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20th May 2009

‘Beautifully produced . . .’

‘Absolutely beautifully produced.’
- BBC Radio 4 Today
From readers
20th May 2009

Time Out

‘Packed with anecdotes, reminiscences and essays about books, writers and the trade. If you love books you'll love Slightly Foxed.’
- Time Out
From the press
‘Tombs, dear. Where’s your other sock?’

‘Tombs, dear. Where’s your other sock?’

No one told me that the pyramids had been one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, but they were certainly the primal wonder of mine. From early on they exercised an oddly persistent fascination.They could not, it seemed, be taken for granted, like hills and trees and houses. Approached along the pyramid road they got larger and larger and larger until they filled up one half of the sky. It took a long while to ride lurchingly round the Great Pyramid on a camel, and from no angle could their stupendousness be made a thing of nought. They were made of square yellow blocks, exactly like sugar lumps, but higher than I was.
Putting up Useful Shelves

Putting up Useful Shelves

In 1922, Richard Kennedy’s formidable grandmother pulled a well-connected string and got him a scholarship to Marlborough. To say that Kennedy’s education up to this point had been patchy is an understatement. As he describes it in his childhood memoir A Parcel of Time, it consisted of ‘two uneducated women’, his mother and his nurse, failing to teach him to read, followed by a series of pretty dire south-coast prep schools from which he generally absented himself by the simple expedient of taking the bus home . . .

The Temptation of Mrs Harris

It was astonishing to me that a grown-up could cry, and more than astonishing that anyone should cry for joy. The memory came back to me a few weeks ago, as I reread, with my 9-year-old daughter, Paul Gallico’s Flowers for Mrs Harris. For Gallico, most fondly remembered as the author of The Snow Goose, was a master of the bittersweet, of the mysterious kinship between suffering and joy. He knew how to fold together humour and poignant detail in just the right proportions to prevent his prose from curdling into mawkishness and sentimentality.
SF magazine subscribers only
A Noble Cause

A Noble Cause

War in Val d’Orcia consists of the diary Iris Origo kept between the end of January 1943 and July 1944. The Origos were based throughout at La Foce, south of Montepulciano in central Italy, though they made occasional excursions to Florence and Rome. She and her Italian husband Antonio had devoted their pre-war lives to reviving the estate, something that could only be done by cooperating with Mussolini and his Fascist bureaucracy; when the Fascists allied themselves with Hitler and Nazism, the Origos keenly adopted the anti-Fascist cause. In what was a remote part of Tuscany they created a remarkable agricultural community, though its close-knit texture would be stretched to the utmost under wartime conditions.
SF magazine subscribers only

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