To his credit, the late AA Gill was not given to varnishing his journalistic impressions, and this much is true of his take on sun-kissed Monte Carlo, whose harbour he baldly describes as "in truth … an aquatic favela". Briskly demolishing the credibility of any claim the Monaco seafront might have made for jet-set classiness, Gill presents it as "a hugger-mugger horizontal tenement of ugly, awkward, moulded plastic bathroom fittings bobbing in cess. Both ex and the other sort." The rich of the Riviera, with their "frugality of "imagination", didn’t impress him, it’s fair to say. What might be called gross wealth can be — and doubtless often is — vulgar. Church reformer William Tyndale, strangled to death in 1536 for his trouble, and temerity, in rendering the Latin Bible in serviceable English, coined the phrase "filthy lucre", and it’s one of many hundreds of his to have stuck in the centuries since. But moralising about money is shot through with risks and deceits, too. The peren...

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