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Kitchen Devil

John Bayley, 20 December 1990

Emily Brontë: A Chainless Soul 
by Katherine Frank.
Hamish Hamilton, 303 pp., £14.99, November 1990, 9780241121993
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... Emily seems in her own unwilling way to have also been the imaginative catalyst in their world. Katherine Frank makes the interesting point that both Charlotte and Anne, in their second published novels, drew heavily for inspiration on Wuthering Heights. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall has a doomed gathering whose names all begin with H. Jane Eyre has the ...

Various Woman

Penelope Fitzgerald, 2 April 1987

A Voyager Out: The Life of Mary Kingsley 
by Katherine Frank.
Hamish Hamilton, 333 pp., £14.95, February 1987, 0 241 12074 8
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Marilyn 
by Gloria Steinem and George Barris.
Gollancz, 182 pp., £12.95, February 1987, 0 575 03945 0
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Joe and Marilyn: A Memory of Love 
by Roger Kahn.
Sidgwick, 268 pp., £10.95, March 1987, 0 283 99427 4
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I leap over the wall 
by Monica Baldwin and Karen Armstrong.
Hamish Hamilton, 308 pp., £4.95, March 1987, 9780241119747
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Diary of a Zen Nun: A Moving Chronicle of Living Zen 
by Nan Shin (Nancy Amphoux).
Rider, 228 pp., £5.95, January 1987, 9780712614320
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... Out. ‘In the United States she has been largely unknown.’ This is all to the advantage of Katherine Frank, a lecturer from Iowa, who has produced this fine biography. Mary Kingsley was the daughter of George Kingsley, the younger brother of Charles. The DNB gallantly falsifies the date of George’s marriage, which was only four days before ...

Moll’s Footwear

Terry Eagleton: Defoe, 3 November 2011

Crusoe: Daniel Defoe, Robert Knox and the Creation of a Myth 
by Katherine Frank.
Bodley Head, 338 pp., £20, June 2011, 978 0 224 07309 7
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Moll: The Life and Times of Moll Flanders 
by Siân Rees.
Chatto, 224 pp., £18.99, July 2011, 978 0 7011 8507 7
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... began to produce an unceasing flood of books, pamphlets, poems and journalism, having realised, in Katherine Frank’s words, that experience was an eminently saleable commodity. On one calculation he scribbled two and a half million words in a period of six years. One of his pamphlets, a satirical onslaught on High Church Toryism, forced him into hiding ...

Apocalyptic Opacity

Frank Kermode, 24 September 1992

The End of the Century at the End of the World 
by C.K. Stead.
Harvill, 220 pp., £14.99, September 1992, 0 00 272662 9
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... the novel, there is a piece by Hilda that may be fiction or a report of fact, which suggests that Katherine Mansfield did not die, as reported, at Gurdjieff’s Fontainebleau Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man, but faked her death with Middleton Murry’s collusion. Returning to New Zealand under the name Katya Lawrence, she became friendly with ...

Motiveless Malignity

D.A.N. Jones, 11 October 1990

The Dwarfs 
by Harold Pinter.
Faber, 183 pp., £11.99, October 1990, 0 571 14446 2
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The Comfort of Strangers, and Other Screenplays 
by Harold Pinter.
Faber, 226 pp., £14.99, September 1990, 0 571 14419 5
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The Circus Animals 
by James Plunkett.
Hutchinson, 305 pp., £12.99, September 1990, 0 09 173530 0
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The South 
by Colm Tóibín.
Serpent’s Tail, 238 pp., £7.99, May 1990, 1 85242 170 3
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... their little meannesses: the revival of the IRA is unimagined, unimaginable. We are concerned with Frank McDonagh, a young journalist who becomes a bogey-figure in the Dublin media, through taking part in a broad-minded, fact-finding tour of the Soviet Union: the bien-pensants of Dublin are presented as rather sympathetic to the Irish-American Senator, Joseph ...

Bogey’s Clean Sweep

Michael Holroyd, 22 May 1980

The Life of Katherine Mansfield 
by Antony Alpers.
Cape, 466 pp., £9.50, May 1980, 0 224 01625 3
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... On 7 August 1922, in a letter for her husband John Middleton Murry to be opened after her death, Katherine Mansfield wrote: All my manuscripts I leave entirely to you to do what you like with. Go through them one day, dear love, and destroy all you do not use. Please destroy all letters you do not wish to keep and all papers ...

How the Laundry Basket Squeaked

Kirsty Gunn: Katherine Mansfield, 11 April 2013

The Edinburgh Edition of the Collected Works of Katherine Mansfield: Vol I 
edited by Gerri Kimber and Vincent O’Sullivan.
Edinburgh, 551 pp., £85, October 2012, 978 0 7486 4274 8
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The Edinburgh Edition of the Collected Works of Katherine Mansfield: Vol II 
edited by Gerri Kimber and Vincent O’Sullivan.
Edinburgh, 541 pp., £85, October 2012, 978 0 7486 4275 5
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... Katherine Mansfield’s work is still largely unknown in this country. Her life flickered on the margins of British literary modernism, with friends among the Garsington and Bloomsbury set, but she was always the outsider, the traveller, always on the move. There’s nothing about Mansfield that’s institutional ...

