Books

Is your journey really necessary?

13 November 2004 12:00 am

Pen Hadow goes to the North Pole quite often. For a price he’ll take you there too. When not under-…

Well, no, yes, ah

13 November 2004 12:00 am

So Meby Graham NortonHodder, £18.99, pp. 342, ISBN 0340833483 Frankie Howerd’s career was a series of comebacks. In the early…

Stooping, but not to conquer

6 November 2004 12:00 am

Here is yet another attempt to interest a wider public in classical music, in the form of a book ‘as…

From Harlesden to Zaire

6 November 2004 12:00 am

The really talented observers are not like travellers or journalists reporting colourfully on the unknown (‘Anyone here been raped and…

When the going was bad

6 November 2004 12:00 am

Billed on the cover as ‘The True Story of America’s Greatest Crime Wave’, this blockbuster movie of a volume shoots…

When the laughing had to stop

6 November 2004 12:00 am

It has been Sue Townsend’s misfortune to live on into a time of events more fantastic and of public figures…

The great enemy of dogma

6 November 2004 12:00 am

Nobody could accuse Pankaj Mishra of lacking ambition. A mixture of memoir, history, political and philosophical treatise, An End to…

A charming chap after all

6 November 2004 12:00 am

Sad to report, but this book is a gem. Why sad? Because Michael Winner, a sensitive, witty and extremely gifted…

Orphan of the Raj

6 November 2004 12:00 am

Old Filth is a barrister, a QC and unlike Trollope’s great Old Bailey cross-examiner Mr Chaffenbrass, nobody could ever say…

Dancing and death

6 November 2004 12:00 am

I thought at first that this was going to be a truly marvellous book, and in many ways it is,…

The lady’s not for exhuming

30 October 2004 12:00 am

It’s curious to reflect that in reviewing Olivia Manning’s biography alone and prominently one is paying her more attention than…

The girl who played Ophelia

30 October 2004 12:00 am

‘A truly extraordinary achievement,’ trumpets A. N. Wilson on the jacket of this book. In a sense, of course, he…

A low score in the intelligence test

30 October 2004 12:00 am

During an interview with James Naughtie, recorded in his keenly analytical The Accidental American: Tony Blair and the Presidency, the…

A statesman who reinvented himself

30 October 2004 12:00 am

Christopher Hibbert is a publishing phenomenon. Now 80 or thereabouts, he has published at least 37 books, mainly on British…

An accretion of accumulators

23 October 2004 12:00 am

The word ‘camp’ is often used as shorthand for ‘homosexual’. Its wider cultural sense has been best defined by Susan…

A bad Samaritan

23 October 2004 12:00 am

An avalanche in a French ski resort is thought by some to have been caused by American warplanes flying low…

An uninspired foreign correspondent

23 October 2004 12:00 am

What are the essential elements that make a good book of letters? The first is mild spite. Had John Gielgud…

Posh and common

23 October 2004 12:00 am

This is one of those lovely Persephone reprints with a pearly grey cover and endpapers like the maids’ bedroom curtains…

The outsider who came in from the cold

23 October 2004 12:00 am

Professor McIntire disowns any claim to have written a conventional biography of the Cam- bridge historian Herbert Butter- field. His…

All human life is here except politics

23 October 2004 12:00 am

Unfortunately for this volume commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Daily Telegraph, most people today are keener to read about…

Mixed mediaeval motives

23 October 2004 12:00 am

The crusades have had a bad press lately, for reasons which are not far to seek. They were characterised by…

Well worth the weight

23 October 2004 12:00 am

There is no comfortable way to read or appreciate this vast book without the benefit of a lectern. How many…

Fear in a handful of dust

23 October 2004 12:00 am

Richard Wollheim died last year, aged 80, after a distinguished academic career as a philosopher fascinated by aesthetics and psychoanalysis.…

Britannia’s finest years

23 October 2004 12:00 am

In 1903, the final volume of Laird Clowes’s seven-part History of the Royal Navy thudded on to Britain’s bookshelves: 4,385…

The hum of special contentment

23 October 2004 12:00 am

How welcome it is to find a book published by a small private concern in this age of conglomerates; the…