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Did the self-made man fake it with Bohemian fossils?

Richard Fortey: Jacques Deprat, 25 November 1999

The Deprat Affair: Ambition, Revenge and Deceit in French Indochina 
by Roger Osborne.
Cape, 244 pp., £15.99, October 1999, 0 224 05295 0
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... for the official photograph. He was brilliant, 33, and the world was his geological oyster. (Roger Osborne notes dryly that Honoré Lantenois, the Director of the Service Géologique de l’Indochine, was on the very edge of the same picture, ‘as far from the centre as it is possible to be’.) The photograph encapsulates the way in which the old ...


J.I.M. Stewart, 5 May 1983

A Talent to Deceive: An Appreciation of Agatha Christie 
by Robert Barnard.
Collins, 203 pp., £7.95, April 1980, 0 00 216190 7
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The Agatha Christie Hour 
by Agatha Christie.
Collins, 190 pp., £6.50, September 1982, 0 00 231331 6
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The Penguin Complete Sherlock Holmes 
by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Allen Lane, 1122 pp., £7.95, August 1981, 0 7139 1444 0
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The Quest for Sherlock Holmes 
by Owen Dudley Edwards.
Mainstream, 380 pp., £12.50, November 1982, 0 906391 15 6
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The Unknown Conan Doyle: Essays on Photography 
by John Michael Gibson and Richard Lancelyn Green.
Secker, 128 pp., £8.50, November 1982, 0 436 13302 4
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The Unknown Conan Doyle: Uncollected Stories 
by John Michael Gibson and Richard Lancelyn Green.
Secker, 456 pp., £8.95, November 1982, 0 436 13301 6
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The Life and Crimes of Agatha Christie 
by Charles Osborne.
Collins, 256 pp., £9.95, September 1982, 0 00 216462 0
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... Christie is supreme. Thus in what I take to be the most famous of detective novels, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, Ackroyd’s secretary hears his employer’s voice coming from his study: ‘the calls on my purse have been so frequent of late that I fear it is impossible for me to accede to your request.’ Poirot sees that nobody would talk like this ...

Political Purposes

Frances Spalding: Art in postwar Britain, 15 April 1999

New Art New World: British Art in Postwar Society 
by Margaret Garlake.
Yale, 279 pp., £35, July 1998, 0 300 07292 9
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Cultural Offensive: America’s Impact on British Art since 1945 
by John Walker.
Pluto, 304 pp., £45, September 1988, 0 7453 1321 3
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... this account a token figure rather than – as she increasingly seems – a key player. Not since Roger Fry’s two Post-Impressionist exhibitions of 1910 and 1912 had the art world been so divided. American Abstract Expressionism aroused violently opposed responses. ‘I was instantly elated by the size, energy, originality, economy and inventive daring of ...

Rug Time

Jonathan Steinberg, 20 October 1983

Kissinger: The Price of Power 
by Seymour Hersh.
Faber, 699 pp., £15, October 1983, 0 571 13175 1
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... suffer the indignity of having his phone tapped. The lessons of court life are quickly learned. As Roger Morris, one of Kissinger’s original bright young men, put it, in describing the irresistible rise of Al Haig: ‘ “Al was the ultimate special assistant,” he says. “There’s a whole culture in the Defence Department and in the White House. The ...

You’ve got it or you haven’t

Iain Sinclair, 25 February 1993

Inside the Firm: The Untold Story of the Krays’ Reign of Terror 
by Tony Lambrianou and Carol Clerk.
Pan, 256 pp., £4.99, October 1992, 0 330 32284 2
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Gangland: London’s Underworld 
by James Morton.
Little, Brown, 349 pp., £14.99, September 1992, 0 356 20889 3
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Nipper: The Story of Leonard ‘Nipper’ Read 
by Leonard Read and James Morton.
Warner, 318 pp., £5.99, September 1992, 0 7515 0001 1
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Smash and Grab: Gangsters in the London Underworld 
by Robert Murphy.
Faber, 182 pp., £15.99, February 1993, 0 571 15442 5
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... the Nash brothers, Alf White? Get your PR in first, before you pick up a shooter from ‘Dukie’ Osborne, if you’re into immortality. Hire your Joe Haines, like any other self-respecting tycoon. Give the legend a bit of a massage. It could be the difference between being a statistic in a Channel 4 filler and being reincarnated by Richard Burton. Only ...

You Muddy Fools

Dan Jacobson: In the months before his death Ian Hamilton talked about himself to Dan Jacobson, 14 January 2002

... he was the reactionary figure at the Royal Court and was well known for his opposition to John Osborne, my hero.Duncan was involved in that post-Eliot ‘revival’ of poetic drama. Yes, he wanted more verse drama. He also thought that drama should be on some major theme which, indeed, mine was. My play was also laid out like verse, though it wasn’t in ...

The Tower

Andrew O’Hagan, 7 June 2018

... housing stock and left councils to pick up the pieces and deal with the housing shortage. George Osborne did more harm than any British politician for a generation when he cut rent revenues and imposed austerity measures. In her rush to be sympathetic, May must have forgotten the Housing and Planning Act 2016, which did yet more to undermine councils in ...

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