This time I took Howard's End by E. M. Forster with me, though of course I read David Boyle's Leaves the World to Darkness on the journey to Norfolk.
Then I picked up a collection of Auberon Waugh's Way of the World pieces from the Daily Telegraph. They are too gamy to be read in such bulk, but I did like Waugh's observations after the death of Robert Maxwell:
I do not understand why he was ever considered a good businessman. His saintly wife, Elizabeth, whom he married in 1945, brought with her a dowry of £150,000, say £2,400,000 at today's values ...
In a lifetime of business activity he managed to convert this modest fortune of £2,400,000 into a debt of $2 billion. Is this the sign of a good businessman?
When I ask why the beautiful and blameless Elizabeth stayed with such a ruffian for so long, my ever-practical wife suggests that she was hoping to get her money back.