Sara Wheeler

Sickness strikes in the clifftop monasteries of Meteora, and Stagg leaves the pilgrimage route

Staggering to Jerusalem — a journey from darkness into light

30 June 2018 9:00 am

Guy Stagg walked 5,500 km from Canterbury to Jerusalem, following medieval pilgrim paths, and he records the expedition in The…

Was there ever anything romantic about the Romany life?

9 June 2018 9:00 am

Damian Le Bas is of Gypsy stock (he insists on the upper case throughout his book). His beloved great-grandmother told…

Doris Lessing in her mid sixties

Doris Lessing: from champion of free love to frump with a bun

10 March 2018 9:00 am

‘I am interested only in stretching myself, in living as fully as I can.’ Lara Feigel begins her thoughtful book…

What makes this Bhutanese schoolgirl happy?

What makes a semi-police state happy?

16 December 2017 9:00 am

This charming collection of individual photographic portraits of Bhutanese citizens intentionally highlights the two central features of the kingdom today:…

Horatio Clare breaks the ice with the taciturn Finns

18 November 2017 9:00 am

In this slim travel book Horatio Clare voyages as a guest on the Finnish icebreaker Otso (Bear), ‘mostly in darkness,…

For fashionable Victorian travellers, the only way was Norway

4 June 2016 9:00 am

‘The only use of a gentleman in travelling,’ Emmeline Lowe wrote in 1857, ‘is to take care of the luggage.’…

Thin air and frayed tempers

13 February 2016 9:00 am

Born in New South Wales in 1888, George Finch climbed Mount Canobolas as a boy, unleashing, in the thin air,…

Graffiti outside the American University of Cairo reads ‘Revolution’ (December 2011)

The revolution that went up in smoke

22 August 2015 9:00 am

‘Every day’, writes the foreign correspondent Wendell Steavenson in this account of the 2011 Egyptian revolution, ‘see-sawed between joy and…

Rabdentse, near Pelling, the ruined former capital of Sikkim, with Mount Kanchenjunga in the distance

The story of Sikkim’s last king and queen reads like a fairy tale gone wrong

1 August 2015 9:00 am

Sikkim was a Himalayan kingdom a third of the size of Wales squeezed between China, India, Nepal and Bhutan. I…

‘Jeddah from the sea’— sketch by Thomas Machell in one of his journals

A Victorian sailor is the new love of my life

27 June 2015 9:00 am

Jenny Balfour Paul is an indigo dye expert. She has written two books on the subject, and lectures around the…

Dreaming of a golden future: there will always be people willing to sacrifice all in the pursuit of gold

11 April 2015 9:00 am

In 2008, the price of gold lofted above $1,000 an ounce for the first time in history, inspiring a rush…

The greatest American Arctic disaster

7 February 2015 9:00 am

In the course of the 19th century, various flotillas of expeditions hastened to the polar regions in little wooden ships…