19 DECEMBER 1987

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THE UNKNOWN WORD I t is good that President Reagan and Mr Gorbachev are able to sign a treaty which reduces the number of nuclear weapons in the world. But here is a text: For...


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T he political row over the NHS intensi- fied. Health ministers will ask the Treasury for more funds on top of the extra £1.1 billion promised for next year. The Prime Minister...

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Through the looking-glass, and what Alliance found there NOEL MALCOLM W hen Alliance had stepped through the looking-glass, she had not been walk- ing a minute before she...

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DIARY PEREGRINE WORSTHORNE T here is only one salon left in

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London — George Weidenfeld's, and I really don't know what we would do without this truly remarkable host who can bring politicians, artists, writers and beautiful women from...

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Time to think straight as the world's leaders prepare for war AUBERON WAUGH I do not suppose that I am alone in facing the Christmas season with an icy chill on the heart,...

Christopher Fildes is on holiday and will re- sume his

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column in the New Year.

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More and more Americans like getting their wives by post. Pico Iyer hears their stories IT IS, in its way, a classic all-American story. Lou Florence was 41, just separated...

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Richard West finds that cultural animosity continues where history is lost Kosovo Polje A MOSQUE for the use of Albanians has been erected at Gracanica, one of the last Serb...

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Gerda Cohen meets the zealots who worship God in fear and trembling and stone Sabbath-breakers Jerusalem `WE are preparing Jerusalem for the corn- ing of Messiah,' I am...

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Amity Shlaes on what the INF treaty means for European ecologists Bonn IT WAS supposed to be a good week for Western Europe's Greens. When Messrs Gorbachev and Reagan signed...

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Christianity is a thousand years old in West ignores its plight AS CHRISTIANS in the Soviet Union prepare for Christmas (under the Julian calendar, on our 7 January) they enter...

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Elgy Gillespie meets the hell-fire evangelist with a million-dollar house WHEN the hellfire and brimstone evangel- ist Jimmy Swaggart was nine, he began prophesying and...

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Terence Kealey shows why there are no longer any famous scientists WHY are there no longer any famous scientists? No educated Victorian would have been unfamiliar with...

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Margaret's men: a profile of Sir Jeffrey Sterling, the Chairman of P&O THERE has been something of a hiccup, of late, in the rise and rise of Sir Jeffrey Sterling, the...

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sympathy with journalists who obstruct the law ORGANISATIONS which need secrecy to carry out their duties are finding life increasingly difficult. The spirit of the age is...

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ALL the roofs of Munch, a Cam- bridgeshire fen town,

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are covered in bright red Neapolitan pantiles, the startling result of a bygone fashion. Waves of scarlet tiles break over the tiny dormer windows of the one-up, one-down houses...

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Dominic Lawson on a new generation of business board games THE games people play can be more potent comments on their culture and society than the most worthy sociological...

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Alexandra Artley in the guise of the ballerina, Grisi, quadrilled the Victorian night away THE Reform Club is always a wonderful place for a fancy-dress ball. With its subdued...

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A.L.Rowse reviews the character and achievements of a West Country hero FRANCIS Drake was a folk hero down here in the West Country, where I write, and there is a good deal of...

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Andrew Kirkby recalls the explosive mixture of Devon cider and a one-and-a-half ton monster THE English enthusiasm for puddings nowhere stronger than in the West Coun- try —...

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Nicholas Garland reveals the political cartoonist's tactical weaponry THERE are a number of questions that all cartoonists are asked about their work: how do you get your...

THE SPECTATOR In the first issue of 1988, Timothy Garton

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Ash will analyse the position of the superpowers after the Reagan-Gorbachev accord. Auberon Waugh, Jeffrey Bernard, Taki, Noel Malcolm, Alice Thomas Ellis and the regular...

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Digby Anderson relishes the variety of graces before meals WE ARE told that at no time in the year does the English family spend as much money and time on food and drink as at...

This article is based on the author's address to the

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British Association for the Advance- ment of Science earlier this year.

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One hundred years ago

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THE bitterness of parties in France has been greatly exasperated by an attempt to assassinate M. Ferry. That gentleman is regarded by all Radicals as the leader of the...

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Alan Judd has no regrets at having taken ballroom dancing lessons TOO many years ago I went out with a girl who had long wanted someone to take her ballroom dancing at...

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Andrew Robinson celebrates the centenary of Sukumar Ray, the nonsense writer IN Calcutta they are celebrating the centenary of the birth of Sukumar Ray, who is to Bengalis...

