Page 3


The Spectator

I n one of the last articles which he wrote from Egypt for the Spectator before his death earlier this year, Desmond Stewart quoted approvingly from a biography of Nasser: 'The...

Page 4

Portrait of the Week

The Spectator

Two prisoners came off hunger strike in Belfast, bringing the total now to five. The most recent, Laurence McKeown, was also the most dramatic as he had been without food for 70...

Page 5

Political commentary

The Spectator

The use and abuse of Benn Ferdinand Mount Not long ago, a certain landowner in the county of D — — (the episode calls for a touch of 19th-century Russia) was choosing a new...

Page 6

The Angolan quagmire

The Spectator

Fred Bridgland South Africa has a great deal of violence to answer for, after its raids into south-west Angola to destroy bases of the South West African People's Organisation....

Page 7

Solidarity comes of age

The Spectator

Judith Dempsey Gdansk When the 896 Solidarity delegates returned from lunch last Sunday, they each found a Poster laid out on their chairs. As the huge `Oliwia' sports hall...

Page 8

Reagan's best friend

The Spectator

Sam White Paris One has to go back to the distant pre-de Gaulle era to find a French head of government in such complete agreement with America's European defence policy as...

Page 9

Catching the English disease

The Spectator

Richard West Cherbourg Before taking a boat-train for the Continent four years ago (Spectator 10 September 1977), I witnessed a shocking incident at Victoria Station: two...

One hundred years ago

The Spectator

Perhaps the most marked feature of the hour, outside politics, is the anxious and hopeful attention paid to applications of Electricity. Investigation and experiment have been...

Page 10

Subsidising the arts

The Spectator

Tom Sutcliffe The economic policies associated with the name of John Maynard Keynes are out of fashion in the West. Yet Keynes's belief in state subsidy of the arts has become...

Page 12

Some contemporary cant

The Spectator

Paul Johnson New Socialist, the bi-monthly which made its appearance last week, calls itself 'the first ever theoretical and discussion magazine to be published by the Labour...

Page 13

In the City

The Spectator

Towards a siege economy? Tony Rudd The effect of lifting exchange control in the UK was to make the markets here in London a true reflection not only of the preferences of...

Page 14


The Spectator

Sir: Many of Richard West's strictures on Jamaica's former Prime Minister (22 August) were fully justified, but his attempt to burden Michael Manley with personal blame for...

The Cossacks

The Spectator

Sir: It is so important that we should all keep a clear head when attempting to disentangle the complex and murky story of the handover of the White Russians in 1945 that I must...

A new religion?

The Spectator

Sir: C. H. Sisson (5 September) kindly quotes my suggestion that it is 'far simpler . . . for civil authorities to consider the truth of any religious teaching rather than...

More jokes

The Spectator

Sir: I have always assumed that readers of the Spectator have a sense of humour; without one they must find parts of it decidedly peculiar. If the best Julian Budden can do (5...

Ernest Bramah

The Spectator

Sir: I am about to attempt a biography of Ernest Bramah, the enigmatic creator of Kai Lung. If any of your readers can tell me anything about Bramah (omitting no detail however...

Page 15


The Spectator

Beyond the Misty Mountains A. N. Wilson The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien: A selection ed. Humphrey Carpenter with the assistance of Christopher Tolkien (Allen and Unwin pp. 463,...

Page 16

Eminent Victorian

The Spectator

C. H. Sisson Matthew Arnold: A Life Park Honan (Weidenfeld & Nicolson pp. 496, 0.95) With the appearance of 'the first detailed biography for more than 30 years', Matthew Arnold...

Page 17

Songs of love and war

The Spectator

Simon Raven \ The English Poets of the First World War John Lehmann (Thames & Hudson pp. 144, £6.95) John Lehmann does not attempt to treat of all the English poets of the...

Page 18


The Spectator

Duncan Fallo well The Grades Hunter Davies (Weidenfeld & Nicolson pp. 268, £8.95) In the beginning was Mama, the brooding and rather bewildered figure of Olga, who died earlier...

Case history

The Spectator

Florence O'Donoghue Irish at Law James Comyn (Secker & Warburg pp. 262, £8.50) Sir James Comyn provides a most interesting 'Selection of Famous and Unusual Cases' (the book's...

Page 19

Unholy union

The Spectator

Francis King Everything That Moves Budd Schulberg (Robson Books pp. 251, £6.95) To appreciate both why Budd Schulberg's Everything That Moves came to be written and how it came...

Page 20


The Spectator

Caroline Moorehead Gorky Park Martin Cruz Smith (Collins pp. 365, £6.95) Dames Elizabeth North (Jonathan Cape pp. 274, £6.95) Original Sins Lisa Alther (The Women's Press Ltd...

Page 21


The Spectator

Too many days in the open Peter Ackroyd The Four Seasons ('AA', selected cinemas) 'Here's to us, here's to apple trees, to cheese, to laughter and to life itself'. The Four...

Page 22


The Spectator

Leave it Rodney Milnes Fidelio (KNO, Cardiff) The Seraglio (Coliseum) Fearful (and with reason as it turns out) of the reception of their new production of Fidelio, the...


The Spectator

Aglow John McEwen Every year Annely Juda (Fine Art) concocts the summer's most distinguished gallery exhibition of 20th-century art. Every year one doubts the standard being...

Page 23


The Spectator

Seeing red Mark Amory Titus Andronicus and The Two Gentlemen of Verona (RSC, Stratford) Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Lyttelton) Two rotten, that is to say 'early' or...


The Spectator

New look Richard In grams Television companies nowadays have a habit of boasting in advance about how much money has been spent on a particular series as though extravagance...

Page 24

High life

The Spectator

Unsporting Tala Athens The good news is that the International 'Amateur' Athletic Federation has decided that there will be no end to the hypocrisy of athletes receiving...


The Spectator

Jeffrey Bernard A castaway review copy of a pretty ridiculous book has fallen into my hands, namely The Intimate Sex Lives of Famous' People. It was written by God only knows...