy and Johann Wilhelm Ritter (a physiologist in Jena who seems to have attempted to raise the dead by means of ...

At Miss Whitehead’s

Edward Said, 7 July 1994

The Sixties: The Last Journal, 1960-1972 
by Edmund Wilson, edited by Lewis Dabney.
Farrar, Straus, 968 pp., $35, July 1993, 0 374 26554 2
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... During World War One he was a Princeton undergraduate (as I was almost fifty years later) with F. Scott Fitzgerald and John Peale Bishop, at a time of what seems now like relatively uncomplicated Wasp hegemony there and in the arts generally. His ties with that university remained deep, not only through his literary friends, but also through Christian ...

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