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No fresh insights on the life of Joseph Paxton

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Your reviewer Andrea Wulf suggests that Kate Colquhoun's A Thing in Disguise: The Visionary Life of Joseph Paxton (AJ 11.9.03) represents a 'longoverdue biography'. What of George F Chadwick's erudite and magisterial The Works of Sir Joseph Paxton (which, despite its title, is essentially biographical) published some 42 years ago? Perhaps Ms Wulf could have told us what fresh insights have emerged during the intervening four decades, or, indeed, since Violet Markham's slighter Paxton and the Batchelor Duke, published in 1935?

Professor Emeritus A Peter Fawcett, Pocklington, York

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