Related to: 'Jonathan Sacks'

Hodder & Stoughton

Morality

Jonathan Sacks
Authors:
Jonathan Sacks

Tie-in to his Radio 4 series, thought leader Jonathan Sacks on how we can build a strong collective morality for the modern era.In today's world of cultural climate change, argues Jonathan Sacks, we have outsourced morality to the markets on the one hand, and to government on the other. If the market rewards it, it must be OK - unless the law says not to.Yet while the markets have brought wealth to many and the state has done much to contain the worst excesses of inequality, neither is capable of bearing the moral weight of showing us how to live.On the one hand, traditional values no longer hold, yet recent political swings show that modern ideals of tolerance have left many feeling rudderless and adrift. In this environment we see things fall apart in unexpected ways - toxic public discourse that makes true societal progress almost unattainable; the rise of religious extremism on the one hand and of aggressive atheism on the other; a drive for respect of all that establishes 'safe space' only where true debate is off limits.How can we build - or rebuild - a collective culture that is able to both respect difference and draw us together to work for the common good? Talking to key modern influences and thinkers, and drawing inspiration from the Bible and the historical experience of the Jewish people, Sacks argues that there are eight key factors in establishing, maintaining and passing on resilient moral values within a broad group, among them attitudes of lifelong learning and of thanksgiving, the importance of family life and community, and a culture of positive argument in place of destructive conflict.Combining his passionate belief in a positive way forward with a careful weighing of the realities and challenges of the position in which we find ourselves, Jonathan Sacks sets out a clear picture of a world in which we can all find our place and build a future worth working for.(P)2018 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

Hodder Paperbacks

2020

Paul Cornish, Kingsley Donaldson
Authors:
Paul Cornish, Kingsley Donaldson

'A timely and cogent reminder that history never ends and is about to be made' - Tim Marshall, author of Prisoners of GeographyWith the world already struggling to contain conflicts on several continents, with security and defence expenditure under huge pressure, it's time to think the unthinkable and explore what might happen.As former soldiers now working in defence strategy and conflict resolution, Paul Cornish and Kingsley Donaldson are perfectly qualified to guide us through a credible and utterly convincing 20/20 vision of the year 2020, from cyber security to weapons technology, from geopolitics to undercover operations.This book is of global importance, offering both analysis and creative solutions - essential reading both for decision-makers and everyone who simply wants to understand our future.

Sceptre

A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women

Siri Hustvedt
Authors:
Siri Hustvedt
Hodder & Stoughton

Martin Luther

Peter Stanford
Authors:
Peter Stanford

'A compelling biography of one of the greatest men of the modern age. Stanford is particularly brilliant on the tensions inside Luther's private and spiritual life. This is a very fine book, written with a flourish.' Melvyn BraggThe 31st of October 2017 marks the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther pinning his 95 'Theses' - or reform proposals - to the door of his local university church in Wittenberg. Most scholars now agree that the details of this eye-catching gesture are more legend than hammer and nails, but what is certainly true is that on this day (probably in a letter to his local Archbishop in Mainz), the Augustinian Friar and theologian issued an outspokenly blunt challenge to his own Catholic Church to reform itself from within - especially over the sale of 'indulgences' - which ultimately precipitated a huge religious and political upheaval right across Europe and divided mainstream Christianity ever after.A new, popular biography from journalist Peter Stanford, looking at Martin Luther from within his Catholic context, examining his actual aims for Catholicism as well as his enduring legacy - and where he might fit within the church today. 'Peter Stanford makes the life of Luther into a thrilling narrative, told from a modern Catholic perspective' Antonia Fraser

