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Archive for July, 2009

I re-read, with more concentration, Caryl Churchill’s Fen (1983). It is a remarkable piece of work mainly concerned with the lives of a number of women in a Fen village. There are a couple of male characters – Mr Tewson, the landowner, and Frank, for whom one of the women, Val, is leaving her husband and young daughters, but the play’s concern is with the women. (more…)

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Witley Court is a country house in Worcestershire which was largely gutted by fire in 1937. Although the house is still a ruin, English Heritage, who acquired the property in the 1980’s, have been working to restore the historically important gardens. In addition Great Witley Church, which is attached to the house, fortunately escaped the fire; it is a quite extraordinary creation to find in rural Worcestershire and well worth repeated visits. (more…)

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The following are my comments on Richard Reeves biography  John Stuart Mill Victorian Firebrand (2007) taken directly from my comments on Trollope-l – some of the remarks therefore refer to debates on list but these are pertinent so I have refrained from any editing. (more…)

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J.I.M. Stewart – Myself and Michael Innes (1987)

This book is subtitled A Memoir, which is certainly a far more suitable description than auto-biography. Indeed it is short on some basic biographical facts which can more easily be picked up from Wikipedia. Stewart was born in 1906 in Edinburgh, where he attended the Edinburgh Academy, before moving on to Oriel College, Oxford. (more…)

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Some July Movies

A separate  blog for four movies watched already in July. The reason for this sudden increase in movie-watching is the near disappearance of any interesting new material on television on British television during the summer months (combined of course with a ‘good spell’ Depression wise). Although my movie reviews would normally form part of the Monthly Miscellany these were getting out of hand! (more…)

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Crabbe – Tale 9: Arabella

One thing which I have failed to comment on is the way in which certain of The Tales are grouped, or follow on from one another. There are dialogues between the Tales some of which take of the forms of oppositions, others of complements. This is most definitely true of Tales 6-9 all of which have as their central characters young women – Sybil, Nancy, Lucy and now Arabella – and discuss their various positions and fates in respect of marriage. (more…)

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Crabbe – Tale 8: The Mother

Another hard tale of a parent and a child – in this case a Mother and daughter. The Tale actually begins with the Mother’s parents who are fatefully indulgent, granting Dorothea, their only surviving child’s (‘Sons they had lost’ – Crabbe is always alive to social facts such as the infant mortality rate) every wish, so she goes up to be a spoiled brat….. (more…)

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