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Of fulmars and fleams

Kathleen Jamie is a poet. This might be described as her occasional book, in the sense of being a record of what she saw, smelt, heard or felt during these various experiences and expeditions. Most are concerned, loosely, with natural history —ospreys, wild salmon, corncrakes, whales; all of them pertain to Scotland (of which she

Hanged on a legal quibble

Who killed Lord Haw-Haw? It was I, said Hartley Shawcross. I was the attorney general who led his prosecution personally under the Treason Act, even though my constitutional expert advised me that we did not have a case in law, and one of my predecessors in office had confessed himself ‘incredulous’ at its being brought

From faintly weird to fiercely eccentric

HERMIT WANTEDFree meals and accommodation.Situated on grand estate.Would suit the quiet type. When Giles and Ginny married ‘it was like a great clanging-together of bank vaults that rang out across the land’. Now Ginny demanded a savage. She had discovered an empty cave in the woods, and it needed to be occupied. The applicant to

Friends, rivals and countrymen

This is an ideal John Murray book, dealing with historic personalities, with a narrative reinforced by family papers and an understanding deepened by family connection. Robert Lloyd George, the author, is the great-grandson of David Lloyd George, the prime minister. I hope it will be a best- seller, and can imagine it being un- wrapped,

Mad, good and dangerous to know

‘Tomorrow morning some poet may, like Byron, wake up to find himself famous,’ wrote Randall Jarrell, ‘for having written a novel, for having killed his wife; it will not be for having written a poem.’ Jarrell’s cynicism is too slick, too rueful; but it does snag something in Robert Lowell, as it does in several