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Gangsters in Hats

Richard Mayne, 17 May 1984

Essays on Detective Fiction 
edited by Bernard Benstock.
Macmillan, 218 pp., £20, February 1984, 0 333 32195 2
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Dashiell Hammett: A Life at the Edge 
by William Nolan.
Arthur Barker, 276 pp., £9.95, September 1983, 0 213 16886 3
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The Life of Dashiell Hammett 
by Diane Johnson.
Chatto, 344 pp., £12.95, January 1984, 9780701127664
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Hellman in Hollywood 
by Bernard Dick.
Associated University Presses, 183 pp., £14.95, September 1983, 0 8386 3140 1
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... scripts: films, radio and TV series, distant derivatives such as Hart to Hart. Impersonated by William Powell and Myrna Loy, the Charles pair embodied what Otis Ferguson called ‘the tanned leather of an equable married life rather than the friskier calf of boy-chases-girl’: but, like Bogart and company, they slightly embellished the original. Behind ...


John Brown, 18 November 1982

Shadow Man: The Life of Dashiell Hammett 
by Richard Layman.
Junction, 285 pp., £9.95, August 1981, 0 86245 027 6
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... done for other projected and equally unauthorised lives of Hammett by David Fechheimer and William Godschalk, and upon material gathered by William Nolan, editor of Dashiell Hammett: A Casebook. In other words, Shadow Man emerges from a background of intrigue: prolonged scuffling in the literary undergrowth and ...


Susan McKay: In Portadown, 10 March 2022

... Thousands died. But there was no surrender, and the city was finally relieved by the new king, William of Orange. Every year, the Orange Order, the Apprentice Boys and others celebrate the victory by burning an effigy of Lundy to shouts of ‘no surrender!’ Pinned to its chest is a sign that says: ‘Lundy the Traitor’. When Foster realised she was ...
Sleaze: Politicians, Private Interests and Public Reaction 
edited by F.F. Ridley and Alan Doig.
Oxford, 222 pp., £10.99, April 1996, 0 19 922273 8
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Changing Trains: The Autobiography of Steven Norris 
Hutchinson, 273 pp., £16.99, October 1996, 0 09 180212 1Show More
The Quango Debate 
edited by F.F. Ridley and David Wilson.
Oxford, 188 pp., £10.99, September 1995, 9780199222384
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... golden handshake.)None of this seemed to shock anyone. When MacGregor later gave evidence to the Nolan Commission on standards in public life, a member of the Commission, MacGregor’s former cabinet colleague Tom King, signalled his approach to MacGregor’s conduct with the memorable sentence: ‘I will embarrass you now by saying I always thought you ...

Ten Thousand Mile Mistake

Thomas Powers: Robert Stone in Saigon, 18 February 2021

Child of Light: A Biography of Robert Stone 
by Madison Smartt Bell.
Doubleday, 588 pp., £27, March 2020, 978 0 385 54160 2
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The Eye You See With: Selected Non-Fiction 
by Robert Stone, edited by Madison Smartt Bell.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 320 pp., £20.99, April 2020, 978 0 618 38624 6
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‘Dog Soldiers’, A Flag for Sunrise’, Outerbridge Reach’ 
by Robert Stone, edited by Madison Smartt Bell.
Library of America, 1216 pp., £35, March 2020, 978 1 59853 654 6
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... I feel certain, got it more quickly. ‘How long were you in Vietnam?’ he was asked in 1975 by William Heath, who later edited Conversations with Robert Stone (2016). Heath’s flat question was impossible to ignore. ‘Just a couple of months, something under three months,’ Stone said, ‘which is, I admit, not very long, but all I can tell you is every ...

The Party in Government

Conor Gearty, 9 March 1995

... the Falklands invasion but he allowed himself to be persuaded by Mrs Thatcher to stay in office. William Whitelaw has written that he wanted to resign as Home Secretary after an intruder had entered the Queen’s bedroom in Buckingham Palace, but that Mrs Thatcher would not let him. Jim Prior unsuccessfully tried to resign as Northern Ireland Secretary after ...

To Serve My Friends

Jonathan Parry, 27 January 2022

Trust and Distrust: Corruption in Office in Britain and Its Empire, 1600-1850 
by Mark Knights.
Oxford, 488 pp., £35, December 2021, 978 0 19 879624 4
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... and Irish affairs, contributed to a sense of general crisis. MPs demanded better government; William Pitt’s premiership after 1783 depended not just on providing it but on being seen to do so. Since the 1760s, popular tribunes like John Wilkes and John Cartwright had been changing the terms of debate by demanding more press freedom and more political ...

The Common Law and the Constitution

Stephen Sedley, 8 May 1997

... II having first dissolved Parliament and then fled), by an ad hoc convention which offered William of Orange the Crown, accompanied by a Declaration of Rights which the convention, endorsed the next year by a lawfully summoned Parliament, passed into law as the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights can therefore be said, historically at least, to embody ...

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