Philip Womack

Why is the government making it harder to get an au pair?

25 May 2024 9:00 am

You will have heard, I am sure, of the Conservatives’ recent largesse towards working parents, as their ‘free’ childcare policy…

Back from the beyond: The Book of Love, by Kelly Link, reviewed

3 February 2024 9:00 am

Three adolescents reappear in their home town on the Massachusetts coast, having been presumed dead – which is closer to the truth than their families realise

Nostalgia for old, rundown coastal Sussex

22 July 2023 9:00 am

Despite the seediness and threat of violence, Littlehampton was a place of neighbourly camaraderie, fondly evoked in Sally Bayley’s latest memoir

No happy endings

1 April 2023 9:00 am

Traditional fairy tales are transposed to a modern setting and given a thrilling – often terrifying – twist

A dangerous gift: The Weather Woman, by Sally Gardner, reviewed

3 December 2022 9:00 am

Spanning the 18th and 19th centuries, Gardner’s novel tells the story of young Neva, whose ability to predict the weather nearly ruins her

The torment of mentoring spoilt rich kids

5 March 2022 9:00 am

For 20 years of my adult life, I moonlighted as a private tutor. After a full day in the office…

Back in the magic land of Narnia

1 May 2021 9:00 am

C. S. Lewis’s enchanting Chronicles of Narniaseries has, in recent years, come under critical fire. It’s racist, sexist, colonialist; blatant…

Julius Caesar’s assassins were widely regarded as heroes in Rome

3 October 2020 9:00 am

It’s not as if Julius Caesar wasn’t warned about the Ides of March. Somebody thrust a written prediction of the…

Greco-Roman civilisation has dominated ancient history for too long

6 June 2020 9:00 am

What have the Akkadians ever done for us? As it turns out, rather a lot, as Philip Matyszak reveals in…

Niven Govinden. Credit: Dan Lepard

A drag army in waiting: This Brutal House, by Niven Govinden, reviewed

29 June 2019 9:00 am

Niven Govinden’s This Brutal House is set in the demi-monde of the New York vogue ball. This is an organised,…

Is there no end to the retelling of classical myths?

11 May 2019 9:00 am

In the past few years there has been a flourishing of literary responses to the Trojan war. To mention a…

Credit: Alamy

Beware the female stalker: Dream Sequence, by Adam Foulds, reviewed

26 January 2019 9:00 am

Adam Foulds’s fourth novel, Dream Sequence, is an exquisitely concocted, riveting account of artistic ambition and unrequited love verging on…

The passions of Paulo: Enigma Variations, by André Aciman, reviewed

13 October 2018 9:00 am

André Aciman’s 2007 debut novel, Call Me By Your Name, was a sensuous, captivating account of the passionate love a…

Can a paedophilic relationship ever be excused?

21 July 2018 9:00 am

Sofka Zinovieff’s new novel, Putney, is an involving, beautifully written, and subtle account of an affair in the 1970s between…

Joan of Arc from ‘Vie des Femmes Celebres’, 1505

The songs my father’s mistress taught me ignited my love of France

5 May 2018 9:00 am

When John Julius Norwich was a boy, his father was British ambassador in Paris.School holidays were spent in the exceptionally…

The Charlie Hebdo attacks form a backdrop to a complicated love triangle in C.K. Stead’s latest novel

17 February 2018 9:00 am

There has been much debate recently about what exactly constitutes ‘literary’ fiction. If the term means beguiling, gorgeously crafted novels…

Coming of age in New York

20 February 2016 9:00 am

I read this, Meg Rosoff’s first novel for adults (though her previous fiction, aimed at teenagers, is widely enjoyed by…

Catullus, Clodia and the pangs of despised love

6 February 2016 9:00 am

Reading Daisy Dunn’s ambitious first book, a biography of the salty (in more ways than one) Roman poet Catullus, it…

Battle of Waterloo (Photo: Getty)

A lull in hostilities for Matthew Hervey

2 May 2015 9:00 am

Allan Mallinson’s historical series concerning Matthew Hervey, the well-bred, thoughtful soldier, details a world where men are practical and not…

Time-travel, smugglers, arsenic — what’s not to like in Sally Gardner’s novel for teenagers?

17 January 2015 9:00 am

Which of us, as an adolescent, did not experience at some point a terrible sense of not belonging? Which of…

Looking for the meaning of life? Come to Constantine Phipps' poetic theme park

31 May 2014 9:00 am

A favourite game of mine is to imagine Virgil and Homer today, plying their trade among the supermarkets and office…