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A Life of Its Own

Jonathan Coe, 24 February 1994

The Kenneth Williams Diaries 
edited by Russell Davies.
HarperCollins, 827 pp., £20, June 1993, 0 00 255023 7
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... just behave with politeness – for the rest – she’s had it.’ In his biography of Williams, Michael Freedland gives a fuller account of this incident. He explains the basis of the sketch – two spies complaining about the uselessness of their technical gadgetry – and quotes Fenella Fielding: ‘We both had death pills. I would die first leaving ...

Bernstein and Blitzstein

David Drew, 22 November 1990

Leonard Bernstein 
by Joan Peyser.
Bantam, 430 pp., £14.95, October 1987, 0 593 01454 5
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Leonard Bernstein 
by Michael Freedland.
Harrap, 273 pp., £12.95, October 1987, 0 245 54499 2
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Leonard Bernstein 
by Peter Gradenwitz.
Berg, 310 pp., £15, October 1987, 0 85496 510 6
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Make the music: The Life and Work of Marc Blitzstein 
by Eric Gordon.
St Martin’s, 605 pp., $29.95, March 1989, 0 312 02607 2
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... domestic and other curtains would have been almost negligible but for one episode recounted by Michael Freed-land. As an example of what he shyly calls Bernstein’s ‘other side’ the episode has a small but central place in his book; and the fact that its real significance seems to have been lost on him only adds to the verisimilitude of his ...

Corbyn in the Media

Paul Myerscough, 21 October 2015

... in silence, refusing to answer reporters’ questions: it ‘looked like a perp walk’, Jonathan Freedland wrote in the Guardian. ‘He isn’t playing the game,’ the Times journalist Jenni Russell complained on Newsnight. It was a metaphor, and it wasn’t. Corbyn was being tested: not on his policies, which have hardly been at issue so far, but on his ...

About as Useful as a String Condom

Glen Newey: Bum Decade for the Royals, 23 January 2003

... a reversal of fortune after the travails of the 1990s. In 2001 the dependably vacuous Jonathan Freedland gazed into his crystals and prognosticated that it was going to be so different this time – even the folks in Buckingham Palace are saying it. Next summer’s Golden Jubilee, marking fifty years since Elizabeth II’s Coronation, will not be the ...

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