More from Books

A statesman who reinvented himself

Christopher Hibbert is a publishing phenomenon. Now 80 or thereabouts, he has published at least 37 books, mainly on British history. You name it, Hibbert has written a book on it — from Charles I to the Marlboroughs, from Napoleon and his Women to Queen Victoria. Hibbert is rarely interviewed, but his books are always

A low score in the intelligence test

During an interview with James Naughtie, recorded in his keenly analytical The Accidental American: Tony Blair and the Presidency, the Prime Minister observed, ‘I never quite understood what people mean by this neo-con thing.’ This is not an obscure term. Can Mr Blair really not know that the neo-cons are a small group of like-minded

The girl who played Ophelia

‘A truly extraordinary achievement,’ trumpets A. N. Wilson on the jacket of this book. In a sense, of course, he is right. Lucinda Hawksley deserves praise for making something substantial out of very little. With the addition of some original research, she has synthesised what is known of Elizabeth Siddal (1829-62), the long-suffering model for

The lady’s not for exhuming

It’s curious to reflect that in reviewing Olivia Manning’s biography alone and prominently one is paying her more attention than any of her novels had in her lifetime. They were invariably reviewed as one of a group, rather than stand-alone, and for the general reader she fell into the category of novelists whose name is