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Did my father do it?

C.H. Sisson, 20 October 1983

Elizabeth R.: A Biography 
by Elizabeth Longford.
Weidenfeld, 389 pp., £10.95, September 1983, 0 297 78285 1
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Aristocrats 
by Robert Lacey.
Hutchinson/BBC, 249 pp., £9.95, October 1983, 0 09 154290 1
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The Cult of the Prince Consort 
by Elizabeth Darby and Nicola Smith.
Yale, 120 pp., £10, October 1983, 0 300 03015 0
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... Cambridge; George VI by J.R.M. Butler of Trinity College, Cambridge; and the Queen as Princess Elizabeth by Sir Henry Marten of Eton. Time for a change? Lady Longford gives us to understand that Prince Charles is an expert on the subject, as he probably needs be in self-defence; it is to be hoped that he has supplemented these studies by meditation on the ...

At the Hop

Sukhdev Sandhu, 20 February 1997

Black England: Life before Emancipation 
by Gretchen Gerzina.
Murray, 244 pp., £19.99, October 1995, 0 7195 5251 6
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Reconstructing the Black Past: Blacks in Britain 1780-1830 
by Norma Myers.
Cass, 162 pp., £27.50, July 1996, 0 7146 4576 1
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... and Boswell encountered on their 1773 tour of the Hebrides, or Pablo Fanque (a.k.a. William Darby), the acrobat and North of England circus proprietor. We still don’t know how successfully black people integrated with their local communities in towns like Leicester, Greenock and Newcastle. Gerzina writes attractively and avoids the kind of jargon that ...

Mr and Mr and Mrs and Mrs

James Davidson: Why would a guy want to marry a guy?, 2 June 2005

The Friend 
by Alan Bray.
Chicago, 380 pp., £28, September 2003, 0 226 07180 4
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... more than one cultural tradition flowing into the river of same-sex unions in the British Isles. Elizabeth Brown in the Traditio volume suggests that the distribution of wed-brothers in (the chronicles of) Norman lands may imply a powerful Scandinavian tradition. Brent Shaw cites an account of Celtic homosexual marriage, overlooked by Boswell, preserved by ...

Are we there yet?

David Simpson: Abasing language, abusing prisoners, 17 February 2005

Torture and Truth: America, Abu Ghraib and the War on Terror 
by Mark Danner.
Granta, 573 pp., £16.99, February 2005, 9781862077720
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The Torture Papers: The Road to Abu Ghraib 
edited by Karen Greenberg and Joshua Dratel.
Cambridge, 1284 pp., £27.50, February 2005, 0 521 85324 9
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... to the photographic evidence of abuse handed to his superior officers by Specialist Joseph Darby. Major General Taguba filed his report in early March, six weeks before some of the photos (but only a few) were published. In all the reports reprinted in these books, acronyms constantly distract the reader from any actual agents or victims under ...

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