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Slightly Foxed Issue 55
  • ISBN: 9781910898079
  • Pages: 96
  • Dimensions: 210 x 148mm
  • Illustrations: B/W
  • Publication date: 1 September 2017
  • Producer: Smith Settle
  • Cover artist: Jemma Lewis, Hand-marbled paper, ‘Bloomsbury Blue & Orange Botanical’
  • ISSN: 1742-5794
Made in Britain

Slightly Foxed Issue 55

‘Billiards, Tobacco and Wine’


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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

Anthony Longden enjoys the work of an irreverent Reverend • Ursula Buchan joins Richard Hillary at Fighter Command • Kate Tyte encounters a troublesome priest • David Gilmour follows Kipling to Simla • Jane Feaver remembers life at Faber and Faber • William Palmer examines Zeno’s conscience • Helena Drysdale goes upstream with The Little Grey MenPatrick Welland meets an aristocratic cross-dresser • Sue Gee learns the language of exile . . .

Contents & Bibliography

Billiards, Tobacco and Wine • ANTHONY LONGDEN

Cuthbert Bede, The Adventures of Mr Verdant Green

A Confrontation with Evil • URSULA BUCHAN

Richard Hillary, The Last Enemy

Seeing Differently • ADAM FOULDS

The Collected Poems of Geoffrey Hill

In Search of Home • SUE GEE

Eva Hoffman, Lost in Translation

Beside the Folly Brook • HELENA DRYSDALE

BB, The Little Grey Men & Down the Bright Stream

Labourers in Fetters • ROGER JONES

George Gissing, New Grub Street

Scandalous Tales from the Hills • DAVID GILMOUR

The Indian stories and poems of Rudyard Kipling


Margaret Irwin’s Tudor novels

Ridiculously Rich • PATRICK WELLAND

Felix Youssoupoff, Lost Splendour

Trouble at the Convent • KATE TYTE

Aldous Huxley, The Devils of Loudun

Not So Cosy After All? • ANDY MERRILLS

Alan Bradley’s Flavia de Luce novels

Life on the Fringe • JEREMY LEWIS

George Moore, Esther Waters

May Roses in Winter • WILLIAM PALMER

Italo Svevo, Zeno’s Conscience

The Big-hearted Little Duke • LINDA KELLY

Charlotte M. Yonge, The Little Duke

Getting to Know the Colonel • PAUL CHEESERIGHT

André Maurois, The Silence of Colonel Bramble

Through the Looking Glass • JANE FEAVER

Life at Faber and Faber

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 wonderful publication, at once unpretentious and lively, edifying and fun. It manages to be not only a superb guide to many excellent books but also to offer writing of its own that is remarkably entertaining.’ The Author

‘I love Slightly Foxed. It’s a real hit with visitors, and it usually ends up in the loo.’ Damian Barr

‘Absolutely beautifully produced’ James Naughtie, BBC Radio 4, Today

Slightly Foxed Issue 55: From the Editors

News came recently that sales of printed books have grown for the first time in four years while sales of ebooks have declined. ‘It would appear that there remains a special place in the...

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‘It brought back to me all the magical delight that my mother and I shared . . .’

‘I have just opened my newly delivered Slightly Foxed and gone straight to the article about The Little Grey Men and Down the Bright Stream. It has brought back to me all the magical delight that...

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Through the Looking Glass

By the end of the 1980s, in my mid-twenties, I’d been through university, a stint of unemployment, a couple of tread-water jobs, and come to a halt, a despondent Is this it? Not knowing what I...

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Cover Artist: Slightly Foxed Issue 55, Jemma Lewis, Hand-marbled paper, ‘Bloomsbury Blue & Orange Botanical’

After graduating in Textile Art in Norwich Jemma Lewis worked for several years at a local bookbinding firm where she became fascinated with the marbled papers found on the binding of antiquarian...

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‘In the pages of Slightly Foxed I have found my people . . .’

‘The current SF has many treasures; I’m especially struck by Sarah Perry’s piece on The Blue Field – I adore these blue flowers, admire Sarah Perry, and love ‘the Englishness of parsnip...

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‘The magazine has been a joy to receive . . .’

‘Many thanks for your letter confirming my subscription renewal to Slightly Foxed. Looking back it seems I first subscribed in 2007 – where did those 10 years go?! In all that time the magazine...

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A Confrontation with Evil

It seems a rather odd thing to admit these days, but I spent much of my youth reading war comics and watching war films. That’s how it was if you lived in a house filled with boys in the 1960s. As...

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In Search of Home

Lost in Translation (1989) could not be more specific to time and place – lost and longed-for postwar Cracow, ‘a city of shimmering light and shadow’, of ‘narrow byways . . . echoing...

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Billiards, Tobacco and Wine

I first happened across him while mining the rewarding and delightfully chaotic depths of a West Country bookshop. He has been out of fashion for a considerable time, always a recommendation as far...

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Seeing Differently

On the cover was Gauguin’s rendition of Jacob wrestling with the angel from his Vision after the Sermon. On the back, Hill himself scowled out from under a supremely confident comb-over in an...

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Beside the Folly Brook

In 1970 I told BB how much I loved his books. I wrote the letter sitting at the window in a house tucked into a Devon cliff, with pine woods behind and the sea in front. I’m sitting there now....

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Labourers in Fetters

Like Dickens, Gissing shows us the Victorian city seen from below – grimy, fog-bound and peopled by creatures to whom life has not been kind. But unlike Dickens he speaks from lived experience of...

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Scandalous Tales from the Hills

Kipling was thorough and blatant in his search for characters and ‘copy’ when he was in Simla. Soon after arriving in the hills he would spend an afternoon loping alongside his mother’s...

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Her Own Mistress

Like many another bookish teenager, I spent the years between 12 and 17 in a fog of romance, my nose buried in a book. Quite often that book was by Margaret Irwin, whose Tudor trilogy, Young Bess...

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Ridiculously Rich

It is a wonderfully self-serving record of an almost wholly unproductive life of enthusiastic indulgence. Felix’s world was so far removed from normal human experience that it seems, says Nicolai...

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Trouble at the Convent

Huxley’s The Devils of Loudun (1952) – a book that could easily be subtitled ‘politically motivated witch-hunts and how to avoid them’ – feels horribly relevant. The Devils is about the...

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Not So Cosy After All?

On the face of it, crimes don’t get much cosier than those which appear in the first six novels of the Flavia sequence. The convention of Slightly Foxed dictates that titles are normally tucked...

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Life on the Fringe

I first read Esther Waters more than fifty years ago, when I was an undergraduate at Trinity College, Dublin. As a young man I enjoyed reading tales of unmitigated woe, in which one disaster succeeds...

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May Roses in Winter

The preface is in the form of a rather tetchy report by a psychoanalyst who has been consulted by Zeno Corsini. The analyst says that he must apologize for having suggested that ‘my patient write...

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The Big-hearted Little Duke

Richard of Normandy, the hero of Charlotte Mary Yonge’s The Little Duke, is only 8 when the story begins. I must have been about the same age when I first read it and some of its scenes, with their...

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Getting to Know the Colonel

Maurois was a literary celebrity of the 1920s and 1930s who became one of the French great and good after his election in 1938 to the Académie française. He had wanted to write from an early age...

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Comments & Reviews

Leave your review

  1. J. Barry says:

    A huge thank you to Andy Merrills for introducing us to Alan Bradley’s Flavia de Luce adventures. Just the things to buy in ready for the darker evenings!

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