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Frock Consciousness

Rosemary Hill: Fashion and frocks

20 January 2000
The Penguin Book of 20th-Century Fashion Writing 
edited by Judith Watt.
Viking, 360 pp., £20, November 1999, 0 670 88215 1
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Twentieth-Century Fashion 
by Valerie​ Mendes and Amy de la Haye.
Thames and Hudson, 288 pp., £8.95, November 1999, 0 500 20321 0
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A Century of Fashion 
by François Baudot.
Thames and Hudson, 400 pp., £19.95, November 1999, 0 500 28178 5
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The Hidden Consumer: Masculinities, Fashion and City Life 1860-1914 
by Christopher Breward.
Manchester, 278 pp., £45, September 1999, 0 7190 4799 4
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Black in Fashion 
by Valerie​ Mendes.
Victoria & Albert Museum, 144 pp., £35, October 1999, 1 85177 278 2
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... could use clothes to establish character in a way that was not, it seems, so readily available in the next century. It is hard to find instances that she has missed. She could have had Betjeman and Eliot – Prufrock after all exists largely through his clothes. But I doubt many men born since 1918 could equal the precision of ‘my collar mounting firmly to the chin,/My necktie rich and modest, but ...
17 February 2000
The Dunciad in Four Books 
by Alexander Pope, edited by Valerie​ Rumbold.
Longman, 456 pp., £55, August 1999, 0 582 08924 7
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... which we are offered the delight of exploring. It is also veined with literary allusion. The notes that Pope himself began to provide from the time of the Variorum version, rather like those that Eliot was to add to The Waste Land, may be parodic, but they also genuinely advertise the weird erudition of his creation. So we require notes to Pope’s notes, and this before we have confronted the ...

Mulishness

Paul Keegan: David Jones removes himself

7 November 2019
David Jones: Engraver, Soldier, Painter, Poet 
by Thomas Dilworth.
Vintage, 448 pp., £14.99, January, 978 0 7847 0800 2
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Epoch and Artist Selected Writings 
by David Jones, edited by Harman Grisewood.
Faber, 320 pp., £18.99, April 2017, 978 0 571 33950 1
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‘The Dying Gaul’ and Other Writings 
by David Jones, edited by Harman Grisewood.
Faber, 240 pp., £17.99, April 2017, 978 0 571 33953 2
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Dai Greatcoat A Self-Portrait of David Jones in His Letters 
edited by René Hague.
Faber, 280 pp., £17.99, April 2017, 978 0 571 33952 5
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... was a Rubicon he had already crossed, ratified by seeing hills for the first time and sea for the second. His loyalties were separate if indivisible, and decades later he corrected his publisher T.S. Eliot’s reference to him – not Welsh, but ‘a Londoner of Welsh and English descent’. He was encouraged to draw from early on – the urge to convey the look of things was as involuntary ‘as ...

Paliography

John Sutherland

15 September 1988
The Secret Life of Wilkie Collins 
by William Clarke.
Allison and Busby, 239 pp., £14.95, August 1988, 0 85031 960 9
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Wilkie Collins: Women, Property and Propriety 
by Philip O’Neill.
Macmillan, 238 pp., £27.50, September 1988, 9780333421994
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... erect around their private lives? Writers will go to great lengths to preserve their secrets. They will fight impertinent biographers through the courts (like J.D. Salinger). They will (like T.S. Eliot or Jack London) set up vigilant estates to stand like pyramids over the author’s reputation and defy any tomb-robbing researcher. They will themselves incinerate mountains of correspondence (as did ...

Agh, Agh, Yah, Boo

David Wheatley: Ian Hamilton Finlay

4 December 2014
Midway: Letters from Ian Hamilton Finlay to Stephen Bann, 1964-69 
edited by Stephen Bann.
Wilmington Square, 426 pp., £25, May 2014, 978 1 905524 34 1
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... Niedecker, Robert Duncan and Lee Harwood, and seemed poised to become the publisher the British Poetry Revival of those years needed to counterbalance the waning radical commitments of the post-Eliot Faber list. Reprinting Finlay’s 1960 volume The Dancers Inherit the Party in 1969, with a few poems added, Montgomery presented it as a first edition rather than what it effectively was, a third ...

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