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Michael Church, 18 April 1985

Gypsy and Me: At Home and on the Road with Gypsy Rose Lee 
by Erik Lee Preminger.
Deutsch, 277 pp., £9.95, March 1985, 0 233 97736 8
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George Thomas, Mr Speaker: The Memoirs of Viscount Tonypandy 
Century, 242 pp., £9.95, February 1985, 0 7126 0706 4Show More
Toff down Pit 
by Kit Fraser.
Quartet, 129 pp., £8.95, January 1985, 0 7043 2513 6
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Menlove: The Life of John Menlove Edwards 
by Jim Perrin.
Gollancz, 347 pp., £14.95, February 1985, 0 575 03571 4
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... Orwell’s report on underground life was the prelude to a formidable piece of political analysis, Kit Fraser’s jaunt had a limited, descriptive purpose. Just as the gossipy bits of Mr Speaker were gleefully brandished by the press, so with Mr Fraser’s assertion that, on a good day, work at the coalface would hardly ...


Iain Sinclair: At Bluewater, 3 January 2002

... a box (or Rubik’s Cube). The three barbicans that command the points of the V are House of Fraser, John Lewis, Marks & Spencer. There is an upper and a lower mall. The temperature is unnatural; so temperate that it drives you mad. You can’t sweat. You’re blow-dried. You can’t breathe. Air is recycled as in an airliner. You’re supposed to make ...


Linda Colley: Global History, 26 September 2013

The French Revolution in Global Perspective 
edited by Suzanne Desan, Lynn Hunt and William Max Nelson.
Cornell, 240 pp., £16.50, April 2013, 978 0 8014 7868 0
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... French occupiers of Egypt after 1798 came equipped with a kind of ‘vast prefabricated republican kit’ which they also hoped to employ in invasions elsewhere. As evidenced in Rousseau’s Social Contract, the desire to promote liberation and political virtue could become entangled with dirigiste and controlling ambitions with terrifying ease. Of the 18 ...


Iain Sinclair: The Thames, 25 June 2009

Thames: Sacred River 
by Peter Ackroyd.
Vintage, 608 pp., £14.99, August 2008, 978 0 09 942255 6
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... by sending in an astonishing £25,000.’ There were messages of endorsement from Lady Antonia Fraser and the feisty historian Andrew Roberts; the Economist saluted the new edition as ‘impeccably postmodern’; 5000 free copies were distributed to schools, a Trojan horse for early indoctrination in traditional values that would be reinforced by emphatic ...

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