Scribble, Scribble, Scribble, By Simon Schama

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The Independent Culture

Could there be a more apposite title for the author of a dozen volumes that fit the description of "another damned, thick, square book"?

The ever-brilliant Schama should be too irritating for words. But how can you resist someone who notes of Roy Jenkins's biography of Churchill, "no memorable bottle ever goes uncorked.

It's certainly the only Churchill biography in which the phrase 'a very remarkable Leibfraumilch' [downed in 1944] seems as inevitable as 'blood, soil, tears and sweat'"?

And what other historian would not only point out in an essay on ice-cream that Mrs T was a chemist at Joe Lyons but also provide a sorbet recipe? Ranging from Scorsese to soufflé, Schama is a damn marvel.

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