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At the Carlton Club

Andrew O’Hagan: Maggie, Denis and Mandy, 2 January 2020

... reviews, is news of a friendship that sprang up at that time between Denis and Mrs Foreman, alias Mandy Rice-Davies. My neighbour at dinner, the gentle and shy Baron Profumo, had reason of course to regret Mandy’s existence, along with Christine Keeler’s, and could only have been perplexed by Denis’s taking up ...

In Memoriam

Paul Sieghart, 19 March 1981

by Mandy Rice-Davies and Shirley Flack.
Joseph, 224 pp., £6.95, November 1980, 0 7181 1974 6
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... For those too young – or too old – to remember, Mandy Rice-Davies had a walk-on part in the Great Profumo Scandal of 1963. Now she has published a racily ghosted autobiography. It says nothing of much interest about anything or anybody that matters, and paints the predictable sympathetic picture of a fun-loving girl more sinned against than sinning ...

Poor Stephen

James Fox, 23 July 1987

An Affair of State: The Profumo Case and the Framing of Stephen Ward 
by Phillip Knightley and Caroline Kennedy.
Cape, 268 pp., £12.95, May 1987, 0 224 02347 0
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Honeytrap: The Secret Worlds of Stephen Ward 
by Anthony Summers and Stephen Dorril.
Weidenfeld, 264 pp., £12.95, May 1987, 0 297 79122 2
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... sympathiser’. And there remains the extraordinary and mysterious spectacle of Ward and Mandy Rice-Davies distributing pro-Soviet pamphlets in the Foreign Office during the Cuban missile crisis. Ward was, of course, dumped by MI5, even though, as we discover, he played an important part, via Ivanov, in communications between the Russian and ...

My Little Lollipop

Jenny Diski: Christine Keeler, 22 March 2001

The Truth at Last: My Story 
by Christine Keeler and Douglas Thompson.
Sidgwick, 279 pp., £16.99, February 2001, 0 283 07291 1
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... have been one of the most moral women of that particular, frenzied decade’. Her friend Mandy Rice-Davies was the ‘true tart’: ‘There was always shock on her face whenever she thought she might have to do more than lie on her back to make a living.’ Visiting the Twenty-One Room, ‘a glorified knocking shop with overpriced drinks and ...


Richard Usborne, 24 January 1980

The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations 
Oxford, 908 pp., £12.50, November 1980, 9780192115607Show More
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... 1,341. At random: Browning gets 265, Kipling 202, Housman 97, Marx (Karl) 11, Marx (Groucho) one. Mandy Rice-Davies (1944-  ) gets one with ‘He would, wouldn’t he?’ when, at the trial of Stephen Ward, June 1963, she was told that Lord X (Astor) had denied her allegations. And Lord Coleridge (1820-1907) gets one: ‘I speak not of this college or ...

Truly Terrifying Things

Walter Nash, 10 January 1991

51 Soko: To the Islands on the Other Side of the World 
by Michael Westlake.
Polygon, 258 pp., £8.95, September 1990, 0 7486 6085 2
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Behind the Waterfall 
by Chinatsy Nakayama.
Virago, 213 pp., £12.99, November 1990, 1 85381 269 2
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Dirty Faxes, and Other Stories 
by Andrew Davies.
Methuen, 243 pp., £13.99, October 1990, 0 413 63270 9
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... notions of category and order. Genji, as one might expect, writes exclusively to women (including Mandy Rice-Davies, the Andrews Sisters and Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Ramsay), and displays an endearing capacity for romantic aberration, as when he assumes from her name that Barbara Windsor must be one of our royal house, the Third Princess after Di and ...


Peter Campbell: At the new British Library, 27 November 1997

... the ambience. Are we really up to it? It is all very well for Bernard Shaw and Karl Marx (even for Mandy Rice-Davies and Jeremy Paxman, who the Library, a little coyly, include in the list of celebrated readers they hand out to the press), but most readers are not famous or notorious; some of us are vague and dilatory – doubtful about our right to take ...

Uses for Horsehair

David Blackbourn, 9 February 1995

Duelling: The Cult of Honour in Fin-de-Siècle Germany 
by Kevin McAleer.
Princeton, 268 pp., £19.95, January 1995, 0 691 03462 1
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... It is only honourable to point out that I am mentioned critically in these pages, so that the Mandy Rice-Davies response applies to my criticisms. McAleer suggests I am guilty of heads-I-win, tails-you-lose arguments. I think he sees sleights (just as his duellists saw slights) where none exist. Perhaps I should send my seconds to the author with a ...

