Nicholas Shakespeare

Papa and his muse in Cuba

The old man and his muse: Hemingway’s toe-curling infatuation with Adriana Ivancich

1 September 2018 9:00 am

One rainy evening in December 1948, a blue Buick emerged from the darkness of the Venetian lagoon near the village…

‘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…