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Slightly Foxed Issue 5
  • ISBN: 9780954826840
  • Pages: 96
  • Dimensions: 210 x 148mm
  • Illustrations: B/W
  • Publication date: 1 March 2005
  • Producer: Smith Settle
  • Cover artist: Linda Scott, ‘Slightly Foxed’
  • ISSN: 1742-5794
Made in Britain

Slightly Foxed Issue 5

‘A Hare’s Breadth’


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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

Jeremy Lewis gets lit up by Simon Gray’s Smoking Diaries • Lucy Lethbridge hears A Voice through a Cloud • Ranjit Bolt is moved to rhyme by Byron’s Don Juan • Adèle Geras takes a walk down Revolutionary Road Juliet Gardiner tracks the extraordinary history of the tank • John de Falbe discovers the story of an exiled Russian princess • Ariane Bankes travels to York to meet a very unusual bookseller • Ursula Buchan digs in with Vita Sackville-West • Miles Hordern drops anchor off a remote Melanesian island • Sue Gee pays her respects to a tortoise called Archimedes, and much more besides . . .

A Hare’s Breadth • PATRICK EVANS

George Ewart Evans & David Thomson, The Leaping Hare

Smoke Signals • JEREMY LEWIS

Simon Gray, The Smoking Diaries


Patrick Wright, Tank: The Progress of a Monstrous War Machine

Cooking for Love • KATHARINE DAVIES

Romesh Gunesekera, Reef

Horn-rims and Baggy Chords • ARIANE BANKES

On Stone Trough Books

Drama in Suburbia • ADELE GERAS

Richard Yates, Revolutionary Road

Daughters of Time • ROGER HUDSON

Memoirs of the Comtesse de Boigne 

Admirin’ Byron • RANJIT BOLT

Lord Byron, Don Juan

An Island Apart • MILES HORDERN

Raymond Firth, We the Tikopia

The View from Denestornya • RUTH PAVEY

Miklos Banffy, The Writing on the Wall: The Transylvanian Trilogy

A Perfect Nightmare • LUCY LETHBRIDGE

Denton Welch, A Voice through A Cloud

Made in Siberia • JOHN DE FALBE

Christine Sutherland, The Princess of Siberia


Edward St Aubyn, The Patrick Melrose trilogy


On audiobooks

Posh but Down-to-Earth • URSULA BUCHAN

V. Sackville-West, In Your Garden; In Your Garden Again

Peacock’s Progress • J. W. M. THOMPSON

Thomas Love Peacock, Headlong Hall; Crotchet Castle


Alison Uttley, The Country Child

The Book Hound

Slightly Foxed’s Book Hound runs to earth a selection of interesting fiction which may well have lost behind the piles of bestsellers.

The Tortoise and the Writer • SUE GEE

In memory of Archimedes

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.

    A Hare’s Breadth

    Reading the opening chapter, I was immediately sucked into a magical world. The hare’s behaviour confounds science: it may move in a great drove like deer; it sucks milk from cows at pasture; it...

    Read more

    Smoke Signals

    I am wretchedly ill-qualified to write about Simon Gray, since I am hopeless about going to the theatre and have never seen one of his plays. I plan to remedy matters as soon as I can, but in the...

    Read more

    Tank Tracks

    The tank is an emblem of state power, a behemoth that has transformed wars and threatened – and sometimes mown down – civilians. But it has also been seen as a ‘cubist slug’, has inspired a...

    Read more

    Cooking for Love

    Each time I read Reef – the story of a boy, Triton, growing up as a servant and cook in Sri Lanka in the late 1960s – I find something new. I think the way that The Tempest flits in and out of...

    Read more

    Horn-rims and Baggy Chords

    In George Ramsden’s quiet secondhand bookshop, Stone Trough Books, in York, he normally has a publishing job on the go as well. Editing (letters of Siegfried Sassoon at the moment) and book-design...

    Read more

    Drama in Suburbia

    Ever since he drew my attention some years ago to the best book I’ve read in the last decade – Time Will Darken It by William Maxwell – I have trusted Nicholas Lezard’s judgement. And if I...

    Read more

    Daughters of Time

    Outbursts of memoir-writing by women followed both the English Civil Wars and the years 1789 to 1830 in France, the period encompassing the Revolution, Napoleon, the Restoration and the July...

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    Admirin' Byron

    That a romantic could have also been So classical is striking you’ll agree Though waxing passionate when we are green And cooler when mature is probably A change determined in the very gene Or...

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    An Island Apart

    Tikopia lies 1,500 miles east of Australia in that part of the Pacific known as Melanesia. But culturally Tikopia’s population is Polynesian. For reasons that are not entirely clear the Tikopia...

    Read more

    The View from Denestornya

    Count Miklos Banffy’s Transylvanian Trilogy is a long novel about the follies, beauties and shortcomings of Hungarian society in the decade leading up to the First World War. He wrote it during the...

    Read more

    A Perfect Nightmare

    In 1935, Denton Welch – then an art student at Goldsmith’s College – was knocked off his bike on a busy road just outside Bromley. He spent over a year in hospital and was permanently weakened...

    Read more

    Made in Siberia

    Every season a couple of wonderful biographies emerge whose reviews and sales might lead one to believe that they will stay bestsellers for ever. A year or two later they are in no greater demand...

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    High Life

    Bad News by Edward St Aubyn is, quite simply, the best book ever written about drugs. Thomas de Quincey, Charles Baudelaire, Jean Cocteau, William Burroughs, Hunter S. Thompson, Irvine Welsh and Will...

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    A Word in Your Ear

    I am, literally, a bad reader. I have mild dyslexia and well remember, when reading Peyton Place in my youth, taking ‘sonofabitch’ as ‘sofabitch’ and thinking it was a piece of bordello...

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    Posh but Down-to-Earth

    Recently, I noticed a rather irritating poster on the Underground proclaiming: ‘You never forget your first time.’ It was an advertisement for a villa holiday company – bizarrely – but the...

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    Peacock’s Progress

    The ups and downs of literary reputations are often slightly mysterious. I still find it strange, though, that although we pay ample homage to most of the heavyweights of the nineteenth century, one...

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    A Past Relived

    I first read Alison Uttley’s The Country Child over thirty years ago, when I was already in my twenties. I have always remembered it fondly, for it described a way of life that did not then seem so...

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    The Tortoise and the Writer

    The day before she died she was clambering over a pile of books on the floor of my study: novels used for teaching, reference books for the novel I was writing. She wasn’t used to being there. She...

    Read more

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