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Reaganism

Anthony Holden, 6 November 1980

The United States in the 1980s 
edited by Peter Duignan and Alvin Rabushka.
Croom Helm, 868 pp., £14.95, August 1980, 0 8179 7281 1
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... Quite, said Buckley. ‘Just one such reply from Reagan deflates the article by Mr Holden on the “arcane aphorisms” of candidate Reagan.’ Though no botanist, and indeed blessed with a thinner recall of my schooldays than the rising septuagenarian, I rest my case. For an encephalograph on the brains behind Reagan it is necessary, with a ...

Sideburns

Mary Warnock, 7 February 1980

Charles, Prince of Wales 
by Anthony Holden.
Weidenfeld, 336 pp., £6.95, October 1980, 0 297 77662 2
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... 270 pages, excluding appendices. But of course the Prince of Wales is not ordinary; and much of Mr Holden’s book is not about the Prince but about the British Monarchy, its recent history and putative future. Prince Charles is certainly at the centre of the book; but the difficulties in the way of getting to know him (or any member of the Royal Family) are ...

Send them to Eton!

Linda Colley, 19 August 1993

The End of the House of Windsor: Birth of a British Republic 
by Stephen Haseler.
Tauris, 208 pp., £14.95, June 1993, 1 85043 735 1
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The Rise and Fall of the House of Windsor 
by A.N. Wilson.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 211 pp., £16.99, May 1993, 1 85619 354 3
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Royal Throne: The Future of the Monarchy 
by Elizabeth Longford.
Hodder, 189 pp., £16.99, April 1993, 0 340 58587 0
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Diana v. Charles 
by James Whitaker.
Signet, 237 pp., £14.99, May 1993, 0 670 85245 7
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The Tarnished Crown 
by Anthony Holden.
Bantam, 400 pp., £16.99, May 1993, 0 593 02472 9
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Inheritance: A Psychological History of the Royal Family 
by Dennis Friedman.
Sidgwick, 212 pp., £14.99, April 1993, 0 283 06124 3
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Raine and Johnnie: The Spencers and the Scandal of Althorp 
by Angela Levin.
Weidenfeld, 297 pp., £17.99, July 1993, 0 297 81325 0
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... that Charles will soldier on magnificently, but only if he shows Camilla the door. Conversely, Anthony Holden and A.N. Wilson want him to step down, but disagree over who should replace him. And Dennis Friedman puts the whole Windsor mess down to bad parenting, and believes that if only future royal mums stayed at home ‘the fatal flaw which appears ...

Short Cuts

James Francken: The Booker Prize shortlist, 2 November 2000

... shortlist was announced, he appeared on Channel 4’s Late Night Poker, seated at the table with Anthony Holden, Patrick Marber, Al Alvarez and Stephen Fry. It was a close, colourful game – Holden was the wiliest of the players and picked up seven grand. The stakes will be higher on Booker night, but it’s hard to ...

How did he get it done?

John Jones: Leigh Hunt’s sense of woe, 22 September 2005

Fiery Heart: The First Life of Leigh Hunt 
by Nicholas Roe.
Pimlico, 428 pp., £14.99, January 2005, 0 7126 0224 0
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The Wit in the Dungeon: A Life of Leigh Hunt 
by Anthony Holden.
Little, Brown, 448 pp., £20, January 2005, 0 316 85927 3
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... more tightly than the truth allows. Not that this has prevented him writing a considerable book. Anthony Holden deals with both halves of Hunt’s life in The Wit in the Dungeon, the title a pleasant theft from Byron, one of Leigh Hunt’s many visitors in prison. One says of an improvident friend or spendthrift offspring that he doesn’t know the ...

Olivier Rex

Ronald Bryden, 1 September 1988

Olivier 
by Anthony Holden.
Weidenfeld, 504 pp., £16, May 1988, 0 297 79089 7
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... Anthony Holden’s is the 16th book about Laurence Olivier, and his foreword tells of two more biographers, John Cottrell and Garry O’Connor, too intent on their own deadlines to discuss their common quarry with him. All this activity may puzzle the lay person. Holden’s final pages report Olivier alive, as well as can be expected at 81, residing tranquilly in the Sussex countryside, still swimming occasional lengths of his pool in the altogether and attending the first nights of the three children who have followed Joan Plowright and himself into the theatre ...

Visible Woman

James Shapiro: Sticking up for Shakespeare, 4 October 2007

Shakespeare’s Wife 
by Germaine Greer.
Bloomsbury, 406 pp., £20, September 2007, 978 0 7475 9019 4
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... of Shakespeare’s Wife, I can’t imagine that any biographer will ever again dare suggest (as Anthony Holden recently has) that Ann was ‘a homely wench’ who may have ‘set out to catch herself a much younger husband by seducing him’, or that Shakespeare married her only because she became pregnant after ‘a careless roll in the hay of a ...

Every inch a king

Antonia Fraser, 16 October 1980

Great Harry 
by Carolly Erickson.
Dent, 428 pp., £8.50, July 1980, 0 460 04366 8
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... lifeless. At times I was reminded by Dr Erickson’s style of such modern studies of royalty as Anthony Holden’s life of the Prince of Wales and Robert Lacey’s study of the present Queen, Majesty. The point about these books is that they are rather jolly. They may not tell you anything earth-shaking that you did not know before, since their main ...

Post-Modernism and the Law

Robert Post, 21 February 1991

Languages of Law: From Logics of Memory to Nomadic Masks 
by Peter Goodrich.
Weidenfeld, 353 pp., £30, August 1990, 0 297 82024 9
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Post-Modern Law: Enlightenment, Revolution and the Death of Man 
edited by Anthony Carty.
Edinburgh, 166 pp., £25, August 1990, 0 7486 0156 2
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... something quite different. This can most easily be seen in his extended discussion of Masterson v. Holden, a case involving two gay men arrested in 1986 for kissing and other ‘overt homosexual conduct’ at a bus stop in Oxford Street at 1.55 a.m. Two heterosexual couples who were passing by were offended, although the gay couple was ‘wholly unaware ...

A Bit of a Lush

Christopher Tayler: William Boyd, 23 May 2002

Any Human Heart 
by William Boyd.
Hamish Hamilton, 504 pp., £17.99, April 2002, 9780241141779
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... a number of books, contracts a number of marriages and meets just about everyone worth meeting. Anthony Powell and Henry Green are his contemporaries at Oxford; he takes tea with Ottoline Morrell and twits Virginia Woolf. Cyril Connolly and Evelyn Waugh are London acquaintances. Picasso sketches his portrait, Hemingway is a fellow war correspondent, and ...

Alas! Deceived

Alan Bennett: Philip Larkin, 25 March 1993

Philip Larkin: A Writer’s Life 
by Andrew Motion.
Faber, 570 pp., £20, April 1993, 0 571 15174 4
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... she is, right and beautiful!’) owes something to the sadistic headmistress of St Bride’s, Miss Holden. ‘As Pam finally pulled Marie’s tunic down over her black-stockinged legs Miss Holden, pausing only to snatch a cane from the cupboard in the wall, gripped Marie by her hair and, with strength lent by anger, forced ...

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