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Deadly Eliza

Ruth Bernard Yeazell: ‘The Whole Family: A Novel by Twelve Authors’

1 November 2001
The Whole Family: A Novel by Twelve Authors 
by William Dean Howells et al.
Duke, 416 pp., £13.50, November 2001, 0 8223 2838 0
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Publishing the Family 
by June Howard.
Duke, 304 pp., £13.50, November 2001, 0 8223 2771 6
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... such collaborative effort. Some contemporary readers were reminded of Six of One by Half a Dozen of the Other (1872), a magazine serial whose most famous contributor was Harriet Beecher Stowe; and JuneHoward cites several other examples from the period, as well as more recent variations on the practice in the writing of detective novels and science fiction, among other genres. An experiment by ...
26 November 1987
The Korean War 
by Max Hastings.
Joseph, 476 pp., £14.95, September 1987, 9780718120689
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The Origins of the Korean War 
by Peter Lowe.
Longman, 256 pp., £6.95, July 1986, 0 582 49278 5
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Korea: The War before Vietnam 
by Callum MacDonald.
Macmillan, 330 pp., £25, November 1986, 0 333 33011 0
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... Burgess and Maclean were all active – that Stalin did not discourage Kim Il Sung from using the military equipment with which the Russians had lavishly provided him, and invading South Korea. On 25 June the army of North Korea struck south across the 38th parallel. We are still living with the effects of that colossal misjudgment. In spite of their profound internal divisions, American political and ...
25 October 1990
Crossman: The Pursuit of Power 
by Anthony Howard.
Cape, 361 pp., £15.95, October 1990, 0 224 02592 9
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... On 22 February 1965, the fifth month of Harold Wilson’s first ministry, Richard Crossman recorded the following in his Diaries of a Cabinet Minister: Then Harold Wilson raised the issue of Anthony Howard. He has just been appointed by the Sunday Times to be the first Whitehall correspondent in history, looking into the secrets of the Civil Service rather than leaking the secrets of the politicians ...

Diary

Karl Miller: London to Canberra

25 June 1987
... Cockatoo. When Barry Humphries squawked the other day that he had been pleased to find that Canberra had become a little ‘sleazy’, he was joking. Out of this garden city of good government, on 22 June 1983, flew a telex which read: ‘There appears to be no action which the Australian Federal Police can take in relation to the allegations. In view of the fact that Milgate/McGuinness have already ...

Paper this thing over

Colin Kidd: The Watergate Tapes

5 November 2015
The Nixon Tapes: 1971-72 
by Douglas Brinkley and Luke Nichter.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 758 pp., $35, July 2014, 978 0 544 27415 0
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The Nixon Defence: What He Knew and When He Knew It 
by John W. Dean.
Penguin, 784 pp., £14.99, June​ 2015, 978 0 14 312738 3
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Washington Journal: Reporting Watergate and Richard Nixon’s Downfall 
by Elizabeth Drew.
Duckworth Overlook, 450 pp., £20, August 2014, 978 0 7156 4916 9
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Chasing Shadows: The Nixon Tapes, the Chennault Affair and the Origins of Watergate 
by Ken Hughes.
Virginia, 228 pp., $16.95, August 2015, 978 0 8139 3664 2
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The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan 
by Rick Perlstein.
Simon and Schuster, 860 pp., £25, August 2014, 978 1 4767 8241 6
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... members of the Nixon administration, who flocked to the new apartments. In 1967, the Democratic National Committee took over the sixth floor of the 11-storey office building. Here, on the night of 17 June 1972, five burglars were caught trying to plant a bug. The group comprised an electronics expert, James McCord, and four Cuban-Americans from Miami. It didn’t take the police and the FBI long to ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: David Lean

3 July 2008
... recent book on Lean, by Gene Phillips, is called Beyond the Epic; and we might think ‘Before the Epic’ would also be a good title. The retrospective of Lean’s work showing at BFI Southbank in June and July covers the whole career, which seems to fall into what we might call shifts. The Noël Coward shift comprises In Which We Serve (1942), This Happy Breed (1944), Blithe Spirit (1945) and ...

Awfully Present

Thomas Jones: The Tambora Eruption

5 February 2015
Tambora: The Eruption that Changed the World 
by Gillen D’Arcy Wood.
Princeton, 293 pp., £19.95, April 2014, 978 0 691 15054 3
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... t be allowed to interfere with anyone’s holiday plans, which is to say with any airline’s revenue stream, however much debris it blasted into the atmosphere. The eruption of Mount Laki in June 1783 presented Benjamin Franklin with a more serious problem. As Gillen D’Arcy Wood recounts, Franklin was in Paris the following spring, negotiating peace terms with the British. ‘The makeshift ...

