Lead book review

Haunted by Old Russia: Rachmaninoff’s lonely final years

27 May 2023 9:00 am

Exiled from Russia and often denigrated in America, Rachmaninoff lived in a fug of unbearable, impenetrable sadness, says Paul Kildea

Why are we so squeamish about describing women’s everyday experiences?

20 May 2023 9:00 am

Philip Hensher discusses how words relating to women’s ordinary experiences have been shrouded in euphemism over the centuries

Jim Ede and the glories of Kettle’s Yard

13 May 2023 9:00 am

Honor Clerk celebrates Jim Ede and his matchless collection at Kettle’s Yard

Daniel Chandler aims to bring new values to British politics – so how will that work out?

6 May 2023 9:00 am

Daniel Chandler claims to be a bringer of values, to fill the vacuum at the heart of British politics. Noel Malcolm is unconvinced

Central Europe has shaped our culture for centuries – yet we still find the region baffling

29 April 2023 9:00 am

Central Europe has shaped our history for centuries – but will the West always find it baffling, wonders Peter Frankopan

Is there anything safe left to eat?

22 April 2023 9:00 am

It’s not only junk food we should be wary of, says Olivia Potts. Pretty well everything contains additives – and our five-a-day mantra is costing the Earth

The attraction of freethinking humanism

15 April 2023 9:00 am

Philip Hensher admires the humanists of the past, and finds them consistently kinder, more decent and generous than their contemporaries

The Spanish Civil War still dominates our perception of modern Spain

8 April 2023 9:00 am

Twentieth-century Spain was a violent, corrupt and volatile country – but that hardly made it an anomaly within Europe, says Sarah Watling

As special enclaves proliferate, what are the consequences for democracy?

1 April 2023 9:00 am

Zones of exception, freed from ordinary forms of regulation, are proliferating in bewildering varieties. Kwasi Kwarteng considers the consequences for democracy

The remarkable prescience of Alexis de Tocqueville

25 March 2023 9:00 am

Toby Young is struck by how prescient Tocqueville’s observations have proved on the social and political structures of the many countries he visited

The biography Noël Coward deserves

18 March 2023 9:00 am

Philip Hensher follows Noël Coward from precocious childhood to the vortex of fame

Is this the end of travel writing?

11 March 2023 9:00 am

Viv Groskop shares Sara Wheeler’s fears that modern sensibilities are fatally threatening a centuries-old genre

A radical new theory about the origin of the universe may help explain our existence

4 March 2023 9:00 am

Alexander Masters examines the top down cosmology proposed by Stephen Hawking and Thomas Hertog

The world has become a toxic prison – and a volcanic winter lurks on the horizon

25 February 2023 9:00 am

Our own actions have created the toxic prison in which we now live, says Peter Frankopan, and the future looks terrifying. Adam Nicolson can only agree

What, if anything, unites Asia as a continent?

18 February 2023 9:00 am

Is it merely a European construct – and what, if anything, do its diverse peoples have in common, wonders Peter Frankopan

The nightmare continues

11 February 2023 9:00 am

The Cultural Revolution may have been officially forgotten, but it will always haunt Xinran and her generation

Has Salman Rushdie become his own pastiche?

4 February 2023 9:00 am

Salman Rushdie returns to India with a full-throated mix of history, magic realism and dazzling storytelling, says James Walton

Here be dragons, dog-headed men and women growing on trees

28 January 2023 9:00 am

Justin Marozzi celebrates the medieval naturalist Zakariyya Qazwini and his breathtaking bid to capture the marvels of creation

The radicals of 17th-century England began to think the unthinkable

18 January 2023 10:00 pm

Few periods match the British 17th century for turmoil and idealism.No wonder historians have repeatedly been drawn to it, says Lucy Hughes-Hallett

Spare reviewed: Harry is completely disingenuous – or an idiot

14 January 2023 9:00 am

What makes the Duke of Sussex believe he can lead a charge against practitioners of the written word, wonders Philip Hensher

The imaginative energy of Katherine Mansfield

7 January 2023 9:00 am

Claire Harman discusses ten of Mansfield’s short stories in connection with her tragically short life

The collectors’ obsession with rare medieval manuscripts

17 December 2022 9:00 am

Jonathan Sumption describes the age-old obsession of bibliophiles with acquiring rare illuminated manuscripts

Tales of old Hollywood are always entertaining – even when they’re apocryphal

10 December 2022 9:00 am

If the early days lacked glamour, they certainly provided the best anecdotes, according to a new oral history

Friedrich Hayek: a great political thinker rather than a great economist

3 December 2022 9:00 am

Robert Skidelsky follows Friedrich Hayek’s progression from technical economics to political thinking after his battles with John Maynard Keynes

Anne Glenconner: ‘I took my courage from Princess Margaret’  

26 November 2022 9:00 am

At times Anne Glenconner seems like a Craig Brown parody – but no, she really exists, and we must celebrate her, says Hermione Eyre