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The lives and limericks of Robert Conquest

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The poet and historian died on 3 August, having published more than 20 books on Soviet history. But how many people know about his love of a silly rhyme?

A week during which the last surviving Dambuster pilot died also saw the death, at 98, of another anti-totalitarian figurehead, the poet and historian Robert Conquest. Born earlier than the Movement generation of writers he helped promote with his 1956 anthology New Lines (Philip Larkin, Kingsley Amis, DJ Enright, Donald Davie and Elizabeth Jennings among them), Conquest outlived his proteges by some distance, in the case of Larkin by 30 years. He also outwrote them, in numbers of pages produced, publishing more than 20 books on Soviet history.

Related: Robert Conquest obituary

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