Mary Wakefield

Mary Wakefield is commissioning editor of The Spectator.

The world of make-believe is stranger than we realise

28 March 2020 9:00 am

Last summer, in the bc era, I took my then three-year-old to a new group play session: ‘Lottie’s Magic Box.’…

Why did no one believe Johnny Depp?

29 February 2020 9:00 am

When it was first reported that Johnny Depp had been hit and pelted with crockery by his slight, blonde then…

Vampire squids are killing Britain’s B&Bs

18 January 2020 9:00 am

More and more of us are staying home for our holidays — but even so, our small hotels and B&Bs…

Why I changed my mind about Catholicism

21 December 2019 9:00 am

I grew up in a traditional English family, surrounded by cousins, chivvied by aunts, presided over by my grandmother, who…

Why is no one admiring Debbie Harry’s resilience?

30 November 2019 9:00 am

Debbie Harry, Blondie’s lead singer, has written a memoir in which she relates, in her usual deadpan, punk-rock way, the…

Are you tingle-minded? The rapid rise of ASMR

2 November 2019 9:00 am

I once had a flatmate called Tom, who behaved very oddly when our cleaner came round. On mornings when she…

Why do we keep pretending that children are wiser than adults?

12 October 2019 9:00 am

We’ve begun to behave as if young people are special; more virtuous and wiser than adults. It’s wrong and it’s…

Will Greta Thunberg win the Nobel Peace Prize? I really hope not

10 October 2019 9:53 pm

We’ve begun to behave as if young people are special; more virtuous and wiser than adults. It’s wrong and it’s…

The screaming souls on London’s streets

21 September 2019 9:00 am

When I first moved to London N1  four years ago, no one seemed to notice let alone discuss all the…

The reason middle-class parents are so anxious

10 August 2019 9:00 am

On that record-breaking, sweltering day at the end of July, my three-year-old son did a pirouette in the paddling pool…

Abandoning stop and search would be abandoning a generation of kids

29 June 2019 9:00 am

It was somehow inevitable that shortly after Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick announced a fall in violent crime, there would…

Why vegans must not own cats

1 June 2019 9:00 am

Is it ethical for vegans to own cats? It’s an interesting question because vegans look set to take over —…

Natural England is overwhelmed – and farmers are paying the price

4 May 2019 9:00 am

Last week, on the first day of the government’s ban on farmers shooting pest birds, I walked across St James’s…

My friend’s death taught me what Easter really means

20 April 2019 9:00 am

The bravest thing I’ve ever seen was 93-year-old Albert’s decision to die and the days after in which he stuck…

There’s an arms race underway – between headphones and musak

23 March 2019 9:00 am

I live with a ghost, or rather, I share an address with a man who’s been dead for many years.…

‘If I get an adrenaline rush, something’s gone wrong’: An interview with Free Solo’s Alex Honnold

9 February 2019 9:00 am

My husband, usually a cool customer, watched Free Solo from behind his fingers, sometimes jumping up from the sofa and…

The scent of London has changed: all I can smell now is cannabis

26 January 2019 9:00 am

Fewer people are smoking cannabis these days, down to 1.4 million from two million, they say. I say, if you…

Benedict Cumberbatch as Dominic Cummings in Brexit: The Uncivil War

Benedict Cumberbatch on playing my husband, Dominic Cummings

15 December 2018 9:00 am

Imagine looking at a photo of a stranger and feeling in response, quite naturally, the sort of happy affection you…

Neil MacGregor: belief is what holds a society together

8 December 2018 9:00 am

‘But what must it be like for the fish?’ We’re talking about cormorants, Neil MacGregor and I, and the spectacular…

I admit it – I’m a smartphone addict

1 December 2018 9:00 am

I am often extremely dismissive of people immersed in their smartphones. I tut at the mole-ish pedestrians who step out…

What Mills & Boon can teach us in the age of #MeToo

3 November 2018 9:00 am

In celebration of its 110th birthday, I downloaded a Mills & Boon — The Greek Tycoon’s Blackmailed Mistress — and…

Stuffed doll in Edwardian-style black dress with stiletto through face, south Devon, England , 1909–13

The objects that sound witchiest on paper just look sad: Spellbound reviewed

27 October 2018 9:00 am

Just in front of me, visiting Spellbound at the Ashmolean last week, was a very rational boy of about seven…

Yes, we London cyclists really are a nasty lot

6 October 2018 9:00 am

One morning a long time ago, when the Spectator offices were still in Bloomsbury, I hopped my bike up onto…

It’s time to take on the paedophiles

8 September 2018 9:00 am

Abusing children is one of the most terrible things men do. We all agree about that. And I think we’re…

Why dismiss a Catholic priest for being Catholic?

28 July 2018 9:00 am

They’re just kids! What’s your problem? This has become the default reaction of a whole raft of clever people to…