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Put it in your suitcase

Nicholas Penny: Sotheby’s

18 March 1999
Sotheby’s: Bidding for Class 
by Robert Lacey.
Little, Brown, 354 pp., £20, May 1998, 0 316 64447 1
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Sotheby’s: Inside Story 
by Peter Watson.
Bloomsbury, 325 pp., £7.99, May 1998, 0 7475 3808 5
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... have escaped auction altogether, usually by passing through some other form of public sale or by changing hands privately. I thought this was common knowledge but in Sotheby’s: Bidding for Class RobertLacey assures us that there had never been a ‘tradition of selling ... classic, museum-quality masterpieces at auction – at Christie’s or anywhere else’ before the end of the First World War ...

The Family

Malise Ruthven

17 December 1981
The House of Saud 
by David Holden and Richard Johns.
Sidgwick, 569 pp., £9.95, October 1981, 0 283 98436 8
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The Kingdom 
by Robert Lacey.
Hutchinson, 631 pp., £9.95, October 1981, 0 09 145790 4
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... you have the contemporary saga to beat them all: Dallas and the Klondyke, Moses and the Godfather merged into a single script. Not surprisingly, two highly successful journalists, David Holden and RobertLacey, decided to turn their talents to an exposition of this fascinating modern legend. Unfortunately Holden, a distinguished reporter with many years’ experience of the Middle East labyrinth ...
20 October 1983
Elizabeth R.: A Biography 
by Elizabeth Longford.
Weidenfeld, 389 pp., £10.95, September 1983, 0 297 78285 1
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Aristocrats 
by Robert Lacey.
Hutchinson/BBC, 249 pp., £9.95, October 1983, 0 09 154290 1
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The Cult of the Prince Consort 
by Elizabeth Darby and Nicola Smith.
Yale, 120 pp., £10, October 1983, 0 300 03015 0
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... shoot grouse and sell them to hotels, how they organise financial empires or avoid taxes. It’s a real yawn. Supported apparently by a battery of what are known in the trade as research workers, RobertLacey has organised this rubbish and added to it some vaguely historical and cultural talk: he even manages to mention Plato. What emerges is less a picture of anything that could be called an ...

Excellence

Patrick Wright

21 May 1987
Creating excellence: Managing corporate culture, strategy and change in the New Age 
by Craig Hickman and Michael Silva.
Allen and Unwin, 305 pp., £12.50, April 1985, 0 04 658252 5
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Intrapreneuring: Why you don’t have to leave the corporation to become an entrepreneur 
by Gifford Pinchot.
Harper and Row, 368 pp., £15.95, August 1985, 0 06 015305 9
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The IBM Way: Insights into the World’s Most Successful Marketing Organisation 
by Buck Rodgers.
Harper and Row, 224 pp., £12.95, April 1986, 0 06 015522 1
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Innovation: The Attacker’s Advantage 
by Richard Foster.
Macmillan, 316 pp., £14.95, September 1986, 0 333 43511 7
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Ford 
by Robert Lacey.
Heinemann, 778 pp., £15, July 1986, 0 434 40192 7
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Company of Adventurers: The Story of the Hudson’s Bay Company 
by Peter Newman.
Viking, 413 pp., £14.95, March 1986, 0 670 80379 0
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Augustine’s Laws 
by Norman Augustine.
Viking, 380 pp., £12.95, July 1986, 9780670809424
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Peak Performers: The New Heroes in Business 
by Charles Garfield.
Hutchinson, 333 pp., £12.95, October 1986, 0 09 167391 7
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Going for it: How to Succeed as an Entrepreneur 
by Victor Kiam.
Collins, 223 pp., £9.95, May 1986, 0 00 217603 3
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Take a chance to be first: The Secrets of Entrepreneurial Success 
by Warren Avis.
Macmillan, 222 pp., £9.95, October 1986, 0 02 504410 9
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The Winning Streak 
by Walter Goldsmith and David Clutterbuck.
Weidenfeld/Penguin, 224 pp., £9.95, September 1984, 0 297 78469 2
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The Roots of Excellence 
by Ronnie Lessem.
Fontana, 318 pp., £3.95, December 1985, 0 00 636874 3
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The New Management of Local Government 
by John Stewart.
Allen and Unwin, 208 pp., £20, October 1986, 0 00 435232 7
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... to gentrify the jungle, the more recent books urge us to face it as it is. The leading management books of the Eighties have been American, and ‘excellence’ is their creed. Thomas Peters and Robert Waterman Junior’s In Search of Excellence1 appeared in 1982 and it quickly established itself as the best-selling management book ever. Here was an unambiguous riposte to the Japanese economic ...

