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Knowing more

Rosalind Mitchison, 14 September 1989

Poets, Polities and the People 
by V.G. Kiernan, edited by Harvey Kaye.
Verso, 239 pp., £29.95, June 1989, 0 86091 245 0
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For King and Conscience: John Graham of Claverhouse, Viscount Dundee 
by Magnus Linklater and Christian Hesketh.
Weidenfeld, 244 pp., £16.95, June 1989, 0 297 79540 6
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... in the new life of Graham of Claverhouse, later Viscount Dundee, For King and Conscience by Magnus Linklater and Christian Hesketh. This book examines dispassionately the involvement of Claverhouse in the attempt to impose conformity on the South-West of Scotland, starting with his military defeat at Drumclog by those Kiernan labels as ...
... enough, I avoided power. Then Mark stopped being the editor and there was Godfrey Smith, and then Magnus Linklater, both of whom were very nice. I was then called senior editor. The other day I went to see James Fox, who had the French edition of White Mischief, which I come into. He’d put originally that Francis Wyndham, one of the senior ...
Jeremy Thorpe: A Secret Life 
by Lewis Chester, Magnus Linklater and David May.
Fontana, 371 pp., £1.50
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... In one sense, as the advertising claims, this is ‘the only book to tell the full story of the Jeremy Thorpe affair’, for there is no other book that tells that story. Written by three journalists from the Sunday Times, it presents the existing state of knowledge, but tidied up and reduced to order, and with some ‘investigative’ embellishments probably added ...


Tam Dalyell: Nuclear Power after Chernobyl, 5 June 1986

... It is fanciful to suppose that such facilities should be mothballed overnight. I have been reading Magnus Linklater and David Leigh’s book on the Westland affair.* One crucial passage, a quotation from an unnamed source, comes at the top of page 143: The Prime Minister knew about the leak. She was pleased it had been done. There was a meeting between ...

The Rat Line

Christopher Driver, 6 December 1984

The Fourth Reich 
by Magnus Linklater, Isabel Hilton and Neal Ascherson.
Hodder, 352 pp., £9.95, November 1984, 0 340 34443 1
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I didn’t say goodbye 
by Claudine Vegh.
Caliban, 179 pp., £7.95, October 1984, 0 904573 93 1
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... By chance, the evening I took this book to bed for the painful reading expected, I jabbed the tooth of a comb down a fingernail and cried out. As a reminder of what Klaus Barbie was about, not just at the Hotel Terminus in Lyon forty years ago but at the Bolivian Joint Chiefs of Staff headquarters in La Paz as late as 1980, the moment served. An inkling of the more enduring wounds for which Barbie was proud to share responsibility can be gathered from Claudine Vegh’s I didn’t say goodbye, a labour of love rather than literature in which the surviving children of French Jewish deportees talk to a psychiatrist who shared their experience: ‘I didn’t have a youth, I no longer have a mother, I have a sister who needs treatment, a father who hasn’t been able to lead a normal life since he came back ...

The Sultan and I

Anthony Howard, 1 June 1989

By God’s Will: A Portrait of the Sultan of Brunei 
by Lord Chalfont.
Weidenfeld, 200 pp., £14.95, May 1989, 0 297 79628 3
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The Richest Man in the World: The Sultan of Brunei 
by James Bartholomew.
Viking, 199 pp., £12.95, April 1989, 0 670 82152 7
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... no normal journalist’s checks, was rigorously opposed by the paper’s then news supremo, Magnus Linklater, as well as by the two members of the Observer’s investigative unit, David Leigh and Paul Lashmar. I added my voice to theirs, urging vigilance and caution. To no avail, however – and perhaps understandably. On Saturday, 11 January ...

Silly Buggers

James Fox, 7 March 1991

The Theatre of Embarrassment 
by Francis Wyndham.
Chatto, 205 pp., £15, February 1991, 0 7011 3726 6
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... large part of their reputation, although not their survival to him. Two of them, Godfrey Smith and Magnus Linklater, now editor of the Scotsman, understood his talent and also knew the dangers. Francis avoided power, but he somehow had it anyway, Without, as Linklater put it, ‘lifting a finger’, he managed to ...

Eric’s Hurt

David Craig, 7 March 1985

Eric LinklaterA Critical Biography 
by Michael Parnell.
Murray, 376 pp., £16, October 1984, 0 7195 4109 3
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... It seems a shame that Eric Linklater was, as his biographer records, perpetually dissatisfied with how his work was received. His third novel (Juan in America, 1931) was the Book Society Choice (as was Private Angelo fifteen years later). He was at once in demand with Tauchnitz on the Continent. His articles were bought by the London dailies, the Listener, and Collier’s, his stories by Harper’s ...

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