Crime and the DPP

Posted on by Frank Brinkley

It’s natural to open the memoirs of a retired DPP in high hopes of learning the inside stories of recent criminal causes celebres. You know anyway that nearly all these cases have an unrevealed lowdown, about which a whole clutch of officials (including above all the DPP) must have been tight-lipped for years. The publishers […]

Trench Warfare

Posted on by Frank Brinkley

Joel Barnett was Chief Secretary to the Treasury throughout the last Labour government, part of the time as a Minister not in the Cabinet and later on as a member of the Cabinet, and this is largely a blow-by-blow account of the incessant internecine war which he was obliged to wage on the public expenditure […]

Elite Syncopation

Posted on by Frank Brinkley

Shiela Grant Duff is a natural rebel. She was born an upper class girl just within the pre-1914 generation. Both her grandfathers had been Liberal MPs and distinguished public servants – Sir Mountstuart Grant Duff one time Governor of Madras, and Sir John Lubbock, later lst Lord Avebury. The last was an outstanding philanthropist and […]

The Ghost of Dornford Yates

Posted on by Frank Brinkley

‘Dornford Yates’ was the pen-name of novelist William Mercer, 1885–1960. Of all the authors whose fiction has got about my wits, none has tempted me so clamorously to find out about his factual life. Where was, and what was the real name of, Gracedieu, the dream ‘House That Berry Built’ in the western foothills of […]

Who Dares Wins

Posted on by David Gelber

Winston Churchill as a young man wrote a two volume life of his father, Lord Randolph. When he died in his turn, his own son Randolph – father of the current Winston, MP – began a full-scale life of him, assisted by Martin Gilbert. Randolph Churchill died with this vast project hardly launched; Martin Gilbert […]

Noo Yoik, Noo Yoik

Posted on by Frank Brinkley

A favourite pastime with a certain species of cultivated New Yorker – ‘obsession’ is probably a more correct word – is that of referring to well-known figures by their first names so as to ensure that a little of their glamour will rub off on you through the implied intimacy. ‘Have you seen David’s show?’, […]

Tickets on the Wall

Posted on by Frank Brinkley

There is a faint smell of floorpolish in the rooms given over to the Kurt Schwitters Exhibition at the Tate, and an equally faint but all-pervasive recording of Schwitters reciting his own poetry. It comes from a bakelite radio set in a corner of the central room, an unending sequence of incantations, rhythmically repeated vowel […]

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