Ysenda Maxtone Graham

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

Blue plaque spotting is one of the mind-broadening pleasures of British life. A walk to the dentist can be transformed…

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:…

The price of a cathedral – and how deans pay it

26 March 2016 9:00 am

We’ve all done it: been overcome by a sudden sense of hard-upness at the moment when the collection plate comes…

A mother-son relationship that made me feel sick

12 March 2016 9:00 am

A boy, a car, a journey, a question: the first sentence of Elizabeth Day’s new novel goes like this: From…

The most annoying word in advertising

5 March 2016 9:00 am

It used to be ‘Your M&S’. That was presumptuous enough. Now, when you drive past Earls Court exhibition hall, pathetically…

Private-school ‘superheads’ are a publicity-seeking waste of time

20 February 2016 9:00 am

The term ‘superhead’ was first used during the Blair government in 1998: an eye-catching word for a new breed of…

John Irving spoilt my Christmas

23 January 2016 9:00 am

This novel, John Irving’s 14th, took the sheen off my Christmas, and here are the reasons.   The comments on…

The best short story collections — from childish gabbling to jaded nihilism

28 November 2015 9:00 am

Anyone who enjoyed Ali Smith’s novel How to be Both, with its charmingly loopy monologue of an Italian Renaissance painter…

The perfect big bang that opens this book was too good to be true

19 September 2015 8:00 am

Houses, as any plumber will testify, do sometimes blow up in gas explosions, destroying their contents and inhabitants, but would…

Breast-feeding isn't always best

29 August 2015 9:00 am

How should a new mother feed her baby? You might well imagine that was up to her. While some mothers…

Bubble-wrap, berry-picking and the secret pleasures of destruction

25 July 2015 9:00 am

It’s not quite as bad as we feared: Sealed Air, the company in New Jersey that makes bubble-wrap, is not…