Philip Hoare

Philip Hoare is a writer and cultural historian.

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Obituary: Maureen, Marchioness of Dufferin and Ava

HER somehow 18th-century rococo title, her flamboyant image and penchant for practical jokes and occasional litigation made Maureen, Marchioness of Dufferin and Ava the stuff of more than 70 years' worth of high society gossip columns.

Something mad about the boy

Noel Coward wasn't always a cocktail-swilling, dressing-gowned matinee turn. Here, his biographer Philip Hoare tells of the 16-year-old shoplifter and subversive revealed in a bundle of newly discovered photographs

Obituary: Daniel Farson

Daniel Negley Farson, photographer, broadcaster and writer: born 8 January 1927; died 27 November 1997.

Letter: Stritch magic

Sir: In his engrossing interview with the fabulous Elaine Stritch (22 November), David Benedict states that Noel Coward wrote Sail Away for her.

Thursday's book; Cleopatra's Wedding Present: travels through Syria by Robert Tewdwr Moss

Within the first few pages of this book its languidly English author has learnt the secret of violet-scented tea from a Syrian cloth- seller called Aladdin, met Boy George, and encountered the corpulent figure of photographer Dan Farson, who pounces on Tewdwr Moss at a restaurant, accusing him of all manner of calumny while helping himself to a plate of roasted sparrows, "stuffing them into his mouth - little ornithological corpses, sliding down into the maws of hell".

The big book of revenge

When a woman reveals the dark secrets of her marriage to a famous but domineering husband, is it kiss 'n tell, or important biographical source, asks Philip Hoare

Into the heart of the hero's homeland

Three years ago today, Transkei's favourite son was inaugurated as South Africa's president.

Secret life of knobs and pillys

Philip Hoare does a little muck-raking on our plant life; Flora Britannica by Richard Mabey, Sinclair Stevenson, pounds 30

Liars on a grand scale

Philip Hoare investigates the tricky business of film biography The Real Life of Laurence Olivier by Roger Lewis, Century, pounds 17.99 Rosebud : The Story of Orson Welles by David Thomson, Little, Brown, pounds 20
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