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Prince Arthur

Paul Addison, 21 August 1980

Balfour 
by Max Egremont.
Collins, 391 pp., £12.95, June 1980, 0 00 216043 9
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... and the apple of his eye was undoubtedly his nephew, Arthur Balfour. A delicate and bookish young man, Balfour was at first written off by men of the world as a bit of a cissy. At Cambridge he was nicknamed ‘Pretty Fanny’, and it was noted that instead of riding and shooting at weekends he preferred to hang about with the girls. But Lord ...

Early Hillhead Man

Paul Addison, 6 May 1982

Churchill’s Political Philosophy 
by Martin Gilbert.
Oxford, 119 pp., £8, November 1981, 0 19 726005 5
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Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years 
by Martin Gilbert.
Macmillan, 279 pp., £8.95, September 1981, 0 333 32564 8
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Churchill and de Gaulle 
by François Kersaudy.
Collins, 476 pp., £12.95, September 1981, 0 00 216328 4
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The Diaries of Sir Robert Bruce Lockhart 
edited by Kenneth Young.
Macmillan, 800 pp., £30, October 1981, 0 333 18480 7
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Churchill’s Indian Summer 
by Anthony Seldon.
Hodder, 667 pp., £14.95, October 1981, 0 340 25456 4
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... servants. One can sense at times the weight of senior Establishment opinion pressing down on a young man’s shoulders, but he seems to have welcomed the burden or at any rate made good use of it. The first important lesson is the high level of continuity with the previous Labour regime. ‘Some Treasury officials,’ he writes, ‘feel that less change ...

Young Marvin

Frank Kermode, 24 January 1991

A Tenured Professor 
by John Kenneth Galbraith.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 197 pp., £12.95, November 1990, 1 85619 018 8
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Shade those laurels 
by Cyril Connolly and Peter Levi.
Bellew, 174 pp., £12.95, October 1990, 0 947792 37 6
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... he does not enter directly into the matter of Rational Expectations. Instead he tells us of a young economist who, like his creator, has found evidence, from tulipomania and the South Sea Bubble to the market crashes of 1929 and 1987 and the current US banking crisis, which suggests that the Rational Expectationists are about 180 degrees off-course, and ...

Young Ones

Hugh Barnes, 5 June 1986

Damaged Gods 
by Julie Burchill.
Century, 152 pp., £8.95, March 1986, 0 7126 1140 1
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Love it or shove it: The Best of Julie Burchill 
Century, 148 pp., £3.95, September 1985, 0 7126 0746 3Show More
Girls on Film 
by Julie Burchill.
Virgin, 192 pp., £5.99, March 1986, 9780863691348
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Less than Zero 
by Bret Easton Ellis.
Picador, 208 pp., £2.95, February 1986, 0 330 29400 8
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... in several quarters as to the wisdom of allowing an underclass of the unemployed and unemployable young to come into being, and as to the long-term feasibility of keeping its angry constituents in check. Burchill dismisses the threat to public order, but her reasons for doing so are not always easy to follow. It is true, of course, that teenagers have lost a ...

The Balboan View

Kenneth Silverman: Alfred Kinsey, 7 May 1998

Alfred Kinsey: A Public/Private Life 
by James Jones.
Norton, 937 pp., £28, October 1997, 0 393 04086 0
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... to monitor the closing time of saloons. No swearing, drinking, dancing or masturbation. A loner, young Alfred found some relief in piano lessons and the Boy Scouts. Here, as everywhere, he drove himself hard. He became skilled enough at the keyboard to consider a concert career, and rose to the rarely achieved grade of Eagle Scout. Kinsey’s father wanted ...

The Strangely Inspired Hermit of Andover

Christine Stansell, 5 June 1997

Kenneth Burke in Greenwich Village: Conversing with the Moderns, 1915-31 
by Jack Selzer.
Wisconsin, 284 pp., £45, February 1997, 0 299 15184 0
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... Like many people who came to New York City in the high-flying years of the early 20th century, Kenneth Burke approached the city as a work of art. ‘I cannot express it, it is too sweeping,’ he rhapsodised to a friend, exiled at Harvard, shortly after his arrival from Pittsburgh in 1917. He marvelled at the skies: ‘Oh, oh! if I ever can express those things with words ...

