Author Archives: clivedav184z

About clivedav184z

Journalist and reviewer for The Times & Sunday Times.


He was one of the cleverest of men, but also one of the least empathetic. He was as ruthless and selfish as a baby. “He is a child,” wrote the French novelist, René Boylesve, “he gives himself away with a … Continue reading

Posted in History, Literature, Notebook | Tagged , ,

If you only buy one folk album this year

Make it this one.

Posted in Music | Tagged ,


“The supreme irony was that Viola and Alfred also came from working-class backgrounds.”  The status-conscious parents who disowned their son. And Sinatra said, “That’s kooky, kid.” Paul Anka on writing “My Way”. Photo-opportunity: the glamorous life of a White House … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized


His approach to many of the great contemporary difficulties was somewhat optimistic and facile. The very first instructions I received in 1930, when I joined the Corriere della Sera  bureau in London, were: “Do not mention the world economic crisis.” … Continue reading

Posted in History, World War 2 | Tagged , ,


Good to see Stanley Spencer’s masterpiece on last night’s Channel 4 News. And there was a rare interview with his daughters, Shireen and Unity. (Jon Snow writes about his visit here.) I spent weeks  in front of the paintings when I … Continue reading

Posted in Art, History | Tagged , , ,


It remains one of the oddities of this war that Hitler demanded far less from his people than Churchill and Roosevelt did from their respective nations. The discrepancy between the total mobilization of labour forces in democratic England and the … Continue reading

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Home front

“An astonishing history lesson.” Marina Vaizey is overwhelmed by the Imperial War Museum’s new  galleries devoted to WW1.

Posted in History | Tagged , ,

Cuba comes to Covent Garden

There was a time, now sadly long gone,  when Irakere’s visits to Ronnie Scott’s provided my annual dose of quality Cuban music. Those were the days when everything from a Dave Brubeck standard to a vintage danzón would be given the … Continue reading

Posted in Music, Reviews | Tagged , , , , ,


Walther Funk, who was both Minister of Economics and president of the Reichsbank, told stories about the outlandish pranks that his vice-president, Brinkmann, had gone on performing for months, until it was finally realized that he was mentally ill. In … Continue reading

Posted in History, Notebook, Uncategorized, World War 2 | Tagged , ,

Marty Feldman’s finest moment(s)

  He would have been 80 years old today. And it’s 40 years since the film was released. I can’t believe it.  Until a few minutes ago, in fact, I’d completely forgotten he was also in the original Four Yorkshiremen … Continue reading

Posted in Comedy, Film | Tagged , ,