Brief Lives

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Random House, Jun 3, 2010 - History - 304 pages
3 Reviews

In the course of a long and successful career as a journalist and author, Paul Johnson has known popes, presidents, prime ministers, painters, poets, playwrights, even the foul-mouthed publican Muriel Belcher, who ran the legendary Colony Club. Harking back to the scandalously anecdotal 17th century book by John Aubrey on the celebrities of his times, Brief Lives is the distilled essence of Johnson's experience of a complex variety of people who have contributed to our political, spiritual and cultural life.

He advised Margaret Thatcher, counselled Princess Diana, had a drawing of him done by Ernest Hemingway and enjoyed the company of John Osborne, Arnold Wesker and Harold Pinter at Buckingham Palace. He has been an insider, outside observer and universal commentator on the individuals who have changed history, formed public taste or simply lightened our lives by their presence.

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User Review  - DinadansFriend - LibraryThing

This is a wonderful collection of gossip about Englishmen, some of them great from Elizabethan times to the Restoration of 1660. Many colourful details from here have gone on to enlighten more ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - papalaz - LibraryThing

I have, in all honesty, lost track of the number of times I have returned to this gem of a book since I first read it in the 1960s. There is something so very modern about Aubrey's way of portraying ... Read full review

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About the author (2010)

Paul Johnson is a journalist, historian, speechwriter and author. He came to prominence in the 50s writing for the New Statesman, where he was editor from 1965 - 1970. He then worked as a speechwriter for Margaret Thatcher (with whom he was at Oxford) and wrote a weekly column for the Spectator. He is married with two children and lives in London's Notting Hill Gate. He has written many books, including A HISTORY OF THE MODERN WORLD,1983, A HISTORY OF THE JEWS, 1987, and HEROES, 2007.

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