Two Roads

The Arab of the Future 2

Riad Sattouf
Authors:
Riad Sattouf

VOLUME 2 IN THE UNFORGETTABLE STORY OF AN EXTRAORDINARY CHILDHOODA GUARDIAN BOOK OF THE YEAR | AN OBSERVER GRAPHIC BOOK OF THE YEARA NEW YORK TIMES CRITICS' TOP BOOKS OF 2016 'EXUBERANTLY HERETICAL''I tore through it... The most enjoyable graphic novel I've read in a while' Zadie Smith'I joyously recommend this book to you' Mark Haddon'Riad Sattouf is one of the great creators of our time' Alain De Botton'Beautifully-written and drawn, witty, sad, fascinating... Brilliant' Simon Sebag MontefioreThe first volume of Riad Sattouf's The Arab of the Future introduced young Riad as his family shuttled back and forth between France and the Middle East. Here is the continuation of his heart-rending, darkly comic story. Now settled in his father's village of Ter Maaleh near Homs, Riad finally begins school, where he dedicates himself to becoming a true Syrian in the country of the dictator Hafez Al-Assad. Told simply yet with devastating effect, Riad's story takes in the sweep of Middle Eastern life of the 1980s, but it is steered by acutely observed small moments: the daily sadism of his schoolteachers, the cruelty and vulnerability of his fellow students, and the obsequiousness of his father in the company of those close to the regime. And as the family strains to fit in, one chilling, barbaric act drives the Sattoufs to take the most dramatic of steps. Immediate and gripping, The Arab of the Future 2 once again reveals the inner workings of a tormented country and a tormented family, delivered through Riad Sattouf 's dazzlingly original graphic style.Translated by Sam Taylor.***THE ARAB OF THE FUTURE - THE INTERNATIONAL SENSATION*** #1 BESTSELLER IN FRANCE | GUARDIAN 'BEST GRAPHIC BOOKS OF 2015' PICK | NYTIMES EDITOR'S CHOICE | SELECTED AS ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY LATIMES, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, AMAZON.COM, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, NPR | WINNER OF THE FAUVE D'OR PRIZE FOR BEST ALBUM OF THE YEAR AT THE ANGOULÊME INTERNATIONAL COMICS FESTIVAL | WINNER OF THE LATIMES BOOK PRIZE FOR GRAPHIC NOVELS | NOMINATED FOR 'BEST REALITY-BASED WORK' AT THE EISNER AWARDS

John Murray

Jeremy Hutchinson's Case Histories

Thomas Grant
Authors:
Thomas Grant

THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLERSHORTLISTED FOR THE CWA NON-FICTION DAGGER'Thomas Grant has brought together Hutchinson's greatest legal hits, producing a fascinating episodic cultural history of post-war Britain that chronicles the end of deference and secrecy, and the advent of a more permissive society . . . Grant brings out the essence of each case, and Hutchinson's role, with clarity and wit' Ben Macintyre, The Times'An excellent book . . . Grant recounts these trials in limpid prose which clarifies obscurities. A delicious flavouring of cool irony, which is so much more effective than hot indignation, covers his treatment of the small mindedness and cheapness behind some prosecutions' Richard Davenport-Hines, GuardianBorn in 1915 into the fringes of the Bloomsbury Group, Jeremy Hutchinson went on to become the greatest criminal barrister of the 1960s, '70s and '80s. The cases of that period changed society for ever and Hutchinson's role in them was second to none. In Case Histories, Jeremy Hutchinson's most remarkable trials are examined, each one providing a fascinating look into Britain's post-war social, political and cultural history.Accessibly and entertainingly written, Case Histories provides a definitive account of Jeremy Hutchinson's life and work. From the sex and spying scandals which contributed to Harold Macmillan's resignation in 1963 and the subsequent fall of the Conservative government, to the fight against literary censorship through his defence of Lady Chatterley's Lover and Fanny Hill, Hutchinson was involved in many of the great trials of the period. He defended George Blake, Christine Keeler, Great Train robber Charlie Wilson, Kempton Bunton (the only man successfully to 'steal' a picture from the National Gallery), art 'faker' Tom Keating, and Howard Marks who, in a sensational defence, was acquitted of charges relating to the largest importation of cannabis in British history. He also prevented the suppression of Bernardo Bertolucci's notorious film Last Tango in Paris and did battle with Mary Whitehouse when she prosecuted the director of the play Romans in Britain.Above all else, Jeremy Hutchinson's career, both at the bar and later as a member of the House of Lords, has been one devoted to the preservation of individual liberty and to resisting the incursions of an overbearing state. Case Histories provides entertaining, vivid and revealing insights into what was really going on in those celebrated courtroom dramas that defined an age, as well as painting a picture of a remarkable life.To listen to Jeremy Hutchinson being interviewed by Helena Kennedy on BBC Radio 4's A Law Unto Themselves, please follow the link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04d4cpvYou can also listen to him on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs with Kirsty Young: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03ddz8m

