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Father Figures

Marguerite Alexander, 1 September 1983

A Journey in Ladakh 
by Andrew Harvey.
Cape, 236 pp., £8.50, May 1983, 0 224 02056 0
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All of us There 
by Polly Devlin.
Weidenfeld, 200 pp., £7.95, June 1983, 9780297782247
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The Far Side of the Lough: Stories from an Irish Childhood 
by Polly Devlin and Ian Newsham.
Gollancz, 118 pp., £5.50, June 1983, 0 575 03244 8
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... sense of humour. All of us There is the fruit of a spiritual journey of another kind – back to Polly Devlin’s Northern Irish Catholic childhood in search of meaning and continuity. She describes the faces looking out at her from old family photograph albums, her own and those of her five sisters and brother: ‘a look of bruised innocence, of ...

Green War

Patricia Craig, 19 February 1987

Poetry in the Wars 
by Edna Longley.
Bloodaxe, 264 pp., £12.95, November 1986, 0 906427 74 6
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We Irish: The Selected Essays of Denis Donoghue 
Harvester, 275 pp., £25, November 1986, 0 7108 1011 3Show More
The Battle of The Books 
by W.J. McCormack.
Lilliput, 94 pp., £3.95, October 1986, 0 946640 13 0
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The Twilight of Ascendancy 
by Mark Bence-Jones.
Constable, 327 pp., £14.95, January 1987, 0 09 465490 5
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A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Girl 
edited by John Quinn.
Methuen, 144 pp., £8.95, November 1986, 0 413 14350 3
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... foreword to A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Girl; one of the nine contributors to this book is Polly Devlin, whose autobiography All of Us There (1983) gets its title from Heaney’s poem, ‘The Seed Cutters’. There’s another Heaney poem, ‘The Ministry of Fear’ (‘Ireland made me’ would have done as a subtitle), in which we find an ...

Diary

Tom Paulin: In Donegal, 8 October 1992

... I want explained, and in Craig’s anthology they’re confronted passionately and brilliantly by Polly Devlin in her autobiographical essay ‘Meeting Brooke-borough’. Devlin describes a humiliating childhood experience where on a visit to Warren-point, the Northern seaside resort that gave Denis Donoghue his ...

Rinse it in dead champagne

Colm Tóibín: The women who invented beauty, 5 February 2004

War Paint: Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden: Their Lives, Their Times, Their Rivalry 
by Lindy Woodhead.
Virago, 498 pp., £20, April 2003, 1 86049 974 0
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Diana Vreeland 
by Eleanor Dwight.
HarperCollins, 308 pp., £30, December 2002, 0 688 16738 1
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... ever heard of them, and, into the bargain, she made herself into an icon. When the Irish writer Polly Devlin worked for her, she wrote: You could hardly see her for the dazzle – the huge mouth; the high bright-red cheeks; the burnished black-on-black lacquered hair; the edge and cut and glitter of her chic; the slanting, knowing eyes, like a ...

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