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Slightly Foxed Issue 66
  • ISBN: 9781910898420
  • Pages: 96
  • Dimensions: 210 x 148mm
  • Illustrations: B/W
  • Publication date: 1 June 2020
  • Producer: Smith Settle
  • Cover Artist: Paul Cleden, ‘Boats and Coots’, linocut
  • ISSN: 1742-5794
Made in Britain

Slightly Foxed Issue 66

‘Underwater Heaven’


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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

Pauline Melville decides she’d rather not • Mick Herron sees life on Cannery Row • Clive Unger-Hamilton develops a taste for Paris • Sarah Crowden follows two middle-aged ladies to Andalusia • Margaret Drabble swims with the Water Babies • Annabel Walker changes her mind about Cornwall, and much more besides . . .

Underwater Heaven • MARGARET DRABBLE

Charles Kingsley, The Water-Babies

‘What larks!’ • ANTONY WOOD

Christopher Robbins, The Empress of Ireland

Hazy Memories of Hanging Rock • KATE YOUNG

Joan Lindsay, Picnic at Hanging Rock


Theodora FitzGibbon, A Taste of Paris

An Outsider in Tregonissey • ANNABEL WALKER

A. L. Rowse, A Cornish Childhood

Partying down at the Palace • MICK HERRON

John Steinbeck, Sweet Thursday & Cannery Row

These Fragments • JON WOOLCOTT

John Harris, No Voice from the Hall 

On the Shoulders of Giants • ANDREW JOYNES

T. H. White, England Have My Bones 

A Long Way from Surrey • SIMON WINDER

H. G. Wells, The Island of Doctor Moreau

A Hot-Water Bottle and a Horse • SARAH CROWDEN

Penelope Chetwode, Two Middle-Aged Ladies in Andalusia

Labours of Love • PAUL EDWARDS

Alan Ross, Coastwise Lights

An Early-Flowering Climber • URSULA BUCHAN

The plant-hunting and garden writings of Reginald Farrer

Nothing but the Best • DANIEL WORSLEY

Iris Origo, The Merchant of Prato

Keeping up Appearances • KATE TYTE

Eve Garnett, The Family from One End Street

A Modern Prospero • BRANDON ROBSHAW

Iris Murdoch, The Sea, The Sea

Life among the Ledgers • PAULINE MELVILLE

Herman Melville, ‘Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street’

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 66: From the Editors

As we write this, towards the end of April, we are still in total lockdown because of the coronavirus. In these difficult times, we’d like to say how very touched we’ve been by all the extra...

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‘What larks!’

Essentially it is the story of the friendship between Christopher Robbins, a struggling young freelance journalist, and Brian Desmond Hurst, an ageing Irish film director who had already outlived his...

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Underwater Heaven

I can’t remember what age I was when I came across Charles Kingsley’s The Water-Babies. I must have read it earlier than my other childhood favourite, Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues under the...

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Hazy Memories of Hanging Rock

I have been reading aloud from Picnic at Hanging Rock for three hours when my friend touches the window beside her. I do the same; given the blasting air-conditioning, it seems impossible that the...

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Simply Delicious

The food writer Theodora FitzGibbon was a late beginner, professionally speaking. Born Theodora Rosling in 1916 she received a cosmopolitan education, travelling widely in Europe and Asia with her...

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An Outsider in Tregonissey

There will be readers who find A Cornish Childhood too rooted in the egotism for which A. L. Rowse was well-known, or uncomfortably tinged with disdain for others – he dishes out verdicts such as...

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Partying down at the Palace

Sweet Thursday, published in 1954, is a sequel to Cannery Row (1945). Both are set in the Californian town of Monterey, once a bright and bustling place whose canning industry meant that the locals...

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These Fragments

I’ve always loved ruins and vanished buildings. If you share that interest, and many don’t, finding a fellow obsessive is wonderful. My fascination had lasted decades before I came across...

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On the Shoulders of Giants

We would race past a Saxon church, its western hindquarters sunk into the hillside, a kindly beast emerging from its lair. We would teeter in slow motion beside the dark timbers of a medieval bridge....

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A Long Way from Surrey

A decade ago I took a decision which has made me happy ever since. At Christmas I would read only short books. This switch was first achieved when I decided to limit my holiday reading to the four...

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A Hot-Water Bottle and a Horse

Long before the term was used to describe talent-free people in the public eye, John Betjeman was a celebrity: Poet Laureate, saviour of ancient buildings and National Treasure. But though his wife...

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Labours of Love

The words on Alan Ross’s gravestone could hardly be simpler: ‘Writer, poet and editor’. They could scarcely be more accurate either, although one wonders whether their subject might have given...

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An Early-Flowering Climber

Reginald Farrer (1880‒1920) was unprepossessing in appearance, with a hare lip (the result of a cleft palate) only partially hidden by a moustache, a ‘pygmy body’ and a high, piercing voice....

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Nothing but the Best

It was grudgingly that I started to read Iris Origo’s The Merchant of Prato. My wife told me to. She had been referred to it for her studies. It sounded dry stuff, the re-creation of the life of a...

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Keeping up Appearances

Eve Garnett’s children’s novel was first published in 1937, with her own illustrations. At least eight publishers had rejected it on account of its supposed ‘grittiness’. Here was a story...

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A Modern Prospero

The Sea, The Sea was Iris Murdoch’s nineteenth novel and the only one to win the Booker Prize (in 1978). It is, to my mind, her best novel, as well as being the most representative of her talents...

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Life among the Ledgers

I am rather fond of the crowd that Dante meets at the very start of his journey into Hell with Virgil. They are all rushing around moaning and shrieking on the edge of the River Acheron, hoping that...

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