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Diary

Tam Dalyell: Yesterday’s News, 18 September 1986

... over Westlands were attributed to those civil servants such as Mr Bernard Ingham and Mr Charles Powell whom Mrs Thatcher sees many times each day. Isn’t this something we should be concerned about? Three decades after Crichel Down, however, all the House of Commons and the country seem to do is to shrug its collective shoulders. Part of the ...

Diary

Peter Clarke: True or False?, 16 August 1990

... gun which marked him as not so much an adroit apprentice to Thatcher as a faithful disciple of Powell – Enoch Powell, that is. For the second extraordinary record of Government thinking which this affair has released again bears the label, His Master’s Voice. When that dispassionately discreet civil servant ...

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 contest ...

Bring on the crooners

Sebastian Balfour, 6 June 1996

Juan Carlos of Spain: Self-Made Monarch 
by Charles Powell.
Macmillan, 253 pp., £13.99, January 1996, 9780333649299
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The Government and Politics of Spain 
by Paul Heywood.
Macmillan, 331 pp., £42.50, November 1995, 0 333 52058 0
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... an immensely popular figure among a people who long ago lost any instinctive respect for monarchy. Charles Powell’s new portrait of Juan Carlos as a self-made monarch is generous in the degree of clairvoyance and sense of purpose he claims for a young man who had been feeling his way towards a parliamentary monarchy through the labyrinthine politics 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 life ...

Rubbishing the revolution

Hugo Young, 5 December 1991

Thatcher’s People 
by John Ranelagh.
HarperCollins, 324 pp., £15.99, September 1991, 0 00 215410 2
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Staying Power 
by Peter Walker.
Bloomsbury, 248 pp., £16.99, October 1991, 0 7475 1034 2
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... Alfred Sherman to Denis Thatcher: the Institute of Economic Affairs competing the while with Enoch Powell for the role of the enduring spiritual godfather whose time had come. Ranelagh’s book is badly organised. Having begun as an attempt to fulfil its claim to unveil ‘Thatcher’s people’, it degenerates into a swift and unrevealing account of the later ...

Delivering the Leadership

Nick Cohen: Get Mandy, 4 March 1999

Mandy: The Authorised Biography of Peter Mandelson 
by Paul Routledge.
Simon and Schuster, 302 pp., £17.99, January 1999, 9780684851754
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... links between environment and consciousness in this affair. After Mandelson resigned, Lady Carla Powell wailed publicly about the traumatic treatment of her confidant and soul mate. Mandelson had stayed with her while his Notting Hill base was redesigned. Her husband, Sir Charles Powell, was Margaret Thatcher’s ...

Kindness rules

Gavin Millar, 8 January 1987

A Life in Movies 
by Michael Powell.
Heinemann, 705 pp., £15.95, October 1986, 9780434599455
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All Our Yesterdays: 90 Years of British Cinema 
edited by Charles Barr.
BFI, 446 pp., £12.95, October 1986, 0 85170 179 5
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... Though it does not say so, Michael Powell’s 700-page autobiography is merely the first volume of a work which Powell rather surprisingly tells us is ‘what my mother would have wished and what I was born for’. Surprising not for the reference to his mother, since he always speaks of her with the greatest affection and respect, but for the seeming dedication to letters in a man who never ceases to proclaim his lifelong devotion to images ...

You Know Who You Are

Colin Kidd: About Last Year, 25 January 2018

Fall Out: A Year Of Political Mayhem 
by Tim Shipman.
William Collins, 559 pp., £25, November 2017, 978 0 00 826438 3
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... lines have become increasingly blurred since the era of Thatcher’s courtiers Bernard Ingham and Charles Powell (both, harmlessly at first glance, career civil servants), and then of Blair’s media manager, the former Mirror journalist Alastair Campbell, who was given special executive powers to command civil servants by an order of the Privy ...

At the Wallace Collection

Peter Campbell: Anthony Powell’s artists, 26 January 2006

... of honour in Dancing to the Music of Time, an exhibition about the life and work of Anthony Powell. The painting is powerful but decorous. Apollo’s chariot, high in the sky, drives away the clouds of night. The daylight it brings falls only indirectly on the figures below: four dancers (representing the seasons), Time (whose lyre provides the ...

Standing at ease

Robert Taubman, 1 May 1980

Faces in My Time 
by Anthony Powell.
Heinemann, 230 pp., £8.50, March 1980, 0 434 59924 7
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... At the beginning of this volume Anthony Powell marries into the Pakenham family, which has some resemblance, he discloses, to the Tollands in his sequence of novels A Dance to the Music of Time. By the end, he has written the first of those novels, A Question of Upbringing. Intervening, the war years provide his main subject, and one sees how closely – the Welsh regiment in Northern Ireland, command of the Defence Platoon at Div HQ, transfer to Military Intelligence and liaison with Allied and Neutral military attachés at the War Office – Mr Powell’s own story has been anticipated by Jenkins in the novels ...

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 ...

Diary

Christopher Hitchens: Men (and Women) of the Year, 14 December 1995

... must have been picked some time ago. The ‘outstanding achievement’ prize goes to General Colin Powell, and will be presented by Barbara Walters. The ‘humanitarian’ award goes to Diana Spencer and will be presented by Henry Kissinger. In other words, a single well-placed grenade could remove the whole beating heart of the international celebrity ...

Northern Irish Initiatives

Charles Townshend, 5 August 1982

... the end of the debate on the Northern Ireland Constitution Bill in the House of Commons Enoch Powell produced a document which purported to prove the existence of clandestine agreements between the Northern Ireland Office and the Irish Government. The document showed, he said, that the Conservatives had reneged on the policy of integration with Britain on ...

Six Scotches More

Michael Wood: Anthony Powell, 8 February 2001

A Writer's Notebook 
by Anthony Powell.
Heinemann, 169 pp., £14.99, February 2001, 0 434 00915 6
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... to check page proofs against finished copies of books, and I do, I will. But the proofs of Anthony Powell’s A Writer’s Notebook provide, along with numerous unimportant oddities of phrase and spelling which seem to be errors of transcription from script to voice to type to print (‘I would like to thank my wife, who read the manuscript book onto tape, and ...

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