23/08/2014
23 Aug 2014

Britain's jihad

23 Aug 2014

Britain's jihad

Books

More from Books
Wynn Wheldon
Sorbet with Rimbaud

The Bloomsbury of the title refers to the place, not the group. The group didn’t have a poet. ‘I would rather be a child and walk in a crocodile down a suburban path than write poetry, I have heard prose writers say,’ wrote Virginia Woolf, albeit tongue-in-cheek (maybe). Nonetheless, unsurprisingly, these non-poets steal the first chapter of this amuse-bouche of a publication. They are allowed to so that the author, or rather his sources, may describe the rather dull area of London that abuts the eastern end of the Euston Road to the north, and to the south High Holborn.

Sorbet with Rimbaud
David Gilmour
A Hello! magazine history of Venice

When Napoleon Bonaparte captured Venice in 1797, he extinguished what had been the most successful regime in the history of the western world. The Venetian Republic had lasted over 1,000 years — longer than ancient Rome — without a revolution, a coup d’état or a successful foreign invasion.  Yet after 1797 it was never to be independent again: it was given to Austria, taken back by France, allotted once more to Austria and finally, in 1866, handed over to the young Kingdom of Italy.

A Hello! magazine history of Venice
Lee Langley
A novel that will make you want to call social services

Nina Stibbe has a way with children. Her first book, a memoir, was a deceptively wide-eyed view of a literary Hampstead family observed in all its turbulence by the teenage Stibbe, working as the nanny. Written as letters home to her sister, Love, Nina won over fellow writers and critics; reviews spoke of a quirky, life-affirming comic genius. Now she’s written her first novel, and again she has the domestic arena in her sights.

A novel that will make you want to call social services
Leanda De-Lisle
Thomas Cromwell: more Tony Soprano than Richard Dawkins

The travel writer Colin Thubron once told me that to understand a country and its people he first asks, ‘What do they believe?’ This is also a good place to begin when writing about the past, not least when your subject is Thomas Cromwell, a key figure in the English Reformation.  But Tracy Borman’s Cromwell doesn’t have beliefs so much as qualities: ones that will appeal to fans of the fictional Cromwell of Hilary Mantel’s Tudor novels.

Thomas Cromwell: more Tony Soprano than Richard Dawkins
Candy Neubert
80 sq yds per gallon

Nothing brings him to the door quite as surely as Silexine Watertight, the complete waterproofer. One Imperial Quart. Opened this morning to seal a stump, it scents my hands beyond washing. No warning on the tin, no list of toxins, just a metal lid scummed with rust. Eleven and thruppence. My father walks into his garage and puts it away on the back of the bench, next to the spare.

Fionn Morgan
Ian Fleming: cruel? Selfish? Misogynistic? Nonsense, says his step-daughter

7 August 1964 4 Old Mitre Court, EC4 Darling Fifi, A thousand thanks for your sweet letter & for Heaven’s sake don’t think of bringing me back anything from Brazil, except perhaps a Diamond as big as the Ritz if you happen to find one in your back garden. When from my eyrie beneath the Christ Corcovado I looked closely at this (unusually) typed letter from Ian Fleming I saw that it was ‘dictated in his absence’ and that it must have been sent by the devoted ‘Griffie’, model for Miss Moneypenny.

Ian Fleming: cruel? Selfish? Misogynistic? Nonsense, says his step-daughter
Patrick Allitt
Is America headed for tyranny? It is when the other side’s in charge...

For the last 50 years Americans have been decrying the increase of presidential power whenever the party they oppose is in office.  Republicans hated to see Kennedy and Clinton throwing their weight around, while Democrats deplored the ‘imperial presidency’ of Nixon and Reagan. F.H. Buckley, a Canadian law professor now working in Virginia, explains why presidents have become so powerful. He adds that it’s not just an American problem.

Is America headed for tyranny? It is when the other side’s in charge...
J P O'Malley
Stalin’s Spanish bezzie

During the Spanish civil war the single greatest atrocity perpetrated by the Republicans was known as ‘Paracuellos’. This was the village where an estimated 2,500 prisoners loyal to Franco were executed by leftish militiamen between November and December 1936. Even though the facts of this massacre are now widely known, one question still remains: who ordered the killings? In his latest book The Last Stalinist,Paul Preston claims that it was Santiago Carrillo who played a crucial role in signing the death warrants.

Stalin’s Spanish bezzie
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