Robin Chapman

Robin Chapman novel, The Duchess’s Diary, derived from an episode in Don Quixote, was published last year in a revised edition. His play, One of Us, about Burgess and Maclean, was recently seen at the Greenwich Theatre, and a screenplay, Blunt, will be broadcast by the BBC early next year.


Robin Chapman, 18 September 1986

According to John Constable, the trouble with self-taught painters was that they had such bad teachers. Creative writing workshops notwithstanding, every novelist is self-taught. An enduring reminder of this is Cervantes’s relationship with his equivocal double masterpiece Don Quixote, and the most persuasive analyst of both book and author remains E.C. Riley, who as long ago as 1962 first alerted us in Cervantes’s Theory of the Novel to what has since become received opinion: that Cervantes was a highly self-conscious literary artist who had to teach himself to write the first modern European novel.

Maria Isabel

Graham Hough, 22 January 1981

In the 30th chapter of the second book of Don Quixote the Don and Sancho encounter a certain duchess who thereafter plays a considerable part in their adventures. In The Duchess’s Diary...

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