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Hatters’ Castle

Robert Morley

4 August 1983
A Yorkshire Boyhood 
by Roy Hattersley.
Chatto, 215 pp., £8.95, June 1983, 0 7011 2613 2
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Letters to a Grandson 
by Lord Home.
Collins, 151 pp., £6.95, July 1983, 0 00 217061 2
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... which I must man whenever enemy action seems imminent.” The lynch mob apologised and slunk home and from then onwards my father fire-watched alone.’ Roy kept to himself the knowledge that the garage housed a defunct Morris Opal. If there was one thing the small happy family had set their heart on it was Roy’s studies. His mother’s eagerness for ...
16 April 1998
Whatever Happened to the Tories: The Conservatives since 1945 
by Ian Gilmour and Mark Garnett.
Fourth Estate, 448 pp., £25, October 1997, 1 85702 475 3
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... hears. He is very ambivalent about Macmillan, whom he obviously cannot forgive for conjuring Lord Home out of a hat in 1963. Also striking is his dislike of Harold Wilson, who is, broadly speaking, depicted as having debauched British politics by an almost singular lack of principle. Indeed, in his account, not the least benign consequence of a Tory ...

Smart Alec

Peter Clarke

17 October 1996
Alec Douglas-Home 
by D.R. Thorpe.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 540 pp., £25, October 1996, 1 85619 277 6
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... itself was not extinguished if the current peer decided to disclaim the title, the 14th Earl of Home would not have agreed to avail himself of the new procedure, even to become prime minister of the United Kingdom. There was too much at stake. The family’s old motto said it all: ‘A Home, a ...

The crocodiles gathered

Neal Ascherson: Patrice Lumumba

4 October 2001
The Assassination of Lumumba 
by Ludo De Witte, translated by Ann Wright and Renée Fenby.
Verso, 224 pp., £17, July 2001, 1 85984 618 1
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... underestimate the ruthlessness of British gentlemen cradling endangered shares. On 19 September, Lord Home, as Foreign Secretary, met Eisenhower and discussed the Congo crisis. ‘The President expressed his wish that Lumumba would fall into a river full of crocodiles; Lord Home said regretfully that we have lost ...
27 July 1989
Macmillan. Vol. II: 1957-1986 
by Alistair Horne.
Macmillan, 741 pp., £18.95, June 1989, 0 333 49621 3
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... not writing for himself alone but for future historians. In the summer of 1963 Macmillan had sent Lord Hailsham to Moscow to negotiate the final stage of the treaty to ban nuclear tests. As Minister for Science, Hailsham had not been the obvious choice for such an assignment. But that same summer, when he expected to resign, Macmillan had told Hailsham that ...


Edward Pearce

26 July 1990
A Sparrow’s Flight: Memoirs 
by Lord Hailsham.
Collins, 463 pp., £17.50, July 1990, 0 00 215545 1
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... of Quintin Hogg suggest themselves. Perched upon the horsehair seat known as the Woolsack is the Lord Chancellor, hands clasped at the top of his walking-stick, tricorn hat sitting on his full-bottomed wig. On such a formal occasion he looked totally a man of the 18th century, so much did the face and manner fit the rigout. Most modern men in fancy dress ...
3 December 1981
Lord Randolph Churchill: A Political Life 
by R.F. Foster.
Oxford, 431 pp., £16, November 1981, 0 19 822679 9
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... Lord Randolph Churchill has many claims to fame and some to notoriety. His marriage to Jennie Jerome pioneered a series of matches between British aristocrats and American heiresses: the beginning of a special relationship of significance in the next century, if not in his own. He entered politics and rose to power between 1880 and 1885 as a master of opposition tactics both inside and outside the House of Commons ...

