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Taking the Blame

Jean McNicol: Jennie Lee, 7 May 1998

Jennie Lee: A Life 
by Patricia Hollis.
Oxford, 459 pp., £25, November 1997, 0 19 821580 0
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... nor did he doubt that her supporting role was appropriate. Although Jennie Lee led what Patricia Hollis describes in her well-judged if rather ill-organised biography as a ‘male’ life – ‘public, itinerant and unencumbered by family responsibilities’: they had no children – her sacrifices were typically female. (Lee’s privileging ...

Uncle Max

Patricia Craig, 20 December 1984

The man who was M: The Life of Maxwell Knight 
by Anthony Masters.
Blackwell, 205 pp., £9.95, November 1984, 0 631 13392 5
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Unreliable Witness: Espionage Myths of the Second World War 
by Nigel West.
Weidenfeld, 166 pp., £8.95, October 1984, 0 297 78481 1
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The Great Betrayal: The Untold Story of Kim Philby’s Biggest Coup 
by Nicholas Bethell.
Hodder, 214 pp., £9.95, October 1984, 0 340 35701 0
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... policy with regard to Britain after the war, was dismissed as ‘over-theoretical’ by Roger Hollis, and various other Soviet experts considered it unimpressive. The question of Knight’s possible homosexuality isn’t really tackled by Masters either. He neither confirms nor contradicts it. It was first mooted by Joan Miller, who endured Knight’s ...

Pseud’s Corner

John Sutherland, 17 July 1980

Duffy 
by Dan Kavanagh.
Cape, 181 pp., £4.95, July 1980, 0 224 01822 1
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Moscow Gold 
by John Salisbury.
Futura, 320 pp., £1.10, March 1980, 0 7088 1702 5
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The Middle Ground 
by Margaret Drabble.
Weidenfeld, 248 pp., £5.95, June 1980, 0 297 77808 0
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The Boy Who Followed Ripley 
by Patricia Highsmith.
Heinemann, 292 pp., £6.50, April 1980, 0 434 33520 7
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... for instance, that made Eric Blair rechristen himself at the start of his career? As Christopher Hollis tells us: ‘The reasons he gave for changing his name are oddly unconvincing. He complained that Blair was a Scots name and that he disliked Scotland because of its association with the deer forests about which his rich schoolfellows used to boast at his ...

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