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Fraud Squad

Ferdinand Mount: Imposters, 2 August 2007

The Tichborne Claimant: A Victorian Sensation 
by Rohan McWilliam.
Continuum, 363 pp., £25, March 2007, 978 1 85285 478 2
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A Romanov Fantasy: Life at the Court of Anna Anderson 
by Frances Welch.
Short Books, 327 pp., £14.99, February 2007, 978 1 904977 71 1
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The Lost Prince: The Survival of Richard of York 
by David Baldwin.
Sutton, 220 pp., £20, July 2007, 978 0 7509 4335 2
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... a bricklayer”.’ The report, later taken up by other papers, was based on a book by David Baldwin, who asserts that the elder prince, the deposed Edward V, died of natural causes and that, after Richard III was killed at the Battle of Bosworth, the younger, Richard of York, was taken to St John’s Abbey in Colchester, where he worked as a ...

The Last Witness

Colm Tóibín: The career of James Baldwin, 20 September 2001

... On 1 February 2001 eight writers came to pay homage to James Baldwin in the Lincoln Center in New York. The event was booked out and there were people standing outside desperately looking for tickets. The audience was strange; in general in New York an audience is either young or old (in the Lincoln Center, mainly old), black or white (in the Lincoln Center, almost exclusively white), gay or straight (in the Lincoln Center it is often hard to tell ...

White Man’s Heaven

Michael Wood, 7 February 1991

Talking at the Gates: A Life of James Baldwin 
by James Campbell.
Faber, 306 pp., £14.99, January 1991, 0 571 15391 7
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James BaldwinArtist on Fire 
by W.J. Weatherby.
Joseph, 412 pp., £17.99, June 1990, 0 7181 3403 6
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... It may be an accident of rereading that makes me want to put James Baldwin’s essays and novels together, to see The Fire Next Time and Giovanni’s Room, for example, as versions of each other. But the matched books do make interesting sense: more thoughtful sense, perhaps, than the already powerful separate stories ...

Socialism in One County

David Runciman: True Blue Labour, 28 July 2011

The Labour Tradition and the Politics of Paradox: The Oxford London Seminars 2010-11 
edited by Maurice Glasman, Jonathan Rutherford, Marc Stears and Stuart White.
www.soundings.org.uk, 155 pp., June 2011, 978 1 907103 36 0
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... as his press secretary a seasoned hack with no illusions about how the media work. He chose Tom Baldwin of the Times, by all accounts about as unillusioned as they get. I assume the point of hiring Baldwin was to have a News International insider who could mix it with the likes of Andy Coulson, although that’s an idea ...

Ante Antietam

Michael Irwin, 24 January 1980

Confederates 
by Thomas Keneally.
Collins, 427 pp., £5.75, October 1980, 0 00 222141 1
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Just Above My Head 
by James Baldwin.
Joseph, 597 pp., £6.95, October 1980, 0 7181 1764 6
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Winter Doves 
by David Cook.
Secker, 213 pp., £4.95, October 1980, 0 436 10673 6
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All Girls Together 
by Paula Neuss.
Duckworth, 141 pp., £5.95, November 1980, 0 7156 1454 1
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... were to judge him simply on the evidence of Just Above My Head, one would have to say that James Baldwin’s talents, though striking, are notably incomplete. He is like an oarsman who powerfully thrashes out a circle because one arm is stronger than the other. The starting-point of the story is the sudden death of a 39-year-old gospel singer named Arthur ...

Uncrownable King and Queen

Christopher Sykes, 7 February 1980

The Windsor Story 
by J. Bryan and Charles Murphy.
Granada, 602 pp., £8.95, November 1980, 0 246 11323 5
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... chose to present it, as the pathetic picture of two orphans of the storm, victimised by the hound Baldwin, the main facts on which it is based are widely known and the subject of little dispute. The authors, one of whom wrote the Duke’s autobiography and helped the Duchess with hers, can add much detail but little new basic knowledge, even though Freda ...

Chamberlain for our Time

José Harris, 20 December 1984

Neville Chamberlain. Vol. I: 1869-1929 
by David Dilks.
Cambridge, 645 pp., £20, November 1984, 0 521 25724 7
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... business,’ observed his diametrical opposite, Lloyd George. Volume One of the new biography by David Dilks uses the voluminous Chamberlain diaries and letters drawn upon by Feiling, but supplements them with a mass of public and private archives not available in 1944. It elaborates in a quarter of a million words themes dealt with by Feiling in fifty ...

Diary

W.G. Runciman: Slums, Unemployment, Strikes and Party Politics, 23 June 1988

... running at over three million. And less of a fuss, if anything, was being made about it than when Baldwin was winning an overall Conservative majority of 247 seats in the General Election of 1935. Precise comparison is difficult because of the different bases on which the unemployment statistics are calculated. But there is no doubt that the National ...

