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Valet of the Dolls

Andrew O’Hagan: Sinatra, 24 July 2003

Mr S.: The Last Word on Frank Sinatra 
by George Jacobs and William Stadiem.
Sidgwick, 261 pp., £16.99, June 2003, 0 283 07370 5
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... There was only one other person in the life of Samuel Johnson who stood a chance of writing a biography as entertaining as Boswell’s. Francis Barber was overqualified by modern standards, and too loyal for the job in any era, but for more than thirty years he was Johnson’s (black) manservant. There in the small hours – peeling oranges, brewing tea, mending stockings, lifting papers – Barber was considered to be all the disciples other than Judas, though one now wonders, naturally, what the servant could have offered the great moralist in the way of a horrific posthumous disservice ...

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Nicholas Penny: The Art World, 14 December 2017

The Auctioneer: A Memoir of Great Art, Legendary Collectors and Record-Breaking Auctions 
by Simon de Pury and William Stadiem.
Allen and Unwin, 312 pp., £9.99, April 2017, 978 1 76011 350 6
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Rogues’ Gallery: A History of Art and Its Dealers 
by Philip Hook.
Profile, 282 pp., £20, January 2017, 978 1 78125 570 4
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Donald Judd: Writings 
edited by Flavin Judd and Caitlin Murray.
David Zwirner, 1054 pp., £28, November 2016, 978 1 941701 35 5
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... Simon​ de Pury, assisted by ‘a regular contributor to Vanity Fair’, has written a book about his ascent to the top of the art world: the auctions he conducted, the deals he struck, the parties he attended. It resembles a board game, with smaller parts assigned to the ‘hedge fund overlord’, the ‘polo-playing playboy millionaire’, the ‘James Bond of the Russian oligarchy’, the ‘French luxury goods tycoon’ (also appearing as the ‘French luxury titan’), the ‘serial dater of supermodels’, and the ‘leveraged-buyout king ...

A Rumbling of Things Unknown

Jacqueline Rose: Marilyn Monroe, 26 April 2012

... personal maid in the last years of her life, said in Marilyn Monroe – Confidential, written with William Stadiem. Clearly she spotted a fellow traveller in Weatherby. When she went after him – ‘I’ve seen you talk to everyone but me’ – charming him is not what she had in mind, but something more like an exposé of the dirty side of ...

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