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Hons and Wets

D.A.N. Jones, 6 December 1984

The House of Mitford 
by Jonathan Guinness and Catherine Guinness.
Hutchinson, 604 pp., £12.95, November 1984, 0 09 155560 4
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... eager to emulate the grandeur of their grandfathers. So it was quite a good idea for Jonathan Guinness (Nancy’s nephew) and his daughter Catherine to begin The House of Mitford with long chapters about the two grandfathers. Bertie (pronounced ‘Bartie’) Mitford and Thomas ‘Tap’ Bowles were both ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘No Country for Old Men’, 21 February 2008

No Country for Old Men 
directed by Joel Coen and Ethan Coen.
January 2008
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... if Tom Hanks is funnier in that film than our idea of Tom Hanks ought to allow, he’s not Alec Guinness. And what about Intolerable Cruelty (2003), with George Clooney and Catherine Zeta-Jones, which doesn’t look like a Coen Brothers movie because it doesn’t look as if it was directed by anybody? Still, they can’t ...

Irishness is for other people

Terry Eagleton: Enrique Vila-Matas, 19 July 2012

Dublinesque 
by Enrique Vila-Matas, translated by Anne McLean and Rosalind Harvey.
Harvill Secker, 245 pp., £16.99, June 2012, 978 1 84655 489 6
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... airport in the early days of air travel to defrost pilots arriving from across the Atlantic. Even Guinness is no longer locally owned. As with most myths, there is a kernel of truth to the notion of Ireland as a breeder of fantasies. Culture – from Bono to Brian Friel, Heaney to Riverdance – is modern Ireland’s most remarkable export. There is a small ...

Suck, chéri

E.S. Turner: The history of sweets, 29 October 1998

Sugar-Plums and Sherbet: A Prehistory of Sweets 
by Laura Mason.
Prospect, 250 pp., £20, June 1998, 0 907325 83 1
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... so have nine out of 11 factories. Are we really facing the end of liquorice torpedoes, pistols, Catherine wheels, bootlaces and old boots? The author knows better than to try to nominate the most popular sweet in history, but the Guinness Book of Records used to give the award to America’s Life Savers. A calculation ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: What I Didn’t Do in 2007, 3 January 2008

... It’s the home of the Lascelles family, an ancestor of which, John Lascelles, blew the gaffe on Catherine Howard, the king’s fifth wife, but was later culled himself in the purge of evangelicals during that dreadful monarch’s last years. I watch two of the now well-established red kites tumbling about the sky above the Harewood estate, home these days ...

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