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  #101  
Old 09-27-2021, 01:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Curryong View Post
Yes, I agree it’s dour all right. Bower is reluctant to give much credit to his subjects for anything. As for the QM it is a truism that the British supposedly like their sovereigns very old and venerable or young and rather glamorous, while the between years suffer. However, although the QM was certainly popular as a Consort (the War and all that) and people were certainly rather fond of her I’m not sure that what the Queen believed was true.

I do think that she was criticised a bit in her middle age and older for ‘being dowdy’ and not particularly modern I don’t believe that her mother’s ‘wild popularity’ was so much to blame as the Diana years. The Diana decades have been responsible for a real adjustment in the way the British veiwed the BRF, and the shadow of Diana has loomed over Charles and Camilla as well as his perceived eccentricities IMO.

Just saw a squib in Sir Alan Duncan's diaries that might help explain the vituperative tone of Bower's book about the PoW.

"Tom Bower interviews me for a book he is writing on Boris Johnson. I cut it short and won't do another one, as all he wants are black and white answers, invariably of condemnation, which are not what I wish to say about Boris."

And Sir Alan is a ferocious critic of Boris.

This does make one think that the interviewing techniques of Mr. Bower are aligned for negative quotes.
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  #102  
Old 09-27-2021, 01:54 AM
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Yes I get the impression overall that Bower looks for the dark and shady aspects of his biographical subjects on which to hang the hook of his books. And to be fair as many of them have been people of power and influence for years, he is rarely disappointed. However humans have many facets to them and Bower never seems interested in exploring the sunnier side.

Are Sir Alan’s diaries interesting? Kindly, a bit waspish, forthcoming? If so I might join you and buy them.
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  #103  
Old 09-27-2021, 02:42 AM
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Unfortunately, this seems to be what sells, these days. A book which actually said something nice about its subject probably wouldn't get any attention. Nastiness leads to a lot of media coverage, which leads to a lot of sales. Same thing with, say, autobiographies written by film stars or pop stars, which inevitably include stories about how horrible their ex was or how they had a secret affair with someone who was married.
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  #104  
Old 09-27-2021, 03:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Curryong View Post
Yes I get the impression overall that Bower looks for the dark and shady aspects of his biographical subjects on which to hang the hook of his books. And to be fair as many of them have been people of power and influence for years, he is rarely disappointed. However humans have many facets to them and Bower never seems interested in exploring the sunnier side.

Are Sir Alan’s diaries interesting? Kindly, a bit waspish, forthcoming? If so I might join you and buy them.
Waspish, no doubt. He has a fine talent in way of description when he likes someone or something, but woe betide a less than elegant or graceful or titled person he comes in contact with. If you like insights on UK/Middle East foreign relations, he's your man. He seems mean. Good succinct writer, though.

Sasha Swire's diary is more entertaining. Unlike Sir Alan, she dishes on everyone. BRF, former Cameron cabinet members, she seems upset about her lowly wife role when her hub Hugo was in Cameron's cabinet. She thought she deserved more attention for being smart. Her diary in a way is more interesting for me than Sir Alan's, as I could care less about his meetings in Oman and Turkey. It's more fun to read about Sasha and her fellow Cameroon wives joking about their grace-and-favor government weekend houses.
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