Books

A selection of art books

7 December 2002 12:00 am

I cannot think of many less festive offerings than Richard Avedon Portraits (Abrams, £24.95), but it has to be admitted…

Smoothing the rough edges

7 December 2002 12:00 am

Much is made by writers these days of the need for ‘getting distance’, for putting frontiers, oceans, whole continents between…

Not rushing to judgment

7 December 2002 12:00 am

It is hard to overpraise this admirable – indeed one would have thought impossible – account of the history of…

The price of admission

7 December 2002 12:00 am

I first met Tim Slessor when we were contemporary undergraduates at Cambridge, half a century ago. Etched into my memory…

A choice of funny books

7 December 2002 12:00 am

‘I don’t know if it is a sign of old age,’ wrote P. G. Wodehouse in the mid-1950s, ‘but I…

Pure and impure genius

7 December 2002 12:00 am

As Hamlet said, ‘Look here upon this picture and on this.’ Early this year Garry O’Connor produced a book about…

Master of the shrug

30 November 2002 12:00 am

Long long ago, they used to say that the difference between the Hohenzollerns and the Habsburgs was this. In Berlin,…

The lines are immaterial

30 November 2002 12:00 am

I once met a thoroughly heterosexual old naval officer who had been a midshipman on the ship that sailed to…

Stooping to conquer

30 November 2002 12:00 am

Anthony Lane has been film critic for the New Yorker since 1993, and the light lash of his humour is…

The self-promoting recluse

30 November 2002 12:00 am

‘If Charles Darwin had spent the first half of his life in the world of Jane Austen, he now stepped…

Can you spot the difference?

30 November 2002 12:00 am

FAUNA BRITANNICAby Duff Hart-DavisWeidenfeld, £30, pp. 415, ISBN 0297825321 Time was that this sort of confusion did not occur. In…

A good tale spoilt in the telling

30 November 2002 12:00 am

Michael Dobbs is a charming, intelligent and self-effacing man, but you would not have guessed it from the blurb on…

New figures in our national story

30 November 2002 12:00 am

In the first two volumes accompanying his History of Britain television series, Simon Schama had a clear framework in which…

Finding Paradise in your own back garden

30 November 2002 12:00 am

Gardening is the nation’s hobby. It is worth around £3 billion in annual business, much of it generated by television…

Naughty but nice

30 November 2002 12:00 am

The first story in this very fine collection takes the most risks, not unlike its protagonist. Ariel, a sophisticated, self-aware,…

Magnificent joint venture

30 November 2002 12:00 am

One might think that Henry Kamen, having written books on Spain in the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries, on the…

Christmas Books II

23 November 2002 12:00 am

Hugh Massingberd ‘It is difficult’, writes A. N. Wilson in The Victorians (Hutchinson, £25), ‘for me to conceive of a…

The young woman and the sea

23 November 2002 12:00 am

When Ellen Macarthur was nine she saved her pocket money, by eating less, to buy her first little boat and…

Accentuating the positive

23 November 2002 12:00 am

There was a time when our man at the BBC was the most famous foreign correspondent in India, his broadcasts…

Waiting for the Bogeyman

23 November 2002 12:00 am

On 19 August 1805, two months before his death at Trafalgar, Vice-Admiral Lord Nelson rejoined Emma Hamilton at their home…

Bruiser, cruiser but no boozer

23 November 2002 12:00 am

The subject of this intelligent biography was among the founders of the Modern movement in British art before the first…

Very trying indeed

23 November 2002 12:00 am

Ralph Steadman has always employed graphic spatter. The pen jabs, the ink spurts and – yoiks! – how the victims…

The snake in paradise

23 November 2002 12:00 am

The title is a slight puzzle, a tease. But quickly all becomes clear. Here is a book of painful but…

An eye for the unexpected

23 November 2002 12:00 am

After his mountainous Gladstone and Churchill and barely less substantial study of the post-1886 chancellors of the exchequer, Roy Jenkins…

Falstaff in a wig and gown

23 November 2002 12:00 am

Rumpole is Falstaff on the right side of the law. He is rumbustious, shrewdly distrustful of authority and filled with…