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Gosh, what am I like?

Rosemary Hill: The Revenge Memoir, 17 December 2020

Friends and Enemies: A Memoir 
by Barbara Amiel.
Constable, 592 pp., £25, October 2020, 978 1 4721 3421 9
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Diary of an MP’s Wife: Inside and Outside Power 
by Sasha Swire.
Little, Brown, 544 pp., £20, September 2020, 978 1 4087 1341 9
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... a woman in a red dress on a bar stool with the slogan: ‘You forget – but she remembers.’ Barbara Amiel and Sasha Swire both have retentive memories. Amiel goes so far as to list her friends and enemies at the back of the book, arranging them by country with a special ‘Borderline’ category within the UK ...

Other People’s Capital

John Lanchester: Conrad and Barbara Black, 14 December 2006

Conrad and Lady Black: Dancing on the Edge 
by Tom Bower.
Harper, 436 pp., £20, November 2006, 0 00 723234 9
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... the Securities and Exchange Commission. It is as if Black were never knowingly unbombastic. At Barbara Amiel’s 60th birthday party, he stood up and gave a speech in praise of his spouse. ‘The little woman’s body is agile and youthful. I’ve seen her naked, and it’s all natural.’ It would be nice to know exactly how many people in the ...

A Different Sort of Tory

Ronald Stevens: Max Hastings, 12 December 2002

Editor: An Inside Story of Newspapers 
by Max Hastings.
Macmillan, 398 pp., £20, October 2002, 0 333 90837 6
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... the abuse of privilege represented by the rambling, almost unreadable articles by Black’s wife, Barbara Amiel, usually about Israel and usually in the prime feature position. A proprietor is entitled to use his paper to promote his own opinions but using it to let his wife promote hers is uxorious overindulgence that is hard to forgive. At one point in ...

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