The Road to 1989

Paul Addison, 21 February 1991

The People’s Peace: British History 1945-1989 
by Kenneth O. Morgan.
Oxford, 558 pp., £17.95, October 1990, 0 19 822764 7
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... book of Lloyd George and the Welsh hall of fame, though it is broad-minded of Dr Morgan to embrace Mandy Rice-Davies, and a nice touch to describe Sir Anthony Meyer, who challenged Mrs Thatcher for the party leadership in 1989, as ‘an obscure Welsh member’. On Kinnock himself, Morgan is prudent and restrained. In his general view of British ...


Tom Shippey, 2 February 1989

A Turbulent, Seditious and Factious People: John Bunyan and his Church 
by Christopher Hill.
Oxford, 394 pp., £19.50, October 1988, 0 19 812818 5
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The Premature Reformation: Wycliffite Texts and Lollard History 
by Anne Hudson.
Oxford, 556 pp., £48, July 1988, 0 19 822762 0
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... were furious, and said the country was going ‘rotten’. But then, in the immortal words of Mandy Rice-Davies, they would, wouldn’t they? The image of Bunyan and Bunyan’s world given here by Hill is detailed, fascinating and provocative: but also retrospective, humourless, in the end unconvincing. Maybe Hill should have been writing about ...

Middle-Class Hair

Carolyn Steedman: A New World for Women, 19 October 2017

... style here: the white lipstick! the headscarves! – too much like a hybrid of county lady and Mandy Rice-Davies (she did do Rice-Davies’s nails). But she was very taken by the library-steps photograph from the Sunday Times Colour Supplement, which I remember as if it were still before my eyes. In the ...

Big Lawyers and Little Lawyers

Stephen Sedley, 28 November 1996

The Access to Justice: Final Report 
by Lord Woolf.
HMSO, 370 pp., £19.95, July 1996, 0 11 380099 1
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The Future of Law: Facing the Challenges of Information Technology 
by Richard Susskind.
Oxford, 309 pp., £19.99, July 1996, 0 19 826007 5
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... not only your conclusions but your premises, your qualifications and your integrity?’ The Mandy Rice-Davies response is unlikely to be sufficient in such a setting, and we may find ourselves close to where we started, with adversarial blood-lettings between hired experts – unless the goal of judge-managed litigation really is made the ...

Why we go to war

Ferdinand Mount, 6 June 2019

... Europe’s tensions were the product of economic rivalry’. To adapt the immortal words of Mandy Rice-Davies, they wouldn’t say that, would they? At the very least, it is remarkable that, the moment war broke out, Bethmann-Hollweg and Thyssen and many others should have had these very similar war aims piping hot and ready to go. Instead, more ...

Take a bullet for the team

David Runciman: The Profumo Affair, 21 February 2013

An English Affair: Sex, Class and Power in the Age of Profumo 
by Richard Davenport-Hines.
Harper, 400 pp., £20, January 2013, 978 0 00 743584 5
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... British public life were revealed. He mocks the most celebrated moment of the whole saga, when Mandy Rice-Davies responded to being told that Bill Astor had denied having had sex with her with the line: ‘Well, he would, wouldn’t he?’ Ever since, worldly commentators have taken this to be a glimmer of straight-talk amid the welter of lies. In a ...

Falklands Title Deeds

Malcolm Deas, 19 August 1982

The Struggle for the Falkland Islands 
by Julius Goebel, introduced by J.C.J. Metford.
Yale, 482 pp., £10, June 1982, 0 300 02943 8
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The Falklands Islands Dispute: International Dimensions 
edited by Joan Pearce.
Chatham House, 47 pp., £2.75, April 1982, 0 905031 25 3
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The Falkland Islands: The Facts 
HMSO, 12 pp., £50, May 1982, 0 11 701029 4Show More
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... the Islands, and the other by a former bishop. Here one could quote, to some purpose, the actress Mandy Rice-Davies. Fifty-five years after Goebel’s book first came out it is still not clear who discovered the islands. It is doubtful if it ever will be. Goebel follows his energetic examination of all the known claims with an exhaustive account of ...

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