Openly reticent

Jonathan Coe, 9 November 1989

Grand Inquisitor: Memoirs 
by Robin Day.
Weidenfeld, 296 pp., £14.95, October 1989, 0 297 79660 7
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Beginning 
by Kenneth Branagh.
Chatto, 244 pp., £12.99, September 1989, 0 7011 3388 0
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Storm over 4: A Personal Account 
by Jeremy Isaacs.
Weidenfeld, 215 pp., £14.95, September 1989, 0 297 79538 4
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... not to repeat Mrs Thatcher’s famous gaffe) that time has come at the age of 68; in the case of Kenneth Branagh, at the age of 28. Make of that what you will. Actually I had never thought that Kenneth Branagh was a particularly interesting person until the press started to tell me that he was, whereas Robin Day has been a ...

Cirque d’hiver

Douglas Oliver, 21 October 1993

... after Kenneth Koch Agence France-Presse took my girls to the winter circus – that’s Paris’s Cirque d’hiver – 1970 or 71, having already given them a clockwork train set in breakable plastic as part of the exploitation of its collaborateurs. I could mention the usual football-playing poodles nodding balloons into goals but I suppose we journalists were a bit like that: lines of typewriters rattling and jumping on the long steel desks in between the stuttering teleprinter banks ...

Diary

Megan Vaughan: Kenneth Mdala, 16 November 2000

... Kenneth Gray Mdala was born around 1880 in what was later to become Nyasaland and is now Malawi. It is that part of Africa through which Livingstone trod or was carried, defined for strangers by its long, thin lake lying in the Rift Valley and by the ravages of the slave trade. Mdala came from a chiefly family and belonged to an ethnic group known as the Yao, who were one of the agents of that trade ...

Soul Bellow

Craig Raine, 12 November 1987

More die of heartbreak 
by Saul Bellow.
Alison Press/Secker, 335 pp., £10.95, October 1987, 0 436 03962 1
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... In terms of experience, they were probably the richest years of my life: I was engrossed in a young, deep, complex, and stormy marriage; we lived mostly in the Village but also in Berkeley and in Maine; I worked in innumerable restaurants and a few gambling houses and racetracks as a waiter or bartender; I was also a psychiatric attendant, a temporary ...

Huw should be so lucky

Philip Purser, 16 August 1990

Sir Huge: The Life of Huw Wheldon 
by Paul Ferris.
Joseph, 307 pp., £18.99, June 1990, 0 7181 3464 8
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... habit, pausing (presumably) to change his shirt, was to drive into town and take a succession of young women he referred to as ‘dancers’. Would not dwelling on the author’s writing habits be seen as mere gossip and triviality? The question was gravely discussed as the film was edited. Wheldon declared that it was relevant to the consideration of ...

The Other Half

Robert Melville, 4 July 1985

Kenneth Clark: A Biography 
by Meryle Secrest.
Weidenfeld, 310 pp., £12.95, September 1984, 9780297783985
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... I knew Kenneth Clark by sight some time before he spoke to me. It was in the late Fifties, I think, at the press view of an exhibition of 20th-century English painting, that words were exchanged. We must have got there very early, because no one else was in the gallery. I was standing in front of a big Pasmore and Clark was coming to look at it ...

Notes from an Outpost

Kenneth White, 6 July 1989

... and these people are obviously out to defend a niche more than anything else), but either among young people who are fed up with the ‘scenes’ in general, or older people who, despite everything, have maintained wider-flung references and more demanding values. This was perhaps more evident in Scotland than in England. Which reminds me of a remark by a ...

Mganga with the Lion

Kenneth Silverman: Hemingway, 2 September 1999

Hemingway: The Thirties 
by Michael Reynolds.
Norton, 360 pp., £9.95, October 1998, 0 393 31778 1
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Hemingway: The Final Years 
by Michael Reynolds.
Norton, 416 pp., £19.95, July 1999, 0 393 04748 2
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True at First Light 
by Ernest Hemingway.
Heinemann, 319 pp., £16.99, July 1999, 9780434008322
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... study of the creation of A Farewell to Arms, as well as three serial volumes of biography: The YoungHemingway (1986); Hemingway: The Paris Years (1989); and Hemingway: The American Homecoming (1992). These bring Hemingway to the decades covered in the present volumes, which conclude the life ...

A Life of Its Own

Jonathan Coe, 24 February 1994

The Kenneth Williams Diaries 
edited by Russell Davies.
HarperCollins, 827 pp., £20, June 1993, 0 00 255023 7
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... there stands English comedy,’ David Frost is reported to have declaimed, as Frankie Howerd and Kenneth Williams stood side by side on his doorstep. Williams was unimpressed. ‘I thought to myself, “Then many people would be lacking in perception,” but shouted drunken goodbyes and reeled down the street into a taxi.’ What these two Titans of comedy ...

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