Books

Politically almost too correct

25 October 2003 12:00 am

Douglas Hurd’s political career ended only eight years ago, but it already seems to belong to another world. When he…

From chrysalis to butterfly

25 October 2003 12:00 am

John Fowles’s diaries — or ‘disjoints’, as he calls them — are evidence of his own theory that while some…

A great painter’s likeness perfectly caught

18 October 2003 12:00 am

Robert Hughes has suffered no shortage of appalling things over the past five years. He has experienced deep depression and…

Ideas received or rejected

18 October 2003 12:00 am

Until I read his enthralling account of what it’s like to be a middle-class sixtysomething crack addict, I’d never quite…

A regiment to reckon with

18 October 2003 12:00 am

In the spring of 1990, at the age of 21, I found myself sitting on an English hillside in the…

Family values under the hammer

18 October 2003 12:00 am

In the course of John Campbell’s superb second volume of his Margaret Thatcher biography, he poses the question of what…

When physicists don’t see eye to eye

18 October 2003 12:00 am

When Michael Frayn wrote Copenhagen, he could surely scarcely have imagined the interest it would generate and the furore it…

The play’s the thing

18 October 2003 12:00 am

The early life of Arthur Miller reads a bit like the first chapters of The Adventures of Augie March by…

Youth, I do adore thee

18 October 2003 12:00 am

At the risk of being vulgar, I can’t help thinking that Dr Greer’s (‘At least she’s got an “ology!”’, I…

Aches and aphorisms

18 October 2003 12:00 am

It is difficult to demonstrate why the Lees-Milne diaries, of which this is the tenth volume, are among the best…

That land is their land

18 October 2003 12:00 am

In 1961 the anthropologist Richard Mason was exploring a river in southern Amazonia when he was ambushed by a hitherto…

Native wood-notes wild

11 October 2003 12:00 am

This is an exceptional biography, which is just as well, since I don’t think one could bear to have the…

The old order changeth

11 October 2003 12:00 am

As a historical novel Thomas Gage is more Hardy than Tolstoy. The classic historical novel — as concocted by Walter…

Hobbling the sacred cows

11 October 2003 12:00 am

Here’s a real cure for anyone with a bad case of things-are-getting-worse-itis. Written in 1962 principally for the American market,…

Sounding the last post

11 October 2003 12:00 am

The work of the obituarist is not unlike that of the book reviewer. Both have to tell their reader what…

All knickers and knockers

11 October 2003 12:00 am

Whatever else this is, an intimate portrait of Mrs Parker Bowles it is not, or at least not one written…

What you see is what you get

11 October 2003 12:00 am

What’s It All About? joins Bob Geldof’s Is That It? and Auberon Waugh’s Will This Do? on a shelf of…

Northward and upward

11 October 2003 12:00 am

This first volume of Bill Clinton’s biography, taking the story as far as his presidential election victory in 1992, comes…

The beauty of signal-boxes

11 October 2003 12:00 am

The Duke of Bedford insisted that railway stations built on his estate had to be picturesque. He chose a half-timbered…

Rebellion in the suburbs

11 October 2003 12:00 am

First published in 1914, two years after he had married Virginia, Leonard Woolf’s second novel The Wise Virgins must have…

The other island

11 October 2003 12:00 am

This massive volume weighs in at seven pounds on the bathroom scales and cost The Spectator £14.50 in stamps to…

Speaking of God

11 October 2003 12:00 am

Where is England’s smallest church? The question must have preoccupied nerdish retired vicars for centuries and is probably best answered…

Slogging to Byzantium

4 October 2003 12:00 am

Yeats was a great poet who was also the industrious adept of a batso mystical philosophy. Do we have to…

He’s the top

4 October 2003 12:00 am

The perfect anthology, like the perfect hors d’

Happy band of brothers

4 October 2003 12:00 am

Very occasionally one comes across a book which, in its unexpected delights, inspires one to leap about wild with praise,…