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The Professor and the Parson/Adam Sisman

The biographer Adam Sisman is clearly intrigued by con men. His biography of Professor Hugh Trevor Roper necessarily had to discuss how, when and why he was duped into authenticating the Hitler diaries. The next one on John le Carre had to feature his conman father. Hugh Trevor Roper was intrigued [...]

June 3, 2019 // 0 Comments

The Blitz: Britain on Fire

When this three part series on the Luftwaffe’s devastating May 1941 raids on Liverpool began with veteran BBC presenter Michael Buerk flanked by a much younger Angellica Bell and unshaven Rob Bell my heart dropped. Was this going to be yet another war time story put though the blender of youth [...]

May 31, 2019 // 0 Comments


Yetserday I attended a tour of the National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery curated by our art teacher at the local adult learning institute. She kindly invited me though I did not enrol on her course of Women in art. I regarded this too narrow. Last term, on British Art in the Twentieth [...]

May 29, 2019 // 0 Comments

Ben Hecht/Adina Hoffman

We film critics live in a bubble so I should not be surprised that few outside our world have apparently ever heard of scriptwriter Ben Hecht. His is a strange craft. Movies are star driven, a few directors are household names, but never a scriptwriter. Typically on a film there will be a group of [...]

May 25, 2019 // 0 Comments

Riviera/Deutschland 86

Riviera with 2.3m viewers in the first series was Sky Atlantic’s most successful output and the second one much hyped and promoted. I was so disappointed by last night’s that after 40 minutes I gave up on it. It’s a Harold Robbins novel with a Gallic portion of Dynasty. It’s a peek at the [...]

May 24, 2019 // 0 Comments

Phew! What a Scorcher!

One of my regular purchase these last fifty years has been Private Eye the satirical magazine founded in 1961 by amongst others comedian Peter Cook, Andrew Osmond and Peter Usbourne. I’m a firm believer in turning over every proverbial stone and exposing the shady dealings, inconsistencies, [...]

May 22, 2019 // 0 Comments

Rembrandt at the Rijksmuseum/Van Gogh Museum

Yesterday was the raison d’etre of our trip – a visit to the Rijksmuseum for “all the Rembrandts”, a retrospective to celebrate the 350th year of the Netherlands’ most famous artist. Although it was heralded as the biggest collection ever of Rembrandts, his Night Watch was in [...]

May 22, 2019 // 0 Comments

The Greatest Comeback/David Bolchover

This life of Béla Guttman is not just the one of the best sporting biographies I have ever read but general biography too. The subtitle From Genocide to Football Glory says it all. I suspect many will be unfamiliar with name of Bela Guttmann. He is best known for being the manager of the Benfica [...]

May 15, 2019 // 0 Comments

Jason Bowyer

I was shocked to learn, in reading the brochure of the forthcoming New English Exhibition, a group of which he was once President and founded its Drawing School, of the death of Jason Bowyer. I knew Jason for most of his life and his oil painting of Walberswick is hanging on my wall as I write [...]

May 14, 2019 // 0 Comments

Positive action doesn’t always match reality

[I am putting on my tin hat as I begin this post …] From time to time on this organ our contributors pass comment upon the domination of the media by ‘right-on’ PC-driven campaigners, in ‘equality for all’ mode, demanding greater representation in all areas of UK life [...]

May 13, 2019 // 0 Comments

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