Answering back

James Campbell, 11 July 1991

The Intended 
by David Dabydeen.
Secker, 246 pp., £13.99, February 1991, 0 436 20007 4
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Cambridge 
by Caryl Phillips.
Bloomsbury, 185 pp., £13.99, March 1991, 0 7475 0886 0
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Lucy 
by Jamaica Kincaid.
Cape, 176 pp., £11.99, April 1991, 0 224 03055 8
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... European literature,’ wrote David Dabydeen in his essay ‘On not being Milton: Nigger Talk in England Today’, ‘is littered with blacks like Man Friday, who falls to earth to worship Crusoe’s magical gun, or the savage in Conrad’s steamship.’ He could have added that American literature is too, from Uncle Tom to Nigger Jim to Porgy and Bess and Dilsey in The Sound and the Fury ...

Mount Amery

Paul Addison, 20 November 1980

The Leo Amery Diaries 
edited by John Barnes and David Nicholson, introduced by Julian Amery.
Hutchinson, 653 pp., £27.50, October 1980, 0 09 131910 2
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... to Milner at the Colonial Office, First Lord of the Admiralty, and Colonial Secretary in the Baldwin Cabinet of 1924-9. While others worried about strikes, inflation and the changing face of Britain, Amery’s imagination dwelt on Mosul, Singapore, or the incorporation of Antarctica in the Empire. For him, abroad was more real than home, the General ...

Dear George

Jonathan Parry, 22 December 1994

Curzon 
by David Gilmour.
Murray, 684 pp., £25, October 1994, 0 7195 4834 9
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... self-important, fussy, but sensitive to beauty, romance and alien cultures – who is uppermost in David Gilmour’s splendid new biography. Gilmour punctures the myth of the insufferably arrogant and despotically ‘un-English’ Curzon perpetuated by society gossip and by the hostile accounts of the Beaverbrook circle. Attendants at his Indian court did not ...

The great times they could have had

Paul Foot, 15 September 1988

Wallis: Secret Lives of the Duchess of Windsor 
by Charles Higham.
Sidgwick, 419 pp., £17.95, June 1988, 0 283 99627 7
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The Secret File of the Duke of Windsor 
by Michael Bloch.
Bantam, 326 pp., £14.95, August 1988, 9780593016671
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... Love Story of the Century’ it is assumed that the British Establishment, led by Stanley Baldwin and the Archbishop of Canterbury, could not stomach the idea of a monarch marrying a twice-divorced woman. The objections, it is said, were moral and religious. The truth is, however, that throughout the centuries archbishops and prime ministers have ...

Outcasts and Desperados

Adam Shatz: Richard Wright’s Double Vision, 7 October 2021

The Man Who Lived Underground 
by Richard Wright.
Library of America, 250 pp., £19.99, April, 978 1 59853 676 8
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... reputation declined, thanks in large part to another black American in Paris. In 1949 James Baldwin described Native Son as a modern-day Uncle Tom’s Cabin, ‘a continuation, a complement of that monstrous legend it was written to destroy’, arguing that Bigger Thomas ‘admits the possibility of his being subhuman’ and that Wright was no less ...

Eden and Suez

David Gilmour, 18 December 1986

Anthony Eden 
by Robert Rhodes James.
Weidenfeld, 665 pp., £16.95, October 1986, 0 297 78989 9
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Descent to Suez: Diaries 1951-56 
by Evelyn Shuckburgh, edited by John Charmley.
Weidenfeld, 380 pp., £14.95, October 1986, 0 297 78993 7
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Cutting the Lion’s Tail: Suez through Egyptian Eyes 
by Mohamed Heikal.
Deutsch, 242 pp., £12.95, October 1986, 0 233 97967 0
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The Suez Affair 
by Hugh Thomas.
Weidenfeld, 255 pp., £5.95, October 1986, 0 297 78953 8
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... men of exceptional talent’: It was an unfair comment, though not so unfair as his description of Baldwin as ‘a hole in the air’: yet it conveyed the view, subsequently shared by many, that with Eden the facade was more important than the interior, the appearance more impressive than the reality. People recognised his ability as a negotiator, skilfully ...

The Tax-and-Spend Vote

Ross McKibbin: Will the election improve New Labour’s grasp on reality?, 5 July 2001

... admitted it. A more thorough ideological overhaul seems more difficult. What the Tories need is a Baldwin figure, someone who can realign the Party to the social changes for which it is partly responsible, as Baldwin did with such skill in the 1930s. But Baldwin was a formidably talented ...

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