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All in the Family

Sylvia Lawson, 3 December 1992

Letters to Sartre 
by Simone de Beauvoir and Quintin Hoare.
Radius, 531 pp., £20, December 1991, 0 09 174774 0
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Witness to My Life: The Letters of Jean-Paul Sartre to Simone de Beauvior, 1926-1939 
edited by Simone de Beauvior, translated by Lee Fahnestock and Norman MacAfee.
Hamish Hamilton, 448 pp., £20, November 1992, 9780241133361
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... over those from the Beauvoir biographies (Deirdre Bair – very much the best; Claude Francis and Fernande Gontier, Margaret Crosland). Check those against the crucial four volumes of Beauvoir’s memoirs, those translated as The Prime of Life, Force of Circumstance, All Said and Done and Adieux: A farewell to Sartre. Crosscheck against the documentary ...

Fearless Solipsist

Anita Brookner, 31 July 1997

Colette 
by Claude Francis and Fernande Gontier.
Perrin, 439 pp., frs 139, April 1997, 2 262 01224 5
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... of ‘femme cachée’ could apply as much to Sido as to her celebrated daughter. Francis and Gontier reveal the existence of a mulatto grandfather – Colette’s ‘goutte de sang noir’ – as well as unveiling Sido’s excitable character, her restlessness, her intellectual and social ambitions. Born in Paris, she was in many ways a true ...

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