Slightly Foxed Issue 36

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In this issue

Robert Macfarlane follows the drove roads • Sue Gee admires the darling buds • Anthony Gardner salutes Evelyn Waugh’s Sword of Honour trilogy • Daisy Hay takes to the stage • Juliet Gardiner claps hands with Osbert Sitwell • John Keay dives into Hobson-Jobson • Bruce Hunter visits the Asterisk Club • Ysenda Maxtone Graham culls her bookshelves . . .


Attics with Attitude • ELISABETH RUSSELL TAYLOR

Rachel Khoo, The Little Paris Kitchen

Sherry Wine and Roses • HAZEL WOOD

Denis Constanduros, My Grandfather & Father, Dear Father

Along the Old Ways • ROBERT MACFARLANE

A. R. B. Haldane, The Drove Roads of Scotland

Perfick Wevver • SUE GEE

H. E. Bates, The Darling Buds of May

A Late Victorian Afternoon • MARK JONES

Mollie Panter-Downes, At the Pines

The Tortoise of Total War • ANTHONY GARDNER

Evelyn Waugh, The Sword of Honour trilogy

Castles in the Air • DAISY HAY

Pamela Brown, The Swish of the Curtain

Muddy Boots and a Slouch Hat • CHRISTOPHER ROBBINS

Ulysses S. Grant, Personal Memoirs

Mother’s Familiar • LAURENCE SCOTT

D. H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Comfortable Words • ANTHONY WELLS

The 1662 Book of Common Prayer

Woon, Wordy-Major and Wootz • JOHN KEAY

On the definitions of Hobson-Jobson and Hanklyn-Janklin

Shelf Life • YSENDA MAXTONE GRAHAM

On decluttering

The Asterisk Club • BRUCE HUNTER

On the novels of Pamela Branch

How to Enjoy the Blackout • RUTH A. SYMES

Howard Thomas and Marjorie A. Banks, Brighter Blackout Book

A Glorious Contradiction • JULIET GARDINER

On the works of Osbert Sitwell

Summer Sunrise, Winter Twilight • ANTHONY LONGDEN

On the essays of J. H. B. Peel

Flouting Destiny • ROGER JONES

On why we write


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 . . . 



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Along the Old Ways

For many years of my life, I was fascinated by mountains and their tops: drawn upwards by what Joe Simpson nicely calls ‘the inverted gravity’ that peaks exert upon certain people. I climbed and...

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Attics with Attitude

I am sometimes asked which writers have changed my life. Next time I shall not answer ‘Proust’ but ‘Rachel Khoo’. For five years, since the death of my husband, I had all but given up cooking...

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Sherry Wine and Roses

Not long after we launched the Slightly Foxed Editions, we came across a little gem of a book, first published in 1948 and long out of print, which we decided we must reissue. My Grandfather, as its...

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A Late Victorian Afternoon

They seemed reasonable enough requests. Don’t lie on the bed naked in case passing servants catch an eyeful. Also, in mixed company, could he try to swear only in French? Modest pleas made by...

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Shelf Life

‘You must be cruel to be kind,’ gardeners tell you, about pruning roses. ‘The more you cut them down, the more they love it.’ This might be true of roses but is it true of book collections? I...

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Perfick Wevver

Herbert Ernest Bates was born in 1905, in Northamptonshire, the son of a cobbler, and his schooldays were spent in a brick-terraced industrial town dominated by factories where he dreaded he would...

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The Tortoise of Total War

I don’t suppose anyone who buys Slightly Foxed can forget the sheer, joyful, all-absorbing intensity with which we read as adolescents; but it took a remark of T. S. Eliot’s to bring home to me...

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Castles in the Air

What do an incarcerated minister, an old dressing-up box and a tin of blue paint have in common? They are all central to the plot of The Swish of the Curtain by Pamela Brown, a magical children’s...

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Muddy Boots and a Slouch Hat

American presidential memoirs have tended to be self-serving tomes, designed to massage reputations and secure their authors a fat windfall on retirement. This was not the case with the first,...

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Woon, Wordy-Major and Wootz

Dictionaries, encyclopaedias and the like are best browsed at leisure; approach them with an open mind and prepare for the unexpected. The entry sought may confirm or confound one’s expectations...

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Mother’s Familiar

My parents had no interest in books. Having survived the Second World War, they found everything they needed in each other, and in their north London suburban home with doors they could lock, in a...

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Flouting Destiny

British publishers, we’re told, turn out around 200,000 new titles every year. That is not a trivial number. In fact, it’s so large a number that one can’t really think any useful thoughts...

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Summer Sunrise, Winter Twilight

Numbed with despair over the threat to the fragile beauty of the Chilterns and the villages of Buckinghamshire posed by the new high-speed rail link, I went in search of solace. I badly needed a dose...

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A Glorious Contradiction

Writing one’s autobiography involves a certain audacity: the presumption that one has a story to tell, that one can tell it engagingly, that there will be publishers willing to publish, readers...

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How to Enjoy the Blackout

My father used to say that one of the most dispiriting things about his childhood during the Second World War was the boredom. The very real fear of being bombed was one thing, but being cooped up in...

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The Asterisk Club

I met Pamela Branch only once, at a dinner party given by the literary agent David Higham and his wife. Pamela was strikingly beautiful, with large eyes, curious as a cat’s. The talk turned to an...

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