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Slightly Foxed Issue 54
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Slightly Foxed Issue 54, Published 1 June 2017
  • ISBN: 9781910898024
  • Pages: 96
  • Dimensions: 210 x 148mm
  • Illustrations: B/W
  • Publication date: 1 June 2017
  • Producer: Smith Settle
  • Cover artist: Oliver Akers Douglas, ‘The Avon at Salisbury’, oil on gesso panel
  • ISSN: 1742-5794
Made in Britain

Slightly Foxed Issue 54

‘An Unlikely Duo’


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Open up a world of new reading with Slightly Foxed, the quarterly magazine for booklovers. Companionable, entertaining and elegantly produced, it’s more like a well-read friend than a literary review . . .

In this issue

Ysenda Maxtone Graham joins an unlikely couple on the road to Kashgar • Constantine Fraser discovers Old Salonika in a cookbook • Maggie Fergusson discusses writing and serendipity with Ali Smith • Ken Haigh snatches a quiet moment on the river bank • Frost in May gives Melissa Harrison the shivers • Colin Williams digs in on Watership Down • Cecily Blench uncovers her grandmother’s Indian past • Nigel Jarrett scratches his head over The Elements of StyleElisabeth Russell Taylor is invigorated by The Wild Irish GirlAndrew Nixon spends a summer in Tilling . . .

Contents & Bibliography


Peter Fleming, News from Tartary & Ella Maillart, Forbidden Journey

Ploughing On • HAZEL WOOD

Adrian Bell, The Cherry Tree

Strunking It • NIGEL JARRETT

Strunk & White, The Elements of Style

Once a Catholic . . . • MELISSA HARRISON

Antonia White, Frost in May

Up on the Down • COLIN WILLIAMS

Richard Adams, Watership Down

Inspired by Kipling • DAVID GILMOUR

The Indian stories and poems of Rudyard Kipling


An interview with the novelist Ali Smith


Eden & Stavroulakis, Salonika: A Family Cookbook

Everyday Mysteries • MICHAEL HOLROYD

The writings of John Stewart Collis

Stranger in Paradise • JOHN KEAY

Nicolas Bouvier, The Scorpion-Fish

‘Study to be quiet’ • KEN HAIGH

Izaak Walton, The Compleat Angler


Sydney Owenson, The Wild Irish Girl

First-rate Monsters • ANDREW NIXON

E. F. Benson’s Mapp and Lucia novels

Word from the Wood • GALEN O’HANLON

Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac

Grandmother’s Footsteps • CECILY BLENCH

Angela Bolton, The Maturing Sun

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.

‘Dear Slightly Foxed, I don’t usually write these things but I wanted to contact you to let you know how much I love your publication. Each issue adds two or three books to my to-be-read list, which it doesn’t particularly need but my soul does.’ N. Edwards, Leicestershire

‘I just have to let you know that right now, under the Christmas tree with the quarterly and a range of SF books, I am so grateful for the existence of SF. In the midst of some rough life-weather this moment just makes me very happy and content. Thank you so much for all the work you do. It brightens up life.’ M. van Dijk, The Netherlands

‘You people deserve a medal for being benefactors to humanity – shining lights in a dark and dreadful world.’ R. Dingle, Devon

Slightly Foxed Issue 54: From the Editors

The trees are in full deep green leaf now, making a small oasis of Hoxton Square, while not fifty yards away the traffic roars past along Old Street. New regulations to cut down air pollution in...

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How long had I been standing here under the old cherry tree?

How long had I been standing here under the old cherry tree? Minutes or years? While the storm with its batteries of thunder deployed across the sky, letting fall but a few drops – for all its...

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An Unlikely Duo

Is it acceptable to be both happily married to a living man and physically attracted to a long-dead author? I know I’m not the only one. I have one friend who goes weak at the knees when she shows...

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Strunking It

The problem for a writer like White when stepping into the stylist’s domain is the need to obey the rules he’s about to consider. He confined his revision of Strunk’s manual to the addition of...

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Once a Catholic . . .

There it is on my shelf, that familiar bottle-green spine – the first in a quartet by the same author. This quartet has shadowed me for twenty-two years now: to various sets of university lodgings...

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Up on the Down

Six years ago when we moved into our neglected nineteenth-century house on the edge of Hampshire’s chalk downs it was a move into two worlds. One was of damp walls, dangerously amateur wiring, a...

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Inspired by Kipling

When recently I began to write a social history of British India, I realized I would have to keep Rudyard Kipling under control. I could not endlessly compare people to characters in a Kipling story...

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Keeping It Real

Reading her books, and meeting her in person, you can’t but feel warmed by her generosity, her bursting desire to share her enthusiasms and insights, and her appetite for life. But at the same time...

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Speaking Volumes

When a people disappears, they say the last thing to be forgotten is its food. You might not teach your children your mother tongue, but the chances are you’ll still cook them your mother’s...

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Everyday Mysteries

The danger of being known as the author of a single masterpiece is that your other books may unjustly be neglected. Certainly Collis’s biographies and autobiographies, his ecology and fiction are...

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Stranger in Paradise

The beauty of short books is that you can afford to read them more than once. In the case of Nicolas Bouvier’s The Scorpion-Fish I read it through and then double-read it. In other words, on the...

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'Study to be quiet'

I came to Winchester Cathedral to pay homage to one of my favourite authors. Not Jane Austen, though. I enjoy her work, but she doesn’t need my support. When I arrive, a bevy of young admirers is...

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Sparkling Sydney

The Wild Irish Girl, by Sydney Owenson, was first published in 1806, since when it has rarely been out of print. I knew nothing of this novel or its author until a few years ago, when I was writing...

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First-rate Monsters

Picture, if you will, the most appallingly pretentious person in the world: a well-dressed middle-aged lady at the piano, plonking her way through the slow first movement of the Moonlight Sonata. She...

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Word from the Wood

A Sand County Almanac, and Sketches Here and There is a collection of Leopold’s writing from the 1930s and 1940s. Author, scientist, ecologist, forester, conservationist and environmentalist,...

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Grandmother’s Footsteps

My uncle had told me of a memoir by a woman called Angela Bolton who had nursed in India at the same time as Grandma. The Maturing Sun (1986) is not a long book or a work of great literature, but it...

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