tue 22/10/2019

book reviews and features

William Feaver: The Lives of Lucian Freud: Youth 1922-1968 review - a testament of friendship

Florence Hallett

Lucian Freud was never an entirely willing subject, but his remark to William Feaver that his...

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Al Alvarez: 'If I drop dead this minute, I’ve had a ter­rific time'

Jasper Rees

We like to think of ourselves as a nation of eccentrics, but some take their patriotic duties more seriously than others. Al Alvarez –...

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Jodi Kantor & Megan Twohey: She Said review – better than the movies

Stephanie Sy-Quia

October 5th in the United States is a day for righteous rage. In 2016 it marked the release of the infamous "Access Hollywood" tape in which Donald Trump made his now-infamous “grab them...

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10 Questions for author Martin Gayford

Marina Vaizey

Over the past four decades Martin Gayford, The Spectator’s art critic, has travelled the world, been published in an amazing range of print and digital publications and written more than...

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Martin Gayford: The Pursuit of Art review - devotion, distilled

Marina Vaizey

This is a book about experiences that go beyond reading about art. Martin Gayford’s 20 short essays about press trips and self-motivated travel concern meetings – in the flesh, in real time and...

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Margaret Atwood: The Testaments review - pertinent but lacklustre

Stephanie Sy-Quia

You will doubtless have seen the protestors who dress as Gilean handmaids to protest anti-...

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William Dalrymple: The Anarchy review – masterly history of the first rogue corporation

Boyd Tonkin

Serious historians don’t much care for counter-factual speculations. Readers, however, often enjoy them. So here’s mine. In 1780, the seemingly invincible forces of the East India Company had...

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A. N. Wilson: Prince Albert review - entertaining bio is a total treat

Marina Vaizey

Albertopolis! The Royal Albert Hall, the Albert Memorial and countless Albert Squares, Roads and Streets all commemorate Britain’s uncrowned...

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José Eduardo Agualusa: The Society of Reluctant Dreamers review - vivid visions towards a free Angola

Jessica Payn

Reality follows dreams in José Eduardo Agualusa’s latest experiment in quixotic political fable. The book opens with journalist Daniel Benchimol waking at the Rainbow Hotel in Angola’s capital,...

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Selina Todd: Tastes of Honey review – Salford dreams of freedom

Boyd Tonkin

In the late 1950s, a photo technician from Salford suddenly became “the most famous teenager in Britain”. Shelagh Delaney was 19 when she sent the script of A Taste of Honey to the...

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