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Gruff Embraces

Philip Purser, 21 October 1993

The Expense of Glory: A Life of John Reith 
by Ian McIntyre.
HarperCollins, 447 pp., £20, September 1993, 0 00 215963 5
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... Reading Ian McIntyre’s new Life of Reith I found myself longing for just one deed, one word, one sentiment from the great man which I could admire. In public office, notably as the architect and first Director-General of the BBC, he may have achieved a number of admirable ends, if fewer than pious legend attributes to him ...

Malvolio’s Story

Marilyn Butler, 8 February 1996

Dirt and Deity: A Life of Robert Burns 
by Ian McIntyre.
HarperCollins, 461 pp., £20, October 1995, 0 00 215964 3
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... Burns Night groupies, Scottish nationalists of the far left or right, and specialists in erotica. Ian McIntyre, a long-serving BBC producer and the biographer of Lord Reith, has no obvious prejudices but risks seeming too distanced from his subject. Unfortunately even this is a position well represented in the long history of Burns commentary. The ...

A Light-Blue Stocking

Helen Deutsch: Hester Lynch Salusbury Thrale Piozzi, 14 May 2009

Hester: The Remarkable Life of Dr Johnson’s ‘Dear Mistress’ 
by Ian McIntyre.
Constable, 450 pp., £25, November 2008, 978 1 84529 449 6
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... descended from Catrin of Berain, Mam Cymru (‘Mother of Wales’). Naming her is problematic. Ian McIntyre, in his imaginative and generous biography, simply omits surnames altogether. His subtitle, however, foregrounds a further complication. Hester Salusbury married first the wealthy brewer, MP, womaniser and ‘Southwark macaroni’ Henry ...

Ahead of the Game

Daniel Finn: The Official IRA, 7 October 2010

The Lost Revolution: The Story of the Official IRA and the Workers’ Party 
by Brian Hanley and Scott Millar.
Penguin, 658 pp., £9.99, April 2010, 978 0 14 102845 3
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... In May 1977, Ian Paisley was in a television studio in Belfast when he bumped into Malachy McGurran, a leader of the Official IRA in Northern Ireland. At that time, Paisley was attempting to orchestrate a repeat of the loyalist workers’ strike that had defeated the Sunningdale power-sharing agreement three years earlier ...

Haley’s Comet

Paul Driver, 6 February 1997

The Envy of the World: Fifty Years of the BBC Third Programme and Radio 3 
by Humphrey Carpenter.
Weidenfeld, 431 pp., £25, September 1996, 0 297 81720 5
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... of the future. Concern about presentation and ‘accessibility’ was increasingly imposed under Ian McIntyre’s controllership, largely thanks to the bullish Managing Director of BBC Radio, Aubrey Singer, who insisted that the tasteful drive-time sequence of Homeward Bound be rejigged as Mainly for Pleasure in the search for larger audiences. The ...

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