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Blacks and Blues

E.S. Turner, 4 June 1987

The Life of My Choice 
by Wilfred Thesiger.
Collins, 459 pp., £15, May 1987, 9780002161947
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Worlds Apart: Travels in War and Peace 
by Gavin Young.
Hutchinson, 344 pp., £14.95, April 1987, 0 09 168220 7
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... except for Earl Grey tea. Thesiger’s life has been in the Buchan mould. It is true that, unlike Auberon Herbert (‘the man who was Greenmantle’), he was never pressed to accept a throne – he would certainly have declined even that of Albania – but he played a bold part in restoring his own favourite emperor to the throne of Abyssinia. In doing so, he ...


John Bayley, 4 June 1987

The Faber Book of Diaries 
edited by Simon Brett.
Faber, 498 pp., £12.95, March 1987, 0 571 13806 3
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A Lasting Relationship: Parents and Children over Three Centuries 
by Linda Pollock.
Fourth Estate, 319 pp., £14.95, April 1987, 0 947795 25 1
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... for his complete failure to be ‘a writer’. Young diarists usually show off. Evelyn Waugh records in 1956 that in the hope of understanding his son Auberon better ‘I read the diaries I kept at his age. I was appalled at the vulgarity and priggishness.’ The point, as Dorothy Wordsworth put it, is not ‘to ...

They never married

Ian Hamilton, 10 May 1990

The Dictionary of National Biography: 1981-1985 
edited by Lord Blake and C.S. Nicholls.
Oxford, 518 pp., £40, March 1990, 0 19 865210 0
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... with Private Eye’s. And it is not quite true to say that the DNB has muzzled the young buffers. Auberon Waugh’s piece on his uncle Alec has at least one genuinely comic paragraph: ‘After this success, in the opinion of his brother Evelyn, Alec Waugh never drew another sober breath, but this was an ...

The Best Stuff

Ian Jack: David Astor, 2 June 2016

David Astor: A Life in Print 
by Jeremy Lewis.
Cape, 400 pp., £25, March 2016, 978 0 224 09090 2
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... policy. He hired staff from a wider demographic: I have no statistics to prove this, but when Auberon Waugh described the Sunday Times as a paper ‘run by grammar school boys’ he was on to something. Despite the Jews and Central Europeans who survived at the Observer, its staff in general seemed public school and Oxbridge by comparison. On those ...

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