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He knows a little place

Douglas Johnson, 13 February 1992

Expensive Habits 
by Peter Mayle.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 191 pp., £14.95, October 1991, 1 85619 055 2
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... flame) has been observed as frequently as legend suggests, and it is not clear whether or not Peter Mayle himself witnessed the burning of the ten-pound note that had masqueraded as a tip (although he claims that the perpetrator of the deed is a friend). But why then does this legend persist? Presumably because, for some, the idea of wealth, power ...

Abecedary

James Francken: Ian Sansom, 20 May 2004

Ring Road: There’s No Place like Home 
by Ian Sansom.
Fourth Estate, 388 pp., £12.99, April 2004, 0 00 715653 7
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... of refuge and fantasy’. It is one of those destinations – ‘like the South of France before Peter Mayle, and Tuscany before champagne socialists’ – which, it is assumed, is ‘unspoilt by the American coffee shops and the malls and the ring roads that have ruined Arnoldian England’. But as Sansom discovers, the Ireland of middle-class English ...

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