Diary

C.K. Stead: New Zealand Writers, 21 November 1991

... years that followed I got to know him well. Another influence of that time was the fiction writer Frank Sargeson, who distrusted the university and warned me against an academic career. By 1955 I was married and living on Auckland’s North Shore close to the Sargeson house, at the back of which Janet Frame, recently released from years of incarceration in ...

Knitting

Adam Phillips: Charm, 16 November 2000

Lost Years: A Memoir 1945-51 
by Christopher Isherwood, edited by Katherine Bucknell.
Chatto, 388 pp., £25, July 2000, 0 7011 6931 1
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... considerations; and the temptations in story-telling – what he called ‘the difficulty of being frank without being indiscreet’, the eagerness to tell things for effect – become dramas in themselves. The embarrassment of the narrators in his fiction interests him as much as their confidence or their fluency. What is wonderful about Isherwood is that he ...

Westward Ho

Frank Kermode, 7 February 1985

The Letters of D.H. Lawrence. Vol. III: October 1916 - June 1921 
edited by James Boulton and Andrew Robertson.
Cambridge, 762 pp., £25, November 1984, 0 521 23112 4
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Brett: From Bloomsbury to New Mexico 
by Sean Hignett.
Hodder, 299 pp., £14.95, January 1985, 9780340229736
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... book involved a lot of research – for instance, he has unearthed a hundred letters from Katherine Mansfield to Brett – but he handles it lightly, and has written a lively and entertaining biography. In the course of it we learn a little more, a little more perhaps than we need, about Frieda, and a few new facts about Lawrence. Why, since he ...

Pillors of Fier

Frank Kermode: Anthony Burgess, 11 July 2002

Nothing like the Sun: reissue 
by Anthony Burgess.
Allison and Busby, 234 pp., £7.99, January 2002, 0 7490 0512 2
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... to be pretty general agreement about the infection idea. Shakespeare’s most recent biographer, Katherine Duncan-Jones, who incidentally thinks the young friend was William Herbert, not Southampton, has a good learned note in her edition about contemporary accounts of men getting burned by the female genitalia – ‘thus was his paradice turned into his ...

Rebellion

C.K. Stead, 7 May 1981

I passed this way 
by Sylvia Ashton-Warner.
Virago, 499 pp., £12, October 1980, 0 86068 160 2
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Spinster 
by Sylvia Ashton-Warner.
Virago, 269 pp., £2.95, October 1980, 0 86068 161 0
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Teacher 
by Sylvia Ashton-Warner.
Virago, 224 pp., £2.95, October 1980, 0 86068 162 9
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... Katherine Mansfield was born in 1888, Sylvia Ashton-Warner in 1908 and Janet Frame in 1924 – three New Zealand women each of whom has achieved some measure of literary fame or reputation outside the country in which she was born. They have in common that they have worked uneasily in (and always breaking out of) the fictional mode ...

Women of Quality

E.S. Turner, 9 October 1986

The Pebbled Shore 
by Elizabeth Longford.
Weidenfeld, 351 pp., £14.95, August 1986, 0 297 78863 9
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Leaves of the Tulip Tree 
by Juliette Huxley.
Murray, 248 pp., £7.95, June 1986, 9780719542886
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Enid Bagnold 
by Anne Sebba.
Weidenfeld, 317 pp., £15, September 1986, 0 297 78991 0
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... her admiring charge, was the daughter of a Harley Street ophthalmic surgeon, Nathaniel Harman, and Katherine Chamberlain, first cousin of Neville and niece of the great Joseph. In later life Elizabeth was told that her father, a serious citizen, never made love the night before a cataract operation. His courtship had been all but shattered by a religious ...

Diary

Ian Hamilton: New New Grub Street, 3 February 1983

... Frank Kermode’s review of the new Gissing biography (page 9) brings to mind a project which I have long thought someone ought to tackle: a fearless update of New Grub Street. The job wouldn’t be too taxing – indeed, in many cases, it would be all too easy to attach contemporary names to Gissing’s sunken literary types: his principled dullards as well as his sleek chancers ...

Posterity

Frank Kermode, 2 April 1981

God’s Fifth Column: A Biography of the Age, 1890-1940 
by William Gerhardie, Michael Holroyd and Robert Skidelsky.
Hodder, 360 pp., £11.95, March 1981, 0 340 26340 7
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Futility 
by William Gerhardie.
Penguin, 184 pp., £1.75, February 1981, 0 14 000391 6
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... he made his way. Futility was turned down by 13 publishers before he sent it to the dying Katherine Mansfield, who got it published at once; it was a success, but not the wild one he seemed to expect. His choice of reader was shrewd: for all that he has to say about the English Romantics and Goethe and Proust, his true Penelope was Chekhov, a humorous ...

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