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Slightly Foxed Issue 39
  • ISBN: 9781906562564
  • Pages: 96
  • Dimensions: 210 x 148mm
  • Illustrations: B/W
  • Publication date: 1 September 2013
  • Producer: Smith Settle
  • Cover artist: Janet Brooke, ’Telephone, Telephone’
  • ISSN: 1742-5794
Made in Britain

Slightly Foxed Issue 39

‘Around the Fire’


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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

Penelope Lively returns to Alamein • John Walsh meets the enemies of promise • Isabel Colegate brings her imagination to history • Christopher Rush shows true grit • Morag MacInnes recites with George Mackay Brown and Dylan Thomas • Paul Brassley seeks refuge in farming • Amanda Theunissen is fascinated by Christabel Bielenberg’s memoir The Past Is Myself, and much more besides . . .

Around the Fire • MORAG MACINNES

Dylan Thomas, Under Milk Wood

Kindness of Strangers • AMANDA THEUNISSEN

Christabel Bielenberg, The Past Is Myself

The Charlock’s Shade • JOHN WALSH

Cyril Connolly, Enemies of Promise

A Peal of Perfect Thunder • WILLIAM PALMER

G. K. Chesterton, The Man Who Was Thursday

Joining up the Dots • HAZEL WOOD

Ronald Welch, Knight Crusader; The Galleon; For the King


Charles Portis, True Grit

The Flight of an Odd Duck • MICHAEL GORMAN

Julian Symons, Notes from Another Country

Two Carps • ANDREW W. PYE

Richard Haydn, The Journals of Edwin Carp & Sir Henry Howarth Bashford, Augustus Corp Esq., By Himself


George Dangerfield, The Strange Death of Liberal England

Batting under the Walls of Troy • ROBIN KNIGHT

On Cricket

The Poet and Piccadilly Jim • PENELOPE LIVELY

Keith Douglas, Alamein to Zem Zem

From Small Beginnings • ROGER JONES

Njal’s Saga

The Soluble Witch • SARAH LAWSON

L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Catching a Tartar • CHRIS BIRD

Leo Tolstoy, Hadji Murat

Bain’t Feasible • PAUL BRASSLEY

A. G. Street, Farmer’s Glory

Around a Room in Forty-two Days • MARTIN SORRELL

Xavier de Maistre, A Journey around My Room; A Nocturnal Expedition around My Room

Marking Time • PAUL ROBINSON

On bookmarks

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 39: From the Editors

The summer has sped by and we’ve been travelling, giving talks about Slightly Foxed (with the essential tea and cakes) at the kind of small local festivals that often seem to have more meaning than...

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Around the Fire

Being an artist’s child, I read pictures long before books, and I loved the shiny HMV covers: the dog, the trumpet, Eartha Kitt’s arms opening wide. I wondered how she kept her dress up. Paul...

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Kindness of Strangers

‘If you get out now, Gnädige Frau, you can take the underground and you will be in the city in no time,’ said a fellow traveller to Christabel Bielenberg on a stationary train just outside...

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The Charlock’s Shade

Cyril Connolly is the patron saint of literary under-achievers. For all young English graduates who ever believed they had a novel in them but didn’t; every journalist with an edgy work-in-progress...

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A Peal of Perfect Thunder

When, a few years later, I started to read G. K. Chesterton’s The Man Who Was Thursday, I thought how feeble we were as revolutionaries compared to the seven anarchists of that book – at the...

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Joining up the Dots

In the endlessly wet, cold, dark days of last January, when hibernation seemed the only possible option, I was given the perfect book to escape into – a children’s book as it happened. Reading it...

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Sweet Revenge

There are many definitions of what makes a great work of literature, but for my money a great book must do one thing above all else: it must create a world of its own, with its own unique atmosphere...

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The Flight of an Odd Duck

I have been reading a number of books on everyday life in Britain in the Second World War recently and have been on the lookout for more titles to read. My friend Jack Walsdorf, bookseller, book...

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Two Carps

Augustus Carp, Esq., By Himself is one of those legendary books you hear about and add immediately to your wants list. After years of searching I spotted a ‘Carp’ on the shelf of a charity...

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A Mortal Wound

The myth of the golden years before the First World War, brought to a tragic and unforeseen end by that war’s outbreak, lingers on despite all the evidence produced by subsequent historians to show...

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Batting under the Walls of Troy

The sound of bat on ball. The smell of newly cut grass. The sight of players in whites crouching, waiting, hoping. Summer must be here. Yet for many cricket lovers there really is no close season....

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The Poet and Piccadilly Jim

Alamein to Zem Zem bears as a frontispiece a photograph of its author. Keith Douglas leans against the bonnet of a lorry, arms spread out, smiling. He wears khaki shirt and trousers, officer’s cap....

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From Small Beginnings

I was as spellbound as anybody and already an enthusiast since schooldays for The Lord of the Rings. So these myths from the frosty north struck a powerful chord in me, and when in 1960 a volume...

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The Soluble Witch

Why did I always detest The Wizard of Oz so? The film, with its songs and vivid colours, isn’t so terrible, is it? You can see it every Christmas on TV even now, seventy and more years after it was...

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Catching a Tartar

In April 1851 Leo Tolstoy was a university dropout, troubled by gambling debts and plagued by venereal disease. To escape his drifter’s life in Moscow, he set out to join his brother Nikolai’s...

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Bain’t Feasible

It was May 1968. Students all over Europe were in revolt. My heart was with them, but my bottom was on a chair in the agricultural section of the university library, where I was revising for the...

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Around a Room in Forty-two Days

A Journey around My Room was the unlikely result of a duel. In 1790 Xavier de Maistre, a 27-year-old officer in the Army of Piedmont, fell out with someone over something, somewhere in Turin. One...

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Marking Time

Do you know where you put the window cleaner’s bill? Do you remember that you missed your last appointment at the dentist’s because you had mislaid her appointment card? When these things happen,...

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