One of the first rules of playing the power game is that all bad news must be accepted calmly, as if one already knew and didn't care.
T. E. Lawrence was far more than a glamorous, swashbuckling, heroic figure in flowing robes mounted on a camel, leading the Arab tribes against the Turks in World War One.
I have an admiration for Mr. Eastwood that borders on the kind that I have for the Grand Canyon. Like it, he is craggy, worn, awesomely impressive and unique, a living four-star tourist attraction that, in the formulaic words of the Guide Michelin, 'vaut le voyage.'
I only met Ian Fleming once, at a party given by my father's friend the director Carol Reed, at his house at 211 King's Road, Chelsea, the garden of which he shared with Peter Ustinov.
In 'Gran Torino,' Eastwood moves towards the climax of the movie not by staging a shoot-out, but by putting his weapons to one side and confronting the bad guys armed only with a cigarette lighter, guessing that as he reaches for it they will think he's drawing a pistol.
Indeed, it is measure of how little we know about Cleopatra that the only images of her are either the coins she struck, bearing very unflattering official portraits of her, or some doubtful busts, which may be of other women imitating her coiffure.
The men who died at D-Day did not die shoulder-to-shoulder with their French comrades. They died to liberate the French from a sinister and brutal occupation.
In my experience, with very few exceptions - I am, as it happens, one of the exceptions - the one thing that most editors don't want to do is edit. It's not nearly as conducive to a successful career as having lunch out with important agents or going to meetings where you get noticed.
Hebron is a bone of contention between Israeli settlers and the Palestinians in part because Abraham is buried there, in the Tomb of the Patriarchs.
When my elders mentioned 'The War,' they invariably meant that of 1914-1918, even after 1939, for the Second World War was merely the continuation of the first, 'an armistice of 20 years,' as Marshal Foch had accurately predicted at the Versailles Peace Conference, with some changes of side.
Numbers of sales do not correspond to numbers of readers.
Chanel took women out of corsets and put them into the 'simple little black dress,' the perfectly tailored suit, the bell-bottom sailor pants, and jersey tops.
The pleasure lies not in the cookies, but in the pattern the crumbs make when the cookies crumble.
We British and Americans have never been conquered and occupied by the Germans, or forced to make the choice between defiance and collaboration, or haunted by the choices, evasions and moral ambiguities that only a defeated and occupied country can feel.
My father fought on the side of the Central Powers, as a soldier in the Imperial and Royal Austro-Hungarian Army, my maternal grandfather fought in the British Army, on different sides, and both were so traumatized by the experience that they never talked about it.
My own aunt was Merle Oberon, so movie stardom was not a faraway mystery to me as a child: it was part of the family business.
Those of us who have not had the experience of being invaded by the Germans are in no position to criticize those who accommodated themselves to German occupation, with its ferocious punishments for those who expressed even the mildest opposition.
Even almost a century after her death, Sarah Bernhardt, the French actress whose extraordinary personality, flamboyant life and passionate nature became a legend in her own lifetime, remains the byword among most people as the supreme theatrical star.
I am a stupendously fast reader and always have been. I can read in at least three languages fluently and two languages with a little bit more difficulty.
Frost was no match for Nixon - far from being an intrepid and challenging interviewer, he was a pushover for the great and the famous, always deeply impressed with the fact that here he was, David Frost, putting questions to - Richard Nixon!