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Thatcherism

Gordon Brown

2 February 1989
Thatcherism 
edited by Robert Skidelsky.
Chatto, 214 pp., £18, November 1988, 0 7011 3342 2
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The Hard Road to Renewal: Thatcherism and the Crisis of the Left 
by Stuart Hall.
Verso, 283 pp., £24.95, December 1988, 0 86091 199 3
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... ambition and postponed satisfaction, duty and patriotism.’ It is on this aspect that Anthony King and Ivor Crewe concentrate in the Skidelsky collection. Margaret Roberts moved from her Anglo-Poujadist origins via Oxford, the lab and the bar to eventual leadership and Gaullist ambitions, more honoured in rhetoric than in achievement. The ...

This Way to the Ruin

David Runciman: The British Constitution

7 February 2008
The British Constitution 
by Anthony King.
Oxford, 432 pp., £25, November 2007, 978 0 19 923232 1
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... Does Britain need a written constitution? Of course it does, which is why, as Anthony King points out at the start of this readable and illuminating book, it has one already. Whatever its detractors might think, Britain is not some folkloric society governed according to immemorial custom on the nod and the wink of the people in the know ...

Famous Four

R.W. Johnson

30 November 1995
SDP: The Birth, Life and Death of the Social Democratic Party 
by Ivor Crewe and Anthony King.
Oxford, 611 pp., £25, November 1995, 0 19 828050 5
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... analysis of the British Parliamentary élite which made very evident both the decline of direct working-class representation among Labour MPs and the rise of an upwardly mobile middle class. As I ploughed through one biography after another, however, I became painfully aware of the generational limits to mobility. The perfect stereotype of meritocratic success ...

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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... of Henry VIII. In 1968, Professor Scarisbrick’s great work dramatically revised our thinking about the bloat King. Three years later appeared Lacey Baldwin Smith’s rich and racy study of the King’s character, taken from the viewpoint of old age and subtitled ‘The Mask of ...

Cowboy Coups

Phillip Knightley

10 October 1991
Smear! Wilson and the Secret State 
by Stephen Dorrill and Robin Ramsay.
Fourth Estate, 502 pp., £20, August 1991, 9781872180687
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... from the office’ who had a story which might interest the Sunday Times, where I was then working. There was another guest, an aristocratic young man from the City whose role appeared to be that of prompting the MI5 officer – for that is what I took the man from ‘the office’ to be – when he hesitated over a real or pretended indiscretion. The ...

King Cling

Julian Bell: Kings and Collectors

5 April 2018
Charles I: King and Collector 
Royal Academy, London, until 15 April 2018Show More
Charles II: Art and Power 
Queen’s Gallery/London, until 13 May 2018Show More
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... Perched​ on one platform, King Charles I; perched on another, the Dutch painter Daniel Mytens; lowered in between them, a canvas some two feet taller than the king, who was reportedly of small stature. If, as an inscription on the finished portrait insists, the likeness was painted ad vivum, then this might have been the way to do it ...

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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... does not set out to provide many revelations, although the element of revelation is not wholly lacking – which is as it should be. The ceremonial, and dangerous, Investiture at Caernarvon came immediately after the joint BBC/IBA film of the Royal Family at home. Anthony Holden suggests that, when watching the ...
18 July 1985
The Transformation of Spain: From Franco to the Constitutional Monarchy 
by David Gilmour.
Quartet, 306 pp., £12.95, March 1985, 9780704324619
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... Spanish version of Le Canard Enchaîné, went as follows: the young prince Felipe asks the king, whether there will be a public holiday when Franco dies. Yes, he replies. And, papa, will there be a holiday when you are declared king? Yes, says the king. And, papa, will there be a ...
17 April 1986
The Fisher King 
by Anthony Powell.
Heinemann, 256 pp., £9.95, April 1986, 0 434 59926 3
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... he has if he were not immediately and locally real to the audience as he stands in black in the king’s presence chamber. After that moment he can be or become anything the reader or viewer fancies. Timon of Athens, on the other hand, seems to have been present only as an idea to Shakespeare from the very beginning, with the result that he never achieves ...

The King and I

Alan Bennett

30 January 1992
... the 19th century to task for writing history with one eye on the future, and in particular for taking as the only path through the past the development of democratic institutions. On the Whig interpretation, historical characters got a tick if they were on the side of liberty (Cromwell, Chatham), a cross (Charles I, James II) if they held up the march of ...

A British Bundesrat?

Colin Kidd: Scotland and the Constitution

16 April 2014
... referendum in Scotland this September, it will be followed by an extensive inquest into the workings of the British constitution. In some quarters inquiries have already started. The Political and Constitutional Reform Select Committee of the House of Commons issued a report in March last year titled Do We Need a Constitutional Convention for the UK? The ...

Bonté Gracieuse!

Mary Beard: Astérix Redux

21 February 2002
Asterix and the Actress 
by Albert Uderzo, translated by Anthea Bell.
Orion, 48 pp., £9.99, April 2001, 0 7528 4657 4
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... Pilote (which, like Mad, was aimed at adults rather than children). Pilote had the financial backing of Radio Luxembourg; and the instant success of the magazine and its cast of characters can hardly have been unconnected with the barrage of publicity provided by the radio station.Their first fully-fledged book, Astérix le Gaulois, appeared in 1961; and at ...

Musical Beds

D.A.N. Jones

30 December 1982
On Going to Bed 
by Anthony Burgess.
Deutsch, 96 pp., £4.95, August 1982, 0 233 97470 9
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The End of the World News 
by Anthony Burgess.
Hutchinson, 398 pp., £8.95, October 1982, 0 09 150540 2
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This Man and Music 
by Anthony Burgess.
Hutchinson, 192 pp., £7.95, September 1982, 0 09 149610 1
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... Thrice has Anthony Burgess begun a novel in bed, with intimations of impropriety and guilt. Getting out of the dreadful thing was the problem posed for the bold bigamist of Beds in the East, the third volume in his Malayan trilogy: ‘Either side of the bed was the wrong side. True it was possible to get out of it by inching slowly forward, on one’s fat brown rump, to the foot; but that, for some reason, often woke both of them ...

Eye Contact

Peter Campbell: Anthony van Dyck

16 September 1999
Anthony van Dyck 1599-1641 
by Christopher Brown and Hans Vlieghe.
Royal Academy, 360 pp., £22.50, May 1999, 9780847821969
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Anthony van Dyck: A Life, 1599-1641 
by Robin Blake.
Constable, 435 pp., £25, August 1999, 9780094797208
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... liberally, since his house was frequented by the highest nobility, following the lead of the King, who used to visit him and took pleasure in watching him paint and spending time with him. In magnificence he rivalled Parrhasius, keeping servants, carriages, horses, musicians, singers and clowns, who entertained all the dignitaries, knights and ladies who ...

Diary

Jerry Fodor: The Elton John and Tim Rice reworking of Aida

30 March 2000
... visiting Russian mezzos who seem to be everywhere these days.) It occurs to me to write to Voigt asking whether she would like to come along to see this new version; her reaction would be worth hearing. Understand, I’ve never met the woman. Offering to take someone I don’t know to an event that she most likely does not wish to attend – especially someone ...

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