17 DECEMBER 1983

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The slogan and the Word

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D espite the disappointments and the horrors of political society in the pre- sent age, there has never been a century when so much hope has been vested in political action,...

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Political commentary

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Eyeless in Warrington Charles Moore A ccording to Lord Marsh, the chairman of the Newspaper Publishers' Associa- tion, and to a leading article in the Daily Mirror, the NGA is...

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M y first feeling after watching The Day After on television last weekend was that if a nuclear bomb has to be dropped anywhere, it might as well be dropped on Kansas. The film...


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UK Eire Surface mail Air mail 6 months: f17.25 IRLI7.25 L20.30 £26,50 One year: 04.50 11104.50 £41.00 £53.00 Cheques to be made payable to the Spectator and sent to...

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Another voice

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Damned lies Auberon Waugh U nited Nations Human Rights Day was marked in Moscow by a press con- ference at which Mr Vitaly Ruben, chair- man of one of the two Soviet...

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Return to Uganda

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Denis Hills found Kampala, when I returned there I in 1981 soon after Obote's re-election as president, a spectral city savagely looted by its own citizens in an act of...

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Denis Hills's new book The Rock of the Wind is

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to be published by Andre Deutsch

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Birthdays in Beirut

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Charles Glass Beirut L ebanon is the only Arab country which this month celebrates the births of two founders of religious sects. The prophet Mohammed was born nearly 1,400...

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A duck-pickin' Christmas

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Nicholas von Hoffman Camden, Maine T he only Americans who will be going to buy Christmas presents in the shops this year are deadbeats without credit cards. Persons too...

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Squashing the peaceniks

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Bohdan Nahaylo W ith disarmers in the ascendant in the West this is perhaps an opportune moment to consider the fate of the small but courageous unofficial peace movement in...

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Walesa's strategy for peace

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Timothy Garton Ash D oes Lech Walesa really deserve the Nobel Peace Prize? To object that the award was 'political' is fatuous. Obviously the award was political. Any...

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Lord of the Earthquakes

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Richard West Tegucigalpa, Honduras T egucigalpa is one of the few cities of central America, of the Andean chain, that has not suffered from earthquakes, and therefore retains...

Game for a Daimler

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Please send your entries (accompanied by the 8 Answer Forms) to Game for a Daimler, The Spectator, 56 Doughty St, London WC1N 2L1., The closing date will be 7 January 1984. Back...

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The ptarmigan mountain

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Andrew Brown A round 700 miles north of Stockholm the pine forest thins out, breaks into individual trees, and then is gone, leaving the low hills covered only by snow. Scrub...

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The land of the fat

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A. M. Daniels L anding in Nauru after having flown over seemingly endless miles of glisten- ing blue Pacific, one feels like con- gratulating the pilot for having found so...

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Carrington and NATO

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Gerald Frost . I n British political circles there is a somewhat hazy notion about what a NATO Secretary-General does. There is widespread envy of the large untaxed and...

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Memories of Monty

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Peter Paterson T here seems always to have been a vogue for the life, career and times of Field- Marshal Montgomery of Alamein, ever since Denis Hamilton first signed him up...

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Farce or tragedy?

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Gavin Stamp T he revised revised design for the National Gallery's extension on the Hampton site, lately published, maintains the great English tradition of architectural...

Paul Johnson will resume his press column in the next

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Dialogue in Bali

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Patrick Leigh Fermor T hree languages are in use in the island, an arcane priestly tongue which is unknown to the laity, the language of the High Caste and the language of the...

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Instead of Scrooge

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John Stewart Collis T n one of his letters Wilhelm von 'Humboldt wrote: 'All that is truly great in life centres around the sense of sorrow. But in their ignorance ordinary men...

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The Faith of a Gypsy

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Roy Kerridge W e stood at the doorway of a grey Norman church in East Sussex, look- ing along a narrow lane that wound its way between brown winter hedges. 'They're not coming...

One hundred years ago

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The Poet-Laureate is really to be made a Baron, and it is said that he will take the title of Lord Tennyson D'Eyn- court, an old title in the Tennyson fami- ly. The news has...

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In the City

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The American elephant Jock Bruce-Gardyne P rime Minister's Question Time in the House of Commons is a great old lot- tery — more so than ever today with the development of...

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A burnt-out car?

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Sir: A rumour has even reached Europe that 'the magnificent 1934 Daimler Saloon' offered in your competition had to have its venerable carcase towed to the spot when it was...

Solidarity and the Left

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Sir: In his review of The Polish Revolution (10 December), Nikolai Tolstoy properly took to task several representatives of British trade unions, anti-nuclear spokesmen and...


