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Late Deceiver

Robert Blake, 17 September 1981

Anthony Eden 
by David Carlton.
Allen Lane, 528 pp., £20, August 1981, 0 7139 0829 7
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... to have fallen on Robert Rhodes James. If so, it is an excellent decision. Meanwhile Mr David Carlton has produced a scholarly, well-written work of some five hundred pages. The author admits very fairly that it is in the nature of an interim verdict since the official records of the 1950s, including the Suez crisis, are closed under the Thirty ...

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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... moustache’. This view has been assailed, from opposite angles, by both of Eden’s biographers. David Carlton* is critical of many aspects of Eden’s career, and argues that his views on foreign policy in the Thirties were less wise and consistent than is usually believed. Robert Rhodes James, however, not only endorses the traditional appreciation of ...

Praising God

David Underdown, 10 June 1993

Going to the Wars: The Experience of the British Civil Wars 1638-1651 
by Charles Carlton.
Routledge, 428 pp., £25, October 1992, 0 415 03282 2
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... form the subject of this book. Rather than provide a narrative account of the fighting, Charles Carlton tries to convey the flavour of the wars as combatants and non-combatants experienced them. He follows current fashion by treating the fighting in England, Ireland and Scotland as part of a single struggle, and shows that in all three kingdoms the wars ...

Dear Mohamed

Paul Foot, 20 February 1997

Sleaze: The Corruption of Parliament 
by David Leigh and Ed Vulliamy.
Fourth Estate, 263 pp., £9.99, January 1997, 1 85702 694 2
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... network of helpful politicians was about to be exposed when Central Television and its new owner Carlton pulled the plug. The booking for the Spanish castle was cancelled: there were to be no more meetings. No reason was given to the programme-makers for the sudden managerial order to stop everything and destroy the tapes of what had so far been ...

The other side have got one

Ian Gilmour: Lady Thatcher’s Latest, 6 June 2002

Ideologies of Conservatism: Conservative Political Ideas in the 20th Century 
by E.H.H. Green.
Oxford, 309 pp., £25, February 2002, 0 19 820593 7
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Statecraft: Strategies for a Changing World 
by Margaret Thatcher.
HarperCollins, 486 pp., £25, April 2002, 0 00 710752 8
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... too close to it may in many cases be destructive. Circumstances must come in.’ In the 18th, David Hume believed that ‘parties from principle, especially abstract speculative principle’, were ‘perhaps the most extraordinary and unaccountable phenomenon’ that had yet appeared, and that ‘all general maxims in politics ought to be established with ...

Vote for the Beast!

Ian Gilmour: The Tory Leadership, 20 October 2005

... that in Germany Angela Merkel was nearly flattened herself for having allegedly espoused it. David Davis has promised not to swerve to the right, but as he is already standing on the right touchline, that does not mean much. According to David Cameron, one of the other candidates, Davis is a man of great ...

Diary

Paul Foot: The Buttocks Problem, 5 September 1996

... could invite to his study for extra-curricular supervision. After reading this book, I telephoned David Blackie, who now runs a computer language course in Bedfordshire, and who was unlucky enough to be patronised by Trench at Bradfield in the early Sixties. Blackie is quoted by Peel as criticising Trench’s ‘penchant for unrestricted and unsupervised ...

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 ...

Homely Virtues

David Cannadine, 4 August 1983

London: The Unique City 
by Steen Eiler Rasmussen.
MIT, 468 pp., £7.30, May 1982, 0 262 68027 0
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Town Planning in London: The 18th and 19th Centuries 
by Donald Olsen.
Yale, 245 pp., £25, October 1982, 0 300 02914 4
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The English Terraced House 
by Stefan Muthesius.
Yale, 278 pp., £12.50, November 1982, 0 300 02871 7
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London as it might have been 
by Felix Barker and Ralph Hyde.
Murray, 223 pp., £12.50, May 1982, 0 7195 3857 2
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... reaching its apogee in those early 19th-century extravaganzas in Belgravia, Regent’s Park and Carlton House Terrace. It was also adopted by the highly emulative middle classes, who produced their own provincial versions in spas like Bath, Clifton, Cheltenham and Leamington, and in resorts like Brighton, Folkestone, Eastbourne and St Leonards. By the ...

Do your homework

David Runciman: What’s Wrong with Theresa May, 16 March 2017

Theresa May: The Enigmatic Prime Minister 
by Rosa Prince.
Biteback, 402 pp., £20, February 2017, 978 1 78590 145 4
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... This​ is a dry and dutiful book which reads like a ghost story. The person being haunted is David Cameron. Theresa May grew up in a Cotswolds village called Church Enstone, where her father was vicar for much of the 1960s. The vicarage is within five miles of what became Cameron’s constituency home when he was MP for Witney and is roughly the same distance from what is now Soho Farmhouse, a members’ club, a little piece of the metropolis that is a haven for the Chipping Norton set ...

Diary

Stephen Sedley: Judges’ Lodgings, 11 November 1999

... came to Balliol as a Rhodes Scholar from New Zealand in 1928. He boxed, rowed and through the Carlton Club became a protégé of Nancy Astor. Their friendship continued, with some alarming contact with a blood-and-nation group called the English Mistery and the offer by an emissary of the Duke of Devonshire of the safe Tory seat of Eastbourne, until the ...

The Precarious Rise of the Gulf Despots

Nicolas Pelham: Tyrants of the Gulf, 22 February 2018

... as too important to be touched, and locked them up in Riyadh’s most luxurious hotel, the Ritz-Carlton. They included Mutaib bin Abdullah, the son of the previous king and the head of the National Guard, a force of more than 100,000 drawn from the tribes. There were several media barons, including Walid Ibrahim, a brother-in-law of King Fahd, who founded ...

The Scene on the Bridge

Lili Owen Rowlands: Françoise Gilot, 19 March 2020

Life with Picasso 
by Françoise Gilot and Carlton Lake.
NYRB, 384 pp., $17.95, June 2019, 978 1 68137 319 5
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... decade-long relationship. First published in 1964 and written with the American critic and curator Carlton Lake, the book is based on conversations he and Gilot had over the course of several years, beginning in 1955. The end result, which Lake cross-referenced with Gilot’s journals and the letters from Picasso she had kept, follows a roughly chronological ...

Phantom Gold

John Pemble: Victorian Capitalism, 7 January 2016

Forging Capitalism: Rogues, Swindlers, Frauds and the Rise of Modern Finance 
by Ian Klaus.
Yale, 287 pp., £18.99, January 2015, 978 0 300 18194 4
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... went on nevertheless to become a member of the London County Council, a Tory MP and member of the Carlton Club, a magistrate and a member of the Royal Cinque Ports and Royal Temple Yacht Clubs. Klaus’s picture​ of rampant dishonesty and hypocrisy is immensely plausible. But is it true? Because it’s all so familiar, there’s clearly a risk of reading as ...

Warrior, Lover, Villain, Spiv

Tom Crewe: Dance Halls, 7 January 2016

Going to the Palais: A Social and Cultural History of Dancing and Dance Halls in Britain, 1918-60 
by James Nott.
Oxford, 327 pp., £65, September 2015, 978 0 19 960519 4
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... of what it felt like to step onto that gleaming floor, with its fizzing alchemy. I had to look in David Kynaston’s Family Britain to find Steven Berkoff, a frequenter of the Tottenham Royal in the 1950s, who said that in the palais ‘you were who you wished to be – warrior, lover, Jimmy Cagney, Tony Curtis, villain, spiv, leader, loner, heavy, Beau ...

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