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Too Proud to Fight

David Reynolds: The ‘Lusitania’ Effect, 28 November 2002

Wilful Murder: The Sinking of the ‘Lusitania’ 
by Diana Preston.
Doubleday, 543 pp., £18.99, May 2002, 0 385 60173 5
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Lusitania: Saga and Myth 
by David Ramsay.
Chatham, 319 pp., £20, September 2001, 1 86176 170 8
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Woodrow Wilson 
by John Thompson.
Longman, 288 pp., £15.99, August 2002, 0 582 24737 3
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... deliberately sacrificed the Lusitania to draw the United States into the war. Both Diana Preston and David Ramsay deal briskly and effectively with this. Churchill and Jackie Fisher, the First Sea Lord, were preoccupied with the escalating political crisis over Gallipoli. The absence of British naval escorts for the Lusitania in the ...

It was all about the Russians

David French: The First Anglo-Afghan War, 5 April 2012

The Dark Defile: Britain’s Catastrophic Invasion of Afghanistan 1838-42 
by Diana Preston.
Walker, 307 pp., £21, February 2012, 978 0 8027 7982 3
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... moment it relinquished its empire in India in 1947, and at times actively engaged in its affairs. Diana Preston’s book focuses on one particular episode, the First Anglo-Afghan War of 1838-42. She shows how the expansion of the tsarist empire into Central Asia frightened the British administration in Calcutta into believing that the Russian advance ...

Bloody

Michael Church, 9 October 1986

The Children of the Souls: A Tragedy of the First World War 
by Jeanne Mackenzie.
Chatto, 276 pp., £14.95, June 1986, 9780701128470
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Voices from the Spanish Civil War: Personal Recollections of Scottish Volunteers in Republican Spain 1936-39 
edited by Ian MacDougall, by Victor Kiernan.
Polygon, 369 pp., £9.95, July 1986, 0 948275 19 7
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The Shallow Grave: A Memoir of the Spanish Civil War 
by Walter Gregory, edited by David Morris and Anthony Peters.
Gollancz, 183 pp., £10.95, June 1986, 0 575 03790 3
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Spanish Front: Writers on the Civil War 
edited by Valentine Cunningham.
Oxford, 388 pp., £15, July 1986, 0 19 212258 4
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The Spanish Cockpit 
by Franz Borkenau.
Pluto, 303 pp., £4.95, July 1986, 0 7453 0188 6
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The Spanish Civil War 1936-39 
by Paul Preston.
Weidenfeld, 184 pp., £10.95, June 1986, 0 297 78891 4
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Images of the Spanish Civil War 
by Raymond Carr.
Allen and Unwin, 192 pp., £14.95, July 1986, 0 04 940089 4
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... with the sansculottes ... But when they rush off to war – all professing knightly devotion to Diana Duff Cooper – the epistolary evidence compels a different response. They really were a special breed. ‘It will be Hell to be in it and Hell to be out of it,’ said Rupert Brooke, who sailed cheerfully off with three Coterie chums to the ...

Wounding Nonsenses

E.S. Turner, 6 February 1997

The Letters of Nancy Mitford and Evelyn Waugh 
edited by Charlotte Mosley.
Hodder, 531 pp., £25, October 1996, 0 340 63804 4
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... Court, where he corresponds with wealthy, witty ladies (Mitford takes turns with Ann Fleming and Diana Cooper) who keep him au fait with the doings of vile bodies in the world from which he has withdrawn. The postal service is so good that a letter from Mitford in postwar Paris telling of the latest liaison dangereuse can be on his desk the next day. She is ...

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