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Fall: The Mystery of Robert Maxwell

Fall: The Mystery of Robert Maxwell

In February 1991, Robert Maxwell made a triumphant entrance into Manhattan harbour on board his yacht, the Lady Ghislaine. He had come to complete his purchase of the ailing New York Daily News. Crowds lined the quayside to watch his arrival. Taxi drivers stopped their cabs to shake his hand, children asked for his autograph and when Maxwell went to dine in the most fashionable Chinese restaurant in Manhattan, all the diners gave him a standing ovation.

10 months later, he disappeared off the same yacht and several hours later was found dead in the water. Within a few days, Maxwell was being reviled as the embodiment of greed and unscrupulousness. No one had ever fallen so far and so quickly.

What went so wrong? How did a man who had once laid such store on the importance of ethics and good behaviour become reduced to a bloated, amoral wreck?

John Preston is a former Arts Editor of the Evening Standard and the Sunday Telegraph. For ten years he was the Sunday Telegraph’s television critic and one of its chief feature writers. His most recent book, A Very English Scandal, was published to great acclaim in 2016 and turned into a BAFTA-winning BBC drama series. His 2007 historical novel The Dig was adapted into a film starring Ralph Fiennes, Carey Mulligan and Lily James, released in January 2021.

About the Author

John Preston

John Preston is a former Arts Editor of the Evening Standard and the Sunday Telegraph. For ten years he was the Sunday Telegraph’s television critic and one of its chief feature writers. His most recent book, A Very English Scandal, was published to great acclaim in 2016 and turned into a BAFTA-winning BBC drama series. His 2007 historical novel The Dig was adapted into a film starring Ralph Fiennes, Carey Mulligan and Lily James, released in January 2021.