Sir Vavasour Firebrace

Posted on by Jonathan Beckman

Many of us have a weakness for biographies of the more eccentric, fantastic or rackety Victorians. Trevor-Roper’s hilarious account of Sir Edmund Backhouse is a great favourite. Ian Anstruther’s biography of Oscar Browning, that naughty public-school master, is another, while his account of the Eglinton Tournament in the Knight and the Umbrella has become a […]

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O Father, Where Art Thou?

Posted on by Jonathan Beckman

In these mealy-mouthed, politically correct days, the word ‘bastard’ packs a more powerful punch than one might suppose – as I discovered not so long ago during a kiddies’ chat show on regional television presided over by a green animatronic Martian (don’t ask). Invited to explain the euphemisms employed in obituaries, I said that ‘he […]

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RLF - March