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Black Lamb


Now in its 14th year of publication, this magazine was created to offer the discerning reader a stimulating selection of excellent original writing. Black Lamb Review is a literate rather than a literary publication. Regular columns by writers in a variety of geographic locations and vocations are supplemented by features, reviews, articles on books and authors, and a selection of “departments,” including an acerbic advice column and a lamb recipe.


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Archive for April, 2007

Honorary Black Lambs

April 1st, 2007


Here, as always in this space, are new entries in what will become, later this year, The Ultimate Literary Calendar. We hope you find the following mini-guides with suggested bibliographies useful introductions to these two important figures from the world of books.

John Braine, b. April 13, 1922, d. 1987

braine.pngAlmost forgotten now, Braine became well-known in England during the Fifties when his first novel, Room at the Top, was made into an acclaimed movie starring Laurence Harvey and Simone Signoret. But this novel and many of those Braine wrote later repay rereading for their taut story lines and penetrating psychological portraits.

Suggested Reading Novels Room at the Top, 1957. The Vodi, 1959. Life at the Top, 1962. The Jealous God, 1964. Waiting for Sheila, 1976. The Two of Us, 1984.

mortimerjohn.jpgJohn Mortimer, b. April 21, 1923

Mortimer is celebrated for his creation of Horace Rumpole, the imperturbable barrister, and his wife Hilda, always referred to as She Who Must Be Obeyed. But he is also the writer of many other novels and plays, many of them superb. Our favorites are the Rapstone Chronicles, a trilogy of novels listed below after Rumpole, the autobiography Clinging to the Wreckage, the remarkable play A Voyage Round My Father, and two enchanting books of interviews with famous people (from Grahame Greene and Georges Simenon to Mick Jagger and Raquel Welch), In Character and Character Parts.

Suggested Reading Novels & novellas Charade, 1947. The Rumpole Series (19 books), beginning with Rumpole of the Bailey, 1978, through Rumpole and the Reign of Terror, 2006. Paradise Postponed, 1985. Titmuss Regained, 1990. The Sound of Trumpets, 1998. Plays A Voyage Round My Father, 1971. Edwin and Other Plays, 1984. Non-fiction Clinging to the Wreckage, 1982. The Oxford Book of Villains, 1992. Murderers and Other Friends: Another Part of Life, 1994. The Summer of the Dormouse: A Year of Growing Old. Interviews In Character, 1983. Character Parts, 1986.

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Posted by: The Editors
Category: Books and Authors, Honorary Black Lambs | Link to this Entry

When to be serious

April 1st, 2007


Dear Reader,

I’ve been saving a couple of letters from the Black Lamb mailbag for this All-Marriage Issue.


Dear Millie,

As a divorced woman left with two small children to raise, I find myself growing angry when my childless girlfriends want to cry on my shoulder over the breakup of their marriages. “Get over it,” I want to say. “At least you don’t have to deal with children permanently bruised by the failure of your romance.” What do you think?

Pissed in Pittsburgh

Dear Pissed,

I suppose you have a point, but I hope you and your friends don’t regard feeling pain as a contest. You’ve made your messes, and it’s up to all of you to try to fix them, or at least minimize their impact. I’d say comfort one another and get on with life as best you can. Friends can be— should be — a real help.


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Posted by: The Editors
Category: All Marriage Issue, Ask Millie, Marshall | Link to this Entry

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