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Slightly Foxed Issue 21
  • ISBN: 9781906562076
  • Pages: 96
  • Dimensions: 210 x 148mm
  • Illustrations: B/W
  • Publication date: 1 March 2009
  • Producer: Smith Settle
  • Cover artist: Francis Farmar, ‘Fox and Steam Train, Dart Valley’
  • ISSN: 1742-5794
Made in Britain

Slightly Foxed Issue 21

‘All Washed Up’


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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

Robin Blake discovers the revolutionary world of Molesworth • Karen Robinson meets an American hero • Jennie Erdal finds the perfect antidote to the current gloom • Dan Jacobson sees darkness at noon • Tim Longville minds his own business • Penelope Lively celebrates a late beginner • Christopher Robbins washes the dishes • Daisy Hay embarks on a brilliant career, and much more besides . . .


George Orwell, Down and Out in Paris and London

Before the Sun Set • PENELOPE LIVELY

Priscilla Napier, A Late Beginner

A Husband and Wife Team • BRIAN WOOD

C. N. and A. M. Williamson, The Lightning Conductor; The Lightning Conductor Discovers America

The Brick of Fate • JENNIE ERDAL

On the novels of Peter de Vries

Doing the Right Thing • VICTORIA NEUMARK

On the novels of Antonia Forest

We’ve Been Here Before • ROBERT BRUCE

On the literature of financial crises

Unsuitable Jobs for Unsuitable Girls • DAISY HAY

Miles Franklin, My Brilliant Career


Charlotte Paul, Minding Our Own Business

A Serial Offender • DAN JACOBSON

Arthur Koestler, Darkness at Noon

The Prunes Are Revolting • ROBIN BLAKE

Geoffrey Willans & Ronald Searle, the Molesworth chronicles

A Blazing Talent • DIANA RAYMOND

On the works of Pamela Frankau

American Hero • KAREN ROBINSON

Lee Child, the Jack Reacher novels

All about Love • LESLEY DOWNER

Murasaki Shikibu, The Tale of Genji

Going for the Thing • DEREK PARKER

On the novels of Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch

On the Lost Isle • PEGRAM HARRISON

Marguerite Yourcenar, Two Lives and a Dream


On the history of South Africa

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 21: From the Editors

It’s bitterly cold today – frost on the London roofs, and the spires of the City churches rising sharp and white against an ice-blue sky. For a lot of us it feels internally pretty cold too. Talk...

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A Blazing Talent

How well is Pamela Frankau remembered? She was born on 3 January 1908, so last year was her centenary. But . . . no garlands? No memorials? No flourish in the literary pages? Well, Pamela would be...

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‘I look forward to a summer of great reading . . .’

‘I am thrilled with my subscription to SF. A kind friend lent me a copy of your Spring 2009 Issue and it’s fantastic: affectionate and beautifully written reviews of great books previously...

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Before the Sun Set

This wonderful recreation of a time and a climate of mind – a hundred years ago, one realizes, startled – is not just an evocation of place but also of the child’s eye view. A Late Beginner...

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All Washed Up

Many years ago, when I was in my early twenties, I lived in Copenhagen where I was registered with the Foreign Ministry as correspondent for The Times. But I made my living washing dishes. The paper...

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A Husband and Wife Team

I call them ‘also published by’ lists. Everyone who collects secondhand books knows them; hopeful publishers used to put them at the end of a volume. There you can find the memoirs of...

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The Brick of Fate

In the 1970s student grants went a long way. After paying for all the prescribed texts, there was still money left over for a good rummage in the second-hand bookshops. On a whim one day, I bought...

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Doing the Right Thing

How many children’s books have characters that not only discuss literature but also give you a reading list? That is just one of the things that put Antonia Forest’s novels at the top of mine....

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We’ve Been Here Before

When Northern Rock first ran into trouble in the autumn of 2007, worried customers queued outside branches from the early hours in an attempt to get their money out. ‘This is the first run on a...

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Unsuitable Jobs for Unsuitable Girls

On my thirteenth birthday, a friend’s mother gave me a present which changed the way I thought about reading. It was books, four of them: Regency Buck and The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer, The...

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They Made It

My nearest second-hand bookshop is in a small town five or six miles away. Like many traditional small-town shops it wears many hats. Downstairs at the front are stationery and artists’ materials,...

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A Serial Offender

Some books carve themselves immediately and irrevocably into the minds of their readers. I must have been no more than 16 or 17 years old when I first read Arthur Koestler’s Darkness at Noon....

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The Prunes Are Revolting

In Slightly Foxed, No. 17, I wrote of my childhood addiction to Anthony Buckeridge’s stories about Jennings and Darbyshire, pupils at the agreeable but not very realistic prep school of Linbury...

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American Hero

I first met Jack Reacher in 1997 – and I was instantly smitten. A lone figure, downing coffee and eggs in a diner on the edge of a small American town, he remains as cool as an Inuit’s deep...

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Going for the Thing

One day in May 1944, with the harbour of Fowey packed with vessels of all shapes and sizes ready for the invasion of France, Mr Spreadbury, our history master, turned up in a gown with very...

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On the Lost Isle

Some months ago I became a British citizen. This wasn’t such a stretch for a native of the States, but it put me in mind of other transplanted people and I have been rereading some old favourites...

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Sugar Dreams

Even if the south-eastern seaboard of Africa has never been a Bloomsbury, it has had its moments. Angus Wilson’s mother was a Durban girl, and Fernando Pessoa spent his schooldays there. But given...

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