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Ian Samuel tells the story of what happened when he lost his taste YEARS ago there was a song called, 'She Had to Go and Lose it at the Astor', and you did not find out until...

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Paul Webb calls for a sterling English poet to be commemorated HENRY Newbolt deserves a memorial in Poets' Corner. When better than 1988, his 50th anniversary? He is a worthy...

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Dr Gerard Bulger on the fatal results of giving old people the wrong help LABOUR MPs have been telling us that privatisation of the electricity industry will lead to more...

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Pedants' corner

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Sir: I have just received the grammarian's ultimate Christmas gift. On page 52 of your 5 December issue, Mr Richard Ingrams writes (about the house in which he grew up . . ....

LETTERS Underground design

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Sir: I am saddened that Gavin Stamp (`Taking The Tube To Task', 28 Novem- ber) uses the tragic events at King's Cross as an opportunity to repeat his well- rehearsed, but...

Know your oats

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Sir: I enjoyed Paul Johnson's article about the misrepresentation of things rural in the Press, and agree with his conclusions. The reason for this constant misrepre- sentation...


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SUBSCRIBE TODAY - Save 15% on the Cover Price! Please enter a subscription to The Spectator I enclose my cheque for £ (Equivalent SUS & Eurocheques accepted) RATES 12...

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Popular etymology

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Sir: Auberon Waugh (Letters, 29 Novem- ber) is incorrect about the origin of the world pilger. Its origin is in the early 17th-century phrase, `to waugh the pilger'; i.e. one...

Evil show

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Sir: I can't have been the only one put off by the bullying tone of Michael Ignatieff's letter (5 December). Wendy Cope is doing her job properly (his petulant italics, not...

Memory bonk

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Sir: A propos Peregrine Worsthorne's musings on the provenance of the word `bonk', I recall that this was common slang for sexual intercourse when I was at school in Wimbledon...

Business to be rich

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Sir: Taki is no businessman . . and proud not to be one' (High life, 7 November). Business in its many forms is the chief means of the creation of wealth — of which Taki seems...

Poor Law health

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Sir: Alexandra Artley is wrong in stating that 'the NHS is the direct descendant of those hospitals founded for all by the mediaeval religious orders. (`Our medical heritage',...

Science spending

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Sir: I would like to defend the British science budget from a potentially mislead- ing interpretation of the statistics used by Terence Kealey (`How academics waste money', 14...

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Immemorial year In 1987: 1 Who died under Big Daddy? 2 Who left his body to Battersea Dogs' Home? 3 What was an undersea boulder, scraped by a mechanical digger, at first...

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A5 AU APAU 3 , z4 AU AU AU AU AU AU AU AU AI AU AI Al AU AU AU AU AU AU AU AU IOU AU A3 AU AU A logical positivist and a poodle Stephen Spender FAUST: PART I by Johann...

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In praise of a much maligned woman

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Harold Acton THE PRETTIEST LOVE LETTERS IN THE WORLD: LETTERS BETWEEN LUCREZIA BORGIA AND PIETRO BEMBO 1503-1519 translated by Hugh Shankland Collins Harvill, £15 L ove...

How to become a literary chap

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J. L. Carr FOR LOVE AND MONEY by Jonathan Raban Collins Harvill, £11.50 M ost of this book is about books and is its author's choice of his introductions to books by other...

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Outstanding critic of the outstanding

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Joan Plowright THE LIFE OF KENNETH TYNAN by Kathleen Tynan Weidenfeld, £16.95 K athleen Tynan's fascinating book has reminded us all how much duller life is without Ken...

The Christmas Angel

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Spy of a special branch, The Christmas angel Weighs his intelligence And finds it wanting. He can scarcely believe What the little bird tells him Of an open secret Not to be...

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Drink, talk and talent in the Fifties.. .

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David Wright SOHO IN THE FIFTIES by Daniel Farson Michael Joseph, f15.95 I 've met all the people I've ever cared about in Soho' — so Bruce Bernard, whose brother Jeffrey...

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. . . marches and placards in the Sixties

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Byron Rogers STREET FIGHTING YEARS by Tariq Ali Collins, £12.95 THE SIXTIES IN QUEEN edited by Nicholas Coleridge and Stephen Quinn Ebury Press, £12.95 T hese books will...