Nobbled or Not

Bernard Porter: The Central African Federation

25 May 2006
British Documents on the End of Empire Series B Vol. 9: Central Africa: Part I: Closer Association 1945-58 
by Philip Murphy.
Stationery Office, 448 pp., £150, November 2005, 0 11 290586 2
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British Documents on the End of Empire Series B Vol. 9: Central Africa: Part II: Crisis and Dissolution 1959-65 
by Philip Murphy.
Stationery Office, 602 pp., £150, November 2005, 0 11 290587 0
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... in any case: ‘genuine’ (or ‘tribal’) Africans felt differently. Any governor of a colony, Lord Swinton wrote, ‘probably has a much truer view of the opinion and interest of millions of non-vocal Africans’ than the agitators. One needed to go into the country areas. A native commissioner did just that, with excellent results; having explained the ...

This Charming Man

Frank Kermode

24 February 1994
The Collected and Recollected Marc 
Fourth Estate, 51 pp., £25, November 1993, 1 85702 164 9Show More
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... Williams is carrying a copy of the News Chronicle, or why Jimmy Hill has an Arab headdress, or why Lord Home stands bat in hand before a broken wicket. Craig Brown says that in his caricatures Boxer mixed ‘the base and the suave’, but there is not a lot of baseness here, not much of the Rowlandson; and such fluent drawing can hardly help flattering ...

Grand Old Man

Robert Blake

1 May 1980
The Last Edwardian at No 10: An Impression of Harold Macmillan 
by George Hutchinson.
Quartet, 151 pp., £6.50, February 1980, 0 7043 2232 3
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... of country houses, London clubs and Oxford and Cambridge colleges. The idea, spread by some, that Lord Butler (as he now is) was more ‘middle-class’, and therefore more acceptable to the rank and file of the Conservative Party, than Mr Macmillan with his alleged ‘grouse-moor image’ is rubbish. The difference between Marlborough and Eton means nothing ...

Lord Fitzcricket

P.N. Furbank: The composer’s life

21 May 1998
Lord Berners: The Last Eccentric 
by Mark Amory.
Chatto, 274 pp., £20, March 1998, 1 85619 234 2
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... The composer Lord Berners (1883-1950), as a dozen books of memoirs remind us, was very much a name in the Twenties and Thirties, in the sphere in which fashionable society meets the arts. His father was a naval captain and his mother the daughter of an exceedingly rich ironmaster (this last a fact which, with perhaps a touch of snobbery, he does not mention in his autobiography, First Childhood ...
24 January 1980
Lord Cockburn: A Bicentenary Commemoration 
edited by Alan Bell.
Scottish Academic Press, 204 pp., £6, December 1980, 0 7073 0245 5
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... have always tended to the latter course.’ This is offered for the period soon after the House of Lords had been brought almost to a standstill by the mass of appeals from Scotland, all of which had already had several airings in the Court of Session. When in the 17th century law rather than violence became an acceptable way of settling disputes and doing ...
7 November 1985
Clarissa, or the History of a Young Lady 
by Samuel Richardson, edited with an introduction by Angus Ross.
Viking, 1533 pp., £19.95, August 1985, 0 670 80829 6
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Memoire of Frances, Lady Douglas 
by Lady Louisa Stuart, edited by Jill Rubenstein.
Scottish Academic Press, 106 pp., £9.50, August 1985, 0 7073 0358 3
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... redeemed from the archives of the Border nobility, with the blessing of a former prime minister, Lord Home. The memoir appears to have been written at some point in the 1820s, and is addressed to Frances’s daughter in order to acquaint her with certain passages in her mother’s early experience of an anxious family life. Frances died in 1817, the ...

Closed Material

Nicholas Phillips

16 April 2014
... in a bathing pond there. My return route takes me up Downshire Hill, a broad street lined with the homes of the very rich. One house always used to puzzle me. It was very poorly maintained and swathed in invasive ivy. Then, one day in 2006, there was something about it in my local newspaper. The owner was an 86-year-old man called Allan Chappelow, a recluse ...
13 November 1997
Lord Hailsham: A Life 
by Geoffrey Lewis.
Cape, 403 pp., £25, October 1997, 0 224 04252 1
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... Oxford by-election of 1938, is Under-Secretary for Air in Churchill’s Government by 1945, First Lord of the Admiralty at the time of Suez, the head of various other ministries, Tory Party Chairman and, for a record 12 years, Lord Chancellor, formally the country’s highest office. (The ...

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