The publishers describe A.N. Wilson's book as the definitive biography of Queen Victoria, which draws on a wealth of new material to show her as she's never been seen before. Even by normal blurb standards this is hyperbole.
When Queen Victoria died in 1901, she had ruled for nearly sixty-four years. She was mother of nine and grandmother of forty-two, and the matriarch of Royal Europe, through the marriages of her children. To many, Queen Victoria is a ruler shrouded in myth
Though the former MP still seems in denial about his expenses fiddle, his observations of the futility of jail are poignantAlthough I found Denis MacShane an assiduous and engaging colleague with a track record of support for many good causes, he has alwa
‘LARKIN’S reputation as a poet is secure. His reputation as a man is, however, in a less healthy state,” says James Booth in the introduction to this new biography. An understatement in both cases. Actually, Larkin’s poetry is loved more and more
Except when dealing with the poetry itself, James Booth's biography of Philip Larkin reaches some muddled conclusionsAs treasurer of the Oxford English Club, the young Philip Larkin met several famous writers, among them Lord Berners, George Orwell and, m
there is no reason why you should have heard of Geoffrey Pyke. After his suicide in 1948 he was described as one of the great geniuses of his time, to rank alongside Einstein, yet he remains today, as The Times put it, 'one of the most original if unrecog
Jan Swafford's biographies of Charles Ives and Johannes Brahms have established him as a revered music historian, capable of bringing his subjects vibrantly to life. His magnificent new biography of Ludwig van Beethoven peels away layers of legend to get