Ysenda Maxtone Graham

Britain's choirs are facing oblivion

11 July 2020 9:00 am

Britain’s choirs are facing oblivion. Yet they’re also terrified of returning. One story explains why. Picture this innocent choral-society scene…

My mother — as I remember her best

30 May 2020 9:00 am

Nine cups of milky Nescafé Gold Blend a day; a low-tar cigarette smouldering; a hot-water-bottle always on her lap; the…

Coronavirus has started a new age of online snooping

13 April 2020 6:01 pm

This is proving a rich period for those of us who can’t resist snooping into the interiors of other people’s…

It’s time for the word ‘Continental’ to make a comeback

1 February 2020 9:00 am

How the word lost its glamour

Duty, devotion and lack of self-pity — Anne Glenconner is an example to us all

21 December 2019 9:00 am

Trained from a young age to be self-effacing, never liking to be the centre of attention, having been traumatised for…

Dangly earrings, hugs and controversy: here comes the new Bishop of Dover

20 July 2019 9:00 am

East Kent is bracing itself. Its Church of England clergy are enjoying their last quiet months before Rose Hudson-Wilkin arrives…

Entertaining Iris Murdoch – for months on end

22 June 2019 9:00 am

If you know your Peter Conradi from your Peter J. Conradi, you’ll also know that the former is foreign editor…

Are the Dead Ringers audience told to laugh?

15 June 2019 9:00 am

Nine on a Thursday morning is University Hour for those of us who don’t commute to an office every day.…

Thank God for hymns!

20 April 2019 9:00 am

Before embarking on this hymn to hymns, I’ll admit that hymn-enthusiasts feel a slight sense of anticlimax on Easter Sunday,…

Tobias and the angel, attributed to Titian

Angels through the ages

2 March 2019 9:00 am

A good question for your upcoming Lent quiz: where are angels mentioned in the Nicene Creed? I asked this at…

I’ve had enough of induction hobs — and I know I’m not the only one

2 February 2019 9:00 am

It was a close-run thing for my friend who’s having a new kitchen installed in her house in Chiswick. After…

View from the Rigi, Switzerland. The last great blizzard is predicted to be in 2040

Dreaming of a white Christmas? Soon that’s all we’ll be able to do

15 December 2018 9:00 am

I like a book where you don’t think you’re going to be interested in the subject, but then find it’s…

King's College Choir rehearsing for the Christmas Eve 'A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols'. Photo credit: Geoff Robinson Photography / REX / Shutterstock

High and mighty

15 December 2018 9:00 am

In this 200th anniversary of the birth of Mrs C.F. Alexander, author of ‘Once in Royal David’s City’, all of…

The joys of ‘Neglexit’: not being governed has its good points

6 October 2018 9:00 am

The new political buzzword is ‘Neglexit’: the state of being in which, because the government is so wrapped up in…

A suffragette sequel: Old Baggage, by Lissa Evans reviewed

28 July 2018 9:00 am

Lissa Evans has had a good idea for her new novel. It’s ‘suffragettes: the sequel’. She sets her story not…

One of the last remaining all-boys' choirs in Britain, St George's Chapel Choir, which sang in the recent royal wedding in Windsor

I dread the extinction of boys’ choirs

2 June 2018 9:00 am

One by one, cathedrals have succumbed to the inevitable. In blazes of publicity, with front-page photographs of girls in cassocks…

Couldn’t Diana Evans’s fretful couples just shut up and deal with it?

5 May 2018 9:00 am

My husband started reading Diana Evans’s third novel, Ordinary People, the day after I’d finished it. Three days later, I…

A tale of two Sarahs: the cuddly bishop vs the terrifying cardinal

31 March 2018 9:00 am

If you’re looking for a snapshot of the state of global Christianity today, a good place to start would be…

Lucy Mangan has enough comic energy to power the National Grid

17 March 2018 9:00 am

After three hot-water-bottle-warmed evenings of highly satisfying bedtime reading, I can confirm that, even in a world where Francis Spufford’s…

Mission impossible? The C of E’s attempt to woo new members

16 December 2017 9:00 am

If you work for the Church of England in any capacity, from Archbishop of Canterbury to parish flower-arranger, how do…

How can I prevent my husband from burning all my post?

18 November 2017 9:00 am

If you don’t yet watch Gogglebox on Channel 4, start doing so now. Far from making you despise our couch-potato…

The head of Jeremy Bentham, who died in 1832

What can we learn from Jeremy Bentham’s pickled head?

18 November 2017 9:00 am

Under the central dome of UCL — an indoor crossroads where hordes of students come and go on their way…

‘My witchcraft is going well’: The crazed Eva Rausing, photographed shortly before her death

Descent into hell

9 September 2017 9:00 am

It’s awful, but the surname Rausing (once synonymous only with the Tetrapak fortune) now summons up a terrible stench in…

Warning: there’s a plague of fake blue plaques

4 June 2016 9:00 am

One of the great distinctions and pleasures of British life has been devalued by cheap imitations

No place for sissies among the Bridge Ladies of Connecticut

28 May 2016 9:00 am

Not a single line of this highly distinctive memoir happens out of doors. All of it takes place in rooms:…