Hodder & Stoughton

Inventing the Universe

Alister McGrath
Authors:
Alister McGrath

We just can't stop talking about the big questions around science and faith. They haven't gone away, as some predicted they might; in fact, we seem to talk about them more than ever. Far from being a spent force, religion continues to grow around the world. Meanwhile, Richard Dawkins and the New Atheists argue that religion is at war with science - and that we have to choose between them. It's time to consider a different way of looking at these two great cultural forces. What if science and faith might enrich each other? What if they can together give us a deep and satisfying understanding of life?Alister McGrath, one of the world's leading authorities on science and religion, engages with the big questions that Dawkins and others have raised - including origins, the burden of proof, the meaning of life, the existence of God and our place in the universe. Informed by the best and latest scholarship, Inventing the Universe is a groundbreaking new primer for the complex yet fascinating relationship between science and faith.

Hodder & Stoughton

Not in God's Name

Jonathan Sacks
Authors:
Jonathan Sacks

Despite predictions of continuing secularisation, the twenty-first century has witnessed a surge of religious extremism and violence in the name of God.In this powerful and timely book, Jonathan Sacks explores the roots of violence and its relationship to religion, focusing on the historic tensions between the three Abrahamic faiths: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.Drawing on arguments from evolutionary psychology, game theory, history, philosophy, ethics and theology, Sacks shows how a tendency to violence can subvert even the most compassionate of religions. Through a close reading of key biblical texts at the heart of the Abrahamic faiths, Sacks then challenges those who claim that religion is intrinsically a cause of violence, and argues that theology must become part of the solution if it is not to remain at the heart of the problem.This book is a rebuke to all those who kill in the name of the God of life, wage war in the name of the God of peace, hate in the name of the God of love, and practise cruelty in the name of the God of compassion.For the sake of humanity and the free world, the time has come for people of all faiths and none to stand together and declare: Not In God's Name.

Nicholas Brealey Publishing

50 Politics Classics

Tom Butler-Bowdon
Authors:
Tom Butler-Bowdon
Hodder & Stoughton

Judas

Peter Stanford
Authors:
Peter Stanford

In this fascinating historical and cultural biography, writer and broadcaster Peter Stanford deconstructs that most vilified of Bible characters: Judas Iscariot, who famously betrayed Jesus with a kiss. Beginning with the gospel accounts, Peter explores two thousand years of cultural and theological history to investigate how the very name Judas came to be synonymous with betrayal and, ultimately, human evil. But as Peter points out, there has long been a counter-current of thought that suggests that Judas might in fact have been victim of a terrible injustice: central to Jesus' mission was his death and resurrection, and for there to have been a death, there had to be a betrayal. This thankless role fell to Judas; should we in fact be grateful to him for his role in the divine drama of salvation? 'You'll have to decide,' as Bob Dylan sang in the sixties, 'Whether Judas Iscariot had God on his side'.An essential but doomed character in the Passion narrative, and thus the entire story of Christianity, Judas and the betrayal he symbolises continue to play out in much larger cultural histories, speaking as he does to our deepest fears about friendship, betrayal and the problem of evil. Judas: the ultimate traitor, or the ultimate scapegoat? This is a compelling portrait of Christianity's most troubling and mysterious character.

