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‘The only man in Paris’

Eugenia de Montijo was born in a tent, during an earthquake, in Granada in 1826. Her father, a Liberal minor grandee, had joined the French army, been wounded at Trafalgar, and welcomed the replacement of the Bourbons by the mediocre Joseph Bonaparte in 1808. Threatened by the Carlist wars, in 1833 he sent his wife

Laying a persistent ghost

Although it probably won’t, this book deserves to lay the ghost of Dresden, to demolish the myth and establish the rule of objective historical judgment. Frederick Taylor opens his investigation as long ago as AD 350 and carries it down to 2003. On the way, he gives us a condensed history of the strategic air

The bare bones of the case

It seems only the other day that Ian Huntley was convicted at the Old Bailey of the pointless murder of two pretty Cambridgeshire schoolgirls, Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, and here, already, is a book about the case by a journalist who covered every day of the investigation. One is bound to ask why. What

And the winner is . . .

My favourite titbit about the Oscars is that if at any point during the Wagner- ian length of the ceremony you get up to go to the loo, a young person who has been loitering in the aisles will instantly nip in and occupy your seat, giving it up gracefully on your return. The point