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Bobbery

James Wood: Pushkin’s Leave-Taking, 20 February 2003

Pushkin: A Biography 
by T.J. Binyon.
HarperCollins, 731 pp., £30, September 2002, 0 00 215084 0
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... with customary care, thinks Cameroon the likelier origin. He was a gift for Peter the Great, and rose from servitude to become a general in the Army, responsible by the end of his career for all military engineering in Russia. Pushkin’s father belonged to a family that had distinguished itself in public affairs in the late 16th century, though it ...

It’s already happened

James Meek: The NHS Goes Private, 22 September 2011

... one of America’s largest private health companies. Mark Britnell, a career NHS manager who rose to become one of the most powerful civil servants in the department, upped sticks in 2009 to become global head of health for the consultants KPMG. This last move did have the advantage of giving an insight into what had actually been going on in Whitehall ...

Enemies For Ever

James Wolcott: ‘Making It’, 18 May 2017

Making It 
by Norman Podhoretz.
NYRB, 368 pp., £13.98, May 2017, 978 1 68137 080 4
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... high. I loved everyone, and everyone loved me. I did not blame them; I even loved myself.’ Like Julie Andrews a-twirl he is enraptured: the hills are alive with the sound of moolah. ‘This was what it meant to be rich … to stretch one’s arms out idly by the side of a swimming pool and have two white-coated servants vie for the privilege of depositing a ...

Why name a ship after a defeated race?

Thomas Laqueur: New Lives of the ‘Titanic’, 24 January 2013

The Wreck of the ‘Titan’ 
by Morgan Robertson.
Hesperus, 85 pp., £8, March 2012, 978 1 84391 359 7
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Shadow of the ‘Titanic’ 
by Andrew Wilson.
Simon and Schuster, 392 pp., £8.99, March 2012, 978 1 84739 882 6
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‘Titanic’ 100th Anniversary Edition: A Night Remembered 
by Stephanie Barczewski.
Continuum, 350 pp., £15.99, December 2011, 978 1 4411 6169 7
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The Story of the Unsinkable ‘Titanic’: Day by Day Facsimile Reports 
by Michael Wilkinson and Robert Hamilton.
Transatlantic, 127 pp., £16.99, November 2011, 978 1 907176 83 8
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‘Titanic’ Lives: Migrants and Millionaires, Conmen and Crew 
by Richard Davenport-Hines.
Harper, 404 pp., £9.99, September 2012, 978 0 00 732166 7
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Gilded Lives, Fatal Voyage 
by Hugh Brewster.
Robson, 338 pp., £20, March 2012, 978 1 84954 179 4
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‘Titanic’ Calling 
edited by Michael Hughes and Katherine Bosworth.
Bodleian, 163 pp., £14.99, April 2012, 978 1 85124 377 8
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... the centenary took its gross earnings above two billion dollars. In the movie, the 101-year-old Rose DeWitt Bukater, who was 17 when she survived the sinking, learns that a 1996 expedition had been looking for a necklace, the Heart of the Ocean, that went down with the ship but found instead a sketch of a young woman wearing it. She contacts the ...

Mother One, Mother Two

Jeremy Harding: A memoir, 31 March 2005

... around in the shadow of Eliza, part hardy working-class, part subtle and precarious, as the young Julie Andrews must have seemed in the part. I couldn’t have said any of it this way at the time, and the class fable – or is it a fable about essential human qualities? – was lost on me. But I grasped quite quickly how Colin and Maureen loved a cheeky ...

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