Books

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…

A country to die for

23 November 2002 12:00 am

Finland declared independence from Russia in 1917 during the Bolshevik revolution. The subsequent civil war ended in victory by the…

When the consumer was king

23 November 2002 12:00 am

Books as glossy as this are seldom as good as this. It is a sort of economic miracle in itself:…

The banditry plays on

23 November 2002 12:00 am

Forty years ago V. S. Naipaul enraged Indians by describing India as ‘an area of darkness’. He also upset a…

People + places = life

23 November 2002 12:00 am

You may never have heard of David Gentleman, because, unlike so many of the over-publicised charlatans who call themselves artists…

Christmas Books I

16 November 2002 12:00 am

Rupert Christiansen How embarrassing. The authors of the four books I have most relished this year – Nicola Shulman’s elegant…

So near and yet so far from the target

16 November 2002 12:00 am

High on the teetering list of all the things that, down the long arches of the hacking years, have dissuaded…