Books

Descending and condescending

2 October 2004 12:00 am

When asked to name a British prime minister other than the present one or Mrs Thatcher, my young adult patients…

A prodigy of a politician

2 October 2004 12:00 am

William Pitt the Younger always was the politician’s politician: an MP at 21, prime minister at 24 and dead at…

An exercise with jerks

2 October 2004 12:00 am

Reviewers coming to this book, the second volume of Roddy Doyle’s The Last Roundup trilogy without having read the first,…

Doctors’ dilemma unsolved

2 October 2004 12:00 am

This is a brilliant tract against the times. Tallis records how the traditional vocation in medicine is ceasing to be…

Porridge and privilege

2 October 2004 12:00 am

A Prison Diary, Volume II: Purgatoryby Jeffrey ArcherPan, £6.99, pp. 310, ISBN 0330426370 A Prison Diary, Volume III: Heavenby Jeffrey…

Morality and mortality

2 October 2004 12:00 am

At the start of this sixth and final volume of Ferdinand Mount’s novel sequence A Chronicle of Modern Twilight, the…

Saved by comic relief

2 October 2004 12:00 am

There is one glorious surrealistic sentence on page 6. Describing Clarissa Eden’s early adventures in magazine journalism, the authors write,…

Patriot and appeaser

2 October 2004 12:00 am

Since appeasement is in the air again, this is a timely book. It tells the story of how Lord Londonderry,…

The world we have lost

2 October 2004 12:00 am

The Whig interpretation of history, a relentlessly progressive account of the emergence of our parliamentary system, has long been out…

Going behind the Bushes

2 October 2004 12:00 am

Kitty Kelley is the Heat maga- zine of celebrity biographers. Spectator readers who may not be familiar with this unpleasant…

Far beyond the call of duty

25 September 2004 12:00 am

On the 150th anniversary of the first deed for which a Victoria Cross was awarded, this admirable book recounts some…

An ornamental period piece

25 September 2004 12:00 am

By the Grand Canal takes place, not wholly unexpectedly, in the Venice of the immediately post-Great War era. To this…

The Admiral’s men

25 September 2004 12:00 am

It is tempting to conclude that a subject is fished out when strange titles appear, presumably with the intention of…

It really was a knockout

25 September 2004 12:00 am

On 25 June 2003, the day on which Alastair Campbell declar- ed all-out war against the BBC in his evidence…

Losing your heart — or your nose

25 September 2004 12:00 am

If a car is travelling behind a tractor for five miles on a narrow road, and at last the tractor…

The pilgrims’ progress

25 September 2004 12:00 am

A hundred million years ago, our ancestors were nocturnal mouse-like creatures, living in the shadows of the dinosaurs. Five hundred…

Birds in a gilded cage

25 September 2004 12:00 am

George III freely acknowledged he was in no hurry to see his daughters married: ‘I am happy in their company,…

Master of most

18 September 2004 12:00 am

Andrew Marr is a great adornment to his — our — trade. He is terribly clever and well-read, and I…

Lost white dogs of Africa

18 September 2004 12:00 am

There is a fading misconception in Europe that every white person in South Africa lives the life of Reilly, albeit…

Goggling at the box

18 September 2004 12:00 am

This far from flimsy novel has been written and published with remarkable speed. Little more than a year ago, on…

Evangelism on the march

18 September 2004 12:00 am

When Robert Goizueta, Coca-Cola’s boss, attempted to justify his $80 million annual income to a meeting of shareholders he was…

Making sheep interesting

18 September 2004 12:00 am

He is most like a poet when writing least like one. Skim the titles of P. J. Kavanagh’s new collection…

Ketchup and thunder

18 September 2004 12:00 am

I have read somewhere that the friends of this author are worried. Apparently he is an MP, a shadow minister,…

Breaking out of purdah

18 September 2004 12:00 am

Reading Maharanis has something of the poignant pleasure of rummaging in the attic of a great house fallen into desuetude:…

Reheating the Cold War

18 September 2004 12:00 am

In the days when the Cold War provided depth and context to all spy fiction, Charles McCarry was the strongest…