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“... obstacle to his final ambition of success in America’ (where much harder questions are asked). Thompson and Delano, musing over ‘the secret cache in the Alps’, wonder if he has walled himself into Liechtenstein instead of walling others out. Bower’s book bears the mark of two foreign connections, having been ‘set in Hong Kong, printed in ...”
“... I was a friend and devoted admirer of Peter Cook for thirty years but I never realised until I read this book how much our early lives had overlapped. We were born in the same week into the same sort of family. His father, like mine, was a colonial servant rushing round the world hauling down the Imperial flag. At one stage both fathers were ensnared in the argument about the most appropriate capital for the West Indies Federation: an argument as vexed as it was futile since the Federation lasted only a few months ...”
“... Jim Thompson never actually claimed to write capital-L Literature, but today, nearly twenty years after his death, many of his admirers are making the claim for him. Born in a sheriff’s apartment over the Caddo County Jail in Oklahoma in 1906, Thompson, like many good American boys, grew up to be a lot like his father ...”
“... Flora Thompson was born in 1876 in the hamlet of Juniper Hill in Oxfordshire, the daughter of a nursemaid and a stonemason. At the village school she was good at skipping and scripture. She was expected to go into service like most of her schoolfriends, but she was bad at sewing and ineffective with babies; when she was 14 she became a post-office clerk in a nearby village ...”
“... and American puritanism, survives this artless evidential exposition. In his conclusion, Roger Thompson does well to quote the judgment of the man who knew the New England mind best of all, Perry Miller. ‘If we take puritan culture as a whole we shall find, let us say, that about 90 per cent of intellectual life, scientific knowledge, morality, manners ...”
“... barons). The trouble was no one in the actual Labour Party remotely resembled him. By this point, Peter Mandelson was communications director, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown were in Parliament and Neil Kinnock – scarred by having to defend unilateral disarmament in the 1987 general election – was on the long march to respectability and another defeat in ...”
“... in 1959, by Edward Grierson, Storm Bird: The Strange Life of Georgina Weldon, which Brian Thompson commends in his bibliography as ‘genial and entertaining’. His own book is as genial as the subject will allow, often extravagantly entertaining, and as shrewd as it is well-written. After forty-odd years Mrs Weldon was well worth a second look. It ...”
“... the BBC secured the licence fee – frozen at the current level – for the next six years. Mark Thompson, the BBC’s director general, told me in June that the Foreign Office’s continuing control is ‘a fine constitutional point’ which can be addressed in the next charter renewal – no more threatening, he believes, than the potential the government ...”
“... canvas of the Cold War were already under way in the Balkans in the summer of 1944 when Frank Thompson was executed. Bulgaria was a member of the Axis and Frank, older brother of the historian E.P. Thompson, was on a mission in the country for Special Operations Executive: the idea was that anti-Nazi partisans should be ...”
“... are technical studies, both propose or imply broad visions of 17th-ccntury Anglo-America. Roger Thompson, who teaches at East Anglia, has spent years – it must have been decades – studying the genealogies of 2138 East Anglians among the 14,000-21,000 emigrants in the Puritan-led Great Migration to New England of 1630 to 1640. His genealogical research ...”
“... Sir Peter Medawar is the most distinguished biologist in Britain today. His work on immunology during the 1950s is the inspiration of all modern transplantation surgery, and was judged worthy of a Nobel Prize. In addition to his technical work, he also writes and lectures on science to a broader audience, and with more grace and wit than any one else who has tried his skill in that field ...”
“... situation, and human civilisation will be destroyed. There is some cheer on the other side. E.P. Thompson, leader of CND, has recently delivered his banned BBC lecture, ‘Beyond the Cold War’,* at Worcester City Guildhall with the approval of the city fathers. Evidently Worcester is a most enlightened city. Thompson is ...”
“... soul-stripping illness whose details Bayley did not spare. After her death in 1999 things sped up. Peter Conradi’s portly authorised biography was smartly challenged by A.N. Wilson’s slimmer unauthorised memoir, Iris Murdoch as I Knew Her, a witty, affectionate, impious account which made disturbing suggestions about Bayley’s feelings towards his ...”
“... its social structure. Lord Lucan and Veronica Duncan on their wedding day, 28 November 1963. Thompson’s book is a mixture of all of these and the result is persuasive and revealing in some parts, absurd and tasteless in others. Yet it is a compelling read. The story doesn’t pall because it has become a myth and myths change with time. As the Lucan ...”
“... also included the artists Nigel Henderson, William Turnbull and Magda Cordell, the architects Peter and Alison Smithson, and the critic Reyner Banham. In the late 1980s the Smithsons looked back on the ‘as found’ aesthetic of New Brutalism as ‘a confronting recognition of what the postwar world actually was like’: ‘In a society that had nothing ...”