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The Calvinist International

Colin Kidd: Hugh Trevor-Roper, 22 May 2008

The Invention of Scotland: Myth and History 
by Hugh Trevor-Roper.
Yale, 267 pp., £18.99, May 2008, 978 0 300 13686 9
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Europe’s Physician: The Various Life of Sir Theodore de Mayerne 
by Hugh Trevor-Roper.
Yale, 438 pp., £25, October 2006, 0 300 11263 7
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... his battle with Trevor-Roper over matters of recusant history, the ‘convert-novelist’ Evelyn Waugh had offered some barbed advice to the young Oxford historian, whom Waugh presumed to have disgraced: the only ‘honourable course’ open to him was to ‘change his name and seek a livelihood at Cambridge’. Decades ...
Goldenballs 
by Richard Ingrams.
Private Eye/Deutsch, 144 pp., £4.25
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... that Goldsmith was intrigued by the personalities of contributors to the magazine, Messrs Waugh, West, Gillard and Marnham, and would have liked to have been editor of Private Eye. Goldsmith’s aversion to the Eye certainly seems to have been different from the conventional dislike. It may have touched off fears of a deep and dangerous conspiracy ...

Gangs

D.A.N. Jones, 8 January 1987

The Old School: A Study 
by Simon Raven.
Hamish Hamilton, 139 pp., £12, September 1986, 0 241 11929 4
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The Best Years of their Lives: The National Service Experience 1945-63 
by Trevor Royle.
Joseph, 288 pp., £12.95, September 1986, 0 7181 2459 6
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Murder without Conviction: Inside the World of the Krays 
by John Dickson.
Sidgwick, 164 pp., £9.95, October 1986, 9780283994074
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Inside ‘Private Eye’ 
by Peter McKay.
Fourth Estate, 192 pp., £9.95, October 1986, 0 947795 80 4
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Malice in Wonderland: Robert Maxwell v. ‘Private Eye’ 
by Robert Maxwell, John Jackson, Peter Donnelly and Joe Haines.
Macdonald, 191 pp., £10.95, December 1986, 0 356 14616 2
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... of these editors by the Bunter of the gang. None of them seems to like or admire his colleagues. Auberon Waugh is said to have ridiculed the cartoonist Barry Fantoni by ‘saying how handsome and witty he was’. Surely the cartoons in the paper are wittier than the writing? Surely Fantoni is better-looking than ...

Gaiety

Frank Kermode, 8 June 1995

Angus Wilson 
by Margaret Drabble.
Secker, 714 pp., £20, May 1995, 0 436 20038 4
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... was incredible, Wilson affirmed that she was drawn from the life, and congratulated Evelyn Waugh on understanding that. He did a lot of drawing from the life, and the models sometimes recognised themselves. Not all were weird or wild: I was surprised to read that Christopher Morris, later a friendly colleague of mine, correctly identified himself and ...

What a Lot of Parties

Christopher Hitchens: Diana Mosley, 30 September 1999

Diana Mosley: A Biography 
by Jan Dalley.
Faber, 297 pp., £20, October 1997, 0 571 14448 9
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... magazine, written in the tone of ‘I hope you’re satisfied now.’ I was accused in print, by Auberon Waugh, of having more or less driven Dosse to his death by my vile polemics and of having cruelly lampooned his name as ‘Dose or Dosser’. And I got letters from both Mosleys, on writing paper from their preposterous address in Orsay, Temple de la ...

Emotional Sushi

Ian Sansom: Tony, Nick and Simon, 9 August 2001

One for My Baby 
by Tony Parsons.
HarperCollins, 330 pp., £15.99, July 2001, 0 00 226182 0
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How to Be Good 
by Nick Hornby.
Viking, 256 pp., £16.99, May 2001, 0 670 88823 0
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Little Green Man 
by Simon Armitage.
Viking, 246 pp., £12.99, August 2001, 0 670 89442 7
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... the Stones, Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Robbie Williams, Kingsley Amis, Martin Amis, Evelyn Waugh, Auberon Waugh, Salman Rushdie, Jeffrey Archer, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, William Shakespeare (although to be fair they despise the comedies and some of the history plays only). ‘It is easier, in fact,’ notes ...

Not Quite Nasty

Colin Burrow: Anthony Burgess, 9 February 2006

The Real Life of Anthony Burgess 
by Andrew Biswell.
Picador, 434 pp., £20, November 2005, 0 330 48170 3
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... kind of creature in the world: a tax exile (in Malta and elsewhere) whose opinions were admired by Auberon Waugh. As he put it in one of the more self-hating passages of his autobiography, ‘I suppose I was dour about the new sexuality because no ageing man likes to see the young doing better than he did . . . I hungered for those girls in ...

