Books

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…

Back to the good old whodunnit

12 June 2004 12:00 am

Long before the age of irony the novel meted out just punishment, or at least linked effect to cause. These…

Big is not therefore ugly

12 June 2004 12:00 am

As in warfare and international relations, the Brits punch above their weight in the debate about globalisation and the onward…

His own worst enemy

12 June 2004 12:00 am

Jonathan Coe is a novelist — a very good novelist. He is not a biographer; indeed he dislikes biography, as…

Who is laughing at whom?

12 June 2004 12:00 am

Doctor Johnson’s excellent recipe for cucumber: ‘a cucumber should be well sliced, and dressed with pepper and vinegar, and then…

Theirs not to reason why

12 June 2004 12:00 am

Stanley Milgram was an academic psychologist at Yale who achieved a brief moment of fame in the early 1960s as…

Lost and found in lonely places

12 June 2004 12:00 am

Patricia Tyrrell has self-published two novels, both of which were shortlisted for major prizes. The Promised Land was runner-up for…

Much more than a sporting event

12 June 2004 12:00 am

The Ancient Olympicsby Nigel SpiveyOUP, £17.99, pp. 264, ISBN 0192804332Olympics in Athens 1896: The Invention of the Modern Olympic Gamesby…

When the Eighties had to stop

5 June 2004 12:00 am

The Eighties, you might say, didn’t end on time. The speculative financial boom in the United States and elsewhere, which…

An ersatz Boston Brahmin

5 June 2004 12:00 am

The ‘campaign biography’ has become a familiar enough phenomenon in any American presidential year. So it should be said straight…

One rung below greatness

5 June 2004 12:00 am

Actors’ biographies, once a comparative rarity and usually ghosted and bowdlerised, spring forth every season. They are often pruriently, dubiously,…