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Hm, hm and that was all

Rosemary Hill: Queen Mary, 6 December 2018

The Quest for Queen Mary 
by James Pope-Hennessy, edited by Hugo Vickers.
Zuleika, 335 pp., £25, September 2018, 978 1 9997770 3 6
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... notes in which he wrote everything ‘as it was … telling all the truth’. It is this text that Hugo Vickers has edited for publication with a combination of scholarship and panache that Pope-Hennessy would have appreciated. The result is as valuable as his brother predicted, a picture of European royalty at the crux of the 20th century, when Elvis ...

All hail, sage lady

Andrew O’Hagan: ‘The Crown’, 15 December 2016

... an endless round of lies and harassment, with the public’s addiction to fantasy the major spur. Hugo Vickers, the eminent historian or the historian of eminence, took to the Times the other day to state, among other things, that The Crown is inaccurate – FALSE – in its suggestion that Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip were charged by an elephant ...

Narcissism and its Discontents

Mary-Kay Wilmers, 21 February 1980

Smile Please: An Unfinished Autobiography 
by Jean Rhys.
Deutsch, 173 pp., £4.95, November 1980, 0 233 97213 7
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Jean Rhys: A Critical Study 
by Thomas Staley.
Macmillan, 140 pp., £10, November 1980, 0 333 24522 9
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My Blue Notebooks 
by Liane de Pougy, translated by Diana Athill.
Deutsch, 288 pp., £7.50, October 1980, 0 233 97141 6
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The Maimie Papers 
edited by Ruth Rosen and Sue Davidson.
Virago, 450 pp., £9.95, September 1980, 0 86068 114 9
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Gladys, Duchess of Marlborough 
by Hugo Vickers.
Weidenfeld, 299 pp., £8.95, September 1980, 0 297 77652 5
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... Staying in Castries for the wedding was a young man called Mr Kennaway. When he watches me I can see that he doesn’t think I am pretty. Oh God, let me be pretty when I grow up. Jean Rhys was 12 at the time of the wedding in Castries, on the island of St Lucia. At the age of six a photograph had been taken of her: she looked very pretty then in a new white dress ...

Not Even a Might-Have Been

Geoffrey Wheatcroft: Chips’s Adventures, 19 January 2023

Henry ‘Chips’ Channon: The Diaries 1918-38 
edited by Simon Heffer.
Hutchinson, 1024 pp., £35, March 2021, 978 1 78633 181 6
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Henry ‘Chips’ Channon: The Diaries 1938-43 
edited by Simon Heffer.
Hutchinson, 1120 pp., £35, September 2021, 978 1 78633 182 3
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Henry ‘Chips’ Channon: The Diaries 1943-57 
edited by Simon Heffer.
Hutchinson, 1168 pp., £35, September 2022, 978 1 5291 5172 5
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... But for all these cavils, the editing is a remarkable achievement. Heffer acknowledges the help of Hugo Vickers, a walking Almanach de Gotha, and the footnotes explaining every person mentioned constitute a work of scholarship in themselves.Reading these Diaries is both absorbing and time-consuming, not least because they lead the reader down so many ...

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