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'The trick of a successful mercenary ... was somehow to get on almost as well with your enemies as your allies, since those two positions could be reversed at dizzying speed.'
Sarah Dunant on the life of Federico da Montefeltro, Duke of Urbino.
'McDormand has come closer to Lady Macbeth in some of her previous grimly comic performances ... Here she can convey only the banality of evil, as when she fussily curtails the banquet after Macbeth’s hallucination.'
'"Extinct" comprises eighty-five essays on defunct objects, from arsenic wallpaper to the Zeppelin. The format does not immediately inspire confidence ... but "Extinct" turns out to be more satisfying than one might expect.'