Sam Leith

‘I was a tortured, obviously brilliant child’: James Ellroy interviewed

21 December 2019 9:00 am

James Ellroy is occasionally quoted as saying he’s the greatest American crime novelist ever. The man sometimes called the ‘demon…

Who are today’s fictional heroes?

21 December 2019 9:00 am

What’s a hero? There are probably at least two answers to that. One is that heroism is a moral quality:…

Remembering the genius of Clive James

7 December 2019 9:00 am

‘Clive James Stirs.’ That was the standard subject line for the emails I used to get from the great Australian…

‘My wife sends me sleep bubbles’: The extraordinary world of Pete Townshend

30 November 2019 9:00 am

When most rock stars have trouble sleeping, they fall back on Valium, temazepam, heroin or Jack Daniel’s. But Pete Townshend,…

Sordid confessions of a Centrist Dad

16 November 2019 9:00 am

I have a shameful secret. I’ve been watching these… videos online. Amazing what you can get in a couple of…

For political discourse to survive, we must be more honest about language

5 October 2019 9:00 am

When I was an English literature undergraduate, we were all very careful to avoid what used to be called the…

Oppidans vs scholars: a guide to the social politics of Eton

6 July 2019 9:00 am

Every prime minister is a sociologist. Theresa May drew a distinction between citizens of somewhere and ‘citizens of nowhere’, a…

Why croquet beats cricket

29 June 2019 9:00 am

People say cricket is the quintessential English game. Those people are wrong. Cricket may have a longer pedigree, but it’s…

Common sense is the real generation gap – just ask John Cleese

15 June 2019 9:00 am

As I write these words, I regret to inform you, John Cleese is on his way to being cancelled. Now…

Life at the Globe

8 June 2019 9:00 am

IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE PRINCIPAL PARTNERS OF SHAKESPEARE’S GLOBE’S 2019 SUMMER SEASON   This column concludes my brief series about…

Life at the Globe

25 May 2019 9:00 am

IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE PRINCIPAL PARTNERS OF SHAKESPEARE’S GLOBE’S 2019 SUMMER SEASON   ‘Small Latin and less Greek’ was Ben…

Credit: Robin Hill

Gothic extremes of human cruelty: Cari Mora, by Thomas Harris, reviewed

18 May 2019 9:00 am

It has been 13 years since Thomas Harris published a novel, and the last time he published one without Hannibal…

‘Come on, cancel me’: An interview with Bret Easton Ellis

11 May 2019 9:00 am

‘I grew up in LA where we all thought fame was a joke,’ says Bret Easton Ellis. ‘My class was…

Life at the Globe

27 April 2019 9:00 am

    IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE PRINCIPAL PARTNERS OF SHAKESPEARE’S GLOBE’S 2019 SUMMER SEASON As I noted last week, the…

Life at the Globe

20 April 2019 9:00 am

IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE PRINCIPAL PARTNERS OF SHAKESPEARE’S GLOBE’S 2019 SUMMER SEASON And so, as we continue through the Summer…

Life at the Globe

9 March 2019 9:00 am

    IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE PRINCIPAL PARTNERS OF SHAKESPEARE’S GLOBE’S 2019 SUMMER SEASON Last time in this space we…

The art, beauty and joy of videogames

2 March 2019 9:00 am

By day, I’m a mild-mannered book-world hanger-on; by night, I roar through the streets of Gotham in my heavily armed…

Mister Miracle, the cheesiest of all superheroes, reviewed

2 March 2019 9:00 am

Mister Miracle is, on the face of it, one of the cheesiest of all costumed super-heroes. Created by Jack Kirby…

Life at the Globe

23 February 2019 9:00 am

IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE PRINCIPAL PARTNERS OF SHAKESPEARE’S GLOBE’S 2019 SUMMER SEASON We’ve been looking at various aspects of Richard…

Portrait of Ruskin dated 1870

John Ruskin: the making of a modern prophet

16 February 2019 9:00 am

At the time of his death in 1900, John Ruskin was, according to Andrew Hill, ‘perhaps the most famous living…

Life at the Globe

9 February 2019 9:00 am

    IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE PRINCIPAL PARTNERS OF SHAKESPEARE’S GLOBE’S 2019 SUMMER SEASON Though the new production of Richard…

Life at the Globe

26 January 2019 9:00 am

    IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE PRINCIPAL PARTNERS OF SHAKESPEARE’S GLOBE’S 2019 SUMMER SEASON I quoted last week that rather…

Life at the Globe

19 January 2019 9:00 am

    IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE PRINCIPLE PARTNERS OF SHAKESPEARE’S GLOBE’S 2019 SUMMER SEASON One of the things about Shakespeare…

Life at the Globe

12 January 2019 9:00 am

  IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE PRINCIPAL PARTNERS OF SHAKESPEARE’S GLOBE The Globe was the occasion of drama before the first…

‘There is so little heartless work around. So I feel I am filling a small but necessary gap.’ Edward Gorey photographed in 1977 on the set he designed for the Broadway production of Dracula

Edward Gorey: master of the macabre

8 December 2018 9:00 am

‘A is for Amy who fell down the stairs/ B is for Basil, assaulted by bears…’ The Gashlycrumb Tinies, an…