Search Results

Advanced Search

16 to 30 of 79 results

Sort by:

Filter by:

Contributors

Article Types

Authors

With What Joy We Write of the New Russian Government

Ferdinand Mount: Arthur Ransome, 24 September 2009

The Last Englishman: The Double Life of Arthur Ransome 
by Roland Chambers.
Faber, 390 pp., £20, August 2009, 978 0 571 22261 2
Show More
Show More
... Ransome, when he turned up, proved to be an amiable and attractive man, with a luxuriant blond soup-strainer moustache, a rubicund complexion, a large mouth from which more often than not a pipe protruded, and a hearty disposition.’ Malcolm Muggeridge immediately took to Arthur Ransome when he first met him in Cairo in 1929. Most people did. The philosopher R ...

Swank and Swagger

Ferdinand Mount: Deals with the Pasha, 26 May 2022

Promised Lands: The British and the Ottoman Middle East 
by Jonathan Parry.
Princeton, 453 pp., £35, April, 978 0 691 18189 9
Show More
Show More
... The​ story begins with a bombardment, and it more or less ends with one too. In the spring of 1799, Admiral Sidney Smith’s naval squadron bombarded the coast at Acre, in what is now Israel, and effectively put an end to Napoleon’s dream of marching on to India in the wake of Alexander the Great. Two centuries later, another demonstration of ‘shock and awe’ lit up the night skies over Baghdad and started the latest and most ill-fated intervention by the Western allies into the territory of the old Ottoman Empire ...

Parcelled Out

Ferdinand Mount: The League of Nations, 22 October 2015

The Guardians: The League of Nations and the Crisis of Empire 
by Susan Pedersen.
Oxford, 571 pp., £22.99, June 2015, 978 0 19 957048 5
Show More
Show More
... I have often thought​ of writing a history of own goals. It would try to identify the factors common to the great boomerangs of the past: the conceit that mistakes itself for cunning, the refusal to consider possible ricochets and reverberations, the baffled indignation when you see the ball hit the back of your own net. A delicious own goal was scored recently by the Labour MPs who nominated Jeremy Corbyn for the party leadership in the hope that he would draw off left-wing votes from the opponents of the candidate they actually wanted – which he did, and how! The most epoch-making own goal I can think of was scored by the German high command when it conveyed Lenin back to Russia in that sealed train ...

Adored Gazelle

Ferdinand Mount: Cherubino at Number Ten, 20 March 2008

Balfour: The Last Grandee 
by R.J.Q. Adams.
Murray, 479 pp., £30, November 2007, 978 0 7195 5424 7
Show More
Show More
... On a cycling holiday in Scotland A.C. Benson went to meet Arthur Balfour at Whittingehame. The prime minister was out practising on his private golf course. They saw him ‘approaching across the grass, swinging a golf club – in rough coat and waistcoat, the latter open; a cloth cap, flannel trousers; and large black boots, much too heavy and big for his willowy figure ...

Fraud Squad

Ferdinand Mount: Imposters, 2 August 2007

The Tichborne Claimant: A Victorian Sensation 
by Rohan McWilliam.
Continuum, 363 pp., £25, March 2007, 978 1 85285 478 2
Show More
A Romanov Fantasy: Life at the Court of Anna Anderson 
by Frances Welch.
Short Books, 327 pp., £14.99, February 2007, 978 1 904977 71 1
Show More
The Lost Prince: The Survival of Richard of York 
by David Baldwin.
Sutton, 220 pp., £20, July 2007, 978 0 7509 4335 2
Show More
Show More
... Sir Roger Tichborne is my name, I’m seeking now for wealth and fame, They say that I was lost at sea, But I tell them ‘Oh dear, no, not me.’ This ballad, sung in procession when the Tichborne Claimant appeared at the Grand Amalgamated Demonstration of Foresters at Loughborough in August 1872, neatly compresses the story of the most celebrated of all late Victorian causes ...

Nigels against the World

Ferdinand Mount: The EU Referendum, 19 May 2016

... The Leavers​ don’t seem to have much clue about what is to happen afterwards. Curious, considering so many of them have spent their adult lives agitating for this moment. Their approach appears to be a version of Napoleon’s battle strategy: ‘On se dégage, et puis on voit.’ What exactly is Out supposed to entail? How do they picture Britain’s relationship with the EU, and with the rest of the world, after they’ve secured a vote for Exit on 23 June? That’s far from clear, not least because of the bad blood between the rival Leave organisations ...

‘Just get us out’

Ferdinand Mount, 21 March 2019

... If you​ are able to name the last four leaders of the United Kingdom Independence Party, then you really ought to get out more. And no, none of them was or is Nigel Farage, although of the ten leaders the party has had in the past ten years, he did fill the post three times. Ukip has been the most successful single-issue movement in England since the suffragettes, but it has been spectacularly prone to fallings-out and chuckings-out ...

The Doctrine of Unripe Time

Ferdinand Mount: The Fifties, 16 November 2006

Having It So Good: Britain in the Fifties 
by Peter Hennessy.
Allen Lane, 740 pp., £30, October 2006, 0 7139 9571 8
Show More
Show More
... When did decaditis first strike? When did people begin to think that slicing the past up into periods of ten years was a useful thing to do? Historians used to deal in reigns and centuries, and it had long been agreed that these might have their own distinctive flavour, including the one that you happened to be living in – Tennyson in 1846 referred, ironically, to ‘a noble 19th-centuryism ...

