Books: Cover Stories

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WITH SIR Edward Heath on the road until Christmas, signing everything that moves, I gather that two other Tory scribblers are now fully occupied on their memoirs. John Major, like Lady Thatcher, is working with HarperCollins and will publish next autumn. He claims to have written 80,000 words - in longhand, as befits the PM of warm beer and spinsters cycling to church. Michael Heseltine (like Heath, with Hodder) is 59,000 words in and, as befits a man with monogrammed gates, he is dictating his thoughts. Old Oxford chum Anthony Howard will make sense of his ramblings.

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SINCE STUART Proffitt stomped out of HarperCollins over the Chris Patten affair and fetched up at Penguin, everyone has been anxiously awaiting his first acquisitions. (The only project known to be on his desk is Charles Moore's biography of the blessed Margaret, but that's not due to be published until she has been well and truly kicked upstairs.) This week brought word that he has acquired the pensees of George Walden, the former Conservative member for Buckingham and a former chairman of the Booker judges. His published canon includes a book on ethics and foreign policy and another on education. u ALAN CLARK, the member for Kensington and Chelsea who (lust aside) usually has more time for animals than people, is turning out in a good cause next Tuesday. …