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Mary Hannity: Between Britain and Jamaica, 18 March 2021

Imperial Intimacies: A Tale of Two Islands 
by Hazel V. Carby.
Verso, 416 pp., £20, September 2019, 978 1 78873 509 4
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... in the 1930s was ‘a cesspool of unemployment’, in the words of the trade union activist Ken Hill – Jamaicans sometimes marched through Kingston just so that they could be arrested, jailed and fed. Unemployment, seasonal work and poor education were widespread, and wages had hardly increased in the hundred years since emancipation. ‘[W]e are the ...

Poor Stephen

James Fox, 23 July 1987

An Affair of State: The Profumo Case and the Framing of Stephen Ward 
by Phillip Knightley and Caroline Kennedy.
Cape, 268 pp., £12.95, May 1987, 0 224 02347 0
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Honeytrap: The Secret Worlds of Stephen Ward 
by Anthony Summers and Stephen Dorril.
Weidenfeld, 264 pp., £12.95, May 1987, 0 297 79122 2
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... disapproved of him, he went to Paris, aged 17, and lived on a secret allowance from his mother. Bridget Astor, wife of David Astor, former editor of the Observer, remembers his being ‘always considered a very glamorous figure around Torquay’. His uncle introduced him to osteopathy, seeing him as a clever drifter. Ward went to America, loved the ...


Alan Bennett: What I Did in 2015, 7 January 2016

... same time (and like any other celebrity) having put himself in the way of it in the first place. Bridget goes round pretty much at my pace, Rupert as always slower and taking more in, noting the tears brimming in Lucrezia’s eyes, for instance, and how she has had to half slip herself out of her heavily brocaded dress the more easily to stab herself. He ...


Alan Bennett: Allelujah!, 3 January 2019

... serve, if only for the announcement of the season in the New Year.As an early Christmas present Bridget has given us a cow creamer she has made. Unglazed, it is chunky and solid and striped black and white like a bovine zebra. It’s a delightful object, a convict cow, and could she be bothered to make more and market them I’m sure they would sell for a ...


Iain Sinclair: The Thames, 25 June 2009

Thames: Sacred River 
by Peter Ackroyd.
Vintage, 608 pp., £14.99, August 2008, 978 0 09 942255 6
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... a film in which suborned natives (expendable extras) drag a paddle-steamer over a steep hill in order to get around an inconvenient bend in the river, the point being to bring Caruso, one of the gods of opera, to an upstream trading post. An insane achievement mirrored in the rebranding of the Dome, after its long and expensive limbo, as the O2 ...

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