Every inch a king

Antonia Fraser

16 October 1980
Great Harry 
by Carolly Erickson.
Dent, 428 pp., £8.50, July 1980, 0 460 04366 8
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... there is a need for another full-length biography of Henry VIII. In 1968, Professor Scarisbrick’s great work dramatically revised our thinking about the bloat King. Three years later appeared Lacey Baldwin Smith’s rich and racy study of the King’s character, taken from the viewpoint of old age and subtitled ‘The Mask of Royalty’: here Tudor history and modern psychology made slightly ...

Hot Dogs

Malcolm Bull

14 June 1990
Mine eyes have seen the glory: A Journey into the Evangelical Subculture in America 
by Randall Balmer.
Oxford, 246 pp., $19.95, September 1989, 0 19 505117 3
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In God’s Country: Travels in the Bible Belt, USA 
by Douglas Kennedy.
Unwin Hyman, 240 pp., £12.95, November 1989, 0 04 440423 9
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The Divine Supermarket 
by Malise Ruthven.
Chatto, 336 pp., £14.95, August 1989, 0 7011 3151 9
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The Democratisation of American Christianity 
by Nathan Hatch.
Yale, 312 pp., £22.50, November 1989, 0 300 44470 2
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Religion and 20th-Century American Intellectual Life 
edited by Michael Lacey.
Cambridge/Woodrow Wilson Centre for Scholars, 214 pp., £27.50, November 1989, 0 521 37560 6
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New Religions and the Theological Imagination in America 
by Mary Farrell Bednarowski.
Indiana, 175 pp., $25, November 1989, 0 253 31137 3
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... the frontierless European Community and the newly-liberated countries of Eastern Europe may both prove receptive to fundamentalist Christianity, and (if the recent Soviet invitation to televangelist Robert Schuller is anything to go by) the satellite channels of a united Europe may one day broadcast the gospel of individual salvation which its inhabitants have long thought fit only for their American ...

Tousy-Mousy

Anne Barton: Mary Shelley

8 February 2001
Mary Shelley 
by Miranda Seymour.
Murray, 665 pp., £25, October 2000, 0 7195 5711 9
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Mary Shelley in Her Times 
edited by Betty Bennett and Stuart Curran.
Johns Hopkins, 311 pp., £33, September 2000, 0 8018 6334 1
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Mary Shelley's Fictions 
edited by Michael Eberle-Sinatra.
Palgrave, 250 pp., £40, August 2000, 0 333 77106 0
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... a generalisation about ‘the trailing figure of the biographer’, but it is significant that it should be the Shelley ménage – in a book that also explores his biographical ‘intimacy’ with Robert Louis Stevenson, Gérard de Nerval and Mary Shelley’s remarkable mother Mary Wollstonecraft – that occasions the reflection. There is something about ‘the Shelley circle’, and particularly ...

Women beware men

Margaret Anne Doody

23 July 1992
Backlash: The Undeclared War against Women 
by Susan Faludi.
Chatto, 592 pp., £9.99, March 1992, 0 7011 4643 5
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The War against Women 
by Marilyn French.
Hamish Hamilton, 229 pp., £9.99, March 1992, 0 241 13271 1
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... the objective of an advertising-supported programme is to reach a wide, defined and devoted audience in a high consumer range. Yet success is no guarantee of favour. The police series Cagney and Lacey about two female cops had a wide and devoted audience of young women, including students, career women and high-purchasing ‘home-makers’. Yet CBS was upset by the character played by Sharon Gless ...

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