All right, all right, I know. I know what you’re dying to know. How big was it? Well, Shawn Levy doesn’t give the answer precisely in feet and inches, but quotes several ladies and one or two gents who were quite literally gobsmacked when the custom-made, palest-blue, monogrammed Sulka boxer shorts came off. One wife, Doris Duke, compared it to ‘the last foot of a baseball bat’; another wrote that Rubi was ‘grotesquely proportioned’, and that it ‘could have been a carnival attraction’. Truman Capote made a sighing stab at sizes, while Jerome Zerbe, more accustomed to photographing the members of El Morocco, described it as ‘Yul Brynner in a black turtleneck’.
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'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.
'We have all twenty-nine of her Barsetshire novels, and whenever a certain longing reaches critical mass we read all twenty-nine again, straight through.'
Patricia T O'Conner on her love for Angela Thirkell. (£)