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August issue​ of the Oldie available to download now – one week early!

Blog | Jul 11, 2018

Welcome to the August issue of The Oldie, packed with gripping articles to keep you glued to your deckchair.

Cartoon fans are in luck. Michael Barber recalls the life, and premature death, of Geoffrey Willans, the brilliant writer who invented Nigel Molesworth and collaborated with Ronald Searle to create the marvellous illustrated books.

Mark Bryant remembers Nicolas Bentley, the publisher, circus clown and inspired cartoonist who worked with Beachcomber, Stephen Potter, Auberon Waugh and the Oldie’s founding father, Richard Ingrams.

The issue is also packed with original cartoons, including two wonderful Ed McLachlans.

Roger Lewis celebrates the 60th anniversary of the terrible, grim, delightful Carry On films. Andrew Sinclair just remembers sharing 22 bottles of red wine with Oliver Reed and Orson Welles, while Anne Robinson swoons over her new crush. And James Le Fanu pays tribute to the much-missed Oldie doctor, Dr Tom Stuttaford.

Happy holidays!

Harry Mount, Editor, The Oldie

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Plus, listen to new interviews for the August issue with Sophia Money-Coutts on modern manners: drinks at 6.30, dinner at 8.30 – and get married by 30. The former features director of Tatler talks tongue-in-cheek about the world of the magazine, and her new book The Plus One which is published on 9th August. Listen to the interview here.

We have extracts from the compelling talks by Sam Leith and Mary Kenny at The Oldie’s Journalism Course. Mary enlightens course-goers, telling them that 'only a blockhead goes into journalism for money' in her session on 'How to Write a Column' – something she has been doing now, for the best part of 50 years. Listen to the snippet here.

Sam Leith, literary editor of the Spectator, talks about 'How to Write a Book Review' and proffers wisdom on how to make a review 'really sing on the page' and why you should read a book armed with a pen. Listen here.

We also have our talks from the Literary Lunch at Chichester Cathedral, in partnership with the Literary Festival. At the lunch we had Anna Pasternak speaking about Lara: The Untold Love Story and the Inspiration for Doctor Zhivago. Anna is the great-niece of the Nobel Prize-winning novelist Boris Pasternak – author of Doctor Zhivago. She tells the story of the true and tragic love affair between Boris and Olga Ivinskaya which inspired the literary classic. Listen here.

We have Christopher Somerville on The January Man: A Year of Walking Britain. Month by month, season by season and region by region, Christopher walks many of the 140,000 miles of footpaths across the British Isles. He delivered his talk as a long, glittering poem, hinged on the rambler's great love – the pub. Listen here.

Finally, we have Stanley Johnson on Kompromat. The father of our Golden Oldies columnist, Rachel Johnson, reveals that he wrote the book in 12 weeks flat, on a strict diet of 4am starts. It is a political thriller – an account of the skulduggery that might have gone on behind the scenes in the run-up to the EU referendum. Described as a ‘unique peek under the dirty doormat of politics’. Listen here.


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Below you will find links to five FULL teaser articles but other highlights include.....


Olden Life: What was the D'Oliveira Affair? Christopher Sandford READ THE FULL ARTICLE

Modern Life: What is an incel? Richard Godwin

Carry On: a very British phenomenon Roger Lewis

The Man who made Molesworth Michael Barber

When the Soviets invaded my homeland John Tusa

My non-bucket list David Jenkins The last days of steam Paul Barnes

Britannia's rules Sophia Money-Coutts LISTEN TO THE DISCUSSION

The Genius of Nicolas Bentley Mark Bryant

I don't need a doctor Liz Hodgkinson


Hares don't care Raymond Briggs So many things rattle Polly's cage – Media Matters, Stephen Glover

In another world - The Way We Live Now, Dafydd Jones

The new Manhattan witch hunt – Letter from America, Melik Kaylan

I have a dream - to met my GP – Grumpy Oldie Man, Matthew Norman

We're celebrities... get our train out of here – Short Cuts, Anne Robinson

I'm in the greatest show on Earth– Gyles Brandreth’s Diary

Brexit won't break this entente cordiale – Postcards from the Edge, Mary Kenny LISTEN TO MARY AT THE OLDIE JOURNALISM COURSE

