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Frenchman’s Creek/ Daphne du Maurier

Frenchman’ s Creek is Daphne du Muriel’s only historical romance published in 1941. It reflects her ability to convey a sense of location, character and emotion but above all her competence in telling a story. The capacity to plot is one which critics rarely acknowledge but is probably [...]

August 22, 2017 // 0 Comments

Getting used to it

On Saturday I read an excellent review of Robert McCrum’s new book Every Third Thought by Robert Lewis – one of my favourite book critics – in the Review section of The Times newspaper. Rather like the Literary Review, which I also buy every month, I regard the newspaper weekend [...]

August 14, 2017 // 0 Comments

Based on a True Story/ Delphine de Vigan

The other day I was listening to the book programme A Good Read when the presenter Harriet Gilbert took an audible intake of breathe as she was aghast when a contributor confessed he did not feel like finishing one of the recommended novels. It raises the issue not uncommon in book clubs of the [...]

August 3, 2017 // 0 Comments

Fowey and Helford Estuary

Though Cornwall is not the Riviera, for its range of locations and talented characters drawn there, there is still much to do of interest. On Sunday we went to Fowey on the river Fowey and opposite lies Bodinnick where Gerald du Maurier had a chalet style home and introduced Daphne to the locale. [...]

August 1, 2017 // 0 Comments

A Life of Picasso (1881-1905)/John Richardson

John Richardson was the partner of Picasso collector Douglas Cooper and knew Picasso well. He is therefore well qualified to be Picasso’s biographer and has written 3 detailed volumes of his life. I recently read the first. I have to admit immediately that I am not a great reader of [...]

July 28, 2017 // 0 Comments

The French Riviera: a literary guide for travellers/Ted Jones

Travel writing is not one of my preferred reading genres though I recognize the merit of Eric Newby, Patrick Leigh Fermor, and the humour of Bill Bryson. Travel for me is visual and personal not objective and written. However I do enjoy a book on the characters that lived in a region I know well [...]

July 25, 2017 // 0 Comments

Victim/ Sarah Wooley

This play written by Sarah Woolley, broadcast last Sunday on Radio 3, charts the making of the ground breaking film Victim (1961) as part of the Gay Britannia celebration of gay icons. Sarah Wooley The film itself addresses the issue of blackmail of homosexuals. Dirk Bogarde plays barrister [...]

July 11, 2017 // 0 Comments

Southwold: an Earthly Paradise

For many years my second husband Laurie and I had a second home in Southwold. He is an a illustrator and taught in evening classes in Roehampton College. There a Polish student with blue eyes, glossy hair and full young breasts, none of which I possess, seduced him and our marriage broke up. We [...]

June 18, 2017 // 0 Comments

A woman ahead of her time

Dorothy Parker – writer, critic, poet and celebrated wit – died fifty years ago this month. In the 20th Century decades when men were men and women supposedly knew their place, she was one of those females quite capable of holding her own against all-comers irrespective of any sexism or [...]

June 16, 2017 // 0 Comments

Prussian Blue/ Philip Kerr

I have written before on my admiration of Philip Kerr’s Bernie Gunther novels. The first three The March Violets were well received but writer and publisher would scarcely have predicted he would go on to write another 14. After all a detective novel set in Nazi Germany is not the stuff of [...]

June 1, 2017 // 0 Comments

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