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“... A reviewer faced with 1,155 pages about Robert Maxwell is entitled to look at the pictures first. Joe Haines’s biography contains over eighty photographs of his hero, many in colour. Mostly they show him hobnobbing with crowned heads, presidents or prime ministers, with a pop star or a footballer thrown in. One picture, more puzzling than some, is captioned ‘Maxwell and team, about to leave Ulan Bator in the Mirror jet ...”
“... who might be a mole’. Failing to land a job on the Daily Worker he went to Tribune, where Robert Edwards was leaving to join Beaverbrook and Michael Foot, recently a Beaverbrook man, was acting editor. (Will Mervyn Jones also end up in the Beaverbrook stable? the reader anxiously wonders.) Tribune paid him £16 a week to spread himself over the ...”
“... Or Debbie Ladley. She was 18, a nanny, and she had given some help to LAND. James Cutler and Robert Edwards record: ‘On 29 September 1986, she was hanging out her washing in her garden at Stragglethorpe near Fulbeck. A man grabbed her from behind by the throat and banged her head against the wall. She suffered a fractured wrist, a cracked rib and ...”
“... landed on top of his victim in a terminal embrace, after which the body was sold to the anatomist Robert Knox. Hare turned King’s evidence, and after a trial which ended early on Christmas morning 1828, his confederate was hanged. The woman Burke lived with, Helen MacDougal, received a verdict of not proven: she had been ably defended by Henry Cockburn. A ...”
“... and privilege meet. This book has several faults but at least one great merit: Arthur Gold and Robert Fizdale have seen that Misia’s personality, even if it can never quite be captured, remains highly interesting for the light it casts on how talent can cohabit with gracious living and yet still keep its distance. Misia features a good deal of ...”
“... until it becomes their proper nature. It is the same with writers and artists. Byron or David or Robert Lowell cannot slink off and become their ordinary selves in the intervals of being poets and painters and men of the age. Greta Garbo is always Greta Garbo, once she has found the part. But there is quite a different category of actor, as of ...”
“... her own exertions, Mary Ward made herself one of the most famous and highly paid women of her day. Robert Elsmere was a publishing prodigy (Sutherland has called it ‘probably the most popular novel of the century’), and it was followed by books that earned an apparently interminable flow of adulation and royalties. She used her literary status to make ...”
“... Farm on 8 August 1963, with Tony Bennett singing ‘The Good Life’ on the radio. When Buster Edwards hanged himself last year and I rang Bruce Reynolds for a comment (an explanation, if there can ever be such a thing) he referred me to Alvarez and The Savage God. Reynolds was always the most interesting of the train robbers and in a way it’s a pity ...”
“... Country than anyone else alive. Elsewhere her touch is not as sure as it might be. Describing Sir Robert Kerr (anglicised to Carr), James I’s favourite, who obtained Ralegh’s estate, as ‘a penniless Scotsman from Roxburghshire’ does not tell us a great deal and it misses the irony that Kerr was no more and no less than the Scottish equivalent of an ...”
“...Robert Lowell is not difficult to represent as the mad poet and justified sinner of the Romantic heritage. He is the dual personality who breaks the rules, kicks over the traces: he did this in the course of a series of manic highs which came and went from maturity, if not before, until the end of his life in 1977 at the age of 60 ...”
“... a gloomy Puritan history lingers, a trace, perhaps, of the ferocious Calvinist divine Jonathan Edwards. There is also the eerie emptiness of nature in New England, the dark, wooded landscape that seems hollow, and menacing, without a history. Even the streets of Stockbridge seem empty. No one is around. They are, no doubt, in their cars, and another poet ...”
“... was ostensibly a plan agreed by the imprisoned Mary and the Florentine banker and papal nuncio Roberto Ridolphi, which aimed to depose Elizabeth with a rebellion led by the Duke of Norfolk and backed by a Spanish army from the Netherlands. When the plot was broken in 1571, Norfolk was put on trial and executed; if Cecil had had his way, Mary would have met ...”
“... Prosperity Krugman dismissed Tyson and other Clinton advisors, including the labour secretary Robert Reich, as mere ‘policy entrepreneurs’, not real economists. His writing from this period betrays the prickly tone of one who has been spurned. But, when compared with Bush, Clinton didn’t seem so bad. The title of Krugman’s new book is a play on ...”
“... in Hogarth’s career’, with the possible exception of his stately portrait of wealthy Mary Edwards, who was his most generous patron and a courageous fighter for one woman’s lib – her own. In a screed beside her in the portrait she implores all Englishmen to remember the laws and rights and defend the liberties secured for them by their ...”