Cover Stories: Alastair Campbell; Robin Cook; Chawton House

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* Random House is still the odds-on favourite to buy the memoirs of Alastair Campbell, who surely must have discussed the possibilities with chief executive Gail Rebuck when she and husband Philip Gould joined Campbell and Fiona Miller on holiday in Provence. But Caroline Michel, another New Labour luvvie, now MD of HarperPress recently confessed in a radio interview that she'd "dreamed'' about it for years. Still, there's little chance of a deal just yet, for über-agent Ed Victor, appointed to broker the deal, has been on his hols.

* As if Tony Blair didn't have enough trouble on his hands, former foreign secretary Robin Cook will publish his memoirs just ahead of the Labour Party conference. Point of Departure (Simon & Schuster) is a mix of "intimate narrative'' and "forensic analysis'' -- the first heavyweight account of life inside the Blair government. Meanwhile, there's yet more trouble ahead: Curtis Brown has been showing a proposal from Hans Blix, former UN chief weapons inspector.

* Jane Austen aficionados will surely have welcomed the recent reopening of Chawton House, the Elizabethan manor house in Alton, Hampshire, that once belonged to her brother Edward. After 10 years of work, the Chawton House Library is now welcoming visitors (a special pass is needed) and anyone unable to go in person can visit online: www.chawton.org.

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