This is a book about Jenny Diski. Animals feature to the extent that they impinge on the author. These animals need not be real or living: fictional, otherwise imaginary, stuffed and toy animals all find a way in. There’s a lot about cats, and quite a bit about crabs (pubic – real or not; Diski apparently suffered from delusional parasitosis). The criterion of inclusion is having played some role in the life of the author.
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'Thirkell was a product of her time and her class. For her there are no sacred cows, barring those that win ribbons at the Barchester Agricultural.'
The novelist Angela Thirkell is due a revival, says Patricia T O'Conner (£).
'Only in Britain, perhaps, could spy chiefs – conventionally viewed as masters of subterfuge – be so highly regarded as ethical guides.'
In this month's Bookends, @AdamCSDouglas looks at the curious life of Henry Labouchere: a friend of Bram Stoker, 'loose cannon', and architect of the law that outlawed homosexual activity in Britain.