Nicholas Shakespeare

‘Departure from Lisbon for Brazil, the East Indies and America’, by Theodore de Bry, 16th century

Portugal’s entrancing capital has always looked to the sea

14 July 2018 9:00 am

Paris, Venice, Montevideo, Cape Town, Hobart. There are cities, like fado, that pluck at the gut. In my personal half…

Meeting the last Cuban fisherman to have known Ernest Hemingway

7 April 2018 9:00 am

In Havana, one week before President Obama unthawed half a century of cold relations with Cuba, I talked to the…

Why I’ve been written out of Anthony Powell’s history

27 January 2018 9:00 am

You’re in the index, but not in the book. This ghostly sensation has been my experience since 1990 after commissioning…

Bligh and crew are set adrift from the Bounty, in a painting by Robert Dodd

Australia was ruined the moment Europeans set foot there

13 January 2018 9:00 am

Many believed in Australia for 1,000 years before its discovery. There had to be a commensurate weight — somewhere Down…

Mary Wesley’s passionate lifelong love affair

2 December 2017 9:00 am

The novelist Mary Wesley never forgot the night of 26 October 1944. She was then 32, locked in a loveless…

Joan was ‘a lovely boy-girl... like a casual, loving, decadent Eton athlete’, according to Cyril Connolly

A sensual Greek goddess

28 October 2017 9:00 am

Joan Leigh Fermor died in 2003, aged 91, after falling in her bathroom in the house on a rocky headland…

A pile of mud-covered satchels is all that remains of 74 children’s lives

A tidal wave of grief

26 August 2017 9:00 am

Most victims of the 1755 Lisbon earthquake — which convinced Voltaire there could be no God — perished not in…

In chains of gold: Minnie Stevens, the daughter of a Massachussetts chambermaid, married Arthur Paget in 1878. Portrait by Fernand Paillet

Gilded prostitution

10 June 2017 9:00 am

‘An English peer of very old title is desirous of marrying at once a very wealthy lady, her age and…

Nicky Beard on holiday in Cornwall shortly before his death

Two small boys in the sea

8 April 2017 9:00 am

An estimated 400,000 people drown annually worldwide, 50 per cent of them children. Roughly 150 drownings occur in the UK.…

Righter of wrongs

11 February 2017 9:00 am

I used to work for Ludo, as we all knew him on BBC2’s Did You See?, and was once thought…

A frightened Bruno Hauptmann — dubbed ‘The Most Hated Man in the World’— awaits questioning by the FBI over the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby

Righter of wrongs

9 February 2017 3:00 pm

I used to work for Ludo, as we all knew him on BBC2’s Did You See?, and was once thought…

Divinely decadent

5 November 2016 9:00 am

‘Oh the Mediterranean addiction, how we fall for it!’ So sighed Sybille Bedford, who spent the 1920s and 1930s in…