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The Undesired Result

Gillian Darley: Betjeman’s bêtes noires, 31 March 2005

Betjeman: The Bonus of Laughter 
by Bevis Hillier.
Murray, 744 pp., £25, October 2004, 0 7195 6495 6
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... Betjeman’s horizons, leading him and Elizabeth Cavendish regularly abroad in a group that Osbert Lancaster (one of Betjeman’s most steadfast friends) christened ‘the Church of England Ramblers Association’. Betjeman’s hate figures could not be counted as enemies, since many of them were oblivious of their importance to him. Some, such as ...

Herberts & Herbertinas

Rosemary Hill: Steven Runciman, 20 October 2016

Outlandish Knight: The Byzantine Life of Steven Runciman 
by Minoo Dinshaw.
Penguin, 767 pp., £30, September 2016, 978 0 241 00493 7
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... was tense as Greece moved towards civil war, but society was lively. Among his compatriots were Osbert Lancaster, Rex Warner and Patrick Leigh Fermor. Maurice Cardiff, the army officer who ran the council temporarily before Runciman arrived, recalls him vividly dealing with his improbable staff as they all gamely muddled through. ‘He had two kinds of ...

Catacomb Graffiti

Clive James, 20 December 1979

Poems and Journeys 
by Charles Johnston.
Bodley Head, 97 pp., £3.90
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Eugene Onegin 
by Alexander Pushkin, translated by Charles Johnston.
Penguin Classics, 238 pp., £1.50
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... ambiguity in the third line, incidentally, is less a grammatical error than a mark of class. Osbert Lancaster and Anthony Powell have both always let their participles dangle with abandon, and Evelyn Waugh, in the same chapter of his autobiography which tells us that only those who have studied Latin can write English, perpetrates at least one ...
London Reviews 
edited by Nicholas Spice.
Chatto, 222 pp., £5.95, October 1985, 0 7011 2988 3
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The New Review Anthology 
edited by Ian Hamilton.
Heinemann, 320 pp., £12.95, October 1985, 0 434 31330 0
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Night and Day 
edited by Christopher Hawtree, by Graham Greene.
Chatto, 277 pp., £12.95, November 1985, 0 07 011296 7
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Lilliput goes to war 
edited by Kaye Webb.
Hutchinson, 288 pp., £10.95, September 1985, 9780091617608
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Penguin New Writing: 1940-1950 
edited by John Lehmann and Roy Fuller.
Penguin, 496 pp., September 1985, 0 14 007484 8
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... The personnel sounds like a dream roster, an all-time heavenly cricket team. Greene on cinema, Osbert Lancaster on art, Elizabeth Bowen on theatre, William Empson on travel ... and Evelyn Waugh on books. Waugh’s lambasting of the milquetoast Left sounds like mere common sense now, but by making truthfulness of prose his first criterion he achieved a ...

Death in Belgravia

Rosemary Hill, 5 February 2015

A Different Class of Murder: The Story of Lord Lucan 
by Laura Thompson.
Head of Zeus, 422 pp., £20, November 2014, 978 1 78185 536 2
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... pedigree sported a familiar range of lordly personalities. Like a row of cartoon portraits by Osbert Lancaster she runs us through them. The first earl was the clever one, a Whig who got the title, the second was the cultured earl, who lived in Italy and commissioned busts of his daughters from Thorvaldsen. The inevitable spendthrift earl was the ...

At the V&A

Peter Campbell: Art Deco, 17 April 2003

... as an early sign of the triumph of rational design which would follow. Art Deco reproduces two of Osbert Lancaster’s illustrations of 1939 from Homes Sweet Homes, ‘Functionalist interior’ and ‘Modernistic interior’, and says of them that ‘in this context both the Moderne and the Modernistic are viewed as vulgar and ...

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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... were guests of Astor’s, other visitors included the president of Pakistan, Lord Mountbatten and Osbert Lancaster. Did Ward throw Keeler Profumo’s way? Did Ivanov know? Was it a honey-trap? Whatever the answers to these questions, it is unlikely Astor had much idea of what was going on. He was something of an innocent, trying to emulate his mother ...

Attila the Hus

Mary-Kay Wilmers, 4 November 1982

Rules of the Game: Sir Oswald and Lady Cynthia Mosley 1896-1933 
by Nicholas Mosley.
Secker, 274 pp., £8.95, October 1982, 0 436 28849 4
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... 1929: Cimmie became MP for Stoke on Trent and Mosley was given the Chancellorship of the Duchy of Lancaster with responsibility (under J.H. Thomas) for unemployment. A year later he resigned his ministerial post, and in January 1931, he and Cimmie resigned from the Labour Party. The first resignation was a triumph: the second ruined his career. At the time of ...

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