Alex Colville

Piracy pays: how history’s greatest buccaneer got off scot-free

27 June 2020 9:00 am

In 1694 London’s streets echoed with a call to the piratical life: Come all you brave boys, whose courage is…

The whole of China is in an eerie state of shutdown

1 February 2020 9:00 am

 Shanghai ‘Do you want me to scan your temperature?’ asks the receptionist, brandishing an infrared thermometer. Arriving at my hotel…

Fear and loathing in Jamaica: Caribbean slaves turn the whip on their masters

11 January 2020 9:00 am

In the shadows of the British Enlightenment lurked the Caribbean sugar plantations. Masters routinely raped their slaves, punished minor wrongdoings…

Somali pirates, photographed in 2012

As long as poverty and maritime trade exist, so will piracy

15 June 2019 9:00 am

Western attitudes to piracy have dripped with hubris. In his classic history of 1932, Philip Gosse confidently argued that European…

Cracking jokes with Dr Johnson

27 April 2019 9:00 am

I cast my Readers under two general Divisions, the Mercurial and the Saturnine. The first are the gay part of…

Ernst Jünger in Paris in 1941

Ernst Jünger — reluctant captain of the Wehrmacht

19 January 2019 9:00 am

Ernst Jünger, who died in 1998, aged 102, is now better known for his persona than his work. A deeply…

How do we envisage Shakespeare’s wife?

18 August 2018 9:00 am

Despite his having one of the most famous names in the world, we know maddeningly little about William Shakespeare. His…

The modern Behemoth, smiting a few mortals for the sake of the many

Think of five things you use daily that weren’t made in a factory

31 March 2018 9:00 am

Industrial factories huddle at the very edge of our world view. Most of us have never visited one, but we…

Portrait of William Farquhar by John Graham, c. 1830.

How Raffles stole the jewel of Singapore

27 January 2018 9:00 am

Accounts of the founding of the British Empire once echoed the pages of Boy’s Own, featuring visionaries, armed with a…