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Princess Diane

Penny Boumelha, 21 February 1985

Diane Arbus: A Biography 
by Patricia Bosworth.
Heinemann, 367 pp., £14.95, January 1985, 0 434 08150 7
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Inside the Onion 
by Howard Nemerov.
Chicago, 63 pp., £8.45, April 1984, 0 226 57244 7
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... In Sartre’s Les Mots, there is a mise-en-abîme in which he writes of his youthful fascination with a volume on the childhood of illustrious men: in each life-history – as here in his own autobiography – there is a point at which the apparent banality and contingency of their ordinary life becomes illumined with the significance of destiny, as the ‘great man’-to-be fuses momentarily with the child ...

Embarrassed

Graham Hough, 7 October 1982

Thomas Hardy: A Biography 
by Michael Millgate.
Oxford, 637 pp., £15, June 1982, 0 19 211725 4
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The Collected Letters of Thomas Hardy. Vol. III: 1902-1908 
edited by Richard Purdy and Michael Millgate.
Oxford, 367 pp., £19.50, July 1982, 0 19 812620 4
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The Neglected Hardy: Thomas Hardy’s Lesser Novels 
by Richard Taylor.
Macmillan, 202 pp., £17.50, May 1982, 0 333 31051 9
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Good Little Thomas Hardy 
by C.H. Salter.
Macmillan, 200 pp., £15, August 1982, 0 333 29387 8
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Thomas Hardy and Women: Sexual Ideology and Narrative Form 
by Penny Boumelha.
Harvester, 178 pp., £18.95, April 1982, 0 7108 0018 5
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Illustration and the Novels of Thomas Hardy 
by Arlene Jackson.
Macmillan, 151 pp., £15, October 1981, 0 333 32303 3
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... between art and the raw material of art, he leaves Hardy the novelist and poet largely untouched. Penny Boumelha’s Thomas Hardy and Women begins with a conventional Marxist-feminist introduction and an equally conventional run-down on Victorian theories of sexuality: in effect, a long bout of ritual scolding in which earlier writers are reproved ...

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