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Mizzlers

Patrick Parrinder, 26 July 1990

The Sorrow of Belgium 
by Hugo Claus, translated by Arnold Pomerans.
Viking, 609 pp., £14.99, June 1990, 0 670 81456 3
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Joanna 
by Lisa St Aubin de Teran.
Virago, 260 pp., £12.95, May 1990, 1 85381 158 0
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A Sensible Life 
by Mary Wesley.
Bantam, 364 pp., £12.95, March 1990, 9780593019306
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The Light Years 
by Elizabeth JaneHoward.
Macmillan, 418 pp., £12.95, June 1990, 0 333 53875 7
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... The Camomile Lawn was set. As historical fiction A Sensible Life may well be compared with Elizabeth JaneHoward’s The Light Years, a narrative of events in 1937 and 1938 which is the first of a planned trilogy spanning the war years. Both like to drip-feed us with nostalgia, and neither is ...

Pour a stiff drink

Tessa Hadley: Elizabeth JaneHoward, 6 February 2014

All Change 
by Elizabeth JaneHoward.
Mantle, 573 pp., £18.99, November 2013, 978 0 230 74307 6
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... Elizabeth JaneHoward had been a novelist for forty years before she published The Light Years, the first volume of the Cazalet chronicles, in 1990. The fifth and final volume, All Change, was published in 2013, and she died in January this year, aged ninety. Her stepson Martin Amis advised her to embark on the Cazalet books, when she was hesitating between possibilities ...

Submission

Robert Taubman, 20 May 1982

A Chain of Voices 
by André Brink.
Faber, 525 pp., £7.95, May 1982, 0 571 11874 7
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How German is it 
by Walter Abish.
Carcanet, 252 pp., £6.75, March 1982, 0 85635 396 5
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Before she met me 
by Julian Barnes.
Cape, 183 pp., £6.50, April 1982, 0 224 01985 6
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Providence 
by Anita Brookner.
Cape, 183 pp., £6.95, May 1982, 0 224 01976 7
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Getting it right 
by Elizabeth JaneHoward.
Hamish Hamilton, 264 pp., £7.95, May 1982, 0 241 10805 5
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... he sets out to educate with his favourite records and books, beginning with The Secret Garden. Elizabeth JaneHoward does a good job where she can feel as confident in her values as Cecil Roberts. She enters with zest into the details of hairdressing or Gavin’s mother’s cooking. She is no less confident with ...

The Coat in Question

Iain Sinclair: Margate, 20 March 2003

All the Devils Are Here 
by David Seabrook.
Granta, 192 pp., £7.99, March 2003, 9781862075597
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... disinterested championship of Aickman lasted for years and carried him to an interview with Elizabeth JaneHoward, co-author of Aickman’s first book, and to a reconsideration of the values of a certain kind of Englishness. ‘These people did what they wanted to do. They carried on when their work went out of ...

Diary

Zachary Leader: Oscar Talk at the Huntington, 16 April 1998

... London, the latter represented by 131,000 items. It has also purchased the archive of the novelist Elizabeth JaneHoward, Amis’s second wife. The Huntington’s Rare Book Room closes for an hour at noon and most of its readers stroll across the gardens to a shaded outdoor restaurant. Amis would barely recognise as ...

Performance Art

John Bayley, 16 November 1995

... about what we disapprove of in real life. The two Amises continued co-existing. When he married Elizabeth JaneHoward they went to live in a big house near Barnet, a matriarchal establishment largely run, it seemed, by his new mother and brother-in-law. Amis rejoiced in this set-up, which seemed to come quite ...

Sorry to go on like this

Ian Hamilton: Kingsley Amis, 1 June 2000

The Letters of Kingsley Amis 
edited by Zachary Leader.
HarperCollins, 1208 pp., £24.99, May 2000, 0 00 257095 5
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... gap is not at all made up for by the ardent love missives with which, in the 1960s, he bombarded Elizabeth JaneHoward, who became his second wife. These seem forced and self-conscious but maybe they wouldn’t if we did not know how things turned out for these two lovers. After they have split up, ...

Keep yr gob shut

Christopher Tayler: Larkin v. Amis, 20 December 2012

The Odd Couple: The Curious Friendship between Kingsley Amis and Philip Larkin 
by Richard Bradford.
Robson, 373 pp., £20, November 2012, 978 1 84954 375 0
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... Women (1984) – about how all women are bitches – was coloured by his rancorous divorce from Elizabeth JaneHoward. Bradford’s Exhibit A, however, is ‘Letter to a Friend about Girls’ (‘After comparing lives with you for years,/I see how I’ve been losing’), which Larkin tinkered with endlessly but chose ...

