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Women of Quality

E.S. Turner, 9 October 1986

The Pebbled Shore 
by Elizabeth Longford.
Weidenfeld, 351 pp., £14.95, August 1986, 0 297 78863 9
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Leaves of the Tulip Tree 
by Juliette Huxley.
Murray, 248 pp., £7.95, June 1986, 9780719542886
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Enid Bagnold 
by Anne Sebba.
Weidenfeld, 317 pp., £15, September 1986, 0 297 78991 0
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... patient editor and Lord Weidenfeld Whose Idea it Was – these we have grown to expect and honour. Elizabeth Longford, now in her eighties, thanks two family doctors who ‘made life so secure for us’ (and who themselves survived to 90 and 86). She is grateful to one son-in-law for ‘introducing me to the perfect diet during a critical time in the ...

Send them to Eton!

Linda Colley, 19 August 1993

The End of the House of Windsor: Birth of a British Republic 
by Stephen Haseler.
Tauris, 208 pp., £14.95, June 1993, 1 85043 735 1
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The Rise and Fall of the House of Windsor 
by A.N. Wilson.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 211 pp., £16.99, May 1993, 1 85619 354 3
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Royal Throne: The Future of the Monarchy 
by Elizabeth Longford.
Hodder, 189 pp., £16.99, April 1993, 0 340 58587 0
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Diana v. Charles 
by James Whitaker.
Signet, 237 pp., £14.99, May 1993, 0 670 85245 7
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The Tarnished Crown 
by Anthony Holden.
Bantam, 400 pp., £16.99, May 1993, 0 593 02472 9
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Inheritance: A Psychological History of the Royal Family 
by Dennis Friedman.
Sidgwick, 212 pp., £14.99, April 1993, 0 283 06124 3
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Raine and Johnnie: The Spencers and the Scandal of Althorp 
by Angela Levin.
Weidenfeld, 297 pp., £17.99, July 1993, 0 297 81325 0
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... Abroad, and despite the collapse of the ERM, the power of Brussels is increasing. Soon, all Queen Elizabeth II’s subjects will carry much the same kind of passport as their fellow Europeans; and that brave vestige of British self-consequence, ‘Her Britannic Majesty’s Secretary of State requests and requires ...’, may fade from memory. The Empire has ...

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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... of a reigning monarch. The market is there – several markets indeed, and the name of Lady Longford is an indication that we are concerned with the upper end. She is not Crawfie – not so well informed on some matters perhaps, but better informed on many more. Moreover, she has come to us with the guarantees afforded by a biography of Queen ...

Superior Persons

E.S. Turner, 6 February 1986

Travels with a Superior Person 
by Lord Curzon, edited by Peter King.
Sidgwick, 191 pp., £12.95, October 1985, 0 283 99294 8
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The Ladies of Castlebrae 
by A. Whigham Price.
Alan Sutton, 242 pp., £10.95, October 1985, 0 86299 228 1
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Lizzie: A Victorian Lady’s Amazon Adventure 
by Tony Morrison, Anne Brown and Ann Rose.
BBC, 160 pp., £9.95, November 1985, 0 563 20424 9
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Miss Fane in India 
by [author], edited by John Pemble.
Alan Sutton, 246 pp., £10.95, October 1985, 0 86299 240 0
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Explorers Extraordinary 
by John Keay.
Murray/BBC Publications, 195 pp., £10.95, November 1985, 0 7195 4249 9
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A Visit to Germany, Italy and Malta 1840-41 
by Hans Christian Andersen, translated by Grace Thornton.
Peter Owen, 182 pp., £12.50, October 1985, 0 7206 0636 5
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The Irish Sketch-Book 1842 
by William Makepeace Thackeray.
Blackstaff, 368 pp., £9.95, December 1985, 0 85640 340 7
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Mr Rowlandson’s England 
by Robert Southey, edited by John Steel.
Antique Collectors’ Club, 202 pp., £14.95, November 1985, 0 907462 77 4
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... to an heiress for four years in order to travel the world, which he could not ask a wife to do. Elizabeth Longford, in her introduction, describes this as a characteristic blend of ‘cold calculation and sensitive consideration’. The book consists of extracts from Curzon’s Tales of Travel, Russia in Central Asia and Leaves from a Viceroy’s ...

The Ruling Exception

David Cannadine, 16 August 1990

Queen Victoria: Gender and Power 
by Dorothy Thompson.
Virago, 167 pp., £6.99, May 1990, 0 86068 773 2
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... for she is a writer in a very different tradition from such conventional courtly biographers as Elizabeth Longford, Cecil Woodham-Smith and Georgina Battiscombe. She lectures in history at Birmingham University, she specialises in the study of early 19th-century popular protest, and her published work on the Chartist movement has been ‘written in ...

Bertie pulls it off

John Campbell, 11 January 1990

King George VI 
by Sarah Bradford.
Weidenfeld, 506 pp., £18.95, October 1990, 0 297 79667 4
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... and rose to the unwelcome challenge with genuine heroism. The best thing he ever did was to marry Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon. She is usually said to have been the making of him, and so perhaps she was. The famous words which his brother used in his Abdication broadcast – that he found it ‘impossible to carry the heavy burdens of responsibility ... without the ...

A Resonance for William Styron

Gabriele Annan, 7 November 1985

Savage Grace 
by Natalie Robins and Steven Aronson.
Gollancz, 473 pp., £10.95, October 1985, 0 575 03738 5
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... It is difficult to react to Savage Grace without sounding like either Savonarola or Lord Longford. Some kind of moral judgment seems to be called for. No aesthetic judgment is possible anyhow, because this is one of those un-books composed of letters and statements by friends, acquaintances and witnesses. Presumably the statements were taped and then ...

Alphabetical

Daniel Soar: John McGahern, 21 February 2002

That They May Face the Rising Sun 
by John McGahern.
Faber, 298 pp., £16.99, January 2002, 0 571 21216 6
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... of it. Carrick-on-Shannon is (perhaps) a short drive away; in the other direction you’ll get to Longford in a while. If you don’t try to make sense of it, the barely mentioned place-names can only remind you how lost you are. It appears to be a novel of place. The events are quiet and agricultural: a funeral, a wedding, a harvest. The central characters ...

The Angry Men

Jean McNicol: Harriet Harman, 14 December 2017

A Woman’s Work 
by Harriet Harman.
Allen Lane, 405 pp., £20, February 2017, 978 0 241 27494 1
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The Women Who Shaped Politics 
by Sophy Ridge.
Coronet, 295 pp., £20, March 2017, 978 1 4736 3876 1
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... her three sisters were born into an upper-middle-class London family: her father (whose sister, Elizabeth, became Lady Longford; Antonia Fraser is Harman’s cousin) was a doctor and her mother had qualified as a barrister, though she gave up work when she had children. Their four daughters were to be educated but ...

Adventures at the End of Time

Angela Carter, 7 March 1991

Downriver 
by Iain Sinclair.
Paladin, 407 pp., £14.99, March 1991, 0 586 09074 6
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... and forty people went down with the Princess Alice, including the husband and two children of Elizabeth Stride. Her family gone, she took to drink, went on the streets. She became one of the victims of Jack the Ripper – the kind of ominous coincidence that fiction needs to avoid if it is to be plausible. Life itself can afford to be more extrovert. So ...

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