More from Books

Bach’s Cello Suites represent a spiritual meditation — from the Nativity to the Resurrection

23 October 2021 9:00 am

‘One player on four strings, with a bow.’ That’s what Bach’s six Cello Suites boil down to, says Steven Isserlis.…

A master of spy fiction to the end — John Le Carré’s Silverview reviewed

23 October 2021 9:00 am

Literary estates work to preserve a writer’s reputation — and sometimes milk it too. The appearance of this novel by…

The horror of tank warfare brought vividly to life

23 October 2021 9:00 am

If Joseph Stalin was right about one thing it was his assertion that ‘the death of one man is a…

God is everywhere, sometimes in strange guises, in Jonathan Franzen’s Crossroads

23 October 2021 9:00 am

Twenty years ago The Corrections alerted a troubled world to the talents of Jonathan Franzen. Though cruel and funny and…

Stylish and useful: why the Anglepoise remains a design classic

23 October 2021 9:00 am

The tide of survival bias has retreated and left the Anglepoise a design classic. Its contemporaries from the mid-1930s, a…

Folk music is still very much alive and kicking

16 October 2021 9:00 am

As a writer who obsesses over the right title to grab a target audience, seeing a book subtitled ‘Song Collectors…

Any beggar woman was a potential scapegoat during the European witch craze

16 October 2021 9:00 am

In the three centuries between 1450 and 1750 in Europe it is estimated that up to 100,000 women were burned,…

Don’t ask a historian what history is

16 October 2021 9:00 am

E.H. Carr’s 1961 book What is History? has cast a long shadow over the discipline. I recall being assigned to…

Under deep suspicion in Beirut, Kim Philby still carried on regardless

16 October 2021 9:00 am

The story of the Cambridge spies has been served up so often that it has become stale — too detailed,…

Reassess every relationship you’ve ever had before it’s too late

16 October 2021 9:00 am

‘Reading is a celebration of the mystery of ourselves,’ according to Elizabeth Strout, who writes to help readers understand themselves…

Colson Whitehead celebrates old Harlem in a hardboiled thriller that’s also a morality tale

16 October 2021 9:00 am

For modern America, Harlem is a once maligned, now much vaunted literary totem, which continues to occupy a gargantuan place…

From ‘little Cockney’ to playing Queen Mary: the remarkable career of Eileen Atkins

16 October 2021 9:00 am

Eileen Atkins belongs to a singular generation of British actresses, among them Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Sian Phillips and Vanessa…

Fiction’s most famous Rifleman returns — and it’s miraculous he’s still alive

9 October 2021 9:00 am

It has been 15 years since the last Richard Sharpe novel, and it’s a pleasure to report that fiction’s most…

Beavers, not concrete barriers, can save Britain from floods

9 October 2021 9:00 am

As the start date of COP26 draws closer, and just when we are assailed by daily proof of climate chaos,…

As feminists fall out, it’s not just the patriarchy that’s under fire

9 October 2021 9:00 am

UK grassroots feminism is flourishing at the moment, with the journalist Julie Bindel leading from the front as troublemaker-in-chief. In…

The delicate business of monitoring the monarchy

9 October 2021 9:00 am

This very readable account of relations between the British intelligence services and the Crown does more than it says on…

Spitfires of the sea: the secret exploits of the Royal Navy’s 15th Motor Gun Boat Flotilla

9 October 2021 9:00 am

Fast boats and fast women have been the ruin of many a poor boy. But they can also prove a…

Only time will tell if there’ll be a Great Pandemic Novel

9 October 2021 9:00 am

We had been dreading it like (forgive me) the plague: the inevitable onslaught of corona-lit. Fortunately, the first few titles…

The country house is dead: that’s why we love it so

9 October 2021 9:00 am

The true English disease is Downton Syndrome. Symptoms include a yearning for a past of chivalry, grandeur and unambiguously stratified…

How 19th-century gold rushes led to a distrust of China

2 October 2021 9:00 am

For a brief moment three summers ago it seemed that the clear Idaho air wafting through the Sun Valley Literary…

How does David Sedaris get away with saying the unsayable?

2 October 2021 9:00 am

These aren’t diaries in the sense that Chips Channon kept diaries, or Samuel Pepys. They aren’t diaries at all, beyond…

Unkindly light: The Morning Star, by Karl Ove Knausgaard, reviewed

2 October 2021 9:00 am

Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle sequence is one of this century’s great projects: an intimate epic in which the overriding…

Mind games: the blurred line between fact and fiction

2 October 2021 9:00 am

Readers of Case Study unfamiliar with its author’s previous work might believe they have stumbled on a great psychotherapy scandal.…

Paradise and paradox: an inner pilgrimage into John Milton

2 October 2021 9:00 am

When E. Nesbit published Wet Magic in 1913 (a charming novel in which the children encounter a mermaid), she took…

Wrapped up in satire, a serious lesson about the fine line between success and scandal

2 October 2021 9:00 am

Have you heard of champing? Neither had I. Turns out it’s camping in a field beside a deserted church. When…