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The way we were: media moguls

Extracts from memoirs, letters and diaries on press barons

By Ian Irvine   September 2011

The dining hall at San Simeon, William Randolph Hearst’s California estate

Journalist and spy Robert Bruce Lockhart records in his diary an account of a party given by Lord Beaverbrook at his Surrey country house, 25th May 1929:

Beaverbrook’s fiftieth birthday—he gave a large party to all his old friends of 15 years’ standing and a cheque for £250 [today worth around £12,000] to each guest. There was a lottery with numerous prizes amounting to £500 for the servants.

In a letter to a friend, PG Wodehouse, then a screenwriter in Hollywood, describes his stay at San…

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