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Slightly Foxed Issue 61
  • ISBN: 9781910898253
  • Pages: 96
  • Dimensions: 210 x 148mm
  • Illustrations: B/W
  • Publication date: 1 March 2019
  • Producer: Smith Settle
  • Cover artist: Faith Chevannes, ‘Fox & Sheep, Tamar Valley’
  • ISSN: 1742-5794
Made in Britain

Slightly Foxed Issue 61

‘The Paris Effect’


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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

Laura Freeman perks up in Paris • Adam Sisman joins the hunt for Hitler • Ann Kennedy Smith takes some linguistic instruction from the BBC • Michael Holroyd tracks down the real Frank Harris • Rowena Macdonald meets some Commons people • Roger Hudson enjoys the view from Dove Cottage • Helen MacEwan shares Charlotte Brontë’s search for love • Derek Parker recalls sparky times at the Poetry Review Posy Fallowfield takes to the lifeboats • Sam Leith catches up with an early crush, and much more besides . . .

The Paris Effect • LAURA FREEMAN

Nancy Mitford’s Parisian novels

A Leap into the Light • DEREK JOHNS

Jan Morris, Conundrum


Philip Hensher, Kitchen Venom

A Perfect Electrometer • ROGER HUDSON

The Journals of Dorothy Wordsworth

In the Eye of the Storm • POSY FALLOWFIELD

Richard Hughes, In Hazard

Springtime Reflections • CHRIS SAUNDERS

Edward Thomas, In Pursuit of Spring

An Unusual Lexicographer • ANN KENNEDY SMITH

Robert Burchfield, The Spoken Word

Just Staying • JONATHAN LAW

The writings of Alistair MacLeod

The Hunt for Hitler • ADAM SISMAN

Hugh Trevor-Roper, The Last Days of Hitler

Man of Many Lives • MICHAEL HOLROYD

Hugh Kingsmill, Frank Harris

On the Wings of History • KARIN ALTENBURG

Sigrid Undset’s Kristin Lavransdatter trilogy

Murder Most English • JANET WALKINSHAW

The Flaxborough novels of Colin Watson

Love and Loss in Brussels • HELEN MACEWAN

Charlotte Brontë, Villette

Oh Nancy, Nancy! • SAM LEITH

The Nancy Drew mysteries

Striking Sparks • DEREK PARKER

Editing the Poetry Review

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.

‘Think of it as Reading Rainbow for adults with a high literary standard and strong preference for books that delight rather than depress. The magazine is beautifully made, and it’s one of the few quarterlies we read cover-to-cover the moment it arrives.’ Erik Heywood, Book/Shop

‘A heartfelt celebration of writing that has stood the test of time . . . committedly eclectic’ Gaby Wood, Telegraph

‘Slightly Foxed is like a breath of fresh air . . . a pleasure to look at as well as to read.’ Irish Times

Slightly Foxed Issue 61: From the Editors

As many of you will already have gathered, if only from the discreet note on the contents page of the winter issue, this spring we’ve embarked on a new project, the Slightly Foxed podcast. Your...

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Commons People

When I first started working at the House of Commons, back in 2001, Philip Hensher was still discussed in dark tones by my colleagues. He was the only employee in living memory to have been sacked....

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A Leap into the Light

I first met Jan Morris in the offices of the publisher Random House in New York in the early 1980s. I was a junior editor there, and was invited to meet someone I considered to be one of the most...

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The Paris Effect

Brimming. That was how I spent my first weeks in Paris. Brimming with tears at the smallest setback. For Nancy Mitford’s Northey in Don’t Tell Alfred, dispatched to Paris to be secretary to Fanny...

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The Hunt for Hitler

I cannot now remember when I first read Hugh Trevor-Roper’s The Last Days of Hitler (1947). My memory is confused by the fact that I knew the author in old age and was to become his biographer;...

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In the Eye of the Storm

In Hazard is an extraordinary read. It resembles The Human Predicament in mixing fiction with fact, but here the ‘fact’ is not a devastating political movement which took years to grow, but a...

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A Perfect Electrometer

My Cambridge tutor was bubbling over with pleasure one morning in 1962 after reading Dorothy Wordsworth’s journal, the one she kept between 1800 and 1803 when living with her poet brother William...

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Just Staying

In forty years MacLeod produced just sixteen short stories, later collected in Island (2002), and one not very long novel, the extraordinary No Great Mischief (1999). Notoriously, he wrote at glacial...

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An Unusual Lexicographer

The Spoken Word, published in 1981, was produced in response to a wave of complaints to the British Broadcasting Corporation about falling standards in spoken English. A new era of broadcasting had...

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Springtime Reflections

You can almost smell the sylvan air, and this is one of Thomas’s attractions. Born in the suburbs, his love of nature drove his devout wish to escape the noise and chaos of London. Like him, I have...

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Man of Many Lives

‘The Connoisseur of Harris’ was Hugh Kingsmill. In 1919 he published a novel called The Will to Love which he had written in a prisoner-of-war camp. Harris appears in it as Ralph Parker, a man...

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On the Wings of History

Kristin Lavransdatter is a love story – but a masterly one that begins, in the first book of the trilogy, with Kristin swiftly breaking her society’s norms of patriarchy, duty and honour in order...

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Murder Most English

Colin Watson was born in 1920. At the age of 17 he was appointed as a junior reporter on a Boston newspaper, and he spent his working life in Lincolnshire, latterly writing editorials for a chain of...

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Love and Loss in Brussels

In 2016, in a debate organized by the Brontë Society, a panel of four writers discussed the relative merits of Jane Eyre (see SF no. 40) and Charlotte Brontë’s last novel, Villette. When an...

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Oh Nancy, Nancy!

The Nancy Drew mysteries (I didn’t know, then, that ‘mystery’ is what Americans call a detective story) were the first series of books to which I became completely addicted. And, since there...

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Striking Sparks

As Muriel Spark had done before me I insisted that ‘if you’re a driver, you drive’ – that I would publish what I liked, and that the lady who wrote from the South of France complaining that...

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