Category Archives: History

Notebook

Macaulay , like Burke, was an intellectual MP who harnessed history to politics. He was a literary celebrity of forceful personality and decided opinions – “I wish I was as cocksure of anything as Tom Macaulay is of everything,” remarked … Continue reading

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Marooned

Well, I went in with my expectations set reasonably low – the swooning and gasping from many of the critics automatically put me on my guard. (Remember how they tried to convince us that “Skyfall” was the best Bond film … Continue reading

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Notebook

St Stephen’s Chapel was the seat of the House of Commons from 1550 until it was destroyed by fire in 1834. Parliament’s authority was enhanced by this spectacular setting, and from it the English developed the habit of housing important … Continue reading

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Notebook

Desperate to regain royal favour, Lenthall had sent £3,000 as a gift to the new King. The money was banked, but resulted in no encouraging signs from the Crown. Lenthall now offered himself as a witness against Scott, claiming to … Continue reading

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The circus brothers

My Times review of Truevine, Beth Macy’s account of the lives of the black albino brothers, George and Willie Muse, star turns in American freak shows: As minor celebrities they appeared in the pages of The New Yorker — usually … Continue reading

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Truth and lies

I have a feature in the Express on “Denial”, the compelling new film about the David Irving vs Deborah Lipstadt libel trial. When Richard Rampton rose to deliver his opening statement he was blunt: “My Lord, Mr Irving calls himself … Continue reading

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Notebook

Often, even in court, one had to pinch oneself to realize the enormity of the events we were discussing. Much of the time, however, merely to keep oneself from becoming uncontrollably angry, it was necessary to erect some kind of … Continue reading

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Notebook

Leipzig dominated the conversation at the Steinitzes yesterday. A married sister of the wife lives there. When the warning came, the couple ran down to the cellar, the bombs started exploding, and most of their house collapsed. They were rescued, … Continue reading

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Notebook

Before 1933, football had been dominated by the workers’ sports clubs, which counted 700,000 members, and by the 240,000-strong Catholic clubs. Although the German Labour Front rapidly absorbed them and the Nazis reorganized the whole structure of the football leagues, … Continue reading

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Notebook

And so I hope at least to be able to fulfil one of the chief conditions of any fair portrayal of an era; namely honesty and impartiality. For truly I have been detached, as rarely anyone has in the past, … Continue reading

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