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Heart of Darkness

Christopher Hitchens

28 June 1990
Not Many Dead: Journal of a Year in Fleet Street 
by Nicholas Garland.
Hutchinson, 299 pp., £16.95, April 1990, 0 09 174449 0
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A Slight Case of Libel: Meacher v. Trelford and Others 
by Alan Watkins.
Duckworth, 241 pp., £14.95, June 1990, 0 7156 2334 6
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... and President Reagan in particular. Entry for 18 April 1986, Not Many Dead The success of Michael Moore’s film about Roger Smith and General Motors has aroused an envious spirit of emulation in my breast. ‘Conrad and Me’, a script which I hone and burnish in slack moments, has the following points of mild interest. In the summer of 1985, I wrote an ...

Phwoar!

Suzanne Moore: Amanda Platell

6 January 2000
Scandal 
by Amanda Platell.
Piatkus, 297 pp., £5.99, November 1999, 0 7499 3119 1
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... Dacre and John Witherow and Alan Rusbridger behave like this. Dominic Lawson may well have said to Charles Moore in some gentleman’s outfitters what Sharon says to Georgina: ‘Well, we can’t both buy this, can we, babe? And I know who looks best in it.’ Both women, you see, are competing for the attention of Douglas Holloway, the executive who will ...
8 November 2018
... the vast American cemetery at Romagne-sous-Montfaucon. The head of the US Commission of Fine Art, Charles Moore, insisted that American cemeteries in France not be designed in the British fashion, in phalanxes of headstones. Instead, they would be a combination of lawns, trees and crosses – parks for the dead and the living. The design of Romagne was ...

Conspire Slowly, Act Quickly

David Runciman: Thatcher Undone

2 January 2020
Margaret Thatcher: The Authorised Biography Vol. III: Herself Alone 
by Charles Moore.
Allen Lane, 1072 pp., £35, October 2019, 978 0 241 32474 5
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... minister halfway through a war?’It was not a coup, not even a very British one. But it was, as Charles Moore describes, the result of a very Tory conspiracy. Thatcher fell following the first ballot of a leadership election among Conservative MPs in which she secured more votes than her rival Michael Heseltine but not quite enough to prevent the ...

Squealing

Ian Buruma

13 May 1993
Gower: The Autobiography 
by David Gower and Martin Johnson.
Collins Willow, 256 pp., £14.99, September 1992, 0 00 218413 3
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... spectacle. But then neither is the squealing of toffs when they feel put upon. Only the other day, Charles Moore (Eton, Cambridge, Spectator, Telegraph) compared Old Etonians to persecuted Jews. Both the pulling and the squealing point to a society in distress, to a sense of national claustrophobia, to a place where too many closed doors promote envy ...

Properly Disposed

Emily Witt: ‘Moby-Duck’

30 August 2012
Moby-Duck: The True Story of 28,800 Bath Toys Lost at Sea 
by Donovan Hohn.
Union, 402 pp., £8.99, September 2012, 978 1 908526 02 1
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... with a sieve to determine the ratio of plastic particles to plankton. The boat is captained by Charles Moore, who ‘resembles the pioneers of oceanography, among the last of the natural sciences to professionalise for the simple reason that wealthy, swashbuckling, yacht-owning amateurs were often the only ones who could afford ship time at ...

Charles and Alfred

J.I.M. Stewart

17 December 1981
Studies in Tennyson 
edited by Hallam Tennyson.
Macmillan, 229 pp., £15, October 1981, 0 333 27884 4
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... The title page of this book tells us that it is ‘published to commemorate the centenary of Sir Charles Tennyson, the poet’s grandson and biographer, born 8 November 1879, died 22 June 1977’. Charles Tennyson was very far from being the most eccentric of all the Tennysons, but he is the most astonishing of them at least in one regard: that of enhanced, rather than merely sustained, activity in extreme old age ...

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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... and the first sign that he intended to have more of his own way came with the appointment of Charles Moore as Hastings’s deputy in 1989. Moore, though a relatively young man, was and is a rigidly unadventurous Tory with whom the retired colonels and colonial civil servants who had survived from the Hartwell era ...

Pioneers

Christopher Reid

3 September 1981
Some Americans: A Personal Record 
by Charles Tomlinson.
California, 134 pp., £6.50, June 1981, 0 520 04037 6
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... It is strange,’ Charles Tomlinson writes, ‘to have met the innovators of one’s time only when age had overtaken them.’ The innovators to whom he refers are those American poets – Ezra Pound, Marianne Moore, William Carlos Williams and others – whose work and moral example have been of importance to his own growth as a writer ...

Fear in Those Blue Eyes

David Runciman: Thatcher in Her Bubble

3 December 2015
Margaret Thatcher: The Authorised Biography Vol. II: Everything She Wants 
by Charles Moore.
Allen Lane, 821 pp., £30, October 2015, 978 0 7139 9288 5
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... Camp David, where she intended to remind Reagan of some hard political truths. Her principal aide, Charles Powell, drafted a memo in which he laid bare the core of the argument she would need to get across to the president (the emphasis comes from Thatcher’s annotations of the text): You will cause me very real political difficulties if you pursue your ...

Rat-a-tat-a-tat-a-tat-a-tat

David Runciman: Thatcher’s Rise

6 June 2013
Margaret Thatcher: The Authorised Biography. Vol. I: Not for Turning 
by Charles Moore.
Allen Lane, 859 pp., £30, April 2013, 978 0 7139 9282 3
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... who can keep going longest. But it does. That is one of the clear lessons from the first volume of Charles Moore’s exhaustive and exhausting authorised biography of Margaret Thatcher, which takes the story up to the Falklands War in 1982. The person on display here is not more intelligent than her rivals, or more principled. She chops and changes as ...
6 June 1996
A Peculiar Man: A Life of George Moore 
by Tony Gray.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 344 pp., £20, April 1996, 1 85619 578 3
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... George Moore, ‘daring’ novelist and absentee landlord, sage and humbug of Ebury Street, seemed born to be insulted. ‘An over-ripe gooseberry, a great big intoxicated baby, a satyr, a boiled ghost, a gosling’ – these were among the Dublin epithets collected by his fellow writer Susan Mitchell and here passed on by Tony Gray ...

Politicians in a Fix

David Runciman: The uses of referendums

10 July 2003
... against some recalcitrant minority either within or outside parliament. It doesn’t always work. Charles de Gaulle was the master of this kind of politics until he called one plebiscite too many in 1969 and was finished. It is also easy to forget that the first referendum held in the British Isles took place in Northern Ireland in 1973, on the question of ...

Why did it end so badly?

Ross McKibbin: Thatcher

18 March 2004
Margaret Thatcher. Vol. II: The Iron Lady 
by John Campbell.
Cape, 913 pp., £25, October 2003, 0 224 06156 9
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... is the second and final volume, is not the only one – and there will soon be an official one by Charles Moore. It will, however, be difficult to trump. Its argument is always fair and judicious: Thatcher-haters will be just as disappointed as devotees. The book begins in 1979, the year Thatcher became prime minister, and covers her active political ...

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