More from Books

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…

Gardening is the great panacea

30 May 2020 9:00 am

Viewed from a purely private garden perspective, this has been a ver mirabilis. The blossom has been wonderful and long-lasting,…

Children go missing: the latest crime fiction reviewed

30 May 2020 9:00 am

Hot on the heels of The Stranger, the Netflix series based on his novel but transplanted to the UK, Harlan…

The establishment was always covering up for Bob Boothby

30 May 2020 9:00 am

Just after John Pearson finished writing The Profession of Violence, his celebrated biography of the Krays, both his and his…

Bullying on Twitter is nothing compared with what Charles II’s mistresses endured

30 May 2020 9:00 am

Strolling through Whitehall Palace in the early years of the Restoration, Samuel Pepys was thrilled to spy a washing line…

The shock of discovering your ancestors were slave traders

23 May 2020 9:00 am

If I had a slave owner in my family background I’d probably keep quiet about it. Richard Atkinson, in his…

The best way to cope with rejection is to write about it

23 May 2020 9:00 am

With more than a dozen acclaimed novels to her name, not to mention short stories, poetry, a memoir and a…

The Plantagenet we always forget

23 May 2020 9:00 am

Watching Heston Blumenthal arrange the infernal horror that is a lamprey’s head on a plate is one thing; seeing an…

The sorrows of young Hillary: Rodham, by Curtis Sittenfeld, reviewed

23 May 2020 9:00 am

Question: which American president and first lady would you care to imagine having intercourse? If that provokes a shudder, be…

Disrupting the world — from a small bedroom in Hounslow

23 May 2020 9:00 am

On 6 May 2010 the eurozone crisis was tearing through the continent. Greece was bankrupt, and it looked as though…

France will always have a love-hate relationship with its heroes

23 May 2020 9:00 am

The French have a love-hate relationship with heroes. For the great 19th-century historian Jules Michelet, the French Revolution was supposed…

Houdini looks bound to captivate us forever

16 May 2020 9:00 am

Give thanks to the person who invented Venetian blinds, they say, or it would be curtains for us all. Curtains…

Vain, inbred and inept: how could the Habsburgs have survived so long?

16 May 2020 9:00 am

One of the great mysteries of European history is how for the best part of 700 years a family who…

Victorian novels to enjoy in lockdown

16 May 2020 9:00 am

It’s the perfect opportunity to crack open those classics of 19th-century fiction you’ve always been meaning to read, and I…

Taxonomy reaches celebrity heights

16 May 2020 9:00 am

Heteropoda davidbowie is a species of huntsman spider. Though rare, it has been found in parts of Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia…

A passionate wartime love story is rescued from oblivion

16 May 2020 9:00 am

Once in a while, just at the right moment, a truly gorgeous real-life love story appears out of the blue,…

Did George Formby and Gracie Fields really help Britain out of the Depression?

16 May 2020 9:00 am

Cinema history is a strange thing. A couple of months ago the Guardian began a series in which film critics…

The delicate balance between God and Caesar in modern Britain

16 May 2020 9:00 am

At a well-reported political meeting at London’s Queen’s Hall during the first world war the preacher and suffragette Maude Royden…

From the wrestling ring to Plato’s Cave in one easy throw

16 May 2020 9:00 am

One of the delights of going to stay with my grandparents in the 1970s was that my grandmother was a…

Homage to Lyra McKee — the journalist I miss most

16 May 2020 9:00 am

In the two generations since Watergate, the image of the journalist has gone from that of plucky truth-seeker to sensationalist…

From blue to pink: Looking for Eliza, by Leaf Arbuthnot, reviewed

16 May 2020 9:00 am

On the way back from my daily dawn march in the park, I often pass my neighbour, a distinguished gentleman…

Where are the Henry Kissingers when we need them?

16 May 2020 9:00 am

It was not until I went to Harvard in 1988 to take a year out from the Foreign Office that…

Political biographies to enjoy in lockdown

9 May 2020 9:00 am

Here are ten political biographies, with a leavening of the classics, for those with time to kill in the present…

Another alien in our midst: Pew, by Catherine Lacey, reviewed

9 May 2020 9:00 am

It needs authorial guts to write a novel in which details are shrouded, meaning is concealed and little is certain.…

William Sitwell’s history of eating out reminds us painfully of what we’re missing

9 May 2020 9:00 am

In the concluding chapter of this book the Daily Telegraph’s restaurant critic and recovering vegan-baiter William Sitwell muses on the…