Philip Hoare

Philip Hoare is a journalist and author of non-fiction books. He has been fascinated by cetaceans from an early age and his book Leviathan (2008) won the 2009 Samuel Johnson Prize.

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Obituary: Rose Williams

The troubled life of Rose Williams haunts the works of her brother Tennessee. Like a faded Southern belle eternally deserted, she is the model for the withdrawn, disabled "Laura Wingfield" who seeks refuge in her collection of glass animals in The Glass Menagerie. Her brother Tom declares, "Oh, Laura, Laura, I tried to leave you behind me, but I am more faithful than I intended to be!"

Obituary: Robert Tewdwr Moss

Robert Tewdwr Moss was a consummate journalist who would appreciate the finer details of his own obituary. Like some ghost of the fin de siecle past, he moved through literary, journalistic and cafe society, clad in velvet and brocade, surreptitiously passing on a morsel of gossip here, imparting some arcane piece of knowledge there.

Me and my Spyder

Rebel, The Life and Legend of James Dean by Donald Spoto HarperCollins, pounds 18; James Dean yearned for love, but courted dislike.

Obituary : Michael Wishart

With his sonorous monotone drawl, floridly handsome features and quiet erudition, Michael Wishart could have been taken for a rather urbane landowner, or perhaps a bookish squire. Anyone eavesdropping on the artist lunching at the Travellers' Club might therefore have been surprised to hear Wishart report that preparation for his last art lecture in Normandy consisted of two very dry Martinis and "a little amphetamine".

Unbuttoning the master

Philip Hoare's intimate life of Noel Coward is out this week. Here, he describes the joys and frustrations of separating the man from the legend

Obituary: Bert Lister

Bert Lister's colourful life assures him of a small place in theatrical history. As dresser, valet, stage manager and chauffeur, he performed his services with no degree of servility whatsoever. Noel Coward nicknamed him "Nanny", an appellation Lister once took literally, answering a summons by the Master in full nurse's uniform.

The worst of friends

FITZGERALD AND HEMINGWAY: A Dangerous Friendship Matthew J Bruccoli Andre Deutsch, pounds 14.99

The new world disorder

THE WAR THAT NEVER WAS: The Fall of the Soviet Empire 1985-1991 David Pryce-Jones Weidenfeld & Nicolson pounds 22 THE RETURN OF THE STRONG: The Drift to Global Disorder Robert Harvey Macmillan pounds 20; Godfrey Hodgson asks how the world has changed since the Cold War ended

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