Nicholas Shakespeare

Nicholas Shakespeare is deputy arts editor of the Times.

Forever Krystle

Nicholas Shakespeare, 20 February 1986

‘Bobby J. Ewing, I don’t believe you.’ The first episode of Dallas began, in 1978, with Pamela’s stilted expression of incredulity. Within two years the city famous for hosting President Kennedy’s assassination was celebrated instead for the attempt on the life of Bobby’s brother, JR. A hundred and twenty million Americans tuned in to see who had shot him – more than had voted in the previous Presidential election. In Britain the figure was 24 million – almost half the nation. It has been estimated that 250 million people all over the world watched – and continue to watch – the antics of the Ewing family. The symptoms of this obsession are familiar: the dramatic rise in water and electricity consumption, the empty streets. An image I can’t remove from my mind is of an old woman in Ushuaia: one of the last of the Patagonian Indians, she sat in her concrete hut as mesmerised by the episode she was watching as she was by the cocoa leaves she chewed. For a world lacking a binding mythology, Dallas, and its clone Dynasty, which has recently overtaken it in the ratings, have become a common touchstone.’


Do I have to?

7 November 2019

Can I make two small corrections to Rosemary Hill’s review of A Scribbler in Soho: A Celebration of Auberon Waugh (LRB, 7 November)? I was not ‘allowed to leave’ after Anthony Powell’s decision to resign as chief book reviewer of the Daily Telegraph in 1990. I stayed on exactly where I was, as literary editor of the Daily and Sunday Telegraph, until the editorial departments...

Kindred Spirits: To be Tasmanian

Chloe Hooper, 18 August 2005

Tasmania has long been a convenient receptacle for Australia’s gothic fantasies and projections. This is in part because of the island’s relative isolation, and because convicts...

Read More

Shakespeare the Novelist

John Sutherland, 28 September 1989

According to news reports, Peru is crumbling fast. The unfortunate country’s latest – and possibly terminal – woes began in 1980, after 12 years of military junta, with the...

Read More

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences