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Slightly Foxed Issue 81
  • ISBN: 9781910898871
  • Pages: 96
  • Dimensions: 210 x 148mm
  • Illustrations: B/W
  • Publication date: 1 March 2024
  • Producer: Smith Settle
  • Cover Artist: Gerard Stamp, ‘Flushwork’, St Michael Coslany
  • ISSN: 1742-5794
Made in Britain

Slightly Foxed Issue 81

‘Stumbling with Precision’


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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

Adam Foulds meets a man who wasn’t there • Frances Donnelly remembers her first job • Andy Merrills follows the path of a storm • Miranda Seymour discovers a haunting first novel • Anthony Gardner gets caught up in the Troubles • Alexandra Pringle falls for Barbara Trapido’s people • Brandon Robshaw salutes Captain Carruthers • Morag MacInnes battens down the hatches • Christian Tyler leans to the right • Posy Fallowfield finds herself in a book, and much more besides . . .

Stumbling with Precision • NIALL ALLSOPP

Dorothy Dunnett’s Lymond Chronicles

A Season at the Agency • FRANCES DONNELLY

Joanna Rakoff, My Salinger Year

Friendship and a Book • VESNA GOLDSWORTHY

Graham Swift, Mothering Sunday


Iain McGilchrist, The Matter with Things

Reaching for the Moon • JULIA STIELSTRA

R. C. Sherriff, The Hopkins Manuscript

Hanging Around in Doorways • POSY FALLOWFIELD

Carson McCullers, The Member of the Wedding

Master of Invetion • ADAM FOULDS

Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet

A Hard Act to Follow • MORAG MACINNES

Elizabeth Linklater, A Child under Sail

Sex and Silliness and Sorrow • ALEXANDER PRINGLE

The novels of Barbara Trapido

Voyageto the Blessed Isles • ANDREW JOYNES

Derek Walcott, ‘The Schooner Flight’

A Boy in the Big House • ANTHONY GARDNER

Terence de Vere White, Prenez Garde

Of Innocence and Experience • CAMILLA CASSIDY

Wilhelm Grimm’s Dear Mili, with Maurice Sendak

A Gale Called Maria • ANDY MERRILLS

George R. Stewart, Storm

The Sound of Silence • MIRANDA SEYMOUR

Jennifer Atkins, The Cellist

Pulsing Hearts beneath the Tweed • CHRIS SAUNDERS

Bernard J. Farmer, Death of a Bookseller

Absolutely Smashing! • BRANDON ROBSHAW

Boyhood comics

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. More . . . 

Stumbling with Precision

According to Dorothy Dunnett’s fans, she is one of Scotland’s greatest writers. They descend on Edinburgh for their annual symposium on Dorothy Dunnett Day. They read the books alongside a...

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A Season at the Agency

There is something about a memoir describing a young person starting their first job that makes an older reader’s heart beat faster with sympathetic recall. Especially when it’s funny and...

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Friendship and a Book

The novelist Graham Swift and I first met at a literary gathering on the outskirts of Norwich in June 2005. The university backdrop to our meeting seems strangely extra-territorial in retrospect, as...

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Right Turn!

It’s not often that you come upon a book of science and philosophy that bowls you over. The Matter with Things (2021) is a big, beautiful, expensive book about how we see the world and why we...

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Reaching for the Moon

Edward Hopkins is a middle-aged bachelor, retired from teaching arithmetic to breed poultry in the English countryside. He gardens, he is vainglorious about his prize-winning chickens, and he is a...

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Hanging Around in Doorways

I first read Carson McCullers’s The Member of the Wedding (1946) in my twenties – a teaching colleague had recommended it – and loved it. I took it at face value: I enjoyed its plot, succumbed...

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Master of Invention

The Book of Disquiet (1982) is, strictly speaking, a book that isn’t a book by an author who isn’t an author. How does such a thing come into the world? Perhaps only under a very unusual...

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A Hard Act to Follow

They say if you want to understand a man, look at his mother. Nowhere is this as true as in the story of Eric Linklater, the fatally prolific Orcadian writer. He was a difficult man. His son Andro...

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Sex and Silliness and Sorrow

I was at the Dartington Festival in the very early 1990s with Esther Freud and Elspeth Barker, whose first novels I had published at Hamish Hamilton. We knew that Barbara Trapido was appearing and we...

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Voyage to the Blessed Isles

I first came across Derek Walcott’s narrative poem ‘The Schooner Flight ’ in the mid-1980s, when I was travelling on a Commonwealth bursary through the Caribbean. I was away from England for...

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A Boy in the Big House

I didn’t have many conversations with Bill Bagwell, our neighbour in Tipperary. I was a shy teenager and he, it seemed to me, was an equally shy old man. But one thing he told me made a deep...

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Of Innocence and Experience

A little girl ventures into a forest and before long, she is lost. Her shoes are soft and flimsy, the ground beneath her feet thorny and treacherous. Tree trunks twist into crouching, threatening...

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A Gale Called Maria

I first learned about the concept of the ‘pathetic fallacy’ when I was doing my A levels three decades ago. The furious winds that tore through Wuthering Heights – or across the playing fields...

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The Sound of Silence

In my friendly north London neighbourhood, people often leave discarded household items and clothes out for eagle-eyed passers-by to help themselves: saucepans, DVDs, shoes and – quite often –...

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Pulsing Hearts beneath the Tweed

Antiquarian bookselling is not a famously perilous profession. In my nineteen years at Sotheran’s, the antiquarian bookdealer in London, I have never had a life insurance policy refused on the...

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Absolutely Smashing!

I am not one of those who think childhood was better in the old days. When my children were growing up I was fully aware that they had better toys, better telly, better food, better playgrounds,...

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