Simon Heffer

Edwin Lutyens: the nation’s remembrancer-in-chief

18 May 2024 9:00 am

Though much admired for his domestic architecture, Lutyens is perhaps most celebrated for Whitehall’s Cenotaph and the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme

After Queen Victoria, the flood

17 February 2024 9:00 am

Alwyn Turner draws on popular culture to show how violent protest and unrest followed the old queen’s death, making nonsense of the fabled Edwardian ‘golden summer’

So ancient, so new

17 June 2023 9:00 am

Its industrial new towns have nothing in common with its picturesque villages and lonely estuaries – but a refusal to conform still unites this deeply schizophrenic county

Farewell to the Belle Époque

8 April 2023 9:00 am

Edward VII’s reign is generally seen as a bright interlude between Victorian primness and the Great War – but there was considerable unrest on many fronts

The Britain Elizabeth II acceded to was barely recognisable within a decade

14 January 2023 9:00 am

Steam trains, historic monuments and the family grocer were replaced by motorways, tower blocks and supermarkets. But at least there was humaner legislation

John Major has taken a pounding (1992)

27 September 2022 7:35 pm

It’s three decades ago this month since the UK government was forced to withdraw the pound from the European Exchange Rate…

Vaughan Williams’s genius is now beyond dispute

24 September 2022 9:00 am

Ralph Vaughan Williams’s towering position in our national life is now beyond dispute – and can only grow, says Simon Heffer

How Britain was misled over Europe for 60 years

16 April 2022 9:00 am

Just as one is inclined to believe Carlyle’s point that the history of the world is but the biography of…

The coal mining conundrum: why did the NUM fight so hard for its members’ right to suffer underground?

25 September 2021 9:00 am

Anyone with a grasp of the history of Britain knows that its once considerable power, and much of its still…

Identity politics is a threat to societies

6 September 2021 12:00 pm

Identity politics has been weaponised to sow division across the Western world. Global outrage over the killing of George Floyd…

What does it really mean to feel English?

10 April 2021 9:00 am

Referring to the precarious future of the Union of England and Scotland, the authors of Englishness: The Political Force Transforming…

R.B. Haldane: a great public servant, much maligned

25 July 2020 9:00 am

This is a strange but valuable book. The author is a private equity magnate, whose fascination for Richard Burdon Haldane…

Political biographies to enjoy in lockdown

9 May 2020 9:00 am

Here are ten political biographies, with a leavening of the classics, for those with time to kill in the present…

It’s easy to forget how undemocratic Europe was 50 years ago

5 October 2019 9:00 am

The subtitle of Simon Reid-Henry’s substantial work indicates its thesis: ‘The remaking of the West since the Cold War, 1971–2017.’…


21 September 2019 9:00 am

When a few months ago my friend Tom Switzer – former editor of this magazine and now director of the…

There’s no place quite like Excellent Essex

14 September 2019 9:00 am

Those who think Essex is boring, or a human waste bin into which only the most meretricious people find themselves…

Demonstration of right-wing ‘patriots’ in Lower Saxony, 2019. Credit: Rex Features

Where is the rise of neo-Nazism around Europe leading?

30 March 2019 9:00 am

‘Why would anyone write a historical study of it?’ asks Gavriel Rosenfeld about the Fourth Reich at the start of…

Adam Smith circa 1775; medallion by Tassie

Adam Smith analysed human behaviour, not economics, says Simon Heffer

21 July 2018 9:00 am

Jesse Norman is one of only three or four genuine intellectuals on the Tory benches in the House of Commons.…

The best single-volume history of the Great War yet written

5 May 2018 9:00 am

The historiography of the Great War is stupendous, the effects of the conflict being so far-reaching that even today historians…

HMS Agamemnon lays the first Atlantic telegraph cable between Trinity Bay and Valentia Island

The 1850s: a dizzying decade of boom and bust

26 March 2016 9:00 am

We can all identify decades in which the world moved forward. Wars are not entirely negative experiences: the social and…

A Horrible History of English Hymns

12 December 2015 9:00 am

Given that for much of English history the country’s main musical tradition was that connected with the church, it is…

The ‘art’ of stealing presented as English heritage

13 June 2015 9:00 am

The publicity blurb about the two unpleasant criminals whom this dismal book romanticises says that they are ‘continuing their ancestors’…

The art of political biography remains in intensive care if Giles Radice’s latest book is anything to go by, says Simon Heffer

21 March 2015 9:00 am

With the odd exception — I think principally of Charles Moore’s life of Margaret Thatcher — the genre of political…

From ‘The Temptation of Eve’: detail of glass from Ely Cathedral designed by Pugin, 1858

Cambridge, showcase for modernism (and how costly it is to fix)

13 December 2014 9:00 am

The Pevsner architectural guides are around halfway through their revisions — though it is like the Forth Bridge, and soon…

What will it take for us to stop doing business with Qatar?

4 October 2014 9:00 am

Qatari money has flooded into London – but also into much less savoury places