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Lost marbles Sir: Gavin Stamp has lost sight of the cen- tral points in the Parthenon Marbles issue (`Keeping our Marbles, 10 December). Please allow me to state them very...

Sir: Gavin Stamp's is really an extraor- dinary performance ('Keeping

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our Marbles', 10 December). He has rounded up every argument ever advanced against returning the Parthenon Marbles to Greece, yet he is ignorant of the most elementary fact...

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For all the saints

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Sir: The otherwise admirable P.J. Kavanagh takes me to task (26 November) for assuming in a Radio 4 talk that there was something quaint about All Saints' Day. He even writes...

A great tradition

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Sir: Mr Keegan's fine review (19 November) of Norman Stone's Europe Transformed lapses at the end. He writes: He [i.e. Stone] 'teaches history at Trinity College, Cam- bridge....

Saving the English

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Sir: With his usual candour Mr Worsthorne (`Queen and Commonwealth', 3 December) perceptively states that the common people of England no longer love the multi- cultural...

Charm school

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Sir: In the middle of an article defending entrance scholarships — and scholarship at Oxbridge (19 November) John Casey makes a most peculiar point. He states, whilst arguing...

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Beatlemania Colin Welch rian Epstein, the Beatles' homosexual Ji-imanager, died of an overdose of drugs. At his funeral, the officiating rabbi describ- ed him as 'a symbol of...

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Short story

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Good Samaritans A. N. Wilson `W hat about my mother?' Clifford's question had followed the announcement that he would be spen- ding Christmas with his brother-in-law at...

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Spectator Christmas Quiz

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In 1983 1) Who said: a) 'That's the trouble with society today. People are motivated by greed and there are no moral values at all.' b) 'I'd like to have been a truck...

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Dickens and his 'values' Richard West O ne of the joys of David Copperfield is the way that it loses nothing but ac- tually gains with familiarity. Whereas I used to allow...

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More White mischief

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James Fox Sam While's Paris: The Collected Despatches of a Newspaper Legend (New English Library £9.95) W hen Beaverbrook picked out Sam White's unusual talents in 1946, White...

Rome Found

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R ome, the name excites me. Never have 1 known such concentrated happinesS Before or since. Nature flung wide her arms And art became another form of love. In Rome I found the...

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Laugh .a line

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Jeffrey Bernard Sweet and Sour An Anthology of Comic Verse Edited by Christopher Logue Illustrations by John Glashan (Batsford £6.95) The Penguin Book of Limericks Compiled and...

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God's jokes

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Eric Christiansen Miracles and the Mediaeval Mind Benedicta Ward (Scolar Press £17.50) protestant churches have never en- couraged miracles. The Hand of God, yes, when the...

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Painted God

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J ohn McEwen The Bible and Its Painters Bruce Bernard, with an Introduction by Lawrence Gowing (Orbis Publishing £15) ruce Bernard's Photodiscovery was L./immediately...

Dead monks

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Harriet Waugh The Name of the Rose Umberto Eco (Seeker & Warburg £8.95) T his long novel by Umberto Eco is an international best seller that has only now been published over...

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Recent paperbacks

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James Hughes-Onslow The Longman Pocket History Dictionary, edited by Plantaganet Somerset Fry (£1.25). There are about 10,000 handy, if arbitrary, (Wilson is in but Macmillan...

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Going a journey

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Caroline Moorehead An Indian Journey Nicholas Garland (The Salamander Press £8.50) Eight Feet in the Andes Deryla Murphy (John Murray £9.95) Tuscany: An Anthology Laura Raison...

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George Gale In the Land of Israel Amos Oz (Chatto & Windus £8.95, Flamingo £2.95) T owards the end of last year Amos Oz, perhaps Israel's most celebrated writer, took a...

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Edward Norman

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The best book was Hensley Henson by Owen Chadwick (OUP). The worst was Walking on the Water: Women talk about Spirituality by Jo Garcia and Sara Maitland (a Virago Paperback...

Richard Cobb

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The books that I have most enjoyed reading this year are From Heaven Lake: Travels through Sinkiang and Tibet by Vik ram Seth (Chatto), Will and Circumstance: Montes- quieu,...

Jo Grimond

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The two best books of the year were The Watcher by Charles Maclean (Weidenfeld) and F. E. Smith: First Earl of Birkenhead by John Campbell (Cape). I never get far in what I...

Best and worst books of the year

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A selection of the best and worst books of the year chosen by some of the Spectator's regular reviewers. Anthony Blond The best book was The Oxford English Dic- tionary:...

Candida Lycett Green

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The best were The Kingdom by the Sea by Paul Theroux (Hamish Hamilton), Re- quired Writing by Philip Larkin (Faber) and The Innocent Millionaire by Stephen Vizinczey (Hamish...

