Slightly Foxed Issue 2
  • ISBN: 9780954826819
  • Pages: 96
  • Format: 210 x 148mm
  • Illustrations: B/W
  • Publication date: 1 June 2004
  • Producer: Smith Settle
  • Cover artist: Tsugumi Ota, ‘Bathers’
  • ISSN: 1742-5794
Made in Britain

Slightly Foxed Issue 2

‘An Odd Sort of Comfort’


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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

Tim Mackintosh-Smith wanders in Greece with Patrick Leigh Fermor • Harriet Sergeant discovers what makes a good diaryKaren Robinson hangs loose in California • Justin Cartwright uncovers the lost world of William Maxwell • Julia Keay finds The Everest Hotel in Dehra Dun • Lyall Watson is delighted by a most unusual museum • Annette Kobak sees England afresh with Karel Čapek John Saumarez Smith remembers a book-trade character Ursula Buchan gets dug in with The Potting Shed Papers Nicholas Bagnall takes to the road with George Borrow • Mary Sullivan meets some refugees from Lilliput in Mistress Masham’s Repose • Andrew Wall discovers retail therapy, and much more besides . . .

An Odd Source of Comfort • HARRIET SERGEANT

Alan & Irene Taylor (eds.), The Assassin’s Cloak

Off All the Standard Maps • TIM MACKINTOSH-SMITH

Patrick Leigh Fermor, Roumeli


The novels of William Maxwell

Oedipus Schmoedipus • MICHELE HANSON

Ian Dishart Suttie, The Origins of Love and Hate

Mightier than the Sword • ANNETTE KOBAK

Karel Čapek, Letters from England; The Gardener’s Year

Hanging Loose • KAREN ROBINSON

Cyra McFadden, The Serial

The Museum of Jurassic Technology • LYALL WATSON

Lawrence Weschler, Mr Wilson’s Cabinet of Wonder

Prang Wizard • MIKE PETTY

Derek Robinson, Goshawk Squadron

The Wind on the Heath • NICHOLAS BAGNALL

George Borrow, Lavengro

My Dear Maggotty Sir • ROGER HUDSON

John Hayes (ed.), The Letters of Thomas Gainsborough

Retail Therapy • ANDREW WALL

Émile Zola, Ladies’ Paradise


An Attraction of Opposites • ANTHONY SATTIN

Diana Athill, After a Funeral

Hadrian to the Life • CAROLINE CHAPMAN

Marguerite Yourcenar, Memoirs of Hadrian


On bookshops and bookselling


Charles Elliott, The Potting Shed Papers

Advice from My Father • JONATHAN SELF

C. S. Lewis, A Grief Observed

The Parson and the Squire • BRENDAN LEHANE

Owen Chadwick, Victorian Miniature

Extremely Small People • MARY SULLIVAN

T. H. White, Mistress Masham’s Repose

In Dehra Dun • JULIA KEAY

Allan Sealy, The Everest Hotel

Embarrassing but Inspiring • JOHN URE

John Buchan, The Complete Richard Hannay

Books Under the Piano • HAZEL WOOD

On Maia Press

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. More . . . 

    An Odd Source of Comfort

    Books that have a profound effect on your life are usually books that you read young, but I only recently discovered The Assassin’s Cloak: An Anthology of the World’s Greatest Diarists....

    Read more

    Off All the Standard Maps

    The only time I have been to Greece as it appears on the modern map was when I was barely out of short trousers. I went with that indispensable aid to travel, an aunt, and with the idea that I knew...

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    Maxwell’s World

    A curious thing: the New York literary world is smaller than the London literary world. It also has a strange feeling of being more old-fashioned. I was edited there by the legendary Joe Fox. I...

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    Oedipus Schmoedipus

    Eighty years ago Ian Suttie, a Scottish psychiatrist, wrote The Origins of Love and Hate, in which he fiercely criticized Freud’s theories. Freud saw human beings as ‘isolates wrestling with...

    Read more

    Mightier than the Sword

    There’s an esprit de l’escalier peculiar to the writer, when your book has just gone to the printer and you hit upon something so crucial to it that you hop about for days cursing at the loss. So...

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    Hanging Loose

    The time is the mid-1970s, the place is Marin County, an affluent Bohemian suburb of San Francisco, the desired state of mind is ‘mellow’. And so the scene is set for a delicious comedy of...

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    The Museum of Jurassic Technology

    I blame my grandmother. She was a great beach walker, scouring the coast for seashells thrown up by the Indian Ocean. She had eyes like a hawk, even at 60, finely tuned to any hint of a polished...

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    Prang Wizard

    Goshawk Squadron, a story of the war in the air over the Western Front, is the missing link between Catch-22 and Blackadder. It was Derek Robinson’s first novel, published in 1971, and it was...

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    The Wind on the Heath

    ‘What’s that book that’s making you laugh so much?’ said my wife. It was my old Everyman Lavengro, still for some reason in its bright red dust jacket, now tattered and torn. It’s a reprint...

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    My Dear Maggotty Sir

    If the figures of history are paraded before the mind’s eye, century by century, once the 1750s are reached one seems suddenly to be looking through a zoom lens. The procession of more-or-less...

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    Retail Therapy

    When I was a small boy, a holiday treat would be to visit my father who, for several decades, was the advertising manager of Pontings department store, the least glamorous if most worthy of its...

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    An Attraction of Opposites

    Ghali wrote his novel while living in poverty in Germany. The book was published in 1964 by André Deutsch and, as a result, Ghali met Diana Athill, who worked at Deutsch and is now best known for...

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    Hadrian to the Life

    My first encounter with Memoirs of Hadrian was during a brief holiday in Andalusia. As I drove north from Málaga into the snow-covered hills, my husband turned to the first page. Within a sentence...

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    Doing a Runner

    In 2002 Anthony Rota, a fourth-generation bookseller, published his memoirs of the antiquarian trade. He has known it for most of his life whereas I only came into it in 1965 after graduating from...

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    Well Dug In

    Once upon a time, or until about 1960 that is, there existed a genre of horticultural literature called, colloquially, ‘the chatty gardening book’. In fact, the phrase did these books less than...

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    Advice from My Father

    ‘Everything he wrote was total bilge. Apart, that is to say, from A Grief Observed. The man was a genius when it came to describing grief. I have to give him that. If you are coming to terms with a...

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    The Parson and the Squire

    Ten years ago I found myself glancing through a shelf of Canto paperbacks (in Cambridge, where the University Press publishes them), all nicely and cleanly produced, with an appealing colour picture...

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    Extremely Small People

    I suppose Tom Thumb in the fairy story is usually the first extremely small live person we come across. Early on we’re charmed by the miniature world of dolls’ houses, but the people in them are...

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    In Dehra Dun

    I found a copy of Allan Sealy’s The Everest Hotel in a small bookshop in Dehra Dun in northern India. It was the dust jacket that caught my eye – a pen-and-ink drawing of a pair of large gnarled...

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    Embarrassing but Inspiring

    We all remember the first novels we read of our own volition, unprompted by parents or schoolmasters: in my case these were John Buchan’s stories of the adventures of Richard Hannay. We were in the...

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