Portrait of the playwright as a loving husband

Two of the great playwrights of their generation meet for dinner. A renowned biographer, married to one of them, records the event in her diary. “Dinner with Tom and Miriam Stoppard. Harold: ‘I don’t plan my characters’ lives.’ Then to Tom: ‘Don’t you find they take over sometimes?’ Tom: ‘No’.” Lady Antonia Fraser is about …

The heroic career of an unserious man

Someone surely should commission a biopic based on the bizarre life of Gyles Brandreth, that Zelig in the world of contemporary celebrity. For more than 50 years, Brandreth has played the fool in one way or another, modifying and varying his act and career as the culture around him changed.  When he was at Oxford, …