Roy Fuller

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The best book, arguably improved in its revised, abridged form was To Keep the Ball Rolling: The Memoirs of Anthony Powell (Penguin). Out of a defective memory, the worst by a...

Harriet Waugh

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The best books were Coup de Grace by Marguerite Yourcenar (Aidan Ellis) and Cold Heaven by Brian Moore (Cape). The worst was The Swan Villa, oy Martin Walser (Seeker & Warburg).

George Gale

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The best books I have read have been Richard Cobb's French and Germans, Ger- mans and French (University Press of New England). Cobb prefers the French to the Germans and he is...

J. G. Links

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The best new book 1 have read this year, (indeed, for several years) was Robertson Davies's The Deptford Trilogy (King Penguin) which will assuredly find its way to future lists...

Harold Acton

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The best was Mary Berenson: A Self Portrait from her Letters and Diaries by Barbara Strachey and Jayne Samuels (Gollancz), The Italian World edited by John Julius Norwich...

Max Hastings

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The best books were The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco (Seeker & Warburg) and Carlo d'Este's Decision in Normandy. (Collins), Not the worst, but the most con- temptible, was...

J. Enoch Powell

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The best book was Lesley Brooke and Johnny Crow by Henry Brooke (Frederick Warne). The worst was The Last Lion by William Manchester (Michael Joseph).

Mark Amory

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Fools of Fortune by William Trevor (The Bodley Head) is his best novel yet. Kate's House by Harriet Waugh (Weidenfeld and Nicolson) is hers. I may have read more inept books...

John Jolliffe

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For me the most impressive new book has been Eleni by Nicholas Gage (Collins). It celebrates the triumph of self-sacrifice over self-seeking, of love over hatred, and of the...

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Anthony Starr

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The best books I have read this year are Beyond the Pale by Nicholas Mosley (Secker & Warburg) Franz Liszt (Volume I) by Alan Walker (Faber) and Montaigne and Melancholy by M....

Christopher Hawtree

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Major Patrick Rance's The Great British Cheese Book (Papermac) is one of the most eloquent accounts of a food rapidly falling victim to the supermarkets' refrigerators and...

John Stewart Collis

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I would choose Bernard Shaw and Lord Alfred Douglas: A Correspondence (Mur- ray) as the best recent book. There is such a parade of character in it — the always riveting Frank...

Michael Wharton

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The best new books I have read this year are Europe Transformed by Norman Stone (Fontana) and Three Six Seven by Peter Vansittart (Peter Owen), The only really bad new book I...

John McEwen

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The best books have been Raoul Dufy the catalogue to the Hayward Exhibition, introduced by Bryan Robertson (Arts Council), The Bible and its Painters by Bruce Bernard (Orbis),...

Francis King The best books have been Russell Hoban's

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Pilgermann (Cape) and Peter Heyworth's Otto Klemperer Volume 1 (Cambridge). The worst, Shirley Conran's The Magic Garden (Macdonald) and Bernard Levin's Enthusiasms (Cape).

Lewis Jones

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The most interesting novel I have read this year is Gillian Avery's Onlookers (Collins). The Masque of St Eadmundsburg by Hum- phrey R. Morrison (Blond & Briggs) is easily the...

Eric Christiansen I don't know about the worst or the

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best new book because 1 haven't read enough to make a fair choice, but The New Testament in Scots, translated by W. L. Lorimer (Can- nongate) was either the one or the other.

Auberon Waugh

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The biography award goes to Margaret Fitzherbert's The Man Who Was Green- mantle: A Biography of Aubrey Herbert (Murray). In fiction mention must be made of The Other Side of...

Andrew Osmond

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The best book I have read in 1983 was Far Away and Long Ago by W. H. Hudson, reprinted by Eland Books. This one goes in my Desert Island luggage. The worst was Ararat, by D. M....

John Mortimer

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I greatly enjoyed Required Writing by Philip Larkin (Faber) and Piper's Places by John Piper and Richard Ingrams (Chatto). 1 thought Margaret Duggan in Runcie (Hodder and...

Isabel Colegate

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The best was Sergei Aksakov's trilogy, A Russian Gentleman, Years of Childhood and A Russian Schoolboy, recently reprinted in OUP World Classics paper- backs. The worst have...

Hugh Montgomery-Massingberd

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The best were Anthony Powell's 0, How the Wheel Becomes It! (Heinemann) and Caves of Ice by James Lees Milne (Chatto). The worst was Viviane Ventura's Guide to Social Climbing...

