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Patrick O’Brian

10 May 1990
The Travels of Mendes Pinto 
by Fernao Mendes Pinto, translated by Rebecca Catz.
Chicago, 663 pp., £39.95, October 1989, 0 226 66951 3
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The Grand Peregrination 
by Maurice Collis.
Carcanet, 313 pp., £12.95, February 1990, 0 85635 850 9
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... he was then dispensed from his vows he remained on good terms with the Jesuits, not then a body remarkable for tolerance. Nor is there any mention of anything more than incidental criticism in MauriceCollis, whose The Grand Peregrination, first written in 1949 and now republished, is a valuable abridgment of Pinto’s book (Peregrinçam in Portuguese), the first in English since 1891. Collis was ...


Patricia Craig

17 April 1986
Somerville and Ross: The World of the Irish R.M. 
by Gifford Lewis.
Viking, 251 pp., £12.95, October 1985, 0 670 80760 5
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... we learn from Gifford Lewis that a small table once followed her across a room – and she insisted that her dead collaborator had a hand in the books that appeared (under both names) after 1915. MauriceCollis, who published a biography of Somerville and Ross in 1968, took the line that such closeness could only have come about as a result of a lesbian attachment between the cousins – a ...

Last Exit

Murray Sayle

27 November 1997
The Last Governor: Chris Patten and the Handover of Hong Kong 
by Jonathan Dimbleby.
Little, Brown, 461 pp., £22.50, July 1997, 0 316 64018 2
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In Pursuit of British Interests: Reflections on Foreign Policy under Margaret Thatcher and John Major 
by Percy Cradock.
Murray, 228 pp., £18.99, September 1997, 0 7195 5464 0
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Hong Kong Under Chinese Rule: The Economic and Political Implications of Reversion 
edited by Warren Cohen and Li Zhao.
Cambridge, 255 pp., £45, August 1997, 0 521 62158 5
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The Hong Kong Advantage 
by Michael Enright, Edith Scott and David Dodwell.
Oxford, 369 pp., £20, July 1997, 0 19 590322 6
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... rule: ‘a war more unjust in its origin, a war more calculated in its progress to cover this country with permanent disgrace, I do not know and have not read of.’ A comic classic, Foreign Mud by MauriceCollis, tells the story, but in China the Opium War is not funny. The veteran director Xie Jin’s new $12 million blockbuster (the budget was raised in Shanghai) modelled, he says, on Schindler’s ...

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