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Painter in words

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John McEwen FISHERMAN'S FOLLY by `BB' Boydell Press, £4.95 I n recent years 'BB' has not been well served by his various publishers, and the Boydell Press here proves no...

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My family and other monsters

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David Sexton THE COLLECTED STORIES OF ANGUS WILSON Seeker, L12.95 A nita Brookner once explained that she began writing fiction in order 'to control rather than be...

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The passion and the twaddle

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John Julius Norwich THE BYZANTINE ACHIEVEMENT by Robert Byron Routledge & Kegan Paul, £19.95 I must begin by declaring an interest: of all the books that I have ever read,...

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Portraits of the Virgin Mary

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Patrick Skene Catling THE QUEEN OF HEAVEN edited by Bruce Bernard Macdonald Orbis, £30 B nice Bernard has produced an exem- plary art book that is itself a work of art. He has...

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Night and silence, who was there?

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Frances Partridge WHITE CHAPPELL, SCARLET TRACINGS by lain Sinclair Goldmark, £12.50 JACK THE RIPPER by Peter Underwood Cassell, £11.95 JACK THE RIPPER, 100 YEARS OF...

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Peace comes dropping slow

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Hugh Cecil DEREK HILL: AN APPRECIATION by Grey Gowrie Quartet, f25 F rederick Zeuner, the late professor of Environmental Archaeology at the Lon- don University Institute, had...

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Seeing secret harmonies

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Allan Massie THE ALBUM OF ANTHONY POWELL'S DANCE TO THE MUSIC OF TIME edited by Violet Powell, with a preface by Anthony Powell and an introduction by John Bayley Thames &...


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How to save yourself 51 trips to the library . .. or almost £30 on The Spectator If you're forced to share The Spectator with fellow students, then you'll know how difficult it...

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Art Ask a silly question Giles Auty M y recent, unexpected appearance in the Sunday Times Magazine revealed to many, including professional colleagues, that I was formerly a...

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Mind over music Peter Phillips I t would be fun at this stage in the year to be able to compile a column of mis-takes or misprints on musical matters, made public during the...

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Countrymania (Olivier) Over-egging the pudding Christopher Edwards Y ou can only admire the courage of Mike Alfreds' decision to lead his company into yet another five-hour...

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Little Dorrit (`U', Curzon West End) Positively Dickensian Hilary Mantel D ickens was 45 when he wrote Little Dorrit, and beginning to feel his age; he was poised to fall in...

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Glass of the Caesars (British Museum, till 6 March) The art of undercutting Tanya Harrod W . B. Honey was for many years keeper of the department of ceramics at the Victoria...

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Pop music

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Still fab Marcus Berkmann T he album avalanche continues. More than 700 of the things were released in November, of which I managed to review only three. This was hardly an...

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Food for thought Wendy Cope A s it's Christmas, something cheerful and frivolous from the electronic bran-tub — how about an exhibition of surrealist hats? It took place in...

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High life

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Santa comes to town Taki edford Falls is the small American town where Jimmy Stewart one Christmas Eve discovered that, really, It's a Wonder- ful Life, after all. It's also a...

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Home life

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Creation myths Alice Thomas Ellis have a kind of alien living in my semiconscious like a mite in cheese. He emerges early in the mornings before I'm properly awake and gives...

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Supermarket choice

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I FEEL ambivalent about supermarkets. So it is with the wines they sell. The supermar- kets' logic of size and expansion does not accord with the small-scale, individual...

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Make we merry by Jac A first prize of £60, three prizes of £25 and three runners-up prizes of either Chambers Dictionary or Chambers Crossword Manual (ring you choice) for the...

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Homophonics Jaspistos I N Competition No. 1502 you were asked for a poem in which the rhyme- words were homophones. David Heaton pleased me with the story of the foreigner who...


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Quizzical Raymond Keene The Grandest Masters 1 Why did Capablanca switch to the gold standard in 1922? 2 The Immortal and Evergreen are Anderssen's two masterpieces. What do...

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No. 1505: Toenails under the hammer

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The other day Charlie Chaplin's boots and cane were auctioned for a huge sum. You are invited to name six similar items, together with a short auctioneer's descrip- tion, which...

Solution to 836: Side-line The unclued lights, like 10,12 &

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37 and the title, are or were BAYS. Winners: J. E. Green, Horsham (£20); R. J. Green, Aldershot; Barry Roe, Wigston, Leices- ter. IRA A S R I S M' M E 2 ' C 0 2 76 213 A . R...