Books

Dicing with death

19 March 2005 12:00 am

A book on Waterloo as short as this (the text proper is 100 pages, small format) tempts a rush to…

Profit without honour

12 March 2005 12:00 am

Early on in Piers Morgan’s memoir of his career as a tabloid editor, there is a very funny incident. It…

Lady into urban fox

12 March 2005 12:00 am

This is a thoroughly rotten book, a squelchingly well-researched period piece with sex, lust, over-ripeness and what one character calls…

The battle of Babel

12 March 2005 12:00 am

Apparently, this book is a work of ‘diachronic sociolinguistics’. Sensibly, the author doesn’t mention this disconcerting fact until the last…

Edinburgh still rocks

12 March 2005 12:00 am

Will Alexander McCall Smith’s readers remain loyal now that he’s not writing about Bots- wana, which he sees as an…

The lights that failed

12 March 2005 12:00 am

While the Victorian age was certainly one of unprecedented industrial and technical advances — an age, if there ever was…

The sensuous recluse

12 March 2005 12:00 am

What in the world has happened to the culture of France? If you enter a room almost anywhere in the…

Watch this space

12 March 2005 12:00 am

I read this nice well-intentioned book with devotion, despite its being thoroughly reader-resistant to anyone of a sceptical turn. For…

A quartet of debutantes

12 March 2005 12:00 am

The Great Stinkby Clare ClarkPenguin, £12.99, pp. 358, ISBN 0670915300 The Second Life of Samuel Tyneby Esi EdugyanVirago, £10.99, pp.…

A dove with a touch of hawk

12 March 2005 12:00 am

Sir Samuel Brittan has long been a national institution. As economics editor of the Observer in the early 1960s and…

From mourning into morning

5 March 2005 12:00 am

Grief hangs like a pall over the opening section of Christopher Rush’s account of how he came to make a…

Living it up in Paris

5 March 2005 12:00 am

The French no longer keep diaries or go in much for social memoirs. They take their secrets with them to…

Mau Mau and all that

5 March 2005 12:00 am

Surprisingly (but maybe not to those who knew him well) it was the Duke of Devonshire who, having been appointed…

Once upon a funny old time . . .

5 March 2005 12:00 am

The drama of this book is not its contents but its frame, the sense of what might have been that…

A tale of January and May

5 March 2005 12:00 am

So you’d like your child to be a successful writer (as the classified ads might say)? Well, the least you…

Going astray abroad

5 March 2005 12:00 am

These days we are all sophisticates, or so we like to think. Thanks to the media and the internet we…

Trouble at the sex factory

5 March 2005 12:00 am

I should perhaps declare, not an interest quite, or at least not only an interest, but an expertise. Ten years…

Bad presentation of a good cause

5 March 2005 12:00 am

Brian MacArthur’s credits as an author include three Penguin anthologies and a tribute to Princess Diana. He embarked on the…

A star but not a team player

5 March 2005 12:00 am

In January 1942 Orson Welles finished filming The Magnificent Ambersons, his follow-up to Citizen Kane (1941). When he flew to…

Mother both superior and inferior

5 March 2005 12:00 am

In January 1831 26-year-old Aurore Dupin Duvenant abandoned her secure provincial existence, her husband and small children, and set out…

School for scandal

26 February 2005 12:00 am

The time is the late 1990s; the setting a boarding school called Hailsham. This being a novel by Kazuo Ishiguro,…

The way of the world

26 February 2005 12:00 am

This book stands in an ancient intellectual tradition. Its theme dates back to the year 1798, in which the English…

Stories about story-telling

26 February 2005 12:00 am

The story that John Barth has to tell is that he had planned a book, to be entitled Ten Nights…

The grass below, above, the vaulted sky

26 February 2005 12:00 am

It was soon after he finished work on Flora Britannica, his hugely successful book about the wild plants he had…

The cutting edge of medicine

26 February 2005 12:00 am

In 1767, John Hunter, a 39-year-old surgeon, performed an experiment on venereal disease. In order to prove the hypothesis that…