Clark's Tale

Clark's Tale
as a diarist than he would ever have done\r\nas a career poHtieian.\r\nThe first vohime of his diaries, covering\r\n1983 to 1991 and published in 1993,\r\nwas promptly described by the Times as\r\n"one of the great works in the genre" for\r\nits "Pooterish self-assessment, for Mr\r\nToad's enthusiasm for new things, for Byron's\r\ncaddishness, for its deadly candour."\r\nIt was not just the Times reviewer\r\nwho delighted in this candid, bitchy, gossipy,\r\nsnobbish, hypochondriacal, politically\r\nincorrect tour de force, or who compared\r\nClark with Boswell and Pepys.\r\nEven those who detested his politics had\r\nto admit that there was something engaging\r\nand fascinating about the right-wing\r\nroue. Writing in the Independent, the\r\nleft-of-center Robert Harris described the\r\nDiaries as "the most compelling account\r\nof modern politics I have ever read,"\r\nwhile in the Evening Standard, left-wing\r\njournalist Matthew Norman confessed\r\nthat "[Clark] proved beyond dispute that\r\nthe Devil really does have all the best\r\ntunes." And so the subsequent volume,\r\nwhich covers the years 1972-1982, had\r\nbeen eagerly awaited.\r\nInto Politics, therefore, should have\r\nbeen more of a hit than it has so far proved\r\nto be. All the essential ingredients are\r\nhere—the illicit liaisons, the petty concerns\r\nabout money and health (in April\r\n1979, after a day of gloomy pondering on\r\nthe forthcoming election, Clark finished,\r\nludicrously, "Key factor, though,...

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