William Cook

Ivory towers

22 July 2017 9:00 am

Great novels rarely make great movies, but for half a century one director has been showing all the others how…

Sheep thrills: holidaying on a working farm

West Middlewick Farm

17 June 2017 9:00 am

In springtime in our family, we always have the same old argument: where should we go on our summer holiday…

Sweet and sour: Michelle Holmes (Sue, centre) and Siobhan Finneran (Rita, centre right) in ‘Rita, Sue and Bob Too’

Thatcher’s Britain with her knickers down

6 May 2017 9:00 am

Two 16-year-old schoolgirls from a sink estate in Bradford find fun and happiness by shacking up with a middle-aged married…

Glory days: Charlotte Rampling at the lido in 1965

Ruislip Lido

29 April 2017 9:00 am

Most mornings, if I’m not too hung-over, I go for a run around Ruislip Lido — a mile there, through…

Rostock, in north Germany, joined the Hanseatic League in 1251. It has one of the oldest universities in Europe and was a major ship-building city for the Baltic

Europe’s best hope

29 April 2017 9:00 am

Go into any high street bookshop and find the European history section. There’s usually a shelf or two on France…

The suburban battleground

22 April 2017 9:00 am

In Westminster, all the general election chatter is about Brexit. Will Tory Remainers turn Lib Dem? Will Labour leavers desert…

Haus of ill repute

14 January 2017 9:00 am

Here in Munich, in the gallery that Hitler built, this year’s big hit show is a spectacular display of modern…

‘The Four Elements’, before 1937, by Adolf Ziegler, which hung above Hitler’s fireplace

Haus of ill repute

12 January 2017 3:00 pm

Here in Munich, in the gallery that Hitler built, this year’s big hit show is a spectacular display of modern…

Morocco: A match made in heaven

29 December 2016 3:00 pm

I’m sitting by the pool in a lush Moroccan garden playing chess with Nigel Short, and I feel like an…

Zurich’s wild side

26 November 2016 9:00 am

On the green edge of Zurich, where this neat and tidy city melts into neat and tidy countryside, an icon…

A visitor to Atlantis: Frank Zappa

Zurich’s wild side

24 November 2016 3:00 pm

On the green edge of Zurich, where this neat and tidy city melts into neat and tidy countryside, an icon…

Secrets of the universe

19 November 2016 9:00 am

A few years ago, in Berne, I visited the apartment where Einstein wrote his theory of special relativity, which changed…

Berlin: The return of German pride?

13 October 2016 2:00 pm

On a windswept square beside the river Spree, across the road from Berlin’s Museum Island, there is a brand new…

Who comes after Merkel?

8 October 2016 9:00 am

A year from now, 60 million Germans go to the polls in the most important general election in mainland Europe…

From bored to boarding

8 September 2016 1:00 pm

Thirty-five years ago, shortly after my 16th birthday, my parents finally got fed up with me and packed me off…

Of microbes and men

2 July 2016 9:00 am

Which disease are you most scared of catching: Ebola or influenza? Before I read this medical memoir, I would have…

Lessons from Utopia

31 December 2015 3:00 pm

As anniversaries go, the timing could hardly be more apt. As Europe braces itself for the next Islamist attack, the…

Map of the Island of Utopia, book frontispiece, 1563

Lessons from Utopia

31 December 2015 3:00 pm

As anniversaries go, the timing could hardly be more apt. As Europe braces itself for the next Islamist attack, the…

The Heckler: those who doubt the brilliance of Phil Collins are snobs

10 December 2015 3:00 pm

Three boos for those rotten spoilsports who started an online petition against Phil Collins coming out of retirement (there’s already…

The Heckler: those who doubt the brilliance of Phil Collins are snobs

10 December 2015 3:00 pm

Three boos for those rotten spoilsports who started an online petition against Phil Collins coming out of retirement (there’s already…

Power tool: Elisabeth Frink carving ‘Dorset Martyrs’, c.1985

Lost in space

19 November 2015 3:00 pm

In a converted barn in Dorset, not far from the rural studio where she made many of her greatest sculptures,…

Power tool: Elisabeth Frink carving ‘Dorset Martyrs’, c.1985

Lost in space

19 November 2015 3:00 pm

In a converted barn in Dorset, not far from the rural studio where she made many of her greatest sculptures,…

Dresden’s Striezelmarkt dates back to 1434

Christmas markets

5 November 2015 3:00 pm

Why the fuss about German Christmas markets? Surely they’re just schmaltzy shanty towns, full of stuff you’d never dream of…

What is it about Bill Viola’s films that reduce grown-ups to tears?

15 October 2015 2:00 pm

Even the most down-to-earth people get emotional about Bill Viola’s videos. Clare Lilley of Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) seems close…

From top left: Lucian Freud, Rudolf Bing, Stefan Zweig, Walter Gropius, Rudolf Laban, Max Born, Kurt Schwitters, Friedrich Hayek, Fritz Busch, Frank Auerbach, Emeric Pressburger, Oskar Kokoschka

Hitler’s émigrés

1 October 2015 1:00 pm

Next week Frank Auerbach will be honoured by the British art establishment with a one-man show at Tate Britain. It’s…