Did he Introduce the Grey Squirrel?

Posted on by Frank Brinkley

Not since Giles St Aubyn snatched the papers of Edward VII ‘s private secretary, Francis Knollys, from under the nose of the Royal Archives more than twenty years ago has any biographer added appreciably to the story of Edward’s long apprenticeship and shorter reign. Professor Stanley Weintraub has nevertheless been bold enough to write yet […]

Bible Amply Fleshed

Posted on by Frank Brinkley

The story of Sarah and Abraham in the Old Testament might seem familiar to anyone brought up on Bible stories, but Jenny Diski makes it convincingly strange and new. She takes the bare bones of the story so laconically related in the original version, and clothes them with ample flesh. Writers have been fascinated by […]

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He was Happy to Be Dissected Mercilessly

Posted on by Frank Brinkley

At eighty-five, Saul Bellow is the Grand Old Man of American Letters. A recent Sunday Times poll of his peers established him as ‘greatest living novelist’, while an even more imposing US survey identified him as one of the hundred most important people in the world. He has won the Nobel Prize for Literature, the […]

Not a Great Writer

Posted on by David Gelber

Boasting Irish origins and born in India in 1912, Lawrence Durrell was a product of the British Empire and of its more or less glorious decline. The Alexandria Quartet, his greatest (and only durable?) work of fiction, began to be published in 1957, by which time the world which it depicted had already been disassembled […]

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