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Nixon: A Study in Extremes of Fortune 
by Lord Longford.
Weidenfeld, 205 pp., £8.95, October 1980, 0 297 77708 4
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... Let me first of all say this: the man is not a crook. So much for Lord Longford. As far as his appalling subject goes, I am disinclined to be as charitable. And charity, unfortunately, is exactly what this hilarious little book requires of me: Lord Longford having taken it upon himself to set in train a sequence of events designed to process Richard Milhous Nixon through redemption to beatification and ultimately, I suppose, to canonisation, it is essential that his persecutors must first be made to see him as a martyr and recant the error of their own ways in failing to appreciate the blessedness of his ...


Ian Hamilton: Self-Exposure at the Football Terrace, 2 September 1982

... 2. Donald Davie, from his memoirs, just published under the title These the Companions.3 And 3. Lord Longford, from his Diary of a Year4 – the year 1981. Each of these books makes much of its own modesty, of its willingness to expose its author’s true and warty face, and there has been a certain interest in comparing the three distinct styles of ...

Bernard Levin: Book Two

Clive James, 6 December 1979

Taking Sides 
by Bernard Levin.
Cape, 281 pp., £6.50, September 1979, 0 330 26203 3
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... Keith is a censor without knowing it, and Levin is good on censors of any kind. His review of The Longford Report is an exemplary job of demolition, made all the more convincing by his generous willingness to regard Lord Longford as something better than a buffoon. Commendably ready to hold an opinion no matter who ...


Jon Halliday, 2 June 1983

In the Service of the Peacock Throne: The Diaries of the Shah’s Last Ambassador to London 
by Parviz Radji.
Hamish Hamilton, 343 pp., £12.50, April 1983, 0 241 10960 4
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... to write a biography of the Empress. Margaret Laing is invited round to lunch with her publisher, Lord Longford, to straighten out her biography of the Shah. Rather late in the day Lord Weidenfeld suggests that Lord Chalfont take three years off to do a biography of Ashraf! And this ...


David Saunders-Wilson, 23 November 1989

Inside Out 
by Rosie Johnston.
Joseph, 226 pp., £12.95, October 1989, 0 7181 3115 0
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Life on Death Row: One Man’s Fight against Racism and the Death Penalty 
by Merrilyn Thomas.
Piatkus, 160 pp., £12.95, September 1989, 0 86188 879 0
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... about her having or spending lots of money. Yet she received visits from Lord Longford (she was a friend of his grandson) and Lord Hilton (‘a distant cousin of my mother’), and had a food hamper sent from Fortnum and Mason’s. On their last visit prior to her release, her parents arrived ...

Pornography and Feminism

Bernard Williams, 17 March 1983

... committees’ reports – namely, what should the law be? Conservative pressure-groups (but not Lord Longford) have often been reluctant to be tied down to any details for a replacement of the Obscene Publications Act, and radical feminism is at best uneasy, sometimes openly contemptuous, about the machinery of regulatory laws. In this, the feminists ...


Frank Field: Reading Kilroy-Silk’s Diary, 6 November 1986

... statements by the chairman – one Robert Kilroy-Silk. This is quite an achievement, since Lord Longford, himself no mean practitioner of PR, is a member of this group. It was, after all, Longford who stage-managed the coverage of the Beveridge Report – possibly the single most effective piece of promotion ...

A Resonance for William Styron

Gabriele Annan, 7 November 1985

Savage Grace 
by Natalie Robins and Steven Aronson.
Gollancz, 473 pp., £10.95, October 1985, 0 575 03738 5
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... it was 1981. It is difficult to react to Savage Grace without sounding like either Savonarola or Lord Longford. Some kind of moral judgment seems to be called for. No aesthetic judgment is possible anyhow, because this is one of those un-books composed of letters and statements by friends, acquaintances and witnesses. Presumably the statements were ...

Rough, tough and glamorous

D.A.N. Jones, 24 May 1990

That was business, this is personal: The Changing Faces of Professional Crime 
by Duncan Campbell.
234 pp., £14.95, April 1990, 0 436 19990 4
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... Party, the Citizens’ Commission for Human Rights (a Scientology-run organisation) and by Lord Longford. Another ex-prisoner interviewed has been taken up by social workers, employed by the Save the Children Fund to introduce young offenders to their victims. He speaks of this experience, obscurely but suggestively: ‘I find it incredibly ...


