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Slightly Foxed Issue 11
  • ISBN: 9780955198731
  • Pages: 96
  • Dimensions: 210 x 148mm
  • Illustrations: B/W
  • Publication date: 1 September 2006
  • Producer: Smith Settle
  • Cover artist: John Holder, ‘with apologies to Gainsborough’
  • ISSN: 1742-5794
  • Issue Subtitle: ‘A Private, Circumspect People’
Made in Britain

Slightly Foxed Issue 11

The magazine for people who love books


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The independent-minded quarterly that combines good looks, good writing and a personal approach. Slightly Foxed introduces its readers to books that are no longer new and fashionable but have lasting appeal. Good-humoured, unpretentious and a bit eccentric, it’s more like a well-read friend than a literary magazine.

In this issue: Maggie Fergusson revisits Akenfield • Frances Donnelly meets an excellent woman • Jeremy Lewis goes to prep school • Virginia Ironside falls for a hopelessly addicted writer • Amanda Theunissen writes in praise of Modesty • Roger Hudson encounters a notorious baggage • Frances Wood goes dotty over the Dewey system • George Ramsden remembers Alan Clark • Justin Marozzi meets Leo the African, and much more besides . . .



A Private, Circumspect People • MAGGIE FERGUSSON on Ronald Blythe, Akenfield

Sheds and Watersheds • MIKE PETTY on Albert Camus, The Outsider

Ibn Battutah Meets Forrest Gump • JUSTIN MAROZZI on Amin Maalouf, Leo the African

A Notorious Baggage • ROGER HUDSON on Elizabeth Thomson (ed.), The Chamberlain Letters

Escape Routes • AMANDA THEUNISSEN on the the novels and cartoons of Peter O’Donnell

The Unobtrusive Gardener • URSULA BUCHAN on Geoffrey Dutton, Some Branch Against the Sky

The Road to Room 101 • GORDON BOWKER on George Orwell, Keep the Aspidistra Flying

Collecting Edith • GEORGE RAMSDEN on the library of Edith Wharton

Anna and the Bazooka • VIRGINIA IRONSIDE on the novels of Anna Kavan

Not So Bad, Really • FRANCES DONNELLY on Barbara Pym, Excellent WomenJane and Prudence

The Quiet Sicilian • JOHN DE FALBE on Giuseppe di Lampedusa, The Leopard

Under the Mulberry Tree • JUSTINE HARDY on Hiner Saleem, My Father’s Rifle: A Childhood in Kurdistan

In a Class of His Own • JEREMY LEWIS on H. F. Ellis, The Papers of A. J. Wentworth BA

By the Light of the Ptarmigan • LUCY LETHBRIDGE on Sabine Baring-Gould, Iceland, Its Scenes and Sagas

Prussian Blues • JOHN JOLLIFFE on Theodor Fontane, Before the Storm

Shock Waves • JULIA KEAY on Anne Fadiman, The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down

History Man • CHARLES ELLIOTT on Kenneth Roberts, Arundel

Driven Dotty by Dewey • FRANCES WOOD on Dewey decimal classification


About Slightly Foxed

The independent-minded quarterly that combines good looks, good writing and a personal approach. Slightly Foxed introduces its readers to books that are no longer new and fashionable but have lasting appeal. Good-humoured, unpretentious and a bit eccentric, it’s more like a well-read friend than a literary magazine. Read more about Slightly Foxed.

Slightly Foxed Issue 11: From the Editors

It’s one of those pleasant moments when nothing very particular is happening in the office. Pugwash the cocker spaniel is snoring in the late summer sunshine by the terrace window, a splendid...

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Escape Routes

I once interviewed a well-known poet on the radio and asked him what he read when he had ’flu. He looked at me with astonishment – and some contempt – and said ‘Tolstoy, of course’. But...

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Ibn Battutah Meets Forrest Gump

In the Spring edition of Slightly Foxed, Paul Routledge defied anyone to read Fitzroy Maclean’s Eastern Approaches and not want to head off at once to Central Asia. I think he is absolutely right...

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A Notorious Baggage

We can touch the past through diaries, letters and memoirs, which allow a measure of intimacy and immediacy even across the centuries. The accepted view is that they begin to proliferate in the...

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Sheds and Watersheds

When Professor Lisa Jardine was conducting her search for the ‘essential male novel’ among 400 men from the worlds of academia, the arts, publishing and literary criticism she unaccountably...

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A Private, Circumspect People

Shortly after the end of the Second World War, the Royal Society of Literature took out a long lease on a white stucco Bayswater house, formerly the home of General Sir Ian Hamilton, leader of the...

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The Unobtrusive Gardener

I had just come home from a protracted springtime tour of English gardens. Perhaps it was their ravishing fresh beauty, or their complexity, or their immaculate neatness, or perhaps I had just seen...

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The Road to Room 101

Every time I go into one of those old-fashioned second-hand bookshops – the ones with rows of leather-bound copies of Punch and shelves full of long-expired novels and the sweet smell of decaying...

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Collecting Edith

In March 1984, full of the joys of spring and possibly slightly mad, I bought the library of the American novelist Edith Wharton from Maggs Bros., the London booksellers, and subsequently discovered...

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Anna and the Bazooka

I can drop Anna Kavan’s name among the most literary of my friends and their brows furrow and they confess that, even though thirteen of her books are still in print, and a second biography of her...

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Not So Bad, Really

When I first read Barbara Pym’s Excellent Women in 1979 it certainly provoked a strong response, but hardly the admiration the cover blurb demanded for ‘one of the finest examples of high comedy...

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The Quiet Sicilian

I first read Giuseppe di Lampedusa’s novel The Leopard while I was in Palermo in 1981, at the age of 18. It was one of those defining reading experiences which are not always easy to explain but...

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Under the Mulberry Tree

Kurdish was a term I heard long before I had any real sense of the world, of where Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey are, or what cultural and religious intolerance mean. When I was about 7, a Kurdish...

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In a Class of His Own

Books that make one laugh out loud are far rarer than one likes to think, and the subject of endless and often heated debate. P. G. Wodehouse usually comes out top, but although I loved him in my...

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By the Light of the Ptarmigan

When I was a teenager, prowling voraciously round my parents’ bookshelves looking for something to read, I found a row of old books that hadn’t been looked at for at least fifty years. They were...

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Prussian Blues

Of the many missed opportunities of my schooldays, failure to learn German is the one I have regretted most and longest. But in 1949, when the chance arose, German was not the flavour of the month....

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