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Lucy Hughes-Hallett

19 December 1991
The Emperor’s Last Island: A Journey to St Helena 
by Julia Blackburn.
Secker, 244 pp., £16.99, October 1991, 0 436 20030 9
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... Each chapter of Julia Blackburn’s peculiar and haunting book has its epigraph. The largest number of quotations are from Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass; the second most frequent source is King Lear. Absurdity and tragedy alternate and overlap in this tale of pomp in reduced circumstances. As Lear discovered, a king’s no better than a fool when the winds are blowing ...

Outfoxing Hangman

Thomas Jones: David Mitchell

11 May 2006
Black Swan Green 
by David Mitchell.
Sceptre, 371 pp., £16.99, May 2006, 0 340 82279 1
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... village in Worcestershire, England’s ‘most boring county’, as the narrator tells a girl from Blackburn he meets on holiday in Lyme Regis. It is concerned not with globalisation, artificial intelligence, cloning, the legacy of colonialism or the impending self-destruction of the human race, but with the everyday difficulties of being a 13-year-old ...
21 August 1997
Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life 
by Jon Lee Anderson.
Bantam, 814 pp., £25, April 1997, 0 593 03403 1
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Compañero: The Life and Death of Che Guevara 
by Jorge Castañeda, translated by Marina Castañeda.
Bloomsbury, 480 pp., £20, October 1997, 0 7475 3334 2
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... Revolution made flesh. ‘He had an incalculable enchantment that came completely naturally,’ Julia Costenla, an Argentine journalist told Jon Lee Anderson when he was researching his biography of Guevara. ‘If he entered a room, everything began revolving around him.’That night he found a seat in a corner of the embassy gardens and everyone gathered ...

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