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Slightly Foxed Issue 4
  • ISBN: 9780954826833
  • Pages: 96
  • Dimensions: 210 x 148mm
  • Illustrations: B/W
  • Publication date: 1 December 2004
  • Producer: Smith Settle
  • Cover artist: Ronald Searle, ‘Foxed throughout’
  • ISSN: 1742-5794
Made in Britain

Slightly Foxed Issue 4

‘Now We’re Shut in for the Night’


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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 gets the shivers with M. R. James Penelope Lively follows Barry Lopez to the Arctic • David Gilmour recaptures his childhood with Rosemary Sutcliff •  Christopher Rush remembers Orkney’s Prospero • Annabel Walker discovers new ways of reading the landscape • John Saumarez Smith recalls his first Christmases as a bookseller in Mayfair • Irma Kurtz sees modern America in The Scarlet Letter Jill Paton Walsh learns how books were smuggled books behind the Iron Curtain • Richard Woodman is haunted by The Cruel SeaEmma Tennant takes a phone call from Jackie O, and much more besides . . .

Now We’re Shut in for the Night • TIM MACKINTOSH-SMITH

M. R. James, Casting the Runes

Funny Side of the Street • MIKE PETTY

Michael Frayn, Towards the End of the Morning

The Man Who Read the Land • ANNABEL WALKER

W. G. Hoskins, The Making of the English Landscape

Ancient Worlds • DAVID GILMOUR

Rosemary Sutcliff, The Lantern Bearers

Northern Lights • PENELOPE LIVELY

Barry Lopez, Arctic Dreams

Orkney’s Prospero • CHRISTOPHER RUSH

The essays of George Mackay Brown

My First Gethsemane • JOHN SAUMAREZ SMITH

On bookshops and bookselling

A Passion for Crustaceans • DUFF HART-DAVIS

Richard Shelton, The Longshoreman


On the novels of Jean Rhys

Hand and Mind Together • SIMON BRETT

On illustration

The Price of Addle Tree • IRMA KURTZ

Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

A Matter of Trust • JILL PATON WALSH

Jessica Douglas-Home, Once Upon Another Time


Sándor Márai, Embers


Nicholas Monsarrat, The Cruel Sea

A Tuft of a Masterpiece • ANTHONY PERRY

Cyril Connolly, The Unquiet Grave

O Jackie . . . • EMMA TENNANT

On Jacqueline Onassis

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 4: From the Editors

Slightly Foxed has now settled comfortably into Clerkenwell. The only drawback of the new office is the spectacular view – we spend far too much time watching the clouds, which at this time of year...

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Now We’re Shut in for the Night

I must have been about 12 when I first opened James’s Collected Ghost Stories and turned to ‘A School Story’. As a boy who enjoyed gruesome yarns and, more surprisingly, Latin grammar, I was...

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Roman Wall

‘In clear and elegant prose he described how lanes and hedges, copses, farmsteads, fields and place names could tell the story of the past and explain the configuration of the present . . .'

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Hand and Mind Together

Faced with a new book, an illustrator ponders. Should the illustrations decorate the page or interpret the text? Should they interpret it scene by scene or accompany it at a distance as a visual...

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Funny Side of the Street

At some point in the early 1960s Jennings was supplanted in the Observer by someone altogether more bracing: Michael Frayn. It was about the time of That Was the Week That Was and Private Eye, and...

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The Man Who Read the Land

When he was asked to update The Making of the English Landscape by W. G. Hoskins, Christopher Taylor described it as ‘one of the greatest history books ever written’. I may not have appreciated...

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Ancient Worlds

I was thus apprehensive, for my sake as well as my children’s, when I encouraged them to read Rosemary Sutcliff. I wondered whether I would still be drawn to her ancient worlds, her vanished races...

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Northern Lights

Arctic Dreams is much more than a travel book; its subtitle is Imagination and Desire in a Northern Landscape, which causes one to raise an eyebrow. Desire? What does the man mean? To be honest I am...

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Orkney’s Prospero

Every Thursday morning for twenty years and more, the Orkney writer George Mackay Brown cleared a breakfast-table space among the teacups and the marmalade and, sitting with his elbows among the...

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My First Gethsemane

Thirty-nine years ago I came to work at Heywood Hill’s bookshop in Curzon Street. Between school and Cambridge, I had worked for three months at Heffers, where Mr Reuben Heffer had cannily put me...

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A Passion for Crustaceans

The Longshoreman is the story of an obsession with fish, beginning when, as a boy in the 1940s, Richard Shelton explored the streams around his home in Buckinghamshire, and continuing right through...

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Voyage in the Dark

Good Morning, Midnight is in fact the fourth in a series of novels that draw largely on Jean Rhys’s own life. Sasha Jansen is a lonely, ageing alcoholic who, at the instigation of a worried friend,...

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The Price of Addle Tree

Not many pleasures attach to growing old. And as former pleasures pass away one by one, fewer still emerge, new and unrehearsed. Reading, albeit more slowly and through spectacles, remains a source...

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A Matter of Trust

Once Upon Another Time is Jessica Douglas-Home’s account of the part she herself played in an extraordinary private enterprise which came to be known as ‘the Oxford visitors’. The story began...

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Friends Reunited

Every year as many as eleven thousand novels may be published in Britain, of which only a handful amount to much. So it is all the more surprising to come across a masterpiece. Such is Embers by the...

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Unsung Heroes

My first copy of Nicholas Monsarrat’s The Cruel Sea was a twelfth birthday present, given to me in 1956. It was Cassell’s expurgated ‘Cadet Edition’, intended for a generation who knew little...

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A Tuft of a Masterpiece

The term ‘masterpiece’ is often used lazily as a bit of instant praise, but the dictionary definition is actually ‘a production surpassing in excellence all others by the same hand’. So,...

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O Jackie . . .

It’s 1991 and the recession is beginning to bite. Publishers’ accountants are staring at unearned balances, and reputations – for being artistic, for having introduced a ‘new voice’ or...

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