Books

With a little help from our friends

28 August 2004 12:00 am

Blenheim, 1704: Marlborough’s Greatest Victoryby James FalknerPen & Sword Military, £10.99, pp. 144, ISBN 184415050X By rights the battle of…

Power behind the scenes

28 August 2004 12:00 am

Parliament has so dominated the writing of English political history that the royal household has been sidelined. Moreover, the absence…

Music as the food of love

28 August 2004 12:00 am

Susanna Burney was the younger sister of the more famous Fanny (one of the best-loved of English diarists and author…

Fasten your seat-belts . . .

28 August 2004 12:00 am

The end of the world is nigh. Well, of course it is. Everything falls apart, sooner or later, including ourselves…

Coming in from the open air

28 August 2004 12:00 am

Selected Poemsby R. S. ThomasPenguin Modern Classics, £9.99, pp. 368, ISBN 0140188908 Some 40 years ago, about to sit an…

A terrible beauty reborn

21 August 2004 12:00 am

‘We are very proud of Amir Temur,’ the Uzbek ambassador to the Court of St James’s told Justin Marozzi. ‘We…

The cured man of Europe?

21 August 2004 12:00 am

Mustapha Kemal, otherwise Ataturk, took the corpse of the Ottoman empire and re- animated it as Turkey. Break-ing both the…

One man and his dog

21 August 2004 12:00 am

Six weeks after the defeat of the Taleban Rory Stewart started to walk across Afghanistan. He took the direct route…

Health, money, recipes and gossip

21 August 2004 12:00 am

In 1799 Susan O’Brien underwent an operation for breast cancer. She was 56 and, her sister having died of the…

The acceptable face of crime

21 August 2004 12:00 am

It was no fun being captured by pirates. Hanging from the yardarm or walking the plank was the least of…

Stifled at birth

21 August 2004 12:00 am

This is a reissue in paperback of a novel that utterly vanished on its first publication in 1998. Since it…

Method acting with a vengeance

21 August 2004 12:00 am

Two of a good thing is usually better than one — unless, of course, the good thing in question is…

The lighter side of gender politics

21 August 2004 12:00 am

The sixth in the ‘No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency’ series of novels is as delightful as any of its predecessors.…

The play’s the thing

21 August 2004 12:00 am

‘His name is protean. He begets doubles at every corner … On the wet morning of 27 November 1582, he…

Madness and death in Korea

21 August 2004 12:00 am

This diptych of a novel starts with a surprise. Margaret Drabble’s fame rests largely on fiction dealing with social issues…

What is this life?

21 August 2004 12:00 am

W. H. Davies was a phenomenon of whom, it seems, few nowadays have heard. His lines, ‘What is this life…

Short on names, tall on tales

14 August 2004 12:00 am

Two or three years ago, I was invited with my rather posh then girlfriend to a grand party up in…

The return of the native

14 August 2004 12:00 am

‘When you look at families, there is no such thing as normal.’ Indeed not. Justin Cartwright gives us the Judds,…

The pros and cons of Euromarriage

14 August 2004 12:00 am

Timothy Garton Ash has become a bishop. In Free World, he has written something which is less a work of…

The dark side of laughter

14 August 2004 12:00 am

As a rule, I disapprove of reviews which review the author and not the book, but some occasions demand it.…

Great — but uneven like the Andes

14 August 2004 12:00 am

Pablo Neruda had three houses in Chile, the most lovely of them at La Isla Negra, on the Pacific coast…

‘Thou, silent form, doth tease us out of thought’

14 August 2004 12:00 am

One February day in 1845 a well-dressed young man walked into Gallery Nine of the British Museum and hurled a…

Vanity fair and foul

14 August 2004 12:00 am

The plumber came this morning — £75 including VAT. He was still expensively engaged when a bike brought Frederic Raphael’s…

Delusions and delights

14 August 2004 12:00 am

Disney hijacked Margery Sharp. The novelist, who died in 1991, is remembered chiefly for her series of (now animated) children’s…

A fastidious disdain of poetry

14 August 2004 12:00 am

If William Coldstream (1909-87) was a dull painter, as he is sometimes thought to be, he was most certainly not…