Captain Cook's tour de force – History, David Horspool

Look up and you'll see the city is a giant aviary – Town Mouse, Tom Hodgkinson

Mary's mutiny when I scoffed three Bounty bars – Country Mouse, Giles Wood

Let's not talk about stress – School Days, Sophia Waugh

Am I the John Singer Sargent of Surrey? – Home Front, Alice Pitman

My dodgy dream teamWilfred De’Ath

Getting Dressed: Bringing the Middle East to M&S Brigid Keenan

On the Road: June WhitfieldLouise Flind

Ancient gods keep on rocking – Golden Oldies, Rachel Johnson

Eliza Doolittle was right to 'ate haitches – Words and Stuff, Johnny Grimond

Dream home for a Georgian Hobbit – Overlooked Britain, Lucinda Lambton

Beauty Galore – Taking a Walk, Patrick Barkham on Herm

Agape at the power of selfless love – God, Sister Teresa

Geraldine Stephenson, 1925-2017 – Memorial Service, James Hughes-Onslow

The pills that sent Marilyn to sleep Medicine, Andrew M Brown

The virtual GP - a medical miracle – Digital Life, Matthew Webster

The hotel guests from Hell – Money Matters, Margaret Dibben

Raise a glass to Dr Tom (1931-2018) James Le Fanu

Golden Eagle – Bird of the Month, John McEwen

Ask Virginia Ironside


The Old Un's Notes

I Once met Oliver Reed Andrew Sinclair READ THE FULL ARTICLE

Memory Lane – We used to fight fire the hard way, Ray Munning

Art Nouveau-Deco – British Building Styles, Nesta Fitzgerald

Readers’ Letters

Literary Lunches – lunches announced in partnership with Ilkley, Dorchester, Marlborough and Gibraltar Literature Festivals

Reader TripJoin Robert Fox and Huon Mallalieu on a tour of the Valle d'Itria and the Salento in Puglia, 18-25th May 2019 Rant on Showers Joe Ruston

Travel: Diamond hotels in the Emerald IsleFiona Duncan

Travel: The commune is alive and well - in LanzaroteMark Palmer

Bridge Andrew Robson

Competition Tessa Castro



Ysenda Maxtone Graham on The Ritz and the Ditch by Diana Holderness READ THE FULL ARTICLE

Alan Ryan on Prime Movers by Ferdinand Mount

Minoo Dinshaw on Facts and Fiction: A Book of Storytelling by Michael Holroyd

Kate Womersley on The Inflamed Mind: A Radical New Approach to Depression by Edward Bullmore

Hamish Robinson on Seven Types of Atheism by John Gray

Constance Watson on Mrs Pankhurst's Purple Feather: Fashion, Fury and Feminism - Women's Fight for change by Tessa Boase

Allan Massie on Warlight by Michael Ondaatje


Film – The Happy Prince (15) – Marcus Berkmann

TheatreThe Prime of Miss Jean Brodie at the Donmar Warehouse and Translations at the Olivier Theatre, Paul Bailey READ THE FULL ARTICLE

Radio – Only Artists, The British Empire: An Equivocation, Harry Evans at 90, PM – Valerie Grove

Television – Germaine Bloody Greer, The Trouble With Women, Nothing like a Dame – Roger Lewis

Music – Summer Opera Season, Richard Osborne

Exhibitions – Rembrandt - Britain's Discovery of the Master, National Galleries of Scotland, to 14th October , Huon Mallalieu


GardeningA good year for the roses, David Wheeler READ THE FULL ARTICLE

Kitchen Garden – Radishes, Simon Courtauld

Cookery – Teatime treat time, Elisabeth Luard

Restaurants – Richmond House, Co Waterford, Ireland and Galvin at Windows, Park Lane, James Pembroke

Drink – Oysters and Wines, Bill Knott

Sport – Trump's Golf Score? Sad!, Jim White

Motoring – On the up, Alan Judd