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Come and Stay

Arnold Rattenbury, 27 November 1997

England and the Octopus 
by Clough Williams-Ellis.
CPRE, 220 pp., £10.95, December 1996, 0 946044 50 3
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Clough Williams-Ellis: RIBA Drawings Monograph No 2 
by Richard Haslam.
Academy, 112 pp., £24.95, March 1996, 1 85490 430 2
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Clough Williams-Ellis: The Architect of Portmeirion 
by Jonah Jones.
Seren, 204 pp., £9.95, December 1996, 1 85411 166 3
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... and blankets for Spain; Patrick Hamilton deserted satirical realism for dystopia and allegory; Stephen Spender meandered Forward from Liberalism, crabwise; Sybil Thorndike joined the board of the Daily Worker; Dylan Thomas insisted that his ‘Ceremony after a Fire Raid’ must first appear as part of a socialist Mayday feature in 1944. Doris Lessing, so ...


Iain Sinclair: The Thames, 25 June 2009

Thames: Sacred River 
by Peter Ackroyd.
Vintage, 608 pp., £14.99, August 2008, 978 0 09 942255 6
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... banking steeply to avoid the pyramidal summit of the Canary Wharf tower, is named in honour of Sir Stephen Redgrave. After hacking through brambles, picking a path around Magellan Boulevard, Atlantis Avenue and a boarded-up missionary hut, I found myself outside the perimeter fence of the steel-grey block of Buhler Sortex Ltd. Two men wearing crisp blue shirts ...

Trained to silence

John Mepham, 20 November 1980

The Sickle Side of the Moon: The Letters of Virginia Woolf, Vol. V, 1932-1935 
edited by Nigel Nicolson.
Hogarth, 476 pp., £12.50, September 1979, 0 7012 0469 9
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Leave the Letters till we’re dead: The Letters of Virginia Woolf, Vol. VI, 1936-41 
edited by Nigel Nicolson and Joanne Trautman.
Hogarth, 556 pp., £15, September 1980, 0 7012 0470 2
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The Diary of Virginia Woolf. Vol. III: 1925-1930 
edited by Anne Olivier Bell.
Hogarth, 384 pp., £10.50, March 1980, 0 7012 0466 4
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Virginia Woolf 
by Michael Rosenthal.
Routledge, 270 pp., £7.95, September 1979, 0 7100 0189 4
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Virginia Woolf’s Major Novels: The Fables of Anon 
by Maria DiBattista.
Yale, 252 pp., £11, April 1980, 0 300 02402 9
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... alter Virginia and Leonard had talked with her and tried to comfort her. In September 1934 Roger Fry died of a heart attack. These and other deaths affected her deeply, and her letters about them are movingly simple. To Carrington: ‘I find I cant write without suddenly thinking Oh but Lytton wont read this, and it takes all the point out of it. I always ...

A Little Pickle for the Husband

Michael Mason, 1 April 1999

Beeton's Book of Household Management 
by Isabella Beeton.
Southover, 1112 pp., £29.95, November 1998, 9781870962155
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... of directions about everything from pickling walnuts to moulding jellies, from dressing pigs’ fry to boiling eggs, fit into middle and upper-class domestic practice? Further puzzles arise when one considers what the book contains besides recipes. Advice on running a household and rearing children, as well as on medical and legal matters, accounts for a ...


Tom Paulin: Summer in Donegal, 16 September 1999

... hook, barbed on the shaft as well as the tip, so I have to kill it. I take it back, gut it and fry it – white, not pink flesh, so not as nice. This is our annual holiday, and as usual I set off in the boat with Michael, Niall, Arvin and Shaska to camp on Iniskeel. We land on the little strand, walk round the island, where we startle a big bouncy ...

Fed up with Ibiza

Jenny Turner: Sybille Bedford, 1 April 2021

Sybille Bedford: An Appetite for Life 
by Selina Hastings.
Chatto, 432 pp., £35, November 2020, 978 1 78474 113 6
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... total lack of formal education. So she started writing about the law instead, in pieces about the Stephen Ward and Lady Chatterley trials for Esquire, Jack Ruby for Life, the Frankfurt Auschwitz trial for the Saturday Evening Post. ‘The law, the workings of the law, the daily application of the law to people and situations, is an essential element in a ...

Take a bullet for the team

David Runciman: The Profumo Affair, 21 February 2013

An English Affair: Sex, Class and Power in the Age of Profumo 
by Richard Davenport-Hines.
Harper, 400 pp., £20, January 2013, 978 0 00 743584 5
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... feels most sorry for are Astor, and the other man on whom the scandal came to centre, Stephen Ward. In the case of Astor, this is understandable. It was at Astor’s house, Cliveden, in the summer of 1961, that Profumo met Keeler, who was there with Ward, who was in cahoots with the Russian naval attaché Ivanov. Ward was an osteopath with a long ...

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