Bel Mooney

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The best books were Bartleby in Manhattan and Other Essays by Elizabeth Hardwick (Weidenfeld), Enthusiasms by Bernard Levin (Cape) and The Oxford Book of Death by D. J. Enright....

Patrick Skene Calling

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The best were Fools of Fortune by William Trevor (The Bodley Head) and Jelly Roll, Jabbo and Fats by Whitney Balliett (OUP). The worst, Caves of Ice by James Lees Milne (Chatto)...

Alastair Forbes

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For the best novels, I pick Alice Thomas Ellis's The Other Side of the Fire (Duckworth), and My Antonia by Willa Cather, reprinted by Virago. There is really far too much...

Caroline Moorehead

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The best books were The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco (Seeker) and Anita Brookner's Look at Me (Cape). Difficult Women by David Plante was very able but vicious.

Patrick Devlin

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The best book is certainly The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco (Seeker & Warburg). I started one or two which seemed to me to be very promising candidates for the worst, but...

Richard Ingrams

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The best were Conversations with Graham Greene by Marie-Franciose Attain (Bodley Head), The Helen Smith Story by Paul Foot (Fontana) and Still Life by Richard Cobb (Chatto). The...

A. L. Rowse

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The best and the most enjoyable books I have read this year have been King George V by Kenneth Rose (Weidenfeld & Nicolson), Owen Chadwick's Hensley Hen- son (OUP) and William...

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Turns and returns Peter Phillips Purcell: Dido and Aenaes Handel: The Water Music Purcell: Songs and Airs Debussy: Images and Le Martyre de Saint Sebastien Ravel: Valses...

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Conservationist John McEwen John Piper (Tate Gallery till 22 January 1984) Romantic Places (Marlborough Fine Art, 6 Albemarle Street, WI, till 14 January 1984) Virginia...

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Let-down Giles Gordon Jean Seberg (National: Olivier) Sufficient Carbohydrate (Hampstead) Turning Over (Bush) Until seeing the long-awaited Jean Seberg, I'd assumed that any...

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Amazing Maureen Owen It may be that the clever way of avoiding heneral general inconvenience of Christmas is the to stick to the wireless and a few seasonal comforts. In fact...

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Black humour Peter Ackroyd Trading Places (` 15', selected cinemas) A the title suggests, this is a film with a familiar if not antique theme: `The Prince and the Pauper',...

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High life

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Topping Taki New York I f Sir Edmund Hillary climbed the social ladder instead of mountains, he would not have missed the annual pilgrimage to the Metropolitan Museum of Art...


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Disasters. Richard Ingrams N early ten years ago we were all gripped by a fly-on-the-wall series of program- mes about a family of halfwits called Wilkins living in Reading....

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Low life

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Trickster Jeffrey Bernard A fter obituaries it's the latest wills column in the Times that catches my eye in the mornings. It's not that I'm expec- ting a legacy but, like the...

Jeffrey Bernard is ill. This column was fast printed in

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Copper P.J. Kavanagh Y ears a g o a solicitous and older friend 11 was appalled to discover that I had not read a newspaper for several months: She re g arded this as a si g n...


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No. 1300: Grovelling Set by Jaspistos: You are invited to write a revoltingly flatterin g poem in heroic couplets (maximum 16 lines) in praise of a contemporary person of power...

No. 1297: The winners

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Jaspistos reports: Competitors were asked for a Christmas story in a Christmassy or any other spirit. The winner is C. Baxter, who g ets £50 for a story which persuaded me by...

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Collapse Raymond Keene oth Kasparov and Smyslov now lead by .L.Pthe score of 5 1 /2-3 1/2 in the Acorn World Championship semi-final. As I predicted, Korchnoi's mishandling of...

Solution to 635: Triplets A L I S 1 .0. 1 1 . 1 01E I TIRA . 1

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A I , t 1 E , or t R R 0 ' R A D N t Y r H A R P •1 0 11 ler. ■■ U O . A nnnnnn M ������ }}}}}} .B 3t N A N C G 1 S I R WER RILIJI IR IE tOGEN WTHE I r i r T O C I 4 A T E...

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Portrait of the week

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M rs Thatcher and Raul Alfonsin ex- changed messages on the occasion of his inauguration as President of Argentina. The Prime Minister told him that 'today brings new hope to...

Books Wanted

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B. S. JOHNSON: 'The Unfortunates' and 'Aren't you rather young to be writing your Memoirs?' (plus others, in hardback). D, Gib- son, Dimitriou Poliorkitou 65, 54633...

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Heroics: A Jumbojac for Christmas

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A first prize of thirty pounds and two further prizes of fifteen pounds will be awarded for the first three correct solutions opened on 9 January. Entries to: Jumbojac, The...