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Arts feature

From Middlemarch to Mickey Mouse: a short history of The Spectator’s books and arts pages

The Spectator arts and books pages have spent 10,000 issues identifying the dominant cultural phenomena of the day and being difficult about them, says Richard Bratby

24 April 2020

11:00 PM

24 April 2020

11:00 PM

The old masters: how well they understood. John Betjeman’s architecture column ran for just over three years in the mid-1950s. Yet during that short run he experienced the moment that comes, sooner or later, to every regular writer in The Spectator’s arts pages. ‘It is maddening the way people corner one and make one discuss politics at the moment,’ he wrote on 23 November 1956, clearly as bored of the Suez crisis as the rest of us were, until recently, by Brexit:

Because I write in this paper, people assume that I share its Editor’s views about Suez… But I don’t...

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