Philip Hensher

What’s really behind the Tories’ present woes?

25 May 2024 9:00 am

Geoffrey Wheatcroft identifies two root causes: the disastrous revision of the leadership election procedure, and David Cameron’s turn to the referendum as a device to govern

My vote winner? Banning ‘fun’ runs

11 May 2024 9:00 am

One of us must once have told a political pollster: ‘I really have no idea at all who I’m going…

Exploring the glorious literary heritage of Bengal

11 May 2024 9:00 am

Bengalis are renowned for their love of discussion and argument, and a new collection of short stories reflects this passion for cultured conversation

The Berkeley scandal of 1681 transfixed London society – and Aphra Behn soon capitalised on it

4 May 2024 9:00 am

In The Love Letters Between a Nobleman and his Sister, often called the ‘first English novel’, Behn successfully milked the affair for all it was worth

The naming of cats

27 April 2024 9:00 am

It took a long time for cats to gain the same serious status as dogs, but by the 18th century they were starting to have personalities, says Kathryn Hughes

Garbriel García Márquez has been ill-served by his sons

23 March 2024 9:00 am

Posthumously published against the author’s wishes, Until August should not detract from Marquez’s best work – but it would have been better left as a curiosity in the archives

The beauty – and tragedy – of our nesting swans

13 January 2024 9:00 am

There won’t be any cygnets this year. The cob was on the lake this morning on his own, occasionally slapping…

The British Empire’s latest crime – to have ended the Enlightenment

2 December 2023 9:00 am

Richard Whatmore sees trade and colonisation in the 19th century as the great threat to Enlightenment ideals, and British imperialism as an unremitting force of darkness

The brilliance of A.S. Byatt lives on in her writing

18 November 2023 7:10 pm

Dame Antonia Byatt, the novelist A.S. Byatt, has died after a long illness. With her goes part of the conscience…

How has the Conservative party’s ‘Dr No’ escaped everyone’s notice for so long?

18 November 2023 9:00 am

This malevolent figure has been at the centre of the party for more than 40 years, says Nadine Dorries. But nothing in The Plot bears much relation to reality

Why did Jon Fosse win the Nobel Prize for literature? It’s baffling.

4 November 2023 9:00 am

If Jon Fosse’s novels are experimental, they are experiments in exhausting banality, says Philip Hensher

The astonishing truth about 007

30 September 2023 9:00 am

The world would never be quite the same again after we first glimpsed the casino of Royale-les-Eaux at three in the morning, says Philip Hensher

Click bait: confessions of a Lego addict

9 September 2023 9:00 am

Confessions of a Lego addict

The phoney mystics who fooled the West

2 September 2023 9:00 am

Many suspect mystics have exploited naive westerners in search of spiritual enlightenment over the past century, Philip Hensher discovers

Cheerful meanderings: Caret, by Adam Mars-Jones, reviewed

26 August 2023 9:00 am

Now established in Cambridge, John Cromer embarks on a whirlwind of small adventures, testing our patience, if not our sympathy, with his extensive digressions

Philip Larkin, the Poet Laureate who never was

20 July 2023 12:43 am

We’ll never know if Philip Larkin, one of the greatest English poets of the twentieth century, would have been a…

The changing face of the BBC Proms

15 July 2023 9:00 am

The changing face of the BBC Proms

Lorrie Moore’s latest novel is deeply troubling, but also consoling

24 June 2023 9:00 am

A corpse comes back to life and goes on a road trip. Lorrie Moore’s powerful new novel leaves Philip Hensher shaken, troubled, but also consoled

The confrontational genius of Martin Amis

22 May 2023 12:35 am

Martin Amis had impeccable timing, as anyone who looks at his sentences, paragraphs, chapters, books ought to admit. He died…

Why are we so squeamish about describing women’s everyday experiences?

20 May 2023 9:00 am

Philip Hensher discusses how words relating to women’s ordinary experiences have been shrouded in euphemism over the centuries

The attraction of freethinking humanism

15 April 2023 9:00 am

Philip Hensher admires the humanists of the past, and finds them consistently kinder, more decent and generous than their contemporaries

The biography Noël Coward deserves

18 March 2023 9:00 am

Philip Hensher follows Noël Coward from precocious childhood to the vortex of fame