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The Independent Culture
Best of Enemies: Anglo-French Relations since the Norman Conquest by Robert Gibson (Sinclair-Stevenson, pounds 25). Engaging history of the long, feuding cross-channel love affair.

Heathcliff and the Great Hunger by Terry Eagleton (Verso, pounds 19.50). Witty, challenging, sophisticated exploration of Irish literature and culture from the early 19th century to the death of Joyce.