Hodder & Stoughton

Rowan's Rule

Rupert Shortt
Authors:
Rupert Shortt
Hodder Paperbacks

Everybody Matters

Mary Robinson
Authors:
Mary Robinson
Teach Yourself

Political Philosophy: A Complete Introduction: Teach Yourself

Phil Parvin, Clare Chambers
Authors:
Phil Parvin, Clare Chambers

Written by Phil Parvin and Clare Chambers, who are current political philosophy lecturers and leading researchers, Political Philosophy - The Essentials is designed to give you everything you need to succeed, all in one place. It covers the key areas that students are expected to be confident in, outlining the basics in clear jargon-free English, and then providing added-value features like summaries of key thinkers, and even lists of questions you might be asked in your seminar or exam. The book's structure follows that of most university courses on political philosophy, by looking at the essential concepts within political philosophy (freedom, equality, power, democracy, rights, the state, political obligation), and then looking at the ways in which piolitical philosophers have used these fundamental concepts in order to tackle a range of normative political questions such as whether the state has a responsibility to alleviate inequalities, and what interest liberal and demovratic states should take in the cultural or religious beliefs of citizens. Teach Yourself titles employ the 'Breakthrough method', which is designed specifically to overcome problems that students face. - Problem: 'I find it difficult to remember what I've read.'; Solution: this book includes end-of-chapter questions and summaries, - Problem: 'Most books mention important other sources, but I can never find them in time.'; Solution: this book includes key texts and case studies are summarised, complete with fully referenced quotes ready to use in your essay or exam. - Problem: 'Lots of introductory books turn out to cover totally different topics than my course.'; Solution: this book is written by a current university lecturer who understands what students are expected to know.

Hodder Paperbacks

The Great Partnership

Jonathan Sacks
Authors:
Jonathan Sacks

Writing with his usual grace and fluency, Jonathan Sacks moves beyond the tired arguments of militant atheists such as Dawkins and Hitchens, to explore how religion has always played a valuable part in human culture and far from being dismissed as redundant, must be allowed to temper and develop scientific understanding in order for us to be fully human.Ranging around the world to draw comparisons from different cultures, and delving deep into the history of language and of western civilisation, Jonathan Sacks shows how the predominance of science-oriented thinking is embedded deeply even in our religious understanding, and calls on us to recognise the centrality of relationship to true religion, and thus to see how this core value of relationship is essential if we are to avoid the natural tendency for science to rule our lives rather than fulfilling its promise to set us free.

Hodder & Stoughton

Future Tense

Jonathan Sacks
Authors:
Jonathan Sacks

Historically, Jews have thought of themselves in terms of the biblical phrase, 'The people that dwells alone.' In the current global environment, this is dangerous. It leads to the isolation of Jews, Judaism and Israel. Too much contemporary Jewish writing is self-referential: Jews talking to Jews, preaching to the converted. Yet Jews cannot cure anti-Semitism alone. We need to persuade Jews and non-Jews alike that Jews, Judaism and Israel have something unique to contribute to the future.FUTURE TENSE does this. It moves beyond the 'they hate us' school of Jewish thought to provide an overarching vision for the future of Judaism, Jewish life and Israel for the twenty-first century.

Hodder Paperbacks

The Rabbi's Daughter

Reva Mann
Authors:
Reva Mann

Brutally honest, beautifully written, THE RABBI'S DAUGHTER is the compulsive story of a woman trying to find love, and struggling to make peace with her faith, her parents, and ultimately herself.Reva Mann was a wild child. Granddaughter of the Chief Rabbi of Israel and daughter of a highly respected London Rabbi, she rebelled strongly and so began a desperate search to discover who she was. In a whirlwind of sex and drugs, Reva strove to leave her strict family life behind her and find her own path. When, years later, Reva decides she wants to return to her Jewish faith, she leaves London and enters a woman's yeshiva in Jerusalem. Driven by a strong yearning to return to a higher level of spirituality, she is determined to find a strictly orthodox holy man to marry and have children. So Reva begins a new life, wanting to suppress her former desires and needs, and to find her way to God. In this honest and often shocking memoir, Reva presents to us the secret world of ultra Orthodox Judaism. Fascinating insights into modern day matchmakers, ritual baths, sexual codes of conduct and Jewish practice are depicted, and Revas journey is brought to life in stunning detail.

