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By San Carlos Water

Neal Ascherson

18 November 1982
Authors take sides on the Falklands 
edited by Cecil Woolf and Jean Moorcroft Wilson.
Cecil Woolf, 144 pp., £4.95, August 1982, 0 900821 63 9
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The Falklands War: The Full Story 
by the Sunday Times ‘Insight’ Team.
Deutsch and Sphere, 276 pp., £2.50, October 1982, 0 233 97515 2
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The Winter War: The Falklands 
by Patrick Bishop and John Witherow.
Quartet, 153 pp., £2.95, September 1982, 0 7043 3424 0
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Iron Britannia: Why Parliament waged its Falklands war 
by Anthony Barnett.
Allison and Busby, 160 pp., £2.95, November 1982, 0 85031 494 1
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Falklands/Malvinas: Whose Crisis? 
by Martin Honeywell.
Latin American Bureau, 135 pp., £1.95, September 1982, 0 906156 15 7
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Los Chicos de la Guerra 
by Daniel Kon.
Editorial Galerna, Buenos Aires, August 1982
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A Message from the Falklands: The Life and Gallant Death of David Tinker, Lieut RN 
compiled by Hugh Tinker.
Junction, 224 pp., £3.50, November 1982, 0 86245 102 7
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... it turned out to sea and gathered speed. This was the land-based Exocet missile which struck HMS Glamorgan in the flight deck, killing 13 men, among them a young Naval lieutenant named David Tinker. His father, HughTinker, has collected and edited David’s letters home. He has done so not just to make a memorial to his son, but to let a dead man testify: for both father and son came to ...
8 December 1994
John Betjeman: Letters, Vol. I, 1926-1951 
edited by Candida Lycett Green.
Methuen, 584 pp., £20, April 1994, 0 413 66950 5
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... Darling Colonel’) about how he walked into a confessional thinking it was the way out of the church, he winds up the anecdote: ‘I did enjoy myself. I did like laughing. Tell wheezy old Hugh about that confessional.’ But on the whole he avoids Nancy Mitford’s habit of breaking off in mid-letter to make sure her correspondents are shrieking. Many of Betjeman’s letters, especially ...

Swiping at Suburbs

Andrew Saint: The course of British urbanism

31 March 2005
Building Jerusalem: The Rise and Fall of the Victorian City 
by Tristram Hunt.
Weidenfeld, 432 pp., £25, June 2004, 0 297 60767 7
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... pragmatic end of the Labour Party, Harold Wilson, Manny Shinwell and Peter Mandelson’s mother, Mary, while Hampstead proper attracted ‘more self-consciously intellectual’ politicians such as Hugh Gaitskell, Douglas Jay and Michael Foot. Here is unmasked the latent snobbery of the anti-suburbans. The great merit of the garden suburb is that it brought order, grace and amenity to something that ...

Born to Lying

Theo Tait: Le Carré

3 December 2015
John le Carré: The Biography 
by Adam Sisman.
Bloomsbury, 652 pp., £25, October 2015, 978 1 4088 2792 5
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... Daily Telegraph that he ‘had letters from lawyers arriving every day. It was probably the worst time of my life.’ Cornwell agreed to co-operate with Sisman after reading his last book, a Life of Hugh Trevor-Roper. In an intriguingly cagey introduction, Sisman describes the resulting deal. Cornwell would give him long interviews, access to his archives, and a list of introductions. ‘I was to ...

Eels in Their Pockets

Nick Richardson: Poaching

17 December 2015
The Last English Poachers 
by Bob Tovey and Brian Tovey, with John McDonald.
Simon & Schuster, 288 pp., £16.99, May 2015, 978 1 4711 3567 5
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... uses raisins to catch pheasants like Danny’s dad in Roald Dahl’s Danny the Champion of the World. Danny’s dad stuffs the raisins with sleeping pills then rakes in the snoozing birds; Little Hugh, another of Niall’s poaching mentors, spikes his bait with booze to get a similar result. I Walked by Night (1935), a memoir edited by Lilias Rider Haggard, situates the poacher in a rural-gothic ...

Sexual Tories

Angus Calder

17 May 1984
The Common People: A History from the Norman Conquest to the Present 
by J.F.C. Harrison.
Croom Helm and Flamingo, 445 pp., £12.95, March 1984, 0 7099 0125 9
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British Society 1914-45 
by John Stevenson.
Allen Lane/Penguin, 503 pp., £16.95, March 1984, 0 7139 1390 8
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The World We Left Behind: A Chronicle of the Year 1939 
by Robert Kee.
Weidenfeld, 369 pp., £11.95, April 1984, 0 297 78287 8
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Wigan Pier Revisited: Poverty and Politics in the Eighties 
by Beatrix Campbell.
Virago, 272 pp., £4.50, April 1984, 0 86068 417 2
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... liberate us from the ‘tyranny of literary sources’, and computers can process statistics which help us to reconstruct Early Modern family life. So Harrison reproaches his own profession, quoting Hugh Trevor-Roper to the effect that historians in general are great toadies of power. They could have written the history of the common people, but have chosen not to. ‘The historian shuts himself off ...
4 November 1993
Merchants and Revolution: Commercial Change, Political Conflict and London’s Overseas Traders 1550-1653 
by Robert Brenner.
Cambridge, 734 pp., £40, March 1993, 0 521 37319 0
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TheNature of the English Revolution 
by John Morrill.
Longman, 466 pp., £32, June 1993, 0 582 08941 7
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... about the period than any of his contemporaries. To read Merchants and Revolution is to realise how far revisionist histories – for all the acuity of their negative insights – have tended to tinker at the edges of existing stocks of positive knowledge, truffling in official holdings. Brenner’s book opens another world. No less striking is the way Merchants and Revolution restores narrative to ...

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