Some Flim-Flam with Socks

Adam Kuper: Laurens van der Post, 3 January 2002

Storyteller: The Many Lives of Laurens van der Post 
by J.D.F. Jones.
Murray, 505 pp., £25, September 2001, 0 7195 5580 9
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... as a vanishing race of noble savages, holding out in Africa’s last wilderness, and talking (as Auberon Waugh remarked) ‘like drunken fortune-tellers at a church fête’. If Van der Post is treated as a writer – and why else should we bother with him? – does it matter that he was a stranger to the truth? Jones takes the view that in Van der ...

Riots, Terrorism etc

John Lanchester: The Great British Press Disaster, 6 March 2008

Flat Earth News 
by Nick Davies.
Chatto, 408 pp., £17.99, February 2008, 978 0 7011 8145 1
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... alert to the question, you can see PR influence almost everywhere in the press. The greatly missed Auberon Waugh used to say that behind any claim in any way interesting, striking or surprising in the news, there was either someone demanding more government money or a press release. That is truer than ever, only these days the press release will announce ...

Pilgrim’s Progress

Michael Davie, 4 December 1980

The Letters of Evelyn Waugh 
edited by Mark Amory.
Weidenfeld, 664 pp., £14.95, September 1980, 0 297 77657 6
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... The external paraphernalia of Evelyn Waugh included check suits, an ear-trumpet, a watch-chain, cigars, unfashionable Victorian paintings, a large family and a West Country manor house. To those interested by what lay behind these characteristically English defences, this selection of his letters may come as a disappointment ...

Cold-Shouldered

James Wood: John Carey, 8 March 2001

Pure Pleasure: A Guide to the 20th Century’s Most Enjoyable Books 
by John Carey.
Faber, 173 pp., £6.99, September 2000, 0 571 20448 1
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... cousins in populism sometimes include Simon Jenkins, Paul Johnson, A.N. Wilson and the late Auberon Waugh. An easy moralism animates this worldview. Picasso was a pig; Edmund Gosse was ‘a bore’; D.H. Lawrence hit Frieda and wanted to exterm-inate whole races; Virginia Woolf was a pretentious snob who said horrible things about the plebeian ...

A Catholic Novel

David Lodge, 4 June 1981

... and especially characteristic of the working-class and petit-bourgeois Catholic ‘ghetto’. Mr Auberon Waugh, in an exceptionally hostile review of How far can you go?, asserted of the traditional Catholic teaching on sex: ‘No doubt a few Catholics who took it seriously found it oppressive; but the majority lived in cheerful ...

Possessed

A.N. Wilson, 14 May 1992

Evelyn WaughNo Abiding City 1939-1966 
by Martin Stannard.
Dent, 523 pp., £25, April 1992, 0 460 86062 3
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... and Fall, but it would not have been a bad title. On one level, the last 27 years of Evelyn Waugh’s life make melancholy reading. The book begins with Waugh’s sometimes bizarre career in the Army; it chronicles his prodigious commercial success as the author of Brideshead Revisited. It watches him struggle with ...

Bravo l’artiste

John Lanchester: What is Murdoch after?, 5 February 2004

The Murdoch Archipelago 
by Bruce Page.
Simon and Schuster, 580 pp., £20, September 2003, 0 7432 3936 9
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Rupert Murdoch: The Untold Story of the World’s Greatest Media Wizard 
by Neil Chenoweth.
Crown Business, 416 pp., $27.50, December 2002, 0 609 61038 4
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Autumn of the Moguls: My Misadventures with the Titans, Poseurs and Money Guys who Mastered and Messed up Big Media 
by Michael Wolff.
Flamingo, 381 pp., £18.99, January 2004, 0 00 717881 6
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... of Murdoch’s then-wife Anna – was ‘the sentence I am most ashamed of having written’. As Auberon Waugh once said, when a campaign to place a plaque to Matthew Arnold in Westminster Abbey was cut short by a letter from the Dean informing him that there already was one, ‘I am still sure that there is a point to be made, even if I am no longer ...

Siding with Rushdie

Christopher Hitchens, 26 October 1989

The Rushdie File 
edited by Lisa Appignanesi and Sara Maitland.
Fourth Estate/ICA, 268 pp., £5.95, July 1989, 0 947795 84 7
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CounterBlasts No 4: Sacred Cows 
by Fay Weldon.
Chatto, 43 pp., £2.99, July 1989, 0 7011 3556 5
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Salman Rushdie and the Third World: Myths of the Nation 
by Timothy Brennan.
Macmillan, 203 pp., £29.50, September 1989, 0 333 49020 7
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... the extreme conservatives are hoping. Why do you think that Peregrine Worsthorne, Paul Johnson and Auberon Waugh are, pro tem, in favour of the mosque against secular, brown activists of the Rushdie type? It is depressing to notice how much of the commentary in this matter depends on the unstated false antithesis between ‘the West’ and ...

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