Wikipedia

Wikipedia

Lord Sacks is Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth.

Ross Fraser

Mark Vernon is one of the UK's leading popular philosophers. He has written a number of successful books, including most recently 'How to Be an Agnostic'. His writing appears regularly in the Guardian and the Evening Standard, and he is a well-known figure on the literary festival circuit as both an interviewer and an guest. He has PhD's in both theology and philosophy (from Oxford and Durham). He is a founder of the School of Life, based in London. Paul L. Younger is one of the world's leading hydrologists, with 25 years of experience in the water industry worldwide. He is currently Rankine Professor of Engineering at the University of Glasgow, and also chairs the Global Scientific Committee of the Planet Earth Institute. Professor Younger has lent his expertise to projects around the globe, and frequently advises UN agencies on issues of water sustainability. David Ashford is Managing Director of Bristol Spaceplanes Ltd, an innovative small company developing the Ascender spaceplane. He studied Aeronautical engineering at Imperial College, London, and did postgraduate research at Princeton, before being involved in major projects including Concorde, the Skylark sounding rocket, and missile and electronic warfare projects at Douglas Aircraft and BAE Systems. Jonathan Clements is well known for his biographies of figures from Chinese history, including Chairman Mao, Confucius, Empress Wu, Khubilai Khan and Marco Polo, as well as a highly regarded history of Beijing. His biography of the First Emperor was itself published in Chinese. His most recent book is a new translation of Sun Tzu's Art of War. Michael Scott is Professor of English and Theatre Studies and Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive of Glyndwr University, Wrexham. He has taught Shakespeare for over 35 years and has also tutored A Level students, and for over ten years he worked as a Visiting Lecturer teaching Shakespeare with the Royal Shakespeare Company. He has extensive experience also of teaching Shakespeare worldwide, including as Visiting Professor in English at Georgetown University. In Spring 2013 he conducted an extensive lecture tour on Shakespeare in China. Peter Warren is an award-winning newspaper and TV journalist acknowledged as an expert on technology and computer and internet crime. He wrote the first articles highlighting the potential for the internet to be abused by paedophiles in 1989 and as a result was asked to brief the first UK police force to respond to the danger, the Greater Manchester Police Obscene Publications Squad, on the issues the technology has produced. He has also set up the Cyber Security Research Institute, an organisation pulling together the UK's top academic and business experts in the field of computer security with leading journalists in a bid to raise awareness of cyber crime. Michael Streeter is an author and former Fleet Street executive who worked for The Independent, the Daily Express, the Mirror and the Daily Mail. He was also editor of the Scottish Daily Express and launch editor of the Daily Express website. Michael's books include the co-authorship with Peter Warren of Cyber Alert: How the world is under attack from a new form of crime. Julian Baggini is a philosopher, author and journalist, who was recently named on the Observer's list of Britain's top public intellectuals. His doctorate was from University College London on the philosophy of personal identity, and his books have been published globally and translated into twelve languages. Camilla Ween is an architect, urban planner and Harvard University Loeb Fellow. She worked for Transport for London for 11 years, where she was responsible for advising the Mayor of London on the implications for transport of land use policy and development, and developing planning policy for many of London's key growth areas.

An excerpt from the Pacific Journal of Adam Ewing

CLOUD ATLAS, by David Mitchell

Read an excerpt of David Mitchell's international bestseller, CLOUD ATLAS, now also releasing as a film.

