When I met Leslie Howard at Denham studios there was talk of a film about Bonnie Prince Charlie that Korda was planning to make with Howard as Charles Edward Stuart. He knew the hazards (and others were to discover how great they were) but he said he was attracted by the rôle since he thought of the Prince as a symbol of youthful idealism. It might well have worked. As he showed in Pimpernel Smith and The First of the Few, Howard could inject a firm sense of purpose into the posture of languorous elegance he often adopted on the screen. He might even have persuaded the Clan Chiefs not to turn back at Derby and march on London.
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'Thirkell was a product of her time and her class. For her there are no sacred cows, barring those that win ribbons at the Barchester Agricultural.'
The novelist Angela Thirkell is due a revival, says Patricia T O'Conner (£).
'Only in Britain, perhaps, could spy chiefs – conventionally viewed as masters of subterfuge – be so highly regarded as ethical guides.'
In this month's Bookends, @AdamCSDouglas looks at the curious life of Henry Labouchere: a friend of Bram Stoker, 'loose cannon', and architect of the law that outlawed homosexual activity in Britain.