Barrage Balloons of Fame

Christopher Tayler: We need to talk about Martin, 8 October 2020

Inside Story 
by Martin Amis.
Cape, 521 pp., £20, September, 978 1 78733 275 1
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... Amis finds room for another argument with himself about Israel, two passages (one reprinted) on Elizabeth JaneHoward, and a post-postscript describing a dream about her dog. Another difficulty is the range of Martin Amises on offer. Here he’s a distinguished, thoroughly normcore man of letters, there he’s a ...

Do you think he didn’t know?

Stefan Collini: Kingsley Amis, 14 December 2006

The Life of Kingsley Amis 
by Zachary Leader.
Cape, 996 pp., £25, November 2006, 0 224 06227 1
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... relationship was finally put under intolerable strain when Amis started an affair with the writer Elizabeth JaneHoward. Almost immediately, this affair threatened to be different from its innumerable predecessors because Kingsley fell passionately in love with Jane. Hilly finally ...

Charm with Menaces

Colin Burrow: ‘The Mirror and the Light’, 19 March 2020

The Mirror and the Light 
by Hilary Mantel.
Fourth Estate, 883 pp., £25, March, 978 0 00 748099 9
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... and international and secular and religious events of these years. Anne Boleyn is beheaded. Jane Seymour becomes queen, has a son, dies. Abbeys are dissolved. The Plantagenet Pole family conspires against the crown. The rebellion known as the Pilgrimage of Grace rises in the North, unhappy with reforms in the Church, and is put down. Henry VIII gets a ...

Frocks and Shocks

Hilary Mantel: Jane Boleyn, 24 April 2008

Jane Boleyn: The Infamous Lady Rochford 
by Julia Fox.
Phoenix, 398 pp., £9.99, March 2008, 978 0 7538 2386 6
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... feature film will be clogging up the multiplexes. In reworkings of the Tudor soap opera, Jane Boleyn is more often known as Jane Rochford, wife of George Boleyn, sister-in-law to Anne the queen. There are some lives we read backwards, from bloody exit to obscure entrance, and ...

Heart-Squasher

Julian Barnes: A Portrait of Lucian Freud, 5 December 2013

Man with a Blue Scarf: On Sitting for a Portrait by Lucian Freud 
by Martin Gayford.
Thames and Hudson, 248 pp., £12.95, March 2012, 978 0 500 28971 6
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Breakfast with Lucian: A Portrait of the Artist 
by Geordie Greig.
Cape, 260 pp., £25, October 2013, 978 0 224 09685 0
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... novelists: Kingsley Amis and Georges Simenon. When Amis’s second wife and fellow novelist, Elizabeth JaneHoward, saw him, at eleven o’clock on the morning he was due to lunch at Buckingham Palace, standing in the garden punishing an enormous whisky, she said, ‘Bunny, do you have to have a drink?’ He ...

Raging towards Utopia

Neal Ascherson: Koestler, 22 April 2010

Koestler: The Indispensable Intellectual 
by Michael Scammell.
Faber, 689 pp., £25, February 2010, 978 0 571 13853 1
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... sensitivity to people, and because of the sense of excitement he brought to everything he did’. Elizabeth JaneHoward, who had a brief affair with him, called him ‘a noble little goblin’. She wrote after his death that he was ‘entirely brave; had courage on every level, physical, moral and spiritual … His ...

Deadly Eliza

Ruth Bernard Yeazell: ‘The Whole Family: A Novel by Twelve Authors’, 1 November 2001

The Whole Family: A Novel by Twelve Authors 
by William Dean Howells et al.
Duke, 416 pp., £13.50, November 2001, 0 8223 2838 0
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Publishing the Family 
by June Howard.
Duke, 304 pp., £13.50, November 2001, 0 8223 2771 6
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... family both within the narrative and outside it. Howells’s letter to the magazine’s editor, Elizabeth Jordan, has not survived, but according to Jordan, it ‘almost scorched the paper it was written on’: ‘Don’t, don’t let her ruin our beautiful story!’ Howells’s original proposal for The Whole Family had devoted more attention to its ...

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