Susannah Clapp, 23 July 1987

A Life with Alan: The Diary of A.J.P. Taylor’s Wife, Eva, from 1978 to 1985 
by Eva Haraszti Taylor.
Hamish Hamilton, 250 pp., £14.95, June 1987, 0 241 12118 3
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The Painted Banquet: My Life and Loves 
by Jocelyn Rickards.
Weidenfeld, 172 pp., £14.95, May 1987, 0 297 79119 2
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The Beaverbrook Girl 
by Janet Aitken Kidd.
Collins, 240 pp., £12.95, May 1987, 0 00 217602 5
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... man she photographs in Hyde Park who has been accused of peeing in a public building as she is to Lord Longford, whom she presses into drying the dinner dishes: ‘Frank looked pale ... He said he would note it in his diary.’ She is convivial and an eager recorder of conversations. Talk she considers ‘frivolous’ can be redeemed by the production of ...

Bertie pulls it off

John Campbell, 11 January 1990

King George VI 
by Sarah Bradford.
Weidenfeld, 506 pp., £18.95, October 1990, 0 297 79667 4
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... to Labour – he had no interest in private luxury. Upper-class socialists like Hugh Dalton and Lord Longford occasionally alarmed him by raising the spectre of republicanism, but he found Attlee – once he had got used to him – greatly reassuring. In truth, no such nonsense ever stood a chance. King George and Queen Elizabeth were – deservedly ...

At the Gay Hussar

John Sutherland, 20 August 1981

One and Last Love 
by John Braine.
Eyre Methuen, 175 pp., £6.50, June 1981, 0 413 47990 0
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by Helen Yglesias.
Hodder, 332 pp., £6.95, August 1981, 9780340270424
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On the Yankee Station 
by William Boyd.
Hamish Hamilton, 184 pp., £7.95, July 1981, 0 241 10426 2
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Byzantium endures 
by Michael Moorcock.
Secker, 404 pp., £6.95, June 1981, 0 436 28458 8
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Heavy Sand 
by Anatoli Rybakov, translated by Harold Shuckman.
Allen Lane, 380 pp., £7.95, June 1981, 0 7139 1343 6
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... make sophisticated table-talk about their fellow guests: ‘That’s George Melly. And there’s Lord Longford!’    ‘Not together? That would make the mind boggle.’    ‘No, at separate tables.’ It adds ‘sparkle’ to life, the narrator complacently observes, and ‘it can only happen in the metropolis.’ It would seem, too, that ...

Adventures at the End of Time

Angela Carter, 7 March 1991

by Iain Sinclair.
Paladin, 407 pp., £14.99, March 1991, 0 586 09074 6
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... many of the other characters, including Sinclair himself in a memorable walk-on (‘a flannelled Lord Longford: on sulphate’), are drawn, kicking and screaming, one assumes, from real life. Some of them I recognise. One or two of them I know. That is Sinclair’s autobiographical bit. Think of Downriver as if Alice had wept a river of tears, rather ...

Seven Days

R.W. Johnson, 4 July 1985

The Pick of Paul Johnson: An Anthology 
Harrap, 277 pp., £9.95, May 1985, 0 245 54246 9Show More
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... disorientation – and their reaction to it – was correspondingly sharper than those of others. Lord Longford (Eton and Christ Church) peeled off into a peculiar variety of religious activities. Tony Benn (Westminster and New College) decamped for the wild and intransigent Left. Paul Johnson (Stonyhurst and Magdalen) bolted to the radical Right. It ...

Women of Quality

E.S. Turner, 9 October 1986

The Pebbled Shore 
by Elizabeth Longford.
Weidenfeld, 351 pp., £14.95, August 1986, 0 297 78863 9
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Leaves of the Tulip Tree 
by Juliette Huxley.
Murray, 248 pp., £7.95, June 1986, 9780719542886
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Enid Bagnold 
by Anne Sebba.
Weidenfeld, 317 pp., £15, September 1986, 0 297 78991 0
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... My forbearing husband/wife, my secretary who corrected my spelling, my patient editor and Lord Weidenfeld Whose Idea it Was – these we have grown to expect and honour. Elizabeth Longford, now in her eighties, thanks two family doctors who ‘made life so secure for us’ (and who themselves survived to 90 and ...

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