Francis Wheen

Dirty Dick Pikeman

Crossman: The Pursuit of Power

By Anthony Howard

Jonathan Cape 362pp £15.95 order from our bookshop

Here are the opening words of Anthony Howard’s introduction to the condensed version of The Crossman Diaries, published in 1979:

‘Dick Crossman was one of those meteors that occasionally lighten the British political firmament … who fleetingly bring a glow to the normally grey and dingy skies of British politics.’

And here are the opening words of the blurb on his new biography:

‘Occasionally a meteor streaks across the normally dingy skies of British politics. Richard Cross was just”such a light in the political firmament.’

Full marks for environmentally-friendly recycling, anyway.

Royal Shakespeare Company


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