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Slightly Foxed Issue 48
  • ISBN: 9781906562809
  • Pages: 96
  • Dimensions: 210 x 148mm
  • Illustrations: B/W
  • Publication date: 1 December 2015
  • Producer: Smith Settle
  • Cover artist: Sarah Woolfenden, ‘River in Winter’
  • ISSN: 1742-5794
Made in Britain

Slightly Foxed Issue 48

‘Surprised by Joy’


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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 Holloway reaches Virginia Woolf at last • Shena Mackay weeps over Owd BobJonathan Law reads the diaries of Sylvia Townsend Warner • Maggie Fergusson drops in on 84, Charing Cross RoadRobin Blake champions the novels of Keith Waterhouse • Melissa Harrison explores Gilbert White’s SelborneSimon Willis walks with Robert Walser • Julia Blackburn learns ballads by heart • C. J. Wright inspects the Punch archive with Alan Coren • Ranjit Bolt has a cautionary tale to tell . . .

Surprised by Joy • JONATHAN LAW

On The Diaries of Sylvia Townsend Warner

A Literary Love Affair • MAGGIE FERGUSSON

Helene Hanff, 84, Charing Cross Road

Ripping Rhymes • RANJIT BOLT

Hilaire Belloc, Cautionary Tales for Children

Happy Lands • ROBIN BLAKE

The Novels of Keith Waterhouse

Learning by Heart • JULIA BLACKBURN

The Oxford Book of Ballads

A Talent to Amuse • DEREK PARKER

Arthur Marshall, Life’s Rich Pageant

Touched with a Secret Delight • MELISSA HARRISON

Gilbert White, The Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne

I Was Afraid of Virginia Woolf • RICHARD HOLLOWAY

Virginia Woolf, The Waves

Shadows of Orkney • MORAG MACINNES

Robert Shaw, The Hiding Place

Where There’s a Will • ANDREW LYCETT

Wilkie Collins, No Name

A State of Dressing-gown-ness • TIM BLANCHARD

Ivan Goncharov, Oblomov

Nothing in Moderation • LOUISA YATES

E. M. Delafield, Consequences

Ambassadress Extraordinaire • ROGER HUDSON

The Letters of Harriet, Countess Granville

One Man and His Dog • SHENA MACKAY

Alfred Ollivant, Owd Bob

Outrunning Darkness • SIMON WILLIS

Robert Walser, The Walk

‘Is there any news of the iceberg?’ • C. J. WRIGHT

The Archives of Punch

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 48: From the Editors

By now most of us have probably begun the often rather agonized run-up to Christmas – the worry about what to buy for whom and where to find it. For Slightly Foxed readers, we suspect books are...

Read more

Surprised by Joy

It’s always strange to think how easily you might not have met that someone: a bus that arrived on time, or a last drink at the bar, and it might all have been quite different. Our meetings with...

Read more

A Literary Love Affair

I thought I could never feel fond of Charing Cross Road. In 1988, when I was 23, I spent a miserable three months there doing a ‘Sight and Sound’ typing course on the bleak first floor of a...

Read more

Slightly Foxed Issue 48: From the Editors

By now most of us have probably begun the often rather agonized run-up to Christmas – the worry about what to buy for whom and where to find it. For Slightly Foxed readers, we suspect books are...

Read more

Cover Artist: Slightly Foxed Issue 48, Sarah Woolfenden, ‘River in Winter’

Read more

‘Beautiful copy of 84, Charing Cross Road . . .’

‘A little early to send a Christmas card, but I felt I needed to thank you after such a after such a pleasant weekend, due to the arrival of both the Winter issue of the magazine and the beautiful...

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‘I am working my way through the book with great delight . . .’

‘Dear Slightly Foxed, Many thanks for No. 48 and 84, Charing Cross Road. Ms Hanff has lost none of her exuberant charm over the years and I am working my way through the book with great delight . ....

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Ripping Rhymes

‘It’s Belloc’s Cautionary Tales – A sovereign salve that never fails To brighten up the blackest mood And lift the lowest attitude.’

Read more

Happy Lands

The novel is a beautiful collision between The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and The Catcher in the Rye, translated to the streets of Stradhoughton. This is a fictional West Yorkshire town derived from...

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Learning By Heart

I was born in 1948 and so I stepped over into vague adulthood during the 1960s. My parents were what you might call bohemian, which meant they used Freud as the springboard for seeing sex in every...

Read more

A Talent to Amuse

Thirty years or so ago, we always shopped on a Friday morning at a local supermarket, and for a number of weeks we observed a strange phenomenon in the car park. Cars would arrive at, say, five to...

Read more

Touched with a Secret Delight

For someone who writes about nature, as I do, the importance of Gilbert White’s Selborne, coupled with the daily journals he kept from 1751 to 1793, cannot be overestimated. The original...

Read more

Shadows of Orkney

There were, it would seem, as many Robert Shaws as there were parts to play. It was both a blessing and a curse, this catholicity. My Robert Shaw is perhaps less known; but he may be the key to all...

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Where There’s a Will

Both The Woman in White and The Moonstone are clever and absorbing. But where should one go in Collins’s work after them? Armadale is fascinating but dauntingly complex, with its two cousins of the...

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A State of Dressing-gown-ness

Oblomov, which was published in 1859, grew out of an initial sketch, Oblomov’s Dream, a portrait of life on a sleepy country estate, rustic and dilapidated in its rut of feasting and napping and...

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Nothing in Moderation

‘Oh, Alex.’ I suspect many readers of E. M. Delafield’s fourth novel, Consequences (1919), have said this aloud at least once. They may have said it in sorrowful sympathy; they may have...

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Ambassadress Extraordinaire

Hary-O, as she was called, was born in 1785 to the beautiful Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire and incurable gambler, and the 5th Duke, who seems to have passed his life largely disengaged from his...

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One Man and His Dog

My raddled copy of Owd Bob: The Grey Dog of Kenmuir, with its broken spine and pages falling out, sits in my bookcase alongside other lifelong companions such as Come Hither (which I was delighted to...

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Outrunning Darkness

Scanning the contents page, I could see that these were tiny stories about everyday subjects, most no more than a couple of pages long – prose sketches rather than conventional narratives – with...

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‘Is there any news of the iceberg?’

Alan Coren was on fire. Or, at least, smoking. He was also ablaze with enthusiasm. In due course, the cigarette was extinguished. The enthusiasm was not. It was 2004 and he had come to see the...

Read more

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