Books

How they saw themselves

10 July 2004 12:00 am

Softback edition – £29.95 ISBN 1904537111 Self-portraiture is akin to what used to be called self-abuse: often done for want…

Scotching some of the myths

10 July 2004 12:00 am

Rob Roy (1671-1734) is one of the most famous of Scotsmen. Whiskies, hotels, pubs, and junior football teams have been…

Most sacrilegious murder

10 July 2004 12:00 am

Nineteen eighty-five was the year in which I became closely engaged in the revolution that was to overthrow the Soviet…

An old buffer at large

10 July 2004 12:00 am

Were I Lady Nott — a position for which I am ineligible — I would be a bit miffed. Sir…

Not a hanging judge

10 July 2004 12:00 am

Welcome a volume that in all ways lives up to its title, even at a pinch a comparison with John…

Playing to posterity

10 July 2004 12:00 am

My second most vivid memory of Brian Brindley — the first was the magnificent sepia risotto he served the first…

Fantasies under the river gums

3 July 2004 12:00 am

Just as vulgarity can sometimes transcend itself and become something else (I am thinking of Gillray and Las Vegas), so…

Placeman without a place

3 July 2004 12:00 am

One of the chief characteristics of New Labour, Blairism or the Project — they amount to the same phenomenon —…

A man, a plan, a canal . . .

3 July 2004 12:00 am

Said Aburish, a Palestinian with excellent English who worked for years in Iraq, wrote a very good biography of Saddam…

A concern with appearances

3 July 2004 12:00 am

I was bemused by this novel — a first from Katherine Bucknell, better known as an editor of Isherwood’s diaries…

Le style, c’était l’homme

3 July 2004 12:00 am

We live in a demotic age. How is it therefore that by the beginning of the 21st century the Duke…

The geographer of Bohemia

3 July 2004 12:00 am

To celebrate the centenary of Anthony Powell’s birth next year an exhibition is being planned at the Wallace Collection in…

Playing poker in the Last Chance Saloon

26 June 2004 12:00 am

A biography of over 1,000 pages whose subject is the leader of a provincial political party which has five MPs…

The Quaker Prince of Ghor

26 June 2004 12:00 am

The saga of the First Afghan War, one of the greatest disasters ever met by the British army, has been…

Rare conjunctions of the stars

26 June 2004 12:00 am

Lawyers meet lawyers, historians and economists meet their colleagues. They have a defined profession. Creative writers have no defined profession:…

Making the most of the obvious

26 June 2004 12:00 am

James Surowiecki is a Martian. True, he doesn’t have pointy ears and he writes a financial column for the New…

Much more than a game

26 June 2004 12:00 am

It was comforting in the late 1960s to learn that the composed, sturdily elegant figure of Basil D’Oliveira was in…

Infinite riches in a little room

26 June 2004 12:00 am

Frank Kermode’s The Age of Shakespeare is an astonishing achievement. In fewer than 200 small-format pages he discusses each of…

Gurus, artists and exiles

19 June 2004 12:00 am

The introductory Apologia sets the scene: ‘These chapters are potentially autobiographical: even when something didn’t actually happen to me, it…

When ’Omer smote ’is bloomin’ lyre

19 June 2004 12:00 am

The scriptwriter behind Troy, Brad Pitt’s new muscle and breastplate epic, sounds like an alpha-plus idiot. Commenting on his decision…

A bully with a heart of gold

19 June 2004 12:00 am

Philanthropists are a boring lot these days. Your modern seven-figure donor is either resolutely anonymous or else determined to be…

A good man in a naughty world

19 June 2004 12:00 am

All Archbishops of Canterbury fail. Dr Carey quotes Archbishop Cosmo Gordon Lang’s famous dictum: ‘The post is impossible for one…

Two-way traffic: arrivals and departures

19 June 2004 12:00 am

Britannia’s Children: Emigration from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland since 1600by Eric RichardsHambledon & London, £19.95, pp. 388, ISBN 1852854413…

A week with a human monster!

19 June 2004 12:00 am

Thirty years ago Sandy Fawkes was a Daily Express reporter following a story in the southern states of the USA.…

Hit-and-miss history man

19 June 2004 12:00 am

Since it was a prime social manifestation of the industrial revolution, the Victorian city more than merits serious attention by…