‘Mmmmm’ not ‘Hmmm’

Michael Wood: Katharine Hepburn

11 September 2003
Kate Remembered 
by A. Scott Berg.
Simon and Schuster, 318 pp., £18.99, July 2003, 0 7432 0676 2
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... the biographer of Maxwell Perkins, Sam Goldwyn, Charles Lindbergh and (in the works) Woodrow Wilson, first met Hepburn in 1982, when she was 75, and was a close friend until she died at the end of June this year. On his first visit, before they have properly met, she twice asks whether Berg has used the bathroom. He says he doesn’t need to, thanks. Hepburn insists, and he goes to the bathroom ...

Murder in the Cathedral

Anthony Howard

7 December 1989
The Crockford’s File: Gareth Bennett and the Death of the Anglican Mind 
by William Oddie.
Hamish Hamilton, 232 pp., £14.95, November 1989, 0 241 12613 4
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Absent Friends 
by Geoffrey Wheatcroft.
Hamish Hamilton, 291 pp., £15.95, November 1989, 0 241 12874 9
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... of October 1991. Until a few months ago it had looked as if the whole matter could be tidily arranged: following her own precedents set in 1983 and 1987, the Prime Minister would call an election in June 1991, and there would thus be at least a chance that the next archbishop might be appointed by a new prime minister rather than by Mrs Thatcher. The Government’s recent troubles have, however, led ...

Island Politics

Sylvia Lawson: The return of Australia’s Coalition Government

12 November 1998
... seemed that Pauline Hanson, the red-haired maverick of the populist Right, was all that mattered about Australia. Ratih Hardjono, who works from Melbourne for Jakarta’s daily Kompas, led with John Howard’s win and the election-night speech in which he promised, hand on heart, a new commitment to Aboriginal reconciliation. Hardjono also wanted Indonesians to learn something about the democratic ...

Diary

A.J.P. Taylor: What on earth should I talk about?

4 March 1982
... even less fertile. All I can discover is that in 1882 Charles Bradlaugh, the atheist, administered the oath to himself in the House of Commons. But try the half-centuries and relief is at hand. On 4 June 1832 the great Reform Bill became law under the name of the Representation of the People Act – quite a misnomer, in fact: only a small minority of the British people possessed the vote even after ...

Four Poems

Donald Davie

21 March 1985
... But hope, such hope he had, such politics always of hope! Hope is a strenuous business; I hope the roar of it enlivens your west-country dell, as a whisper of it mine. Reminded of Bougainville for Howard Erskine-Hill ‘The rest is not our business.’ Come the end or a good deal sooner rest is our only business. Up to and battering that a swarming intelligence names the names, the localities. Who ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: What I did in 1986

18 December 1986
... London, 30 January. A meeting at the Royal Court re Kafka’s Dick, now put off until September. Their next play is an adaptation by Howard Barker of Women beware women, and the production after that The Normal Heart, an American play about Aids. This is referred to at the theatre as ‘Men beware men’. New York, 14 February. Lunch ...
11 March 1993
Churchill: The End of Glory 
by John Charmley.
Hodder, 648 pp., £30, January 1993, 9780340487952
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Churchill: A Major New Assessment of his Life in Peace and War 
edited by Robert Blake and Wm Roger Louis.
Oxford, 517 pp., £19.95, February 1993, 0 19 820317 9
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... to spoil the fun but some elementary observations are in order. 1. Charmley can legitimately argue that Churchill was an inveterate war-lover who flatly refused to consider a negotiated exit from the June 1940-June 1941 Anglo-German war. That Churchill was addicted to war is certainly beyond dispute. One reading of his often brilliant observations about nuclear weapons (the 1955 ‘Balance of Terror ...

Sexual Politics

Michael Neve

5 February 1981
Edward Carpenter, 1844-1929: Prophet of Human Fellowship 
by Chushichi Tsuzuki.
Cambridge, 237 pp., £15, November 1980, 0 521 23371 2
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... Carpenter then went up to Trinity Hall, Cambridge in 1864, straight to the heart of the Broad Church network, and eventually to a fellowship in that college, newly relinquished by Leslie Stephen. In June 1870, he was ordained by the Bishop of Ely, and got to know F.D. Maurice, Professor of Moral Philosophy and proponent of Christian Socialism. Carpenter was also friendly with Henry Fawcett and the ...

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