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Room 6 at the Moonstone

Adam Mars-Jones: Bill Clegg, 5 November 2015

Did You Ever Have a Family 
by Bill Clegg.
Cape, 293 pp., £12.99, August 2015, 978 0 224 10235 3
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... be happy to do the honours.’ When June checks into Room 6 at the Moonstone, under the name of Jane, as if in her depleted state she can only undertake the labour of changing a single letter, Cissy starts looking after her without a word. Their lives have come close to overlapping, with barely a single degree of separation between them, and June’s ...

Tennyson’s Nerves

Frank Kermode, 6 November 1980

Tennyson: The Unqulet Heart 
by Robert Bernard Martin.
Oxford/Faber, 656 pp., £12.95, October 1980, 0 19 812072 9
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Thro’ the Vision of the Night: A Study of Source, Evolution and Structure in Tennyson’s ‘Idylls of the King’ 
by J.M. Gray.
Edinburgh, 179 pp., £10, August 1980, 0 85224 382 0
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... for such a favour. This meanness extended to very small matters, such as his borrowing Samuel Rogers’s court dress when received as Laureate, though Rogers was a short and Tennyson a tall man; later he borrowed robes to enter the House of Lords, and often schemed to avoid paying his full dues to clubs. Perhaps ...

The Real Magic

David Sylvester, 8 June 1995

A Biographical Dictionary of Film 
by David Thomson.
Deutsch, 834 pp., £25, November 1994, 0 233 98859 9
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... musicals to get in are Singing in the Rain and West Side Story rather than films starring Ginger Rogers or Judy Garland or Rita Hayworth or Barbra Streisand, or films choreographed by Busby Berkeley, with his unique combination of low popular appeal and high cinematic art. Thomson is passionately anti-middlebrow: The loveliness of Merchant-Ivory gives me ...

Whig Dreams

Margaret Anne Doody, 27 February 1992

A Tour through the Whole Island of Great Britain 
by Daniel Defoe, edited by P.N. Furbank and W.R. Owens.
Yale, 423 pp., £19.95, July 1991, 0 300 04980 3
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James Thomson: A Life 
by James Sambrook.
Oxford, 332 pp., £40, October 1991, 0 19 811788 4
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... this version of Defoe’s Tour. (I have just quoted the Penguin version of the Tour edited by Pat Rogers, also an abridgment, which does not cut death out of this description.) The Yale editors let us know about the chalky hill, but they have omitted the gallows. Why? Not, surely, because readers would find the information boring. This edition seems to desire ...

Good Things: Pederasty and Jazz and Opium and Research

Lawrence Rainey: Mary Butts, 16 July 1998

Mary Butts: Scenes from the Life 
by Nathalie Blondel.
McPherson, 539 pp., £22.50, February 1998, 0 929701 55 0
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The Taverner Novels: ‘Armed with Madness’, ‘Death of Felicity Taverner’ 
by Mary Butts.
McPherson, 374 pp., £10, March 1998, 0 929701 18 6
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The Classical Novels: ‘The Macedonian’, ‘Scenes from the Life of Cleopatra’ 
by Mary Butts.
McPherson, 384 pp., £10, March 1998, 0 929701 42 9
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‘Ashe of Rings’ and Other Writings 
by Mary Butts.
McPherson, 374 pp., £18.50, March 1998, 0 929701 53 4
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... for Blondel’s Scenes from the lift. When they begin, Butts is living with a lover named Eleanor Rogers but also seeing John Rodker, an aspiring writer who is chiefly known today for his activities as a publisher of deluxe editions: a portfolio of Fifteen Drawings by Wyndham Lewis (1919), Ara Vos Prec by Eliot (1920), and Hugh Selwyn Mauberley (1920) and ...

Fielding in the dock

Claude Rawson, 5 April 1990

Henry Fielding: A Life 
by Martin Battestin and Ruthe Battestin.
Routledge, 738 pp., £29.50, October 1989, 0 415 01438 7
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New Essays 
by Henry Fielding, edited by Martin Battestin.
Virginia, 604 pp., $50, November 1989, 0 8139 1221 0
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The Wesleyan Edition of the Works of Henry Fielding. The True Patriot, and Related Writings 
edited by W.B. Coley.
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An Enquiry into the Causes of the Late Increase of Robbers, and Related Writings 
edited by Malvin Zirker.
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The Covent-Garden Journal and A Plan of the Universal Register Office 
by Henry Fielding, edited by Bertrand Goldgar.
Oxford, 446 pp., £50, December 1988, 0 19 818511 1
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Fielding and the Woman Question: The Novels of Henry Fielding and the Feminist Debate 1700-1750 
by Angela Smallwood.
Harvester, 230 pp., £35, March 1989, 0 7108 0639 6
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... has been no full-scale biography of Fielding since 1952, though a very good short life by Pat Rogers appeared in 1979. The two principal biographies, still widely used as works of reference, and which Martin Battestin’s long-awaited volume is designed to supersede, are those of Wilbur Cross (1918) and F. Homes Dudden (1952). Cross has usually been ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: What I did in 1998, 21 January 1999

... Picturedrome on Wortley Road. Here were Alexis Smith, Eve Arnold, Charles Boyer, and Tarzan’s Jane (and Mia Farrow’s mother) Maureen O’Sullivan. The four of us from Beyond the Fringe had been invited as a unit and Dudley Moore had been prevailed on (may even have volunteered) to play the piano. With Coward in the room this was perhaps foolhardy and ...

Barely under Control

Jenny Turner: Education: Who’s in charge?, 7 May 2015

... of them were developed under Andrew Adonis’s academies programme for New Labour: the Richard Rogers-designed Mossbourne Community Academy in Hackney, which opened in 2004, is one of these, as is Zaha Hadid’s Evelyn Grace Academy in Brixton. The programme was launched in 2000 by the then education secretary, David Blunkett, who explained that if ...

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