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Ultra-Sophisticated

Hilary Mantel, 7 December 1989

Life Lines: Politics and Health 1986-1988 
by Edwina Currie.
Sidgwick, 291 pp., £13.95, November 1989, 0 283 99920 9
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My Turn 
by Nancy Reagan and William Novak.
Weidenfeld, 384 pp., £15.95, October 1989, 0 297 79677 1
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Heiress: The Story of Christina Onassis 
by Nigel Dempster.
Weidenfeld, 180 pp., £12.95, October 1989, 0 297 79671 2
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... was wont to wail: ‘What’s the use of being a fun-loving heiress if you don’t have fun?’ Nigel Dempster’s book about the fantastically wealthy, fantastically miserable Greek is written in the style of pulp fiction, with the astute product-placement we have come to expect: ‘Christina ... began writing with her 22-carat gold broad-nibbed ...
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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... key influence Paul Foot, now its politics are rightish, its stance prurient, and its key figures Nigel Dempster, Peter McKay and Auberon Waugh. The radical lampoon has become required reading on the magazine syllabus of every Sloane Ranger. Moreover, the Eye, that fearless exposer of the faintest mafia, now runs a comfortable little establishment of its ...

Late Capote

Julian Barnes, 19 February 1981

Music for Chameleons 
by Truman Capote.
Hamish Hamilton, 262 pp., £7.95, February 1981, 0 241 10541 2
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... constant tease of Answered Prayers – that promised concoction which will be half Proust, half Nigel Dempster – but in the meantime a new aesthetic was getting overdue. The Preface to Music for Chameleons, reprinted from Vogue, provides it. It opens with some routine bravado – ‘Writers, at least those who take genuine risks, who are ...
Goldenballs 
by Richard Ingrams.
Private Eye/Deutsch, 144 pp., £4.25
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... Doors were closed to him, waiters instructed not to serve him, friends vanished. His friend Nigel Dempster tried to mediate, but Goldsmith would not speak to him. Dempster met Elwes a few days later in Spain and described his state: ‘He was trembling, stuttering, rambling, almost incoherent. He was unable to ...

Heroes of Our Time

Karl Miller, 19 May 1988

The Monument 
by T. Behrens.
Cape, 258 pp., £11.95, May 1988, 0 224 02510 4
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The Passion of John Aspinall 
by Brian Masters.
Cape, 360 pp., £12.95, May 1988, 0 224 02353 5
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... Boutwood, Mr Claus von Bülow, Mr Timothy Cassel, The Hon. Mr Alan Clark, Sir David Crouch MP, Mr Nigel Dempster, The Earl of Derby, The Duke of Devonshire ...’ And so on through the alphabet. ‘If I have inadvertently omitted anyone, I ask forgiveness. Some have asked that their help remain unacknowledged.’ Those whose good offices are singled out ...

Narco Polo

Iain Sinclair, 23 January 1997

Mr Nice: An Autobiography 
by Howard Marks.
Secker, 466 pp., £16.99, September 1996, 0 436 20305 7
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Pulp Election: The Booker Prize Fix 
by Carmen St Keeldare.
Bluedove, 225 pp., £12.99, September 1996, 0 9528298 0 0
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... is Fined for Snatching Eagles.’ Daily Mail. ‘Philip Ready to Fight for the Falcons!’ Nigel Dempster, Daily Mail. ‘MI6 Gags Spy Who Has Vanished into the Cold.’ Sunday Times.) The sort of documentation that has to be provided by the archivists of the Secret State. The precise package that comes with Mr Nice, a crisp mound of Howard ...

Always the Same Dream

Ferdinand Mount: Princess Margaret, 4 January 2018

Ma’am Darling: 99 Glimpses of Princess Margaret 
by Craig Brown.
Fourth Estate, 423 pp., £16.99, September 2017, 978 0 00 820361 0
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... She was in fact perfectly capable of looking after her own interests. She secretly briefed Nigel Dempster to settle old scores, which didn’t stop her being indignant when Diana told all to Andrew Morton. During her first holiday on Mustique, Colin Tennant, who had just bought the island, asked whether as a wedding present she would like a piece ...

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