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“... The claim (in the blurb) that such revelations are ‘staggering’ is perhaps over-enthusiastic. Richardson, like most of his ilk, was naturally right-wing, and having been introduced to George Winter, ex-burglar, crime reporter and BOSS spy, and, more important, to Winter’s wife, Richardson was an obvious recruit for dirty tricks in London. He also plainly believed that his work for BOSS would ...”
“... A Scene on the Ice Near a Town’ (c.1615). My particular ideal was a frozen river where, bundled up in whatever came to hand, a newly liberated citizenry ventured onto the ice under a winter sky – and my mind would follow, knowing that this was the closest thing to freedom I could hope for. The skies above those frozen rivers could be translucent, almost blinding, touched with willow ...”
“... its having ‘too many opinions & “remarks” & not enough facts & documents’ would have welcomed the editorial scrupulousness and interpretative restraint of Horne’s Life in Letters. Lyndall Gordon also offers her book as a biographical experiment, but her assumptions about what counts as James’s ‘life’ are radically different. ‘James’s own letters,’ she announces at the outset ...”
“... any way possible – short of falling into the hands of Michael Winner – ‘to make money for my boys’: Mark Pearce, her second husband, and Alexander, the couple’s son, born in 1983. As Edmund Gordon says towards the beginning of his biography, Carter was never so widely acclaimed in life as she would be in the weeks and years after her death. The tributes were long, sometimes fulsome, always ...”
“... The departure of Frank Field, the enthusiastic reception by the Parliamentary Labour Party of Gordon Brown’s spending plans, together with the increasingly desperate attempts by the Government’s leading members, particularly the Prime Minister himself, to discover a Third Way, represent an ...”
“... she told her brother, ‘is an abnormally altruistic person, and I have realised lately that we have to fight against her selflessness as we would fight against a deadly disease’. The ‘great god Gordon’ Lameyer, a tall, handsome, American-jawed – I might as well say it – hunk, arrived in spring 1953, along with acceptances of three poems by Harper’s (though they didn’t take ‘Mad Girl ...”
“... it is Thatcher, because that is how she intended to sound. We know that this is literally true from the way in which, on becoming leader of the Conservative Party, she put herself in the hands of Gordon Reece, a former television producer, who knew just what needed to be done. The hair was wrong, too suburban: it was restyled. The clothes were wrong, too fussy: they were replaced. The voice was ...”
“... was staring at Foxe Basin. A shallow expanse of ocean the size of England, the basin usually freezes over by early October, enabling the Inuit to travel across to Baffin Island to hunt caribou. This winter, the local council in Igloolik was considering chartering a plane to take the hunters across the unfrozen sea. A few hours before I spoke with Immaroitok, I’d sailed through Fury and Hecla Strait ...”
“... that Britain would not join the euro during the current Parliament was taken. Aware of the increase in Euroscepticism from Philip Gould’s focus groups and daily readings of the Sun and the Mail, Gordon Brown’s press secretary, Charlie Whelan, and his economic adviser, Ed Balls, sent the Times a fax hinting at a major policy change while Whelan tried to persuade the Sun to go with the headline ...”
“... student he had feverish fantasies of a martyr’s passion and monastic dreams of taking off for mountain-top or desert in search of purification. It is curious to find that for five months in the winter of 1879-80 Laforgue, too, played at asceticism as a kind of stunt: ‘I acted the little Buddha on two eggs and a glass of water per day … At nineteen I dreamed of going out into the world barefoot ...”
“... but sympathetic to religious sentiment, can feel at home. In Melmoth, Perry’s new novel, the anachronistic traffic is productively reversed: the frame narrative takes place in Prague, in the winter of 2016-17, but the baroque prose and heavy Gothic furniture (crumbling churches, gathering jackdaws, a bound manuscript that gives off ‘an animal smell, like the leather was rotten’) conspire to ...”
“... Nine o’clock on a winter morning. I crunched my way through sand-dunes hardened and sheened with frost, then slithered over a sheet of ice. Under the ice, pale bubbles swelled and skittered away from my tread. The tideline ...”
“... possibly help. But it is also hard to avoid the thought that Blair is himself shirking the real question. He faced two serious and determined enemies during his time in Downing Street: al-Qaida and Gordon Brown. One, he concluded, represented a force so strong and rooted that it had to be uprooted and destroyed, since confrontation was inevitable; the only question was when and how. The other had to ...”
“... My worthiest ancestor, who in 1780 saved London from desolation – as I like to think – by ordering his redcoat militia to fire on the mob in the Gordon Riots, had another claim to notice. As a sheriff of London, Sir Barnard Turner was instrumental in abolishing Tyburn as a place of execution. In so doing he ended the tumultuous turnout of ruffians ...”
“... It sits at the top of the building, in the room where Ken Currie’s controversial Rivera-style murals of working-class history can be seen around the ceiling: but the speeches were made in the Winter Garden downstairs, where heavy rain dripping through the glass roof and a chill which gnawed one’s bowels did not dismay the two hundred people who had gathered to honour the man who from 1935 to ...”