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Send them to Eton!

Linda Colley, 19 August 1993

The End of the House of Windsor: Birth of a British Republic 
by Stephen Haseler.
Tauris, 208 pp., £14.95, June 1993, 1 85043 735 1
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The Rise and Fall of the House of Windsor 
by A.N. Wilson.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 211 pp., £16.99, May 1993, 1 85619 354 3
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Royal Throne: The Future of the Monarchy 
by Elizabeth Longford.
Hodder, 189 pp., £16.99, April 1993, 0 340 58587 0
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Diana v. Charles 
by James Whitaker.
Signet, 237 pp., £14.99, May 1993, 0 670 85245 7
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The Tarnished Crown 
by Anthony Holden.
Bantam, 400 pp., £16.99, May 1993, 0 593 02472 9
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Inheritance: A Psychological History of the Royal Family 
by Dennis Friedman.
Sidgwick, 212 pp., £14.99, April 1993, 0 283 06124 3
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Raine and Johnnie: The Spencers and the Scandal of Althorp 
by Angela Levin.
Weidenfeld, 297 pp., £17.99, July 1993, 0 297 81325 0
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... offered by her fellow royal chroniclers are conspicuously at odds. Haseler just wants a republic. James Whitaker believes that Charles will soldier on magnificently, but only if he shows Camilla the door. Conversely, Anthony Holden and A.N. Wilson want him to step down, but disagree over who should replace him. And Dennis Friedman puts the whole Windsor ...

Cleaning up

Ben Whitaker, 17 March 1988

The Underground Empire: Where crime and governments embrace 
by James Mills.
Sidgwick, 1165 pp., £15, November 1987, 0 283 99454 1
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... You are groping in the dark.’ How much the ‘Underground Empire’ forms one cohesive entity, James Mills did not discover. What he did frequently find were the fingerprints of the CIA. There is a permanent conflict of interest in Washington between, on the one hand, the CIA and the State Department, who interpret US national security in terms of external ...

Four Funerals and a Wedding

Andrew O’Hagan: If something happens to me…, 5 May 2005

... and Cliff Richard. ‘Here they come,’ the BBC said. ‘Oh, they look a bit awkward,’ said James Whitaker, Royal Expert. ‘Oh well. Never mind. She’s finally got him in her grip.’ ‘I don’t think I am wallowing in exuberant excitement,’ said Piers Morgan, former editor of the Daily Mirror. ‘I think there will be a sigh of relief among ...

V.G. Kiernan on treason

V.G. Kiernan, 25 June 1987

... was very effectively dealt with in a long review in the Canadian Forum (November 1986) by Reg Whitaker of York University. Henry Ferns, too, had a word to say about him in the same issue of the paper. And there has lately been another outburst of barking and braying about ‘Cambridge traitors’. It has come to be a perennial resort of reaction, when it ...

Whose Body?

Charles Glass: ‘Operation Mincemeat’, 22 July 2010

Operation Mincemeat: The True Spy Story that Changed the Course of World War Two 
by Ben Macintyre.
Bloomsbury, 400 pp., £16.99, January 2010, 978 0 7475 9868 8
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... night with the discovery of a dead man in a barn, carrying papers that identify him as “John Whitaker”,’ Macintyre writes. ‘By dint of some distinctly plodding detective work, Inspector Richardson discovers that every document in the pockets of the dead man has been ingeniously forged: his visiting cards, his bills, and even his passport, on which ...

Culture and Sincerity

Graham Hough, 6 May 1982

... the 1968 preface to a new edition of The Middle of the Journey he goes out of his way to describe Whitaker Chambers, the man who betrayed his friend in the interests of his country, as ‘a man of honour’. Stepping out of the circle of leftist orthodoxy opened up the large question of where he was to go. The answer of course was to the wide fields of ...


P.N. Furbank, 18 October 1984

Experiment in Autobiography: Discoveries and Conclusion of a Very Ordinary Brain (since 1866) 
by H.G. Wells.
Faber, 838 pp., £8.95, September 1984, 0 571 13330 4
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H.G. Wells in Love: Postscript to an Experiment in Autobiography 
edited by G.P. Wells.
Faber, 253 pp., £8.95, September 1984, 0 571 13329 0
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The Man with a Nose, and the Other Uncollected Short Stories of H.G. Wells 
edited by J.R. Hammond.
Athlone, 212 pp., £9.95, September 1984, 0 485 11247 7
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... this was the age, not just of colonial empires, but of shady financial ‘empires’ like those of Whitaker Wright and Terah Hooley. Wells, it seems to me, was haunted by the knowledge that his methods as thinker and prophet as much resembled those of Uncle Edward Ponderevo, promoter of the world-famous patent medicine Tono-Bungay, as they did those of Plato ...


Philip French, 6 June 1996

The Fatal Englishman: Three Short Lives 
by Sebastian Faulks.
Hutchinson, 309 pp., £16.99, April 1996, 0 09 179211 8
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... on his father’s side and liked to be called J or Jay.) Another character who fascinated him was Whitaker Chambers, the brilliant Communist agent who left the Party, became an influential writer on Time magazine and attained notoriety when he named Alger Hiss as a spy in front of the House Un-American Activities Committee. I recall him walking down the High ...

Crocodile’s Breath

James Meek: The Tale of the Tube, 5 May 2005

The Subterranean Railway: How the London Underground Was Built and How It Changed the City For Ever 
by Christian Wolmar.
Atlantic, 351 pp., £17.99, November 2004, 1 84354 022 3
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... Northern Line by issuing a form of junk bond. (The original entrepreneur behind the Bakerloo, Whitaker Wright, went bust and took a fatal dose of cyanide just before beginning a seven-year jail sentence for defrauding investors.) Yet despite huge demand from passengers, the economics of the system meant that investing more to expand it usually failed to ...

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