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Marina Warner: ‘The Arabian Nights’, 18 December 2008

The Arabian Nights: Tales of 1001 Nights 
translated by Malcolm Lyons, with Ursula Lyons.
Penguin, 2715 pp., £125, November 2008, 978 0 14 091166 4
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‘The Arabian Nights’ in Historical Context: Between East and West 
edited by Saree Makdisi and Felicity Nussbaum.
Oxford, 337 pp., £55, November 2008, 978 0 19 955415 7
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... a handful of stories. The ambitious new Penguin edition, translated by the veteran Arabist Malcolm Lyons, can claim to be the first ‘complete’ English version rendered from the original without recourse to Galland. But the inverted commas are needed, because there can never really be a definitive edition of this book. Nor, in some sense, can it even be ...

Prada Queen

Elaine Showalter: Shopping, 10 August 2000

Shopping for Pleasure: Women in the Making of London’s West End 
by Erika Diane Rappaport.
Princeton, 323 pp., £21.95, January 2000, 0 691 04477 5
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... The less privileged returned from a day’s shopping ‘famished and worn out’. One diarist, Ursula Bloom, recalled that when she was a girl, there were no public lavatories and even ‘fashionable ladies went for a day’s shopping with no hope of any relief for those faithful tides of nature until they returned home again.’ A working-class woman was ...

Passing-Out Time

Christopher Tayler: Patrick Hamilton’s drinking, 29 January 2009

The Slaves of Solitude 
by Patrick Hamilton.
Constable, 327 pp., £7.99, September 2008, 978 1 84529 415 1
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The Gorse Trilogy 
by Patrick Hamilton.
Black Spring, 603 pp., £9.95, June 2007, 978 0 948238 34 5
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... he was being ejected from the Trocadero restaurant after making anti-semitic comments about the Lyons company, which owned it, when asked to put out his pipe. As young men, the Hamilton brothers were determinedly arch about ‘the author of The Light?’, as they liked to call him. Patrick, a frequenter and memorialist of ...

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