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Slightly Foxed Issue 35
  • ISBN: 9781906562410
  • Pages: 96
  • Dimensions: 210 x 148mm
  • Illustrations: B/W
  • Producer: Smith Settle
  • Cover artist: Francis Hamel, ‘Magpie Lane with Tree’
  • ISSN: 1742-5794
Made in Britain

Slightly Foxed Issue 35

‘Tarka the Rotter’


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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

Richard Knott sails the Baltic with Arthur Ransome • David Spiller is intrigued by the wartime diary of Churchill’s private secretary Jock Colville • Judy Spours discovers just what it meant to be in a charge of a middle-class Victorian household • Jonathan Law tracks down Tarka the Otter and his paradoxical creator Henry Williamson • Stephen Honey trembles before The Man-eaters of Tsavo Christian Tyler is on the front line with the author and war correspondent Alan Moorehead . . .

Tarka the Rotter • JONATHAN LAW

Henry Williamson, Tarka the Otter

An Observer Observed • CHRISTIAN TYLER

Alan Moorehead, A Late Education

Not Swinging, Just Dancing • LINDA LEATHERBARROW

On the novels of Edna O’Brien

Considerable Indiscretions • DAVID SPILLER

John Colville, The Fringes of Power: Downing Street Diaries, 19391955

The Black Isle and the Miss Boyds • VIVIEN CRIPPS

Jane Duncan, the My Friends books

An Epiphany at the British Museum • C. J. WRIGHT

Edmund Gosse, Father and Son

The Art of Browsing • OLIVER PRITCHETT

On etiquette of book browsing

Living in Interesting Times • C. J. DRIVER

On the novels of R. C. Hutchinson

The Great-aunt and the Author • CHRISTOPHER RUSH

Thomas Hardy, Far from the Madding Crowd

End of a Baltic Summer • RICHARD KNOTT

Arthur Ransome, Racundra’s First Cruise

Drama in Dulcimer Street • SARAH CROWDEN

Norman Collins, London Belongs to Me

Right Reverend • RICHARD PLATT

George MacDonald, Annals of a Quiet Neighbourhood

Lion-hunting with the Colonel • STEPHEN HONEY

John Henry Patterson, The Man-eaters of Tsavo


Jack McClenaghan, Moving Target

How Alice Grew Up • JEREMY NOEL-TOD

Nicholson Baker, The Everlasting Story of Nory

Such Devoted Sisters • JAMES ROOSE-EVANS

On the works of Edith Olivier

Taking a Hint • JUDY SPOURS

On Domestic literature

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 35: From the Editors

One of the most enjoyable things we do at Slightly Foxed – and there are many – is the commissioning of our covers. People often say they wish they could have reproductions of them, and so, in...

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‘There’s something inspiring about the way he comes to write Tarka by a kind of deep immersion – plunging himself into the creature’s habits and habitats, crawling through spinneys and...

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This is 'Digging' by Miriam Macgregor - a woodcut we like so much, we've featured it twice! First in Issue 10 back in 2006 to illustrate Tim Longville's article on Henry Mitchell’s The Essential...

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Not Swinging, Just Dancing

With my first wage, earned by selling toys in a department store, I bought myself a pair of black stockings, a bottle of frosted pink nail varnish, and a copy of Edna O’Brien’s The Country Girls....

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Tarka the Rotter

If we’re honest, most of us have at least one friend who we would hesitate to bring into civilized company – someone too strange or socially awkward, full of crazed notions about God or politics,...

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An Observer Observed

The trouble with memoirs is that too often they are written by people whose idea of what’s interesting is not the same as the reader’s. They are either grossly self-serving, like most political...

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Considerable Indiscretions

The huge literature on Winston Churchill can seem impenetrable to the casual reader. Churchill’s own writings, with their stentorian prose, do not always appeal (though My Early Life scores through...

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The Black Isle and the Miss Boyds

Reachfar is a ruin now. Approach, as we did, from the north, across rough, boulder-strewn fields, and it has a blind, sad look, just one small window in its long stone front. Go round to the other...

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An Epiphany at the British Museum

Edmund Gosse, son of the famous naturalist Philip Henry Gosse, had worked at the British Museum since he was 17. His father’s friend Charles Kingsley had helped secure him the post of Junior...

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The Art of Browsing

It is time to reclaim the verb ‘to browse’. Its proper meaning is ‘to linger in a bookshop, sampling the volumes on display’. These days the word is too often appropriated by Internet addicts...

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Living in Interesting Times

I don’t suppose anyone really understands why some novelists, widely read, even celebrated, are eclipsed when they die. Why is R. C. Hutchinson (1907–75) now almost forgotten? The Unforgotten...

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The Great-aunt and the Author

I love finding things that have been stuffed long ago into old books – a letter perhaps, a photograph, or just an old laundry bill with its pounds and pence redolent of an older England, where once...

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End of a Baltic Summer

‘That is the only church built in Russia during the Soviet era,’ the guide said, pointing at a bleak white building near the shoreline. A few more yards and we could see the full sweep of the...

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Drama in Dulcimer Street

London Belongs to Me is Norman Collins’s best-known book, first published in 1945, regularly reprinted throughout the fifties and sixties, once in 1977 and most recently by Penguin in 2008. The...

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Right Reverend

George MacDonald is a man who changes lives. The friend who first handed me MacDonald’s Annals of a Quiet Neighbourhood, the fictional memoir of the Reverend Henry Walton, Vicar of Marshmallows,...

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Lion-hunting with the Colonel

I expect that most of us, particularly in the current economic climate, have experienced trying times in our working lives, whether dealing with uncooperative colleagues, rude customers or...

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Finding Gold

Those 150 pages were very timely, I now remember, because in just a few escapist hours they cleared my head of the months of swotting for university finals. The weekend before my exams started, a...

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How Alice Grew Up

Nicholson Baker’s fifth novel, The Everlasting Story of Nory, was not, as its 9-year-old heroine might say, the world’s most raging success. I picked it up as a pocket hardback in a clearance...

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Such Devoted Sisters

Edith Olivier, born in 1872, was one of ten children whose father was for nearly fifty years Rector of Wilton, on the estate of the Earls of Pembroke, outside Salisbury. After the death of their...

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Taking a Hint

I already had something of a habit of collecting old home-making manuals – 1950s ‘Pins and Needles’ books with instructions for making a rag rug or knocking up a stylish telephone table for...

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