Lead book review

The lonely genius of Bronislava Nijinska

28 May 2022 9:00 am

Bronislava Nijinska was constantly undermined in her lifetime – most cruelly by her brother, says Sarah Crompton

For ruthless inhumanity, the Bolsheviks were unbeatable

21 May 2022 9:00 am

Sara Wheeler describes the appalling brutality of the Russian Revolution and its far-reaching aftermath

Light and shade in the Holy Land – a century in spectacular images

14 May 2022 9:00 am

Justin Marozzi on the troubled history of a small, much-coveted country

Disregarded for decades, Jean Rhys stayed true to her vision of life

7 May 2022 9:00 am

Jean Rhys lived a vagabond life – but she wrote about gloom and squalor with luminous purity and a poet’s care, says Lucasta Miller

You can make anything up about the royal family and it will be printed as a matter of fact

30 April 2022 9:00 am

Royal gossip is largely invented, says Philip Hensher – but Tina Brown repeats it regardless

Nymphomaniac, fearless campaigner, alcoholic – Nancy Cunard was all this and more

23 April 2022 9:00 am

Nancy Cunard’s defiance of convention began early, fuelled by bitter resentment towards her mother, says Jane Ridley

A pure original: the inventive genius of John Donne

16 April 2022 9:00 am

John Donne sounds like nobody else, and his poems invite us to feel that we might know him, says Daniel Swift

Norman Scott has the last word on a very English scandal

9 April 2022 9:00 am

Norman Scott’s long-anticipated memoir reveals the British Establishment at its worst, says Roger Lewis

Pablo Picasso in love and war

2 April 2022 9:00 am

As Europe descended into chaos, the middle-aged Picasso remained as bullish as ever, says Craig Raine

Another fallen idol: the myth of Ferdinand Magellan debunked

26 March 2022 9:00 am

Ferdinand Magellan’s fame was largely undeserved. Horatio Clare sees the explorer cut down to size

When Oxford life resembled a great satirical novel

19 March 2022 9:00 am

Paula Byrne describes life at Oxford University in its eccentric heyday

Graham Robb deserves to be a French national treasure

12 March 2022 9:00 am

Philip Hensher is enthralled by Graham Robb’s evocative new history of France

The fuss over Mary Seacole’s statue has obscured the real person

5 March 2022 9:00 am

Mary Seacole may not have qualified as a nurse in the modern sense, but British troops benefited greatly from her healing skills, says Andrew Lycett

Truly magnificent: the splendour of Suleiman I

26 February 2022 9:00 am

Suleiman I richly deserved his epithet, as this vivid account of his early years illustrates, says Jason Burke

Masters of the opium trade: the fabulous wealth of the Sassoons

19 February 2022 9:00 am

David Abulafia admires the shrewdness, generosity and panache of the Sassoons over many generations

Watcher of the skies: John Constable, painter and meteorologist

12 February 2022 9:00 am

Philip Hensher describes how John Constable’s energy and imagination freed British art from the constraints of the past

Eugenics will never work — thankfully

5 February 2022 9:00 am

The creation of a master race is an ancient idea which, thankfully, can never work, says Sam Leith

The women who challenged a stale, male philosophy

29 January 2022 9:00 am

Kathleen Stock describes how four women undergraduates in 1940s Oxford challenged an arid, modish philosophy

Formidable woman of letters: the grit and wisdom of Elizabeth Hardwick

22 January 2022 9:00 am

Elaine Showalter celebrates the grit and wisdom of Elizabeth Hardwick

The first fairy stories were never intended for children

15 January 2022 9:00 am

Philip Hensher explores the origins of fairy tales

The year of living dangerously

8 January 2022 9:00 am

Atrocities, assassinations and spectacular accidents were just some of the horrors that marked 1922, says Richard Davenport-Hines

Roberto Calasso’s retelling of the Hebrew Bible is both exasperating and beguiling

18 December 2021 9:00 am

Robert Alter is both exasperated and beguiled by Roberto Calasso’s intellectual potpourri

How Noddy and Big Ears conquered the world

11 December 2021 9:00 am

Love her or loathe her, Enid Blyton and the safe, sunny world she cleverly marketed will remain a publishing phenomenon, says Sam Leith

A glimpse of the real Patricia Highsmith through her diaries and notebooks

4 December 2021 9:00 am

Through her diaries and notebooks we finally catch a glimpse of the real Patricia Highsmith, says Christopher Priest

The life of René Magritte was even more surprising than his art

27 November 2021 9:00 am

René Magritte’s life, so outwardly respectable, was as full of surprises as his art, says Philip Hensher