Why we go to war

Ferdinand Mount, 6 June 2019

... You can see​ the twin slagheaps from almost every corner of the battlefield. If there is one memorable emblem of the Battle of Loos, it is these double crassiers, a little altered in outline since 1915 but as dominant as ever over the mournful plain. For British soldiers then, the other landmark was the huge pithead lift they nicknamed Tower Bridge, used as an observation post by the Germans, and then, after the Allies had at terrible cost secured the necessary few hundred yards, by the British for the same purpose, the terrain now honeycombed by the trenches and mines of warfare as well as by those of the prewar coal pits ...

Always the Same Dream

Ferdinand Mount: Princess Margaret, 4 January 2018

Ma’am Darling: 99 Glimpses of Princess Margaret 
by Craig Brown.
Fourth Estate, 423 pp., £16.99, September 2017, 978 0 00 820361 0
Show More
Show More
... You need​ to be over seventy now to remember the awful thrill of the announcement: ‘I would like it to be known that I have decided not to marry Group Captain Peter Townsend.’ For the older generation, Princess Margaret was the unlucky princess. She was our Diana: capricious, passionate, vindictive, doomed to fall in love with rotters, the breakaway royal who hung out with actors and rogues and who was frozen out by a cold-hearted court, finding contentment only in her hospital work and her two children ...

Strange Little Woman

Ferdinand Mount: First and Only Empress, 22 November 2018

Empress: Queen Victoria and India 
by Miles Taylor.
Yale, 388 pp., £25, August 2018, 978 0 300 11809 4
Show More
Eastern Encounters: Four Centuries of Paintings and Manuscripts from the Indian Subcontinent 
by Emily Hannam.
Royal Collections Trust, 256 pp., £45, June 2018, 978 1 909741 45 4
Show More
Splendours of the Subcontinent: A Prince’s Tour of India 1875-76 
by Kajal Meghani.
Royal Collections Trust, 216 pp., £29.95, March 2017, 978 1 909741 42 3
Show More
Show More
... Fid. Def; Ind. Imp.​ Were there ever two more outrageous inscriptions on our coinage? Henry VIII remained defender of that particular faith for all of nine years, before Pope Leo X revoked the title he had himself conferred and excommunicated the defecting monarch. The claim was rebooted by a Protestant Parliament in 1544, but it was not quite the same, to say the least ...

Superman Falls to Earth

Ferdinand Mount: Boris Johnson’s First Year, 2 July 2020

... Precaution​ and continence, as we know, are not qualities that characterise Boris Johnson in any sphere of his life. On 3 February, as a prelude to the Brexit trade talks, he gave a speech in the Painted Hall at Greenwich. It was a hymn to the glories of free trade and the spirit of Adam Smith, almost as baroque as James Thornhill’s enormous ceiling with its allegories of Time Exposing Truth and other desirable outcomes ...

No Innovations in My Time

Ferdinand Mount: George III, 16 December 2021

George III: The Life and Reign of Britain’s Most Misunderstood Monarch 
by Andrew Roberts.
Allen Lane, 763 pp., £35, October, 978 0 241 41333 3
Show More
Show More
... On​ Christmas Day 1788, the king hid his bedclothes under the bed, put a pillowcase on his head and hugged the pillow, which he called Prince Octavius and said had just been born (Prince Octavius had died five years earlier at the age of four). When George realised what day it was and that he had been kept in his straitjacket and not allowed to go to church, he suddenly went under the sofa, saying that he would converse with his saviour there, and that no one was to interrupt them ...

Easy-Going Procrastinators

Ferdinand Mount: Margot Asquith’s War, 8 January 2015

Margot Asquith’s Great War Diary 1914-16: The View from Downing Street 
edited by Michael Brock and Eleanor Brock, selected by Eleanor Brock.
Oxford, 566 pp., £30, June 2014, 978 0 19 822977 3
Show More
Margot at War: Love And Betrayal In Downing Street, 1912-16 
by Anne de Courcy.
Weidenfeld, 376 pp., £20, November 2014, 978 0 297 86983 2
Show More
The Darkest Days: The Truth Behind Britain’s Rush To War, 1914 
by Douglas Newton.
Verso, 386 pp., £20, July 2014, 978 1 78168 350 7
Show More
Show More
... hot to fight for it. Clark demonstrates beyond any doubt that the murder of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand was no random outrage, but an operation carefully planned by the higher reaches of the Serbian security service, certainly including its chief, the notorious ‘Apis’, and no doubt with a nod from the elusive, unstoppable prime minister, Nikola ...

Double-Barrelled Dolts

Ferdinand Mount: Mosley’s Lost Deposit, 6 July 2006

Blackshirt: Sir Oswald Mosley and British Fascism 
by Stephen Dorril.
Viking, 717 pp., £30, April 2006, 0 670 86999 6
Show More
Hurrah for the Blackshirts! Fascists and Fascism between the Wars 
by Martin Pugh.
Pimlico, 387 pp., £8.99, March 2006, 1 84413 087 8
Show More
Show More
... It is 26 years since Oswald Mosley breathed his last at the Temple de la Gloire, the athletic frame which he had once so proudly flexed now sadly bloated, his piercing eyes shrunk to peepholes, the sinister moustache long shaven. It is 66 years since Churchill brought his serious political career to an abrupt end by interning him in Brixton jail. Yet Mosley never quite stops haunting us ...

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences