Lewis Jones

Jeeves and Bertie Wooster by Roger Payne. [Bridgeman Images}

Bertie takes on the Black Shorts: Jeeves and the King of Clubs, by Ben Schott, reviewed

1 December 2018 9:00 am

In 2016, inspired by reports that Donald Trump’s butler had recommended the assassination of Barack Obama, Ben Schott wrote a…

Above and below: From Robin Dalton’s My Relations: ‘My second cousin, Penelope Wood, is an artist, or at least hopes to be one. She is only 16, but she has done some beautiful little paintings. I have one hanging in my room now. It is a landscape and is one she did when only 12 years old’

When mother killed the plumber — and Nellie Melba came round to sing

4 June 2016 9:00 am

Here’s a pair of little books — one even littler than the other — by Robin Dalton (née Eakin), a…

Ottessa Moshfegh’s Eileen reminds me of Nabokov

26 March 2016 9:00 am

Eileen is an accomplished, disturbing and creepily funny first novel by Ottessa Moshfegh, the latest darling of the Paris Review,…

The art of getting busted

9 January 2016 9:00 am

The Art of Smuggling comes garlanded with fraternal encomia from Howard ‘Mr Nice’ Marks, Phil Sparrowhawk (author of Grass) and…

Ivor Novello as a ‘sympathetic Ripper’ in Hitchcock’s The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog

Jack the Ripper unmasked again

28 November 2015 9:00 am

The Whitechapel Fiend is a psychic conduit for the vilest aspects of Victorian sex and class, and a creature mainly…

Gore Vidal, wannabe aristocrat and proud degenerate

5 September 2015 9:00 am

History for Gore Vidal was a vehicle to be ridden in triumph, perhaps as in an out-take from Ben-Hur, which…

Ecclestone and Mosley at Brands Hatch in 1978 — a double-act worthy of Ealing Studios

The fast, furious life of Max Mosley

4 July 2015 9:00 am

Max Mosley’s autobiography has been much anticipated: by the motor racing world, by the writers and readers of tabloid newspapers,…

How to kill a hippo, cure seasickness, get rid of fleas? Our ancestors had some wild ideas ...

16 May 2015 9:00 am

As Dear Mary so wittily demonstrates, our need for advice is perennial. But fashions change. Mary would probably take issue…

John Steinbeck at the time of writing Travels with Charley

Touring America in Steinbeck’s footsteps

3 January 2015 9:00 am

In 1960 John Steinbeck set off with his poodle Charley to drive around the United States in a truck equipped…

Têtes coupées by Théodore Géricault, 1818

From head-shrinking to skull-seeking: a history of the severed head

15 November 2014 9:00 am

A severed head, argues Frances Larson in her sprightly new book, is ‘simultaneously a person and a thing… an apparently…

Was John Cleese ever funny?

1 November 2014 9:00 am

Like many of my generation I was enchanted by the surrealistic irreverence of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, until I overheard…

‘Some find their death by swords and bullets; and some by fluids down the gullet’. Thomas Rowlandson’s illustration of ‘The English Dance of Death’ by William Combe, 1815 — a satire on the evils of drinking gin

Enjoy gin but don’t read books? Or read them only while drinking gin? This is the book for you

6 September 2014 9:00 am

Gin Glorious Gin: How Mother’s Ruin Became the Spirit of London is a jaunty and diverting history of ‘a wonderful…

James Bond's secret: he's Jamaican

9 August 2014 9:00 am

Ian Fleming’s first visit to Jamaica was pure James Bond. In 1943, as assistant to the Director of Naval Intelligence,…

Josefa Duran, the flamenco dancer known as ‘Pepita’

Wealth is no guarantee of happiness. Look at the Sackville-Wests

10 May 2014 9:00 am

When Robert Sackville-West was writing Inheritance (2010), his history of Knole and the Sackvilles, he was ‘struck’, as he recalls…

Lost Kerouac that should have stayed lost

15 March 2014 9:00 am

In 1944, when he was 22, Jack Kerouac lost a manuscript — in a taxi, as he thought, but probably…

Finally, a celebrity memoir worth reading

4 January 2014 9:00 am

Unlike many celebrity memoirs, Anjelica Huston’s is worth reading. In her Prologue she writes that as a child she modeled…

'A little bit of rape is good for a man's soul': the outrageous life of Norman Mailer

23 November 2013 9:00 am

Heroically brave and mad, prodigious in his industry and appetites, Norman Mailer was an altogether excessive figure. Since his death…

When Britain Burned the White House, by Peter Snow - review

28 September 2013 9:00 am

Peter Snow explains that he decided to look into this extraordinary story when he realised how few people knew about…

The Unwinding, by George Packer - review

13 July 2013 9:00 am

The Unwinding is a rather classy addition to the thriving genre of American apocalypse porn. The basic thesis can be…