John Goldsmith on The Saint

In 1953, the journalist and author Richard Usborne published a seminal book called Clubland Heroes. It was an affectionate, nostalgia-tinged analysis and celebration of the fictional gentleman-adventurers whose exploits had thrilled him when he was a boy, the protagonists of three immensely popular novelists of the inter-war period: John Buchan’s Richard Hannay, ‘Sapper’s Bulldog Drummond and Dornford Yates’s Jonathan Mansel. These characters had a great deal in common. They all enjoyed substantial private means and were rich enough not to let anything as vulgar as earning a living interfere with their adventuring. They were proudly upper-class and, except in Hannay’s case, Public School and Oxbridge. They had all had damned good wars. They drove Rolls-Royces. They were viscerally racist and anti-Semitic. They believed in rough justice, an eye for a tooth, in stepping in where plodding policemen feared to tread, or were unable to tread because of inferior birth and breeding. They regularly bumped off the villains on the grounds – if they thought about it at all – that they were simply saving the hangman the bother. Crucially, they were all members of London Clubs, those exclusive enclaves in the St. James’s area, where the elite lunched and dined in splendour, wreathed in cigar smoke, waited on by silent, obsequious servants. But there was another writer, competing in the same market, equally successful, equally adored by generations of school-boys. His name was Leslie Charteris and his hero was Simon Templar, the Saint. Usborne does not ignore Charteris and the Saint entirely. He does something rather more disagreeable: he dismisses them both in a few disparaging lines. The Saint, he feels, is a lesser character than Hannay, Drummond and Mansel; Charteris is a lesser writer than Buchan, ‘Sapper’ and Yates. In the strict technical sense, Usborne is right not to include the Saint in his pantheon because Simon Templar would not have been seen dead in one of those stuffy St. James’s clubs. Indeed, throughout the Charteris oeuvre the Saint is devastatingly satirical about the denizens of such places, with their snobbery, prejudices, prudery and superannuated political opinions. (Hannay, Drummond and Mansel were all firmly of the Conservative Right.) But in writing off the Saint as a character and Charteris as a prose stylist, Usborne was wrong. I first encountered the Saint, as I did the other three, in the 1950s when I was banged up in a prep school in Hertfordshire. Even for that dismal era, the school was a time warp, a little world of its own that would still have been comfortably familiar to Hannay, Drummond and Mansel but which would have excited the Saint’s mockery – and pity for its young inmates. We were taught to worship Games and (a grimly Protestant) God. In the Cadet Corps we were trained to bayonet the Hun – as per the First World War – rather than the Boche of the Second World War. For competitive events – almost all sporting – the school was divided into sets named after military heroes: Roberts, Kitchener, Haig and Beatty. Our physical horizons were bounded by the red-brick turrets and walls of the school buildings, reminiscent of a Victorian prison, and fenced, gated playing fields and parkland. Beyond lay forbidden territory, strictly out of bounds, inhabited mainly by dangerous ruffians called oiks. Our intellectual horizons were limited to a curriculum designed for a sole purpose: to get one into a decent public school. The food was abominable, the school rules numberless and enforced by the frequent swishing of cane and slipper. Into this narrow, isolated realm stepped the Saint. He was dashing, debonair, didn’t give a damn about rules and regulations, lived by his own code, went where he wanted to go, did what he wanted to do, leaving policeman and criminal alike gasping in his wake. He didn’t drive a boring, boxy Rolls-Royce; he drove a sleek, superfast Hirondel. He was a citizen of the world, perfectly at home in any great city where, of course, he would know which was the best hotel and the finest restaurant, and where there was always an old friend to lend a hand in his latest endeavour. He was rich, yes, but the money didn’t come from a country estate or a share portfolio: he earned it by creaming off his usual ten per cent of the booty or scooping a reward. He was a free spirit, openminded, without a racist or anti-Semitic bone in his immaculately clothed body. His adventures sprang naturally out of his globe-trotting life, his insatiable curiosity about everything and everybody, his infallible nose for a mystery, his quixotic sense of justice. He was witty. He was clever. He had style, panache. He killed, certainly, but mostly in self-defence, and his preferred modus operandi was to step deftly aside and let dog eat dog. He never displayed the sadistic relish of