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A botched coup: the desperate Cato Street conspiracy

14 May 2022 9:00 am

Almost half of the terrorists hadn’t even turned up. Still, on the night of 23 February 1820, 25 men, including…

Fresh air and fascism in the Bavarian Alps

14 May 2022 9:00 am

The village of Oberstdorf lies in the Bavarian Alps, geographically remote but, as this gripping book demonstrates, deeply etched by…

Did postmodernism pave the way for Donald Trump?

14 May 2022 9:00 am

David Shields is an American author who has decided to collate many of the questions he’s been asked in interviews…

Snafu at Slough House: Bad Actors, by Mick Herron, reviewed

14 May 2022 9:00 am

Reviewers who make fancy claims for genre novels tend to sound like needy show-offs or hard-of-thinking dolts. So be it:…

A meditation on exile and the meaning of home

14 May 2022 9:00 am

What does home mean? Where your dead are buried, as Zulus believe? Or where you left your heart, as a…

Has liberalism destroyed itself?

14 May 2022 9:00 am

According to Vladimir Putin, liberalism is an ‘obsolete’ doctrine, a worn-out political philosophy no longer fit for purpose. In this…

A bitter sectarian divide: Young Mungo, by Douglas Stuart, reviewed

14 May 2022 9:00 am

Douglas Stuart has a rare gift. The Scottish writer, whose debut novel Shuggie Bain deservedly won the 2020 Booker Prize,…

Messy family matters: Bad Relations, by Cressida Connolly, reviewed

14 May 2022 9:00 am

Cressida Connolly’s new novel begins with a couple of endings. It’s spring 1855, and on the battlefields of the Crimea…

Patterns in the grass: The Perfect Golden Circle, by Benjamin Myers, reviewed

14 May 2022 9:00 am

The Perfect Golden Circle is ostensibly about male friendship. Two men, flotsam of the 1980s – Calvert, a Falklands veteran,…

What the Marxist Tariq Ali gets wrong about Winston Churchill

14 May 2022 9:00 am

Tariq Ali, the Marxist writer and activist, believes that a ‘Churchill cult’ is ‘drowning all serious debate’ about the wartime…

All talk and no trousers: is Oxford really to blame for Brexit?

7 May 2022 9:00 am

Attacks on British elitism usually talk about Oxbridge, but Simon Kuper argues that it is specifically Oxford that is the…

Friend of Elizabethan exiles: the colourful life of Jane Dormer

7 May 2022 9:00 am

Thomas Cromwell’s biographer Diarmaid MacCulloch once told me that my father’s family, the Dormers, had been servants of the great…

Will the bad luck of the Philippines ever turn?

7 May 2022 9:00 am

The Philippines is the odd man out in Asia, a predominantly Catholic country colonised first by Spain, then the United…

Gardening’s bad girl: the genius – and malice – of Ellen Willmott

7 May 2022 9:00 am

In October 1897, the grandees of the Royal Horticultural Society gathered to bestow their highest award, the Victoria Medal of…

The pacifists of the 1930s deserve greater understanding

7 May 2022 9:00 am

As I’ve occasionally come to think is the case with The Spectator, this book is perhaps best begun at the…

A visit from Neanderthals: The Red Children, by Maggie Gee, reviewed

7 May 2022 9:00 am

This is the kind of novel that will be discussed jubilantly in the book clubs of places like Lib Dem…

Is Mark Twain’s old age best forgotten?

7 May 2022 9:00 am

Mark Twain conquered almost every challenge that came his way except old age. Living well into his seventies, he was…

Poor parenting is at the root of our failing schools

30 April 2022 9:00 am

When it comes to education, I’m in two minds, maybe three. I was sent to private schools, including, for my…

Boris Iofan – cunning apparatchik of a loathsome regime

30 April 2022 9:00 am

The invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces has rendered what might otherwise have seemed a fairly niche study of a…

The musical note that can trigger cold sweats and sightings of the dead

30 April 2022 9:00 am

Imagine that all the frequencies nature affords were laid out on an extended piano keyboard. Never mind that some waves…

Murder, suicide and apocalypse: Here Goes Nothing, by Steve Toltz, reviewed

30 April 2022 9:00 am

Angus Mooney is dead. Freshly murdered, he’s appalled to find himself in an Afterworld, having always rejected the possibility of…

Momentous decisions: Ruth & Pen, by Emilie Pine, reviewed

30 April 2022 9:00 am

Emilie Pine writes about the big things and the little things: friendship, love, fertility, grief; waking, showering, catching the bus.…

The effortless magnetism of Marcel Duchamp

30 April 2022 9:00 am

One could compile a fat anthology of tributes to Marcel Duchamp’s charm – especially what one friend called the artist’s…

Boy wonder: The Young Pretender, by Michael Arditti, reviewed

30 April 2022 9:00 am

During his brief stage career Master Betty, or the Young Roscius, was no stranger to superlatives: genius, unparalleled, superior, Albion’s…

The murky history of Germany’s top family businesses

23 April 2022 9:00 am

It was a clear cold morning in January 1936 when Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler arrived at the luxurious Regina Palast Hotel…