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Come along, Alcibiades

John Bayley, 25 January 1996

Terence Rattigan: A Biography 
by Geoffrey Wansell.
Fourth Estate, 428 pp., £20, October 1995, 1 85702 201 7
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... days of the Lord Chamberlain’s office. But as in all Rattigan’s plays there was a subtext, as Geoffrey Wansell appropriately calls it, some unspoken secret lurking underneath, which excited an audience (particularly an audience of those famous Aunt Ednas for whom Rattigan was to say that he wrote) without their knowing, or at least without their ...
The ‘Private Eye’ Story: The First 21 Years 
by Patrick Marnham.
Private Eye/Deutsch, 232 pp., £7.95, October 1982, 0 233 97509 8
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One for the Road: Further Letters of Denis Thatcher 
by Richard Ingrams and John Wells.
Private Eye/Deutsch, 80 pp., £2.50, October 1982, 9780233975115
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Sir James Goldsmith: The Man and the Myth 
by Geoffrey Wansell.
Fontana, 222 pp., £1.95, April 1982, 0 00 636503 5
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... was to turn Goldsmith into Goldenballs, the plump businessman into the cardboard villain. Geoffrey Wansell usefully restores a third dimension to Sir James Goldsmith in his fair and detailed portrait of this richly dislikable tycoon; those happy with the usual two will prefer Ingrams’s own deftly mocking Goldenballs. The Eye’s big ...

It’s me, it’s me, it’s me

David Thomson: The Keynotes of Cary Grant, 5 November 2020

Cary Grant: The Making of a Hollywood Legend 
by Mark Glancy.
Oxford, 550 pp., £22.99, October, 978 0 19 005313 0
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Cary Grant: A Brilliant Disguise 
by Scott Eyman.
Simon and Schuster, 556 pp., £27.10, November, 978 1 5011 9211 1
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... opportunist, some earnest and candid about being incomplete. The biographies by Graham McCann and Geoffrey Wansell, both published in 1996, were steps in the right direction. There are memoirs, like Maureen Donaldson’s An Affair to Remember (1989); or Dear Cary: My Life with Cary Grant (2011) by Dyan Cannon, his fourth wife and the mother of his ...

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