Bulldog Drummond, the patriotic fervour of Richard Hannay, or the Old Testament righteousness of Jonathan Mansel. Most thrilling of all, perhaps, he lived openly with a woman, Patricia Holm, who was not his wife and whose charms could be only furtively and feverishly imagined. Although I loved reading about Hannay, Drummond and Mansel, they were, in a sense, only Senior Prefects writ large. They conformed to the rules – indeed, they strictly imposed them on others. They would triumph on the cricket field, the football pitch and in the boxing ring and eventually rise to be Head Boy. The Saint, by contrast, might perhaps win the Poetry Prize but would undoubtedly be expelled. He was completely different. He was a liberator. He pointed a finger, or rather two fingers, with a cigarette held nonchalantly between them, towards a wider, more sophisticated world. He showed that silly or irksome rules could and should be circumvented, pomposity laughed at, an individual path pursued. So much for the character. What of the literary skills of his creator? It was only years later, when I had the job of adapting some of the stories for the screen, that I came fully to appreciate what a superb writer Leslie Charteris was. The first task of the adaptor is to analyse the plot. I quickly discovered that in terms of the overall impact of a given story, the plot plays a relatively minor role. Certainly, the plots are well, often brilliantly, constructed, with all the requisite twists and turns and surprises and – most important – a rigorous logic. But the real fascination lies elsewhere: in description, in the development of a particular situation or scene, above all, in dialogue. The prose is spare and sinewy where the pace of the narrative demands it, but where there is space for a pause, Charteris fills it with paragraph after paragraph, sometimes page after page, of highly entertaining, perfectly honed writing, with a lightness of touch and a refined humour worthy of P.G. Wodehouse. (‘By the tum-tum of Tutankhaman!’ the Saint exclaims to Mr Teal in the first story in the present collection. Bertie Wooster himself couldn’t have put it better.) The dyspeptic critic might dismiss all this as mere padding: Charteris either lacked the powers of invention or was simply too idle to construct an elaborate plot and made up for it by shoving in a lot of extraneous guff. This would be to miss the point completely. The minimisation of plot and maximisation of other elements is the warp and woof of the Charteris style. What other thriller writer would think of (or dare to proceed with) spicing up a murder mystery with satirical verse? And the verse itself is worthy of Ogden Nash: Trained from an early age to rule (At that immortal Public School Whose playing fields have helped to lose Innumerable Waterloos), His brains, his wit, his chin, were all Infinitesimal . . . So how does Charteris, the prose stylist, measure up to the writers Usborne set above him? Take ‘Sapper’, the nom-deplume of an offi cer-turned-prison governor called H.C. McNeile. His literary skills can most charitably be described as workmanlike. There is none of the verve, vivacity and pure relish for words that you find in Charteris. And the character of Drummond himself verges on the Fascistic. John Buchan is a much better writer, a fine writer in fact, but his plots rely unnervingly on coincidence and his attempts to reproduce the slang of the criminal classes, or even worse of Americans, are embarrassing. Dornford Yates is in a category of his own. He developed a unique style, full of archaisms and purple passages that some admire (I am one of them) and others find ludicrous. His plotting is superb, perhaps because his method was never to know himself, at the end of a day’s writing, what was going to happen next. But he is most definitely an acquired taste. By any standard, Leslie Charteris is worthy to stand beside Buchan and Yates – and well above ‘Sapper’. And in The Saint and Mr Teal he is on top form. He was twenty-six when he wrote it and it has all the freshness and vigour of an early work. The three stories are exciting, surprising, funny – and great, great fun. The character of the Saint is fully formed, with all the swashbuckling sparkle that kept him alive through the following decades and saw him emerge, in the form of the incomparable Roger Moore, as a globally recognised figure. In the late 1970s I found myself one day in a remote fishing village on the coast of Brazil. When I told the locals that I was a writer they naturally asked me what I had written. I mentioned various novels and television shows, all of which were met with blank stares. But when I mentioned the Saint faces lit up, recognition was instant. It was smiles and ecstatic cries of ‘El Santo! El Santo!’ all round. The Saint had travelled a long, long way. He is still travelling. - John Goldsmith