Books

The Irony of Wislava Szymborska

18 October 2014 9:00 am

In London, I remember the indignation.    Surely the Nobel prize should have gone to Zbigniew Herbert, the Polish poet we…

Students at the Wartburg festival in October 1817, celebrating the tercentenary of the Reformation and the fourth anniversary of the Battle of Leipzig, cause panic in the courts of Europe

How a clumsy drummer started the 1848 revolutions

18 October 2014 9:00 am

There are hundreds of resounding ideas and shrewd precepts in Adam Zamoyski’s temperate yet splendidly provocative Phantom Terror. This is…

Philip Marsden gets close to the impenetrable secrets of Tintagel (left) and Bodmin Moor (right), among many other mysterious sites

The bonkers (and not-so-bonkers) theories of what the pre-historic people of Cornwall believed

18 October 2014 9:00 am

Philip Marsden’s book is about place. He makes a distinction between place and space. In his mind ‘place’ is something…

The Etonian peer who became an assistant to a Mexican commie

18 October 2014 9:00 am

The lefty hereditary peer has few equals as a figure of fun, in life or literature. The late Tony Benn…

A woman who wears her homes like garments

18 October 2014 9:00 am

Depending on your approach, home is where your heart is, where you hang your hat, or possibly where you hang…

Why everyone wants what Nora Ephron was having

18 October 2014 9:00 am

I have come late to Nora Ephron — a little too late for her, anyway, as she died in 2012.…

Detective drama Dostoevsky-style

18 October 2014 9:00 am

In the world of Gaito Gazdanov, a Russian émigré soldier turned taxi driver who began writing fiction in the 1920s,…

Grade II-listed Phoenix prefabs in Moseley, Birmingham

Why prefabs really were fab

18 October 2014 9:00 am

Sir Winston Churchill did not invent the prefab, but on 26 March 1944 he made an important broadcast promising to…

The theatrical Constance Markewicz founded the military boy scouts, who would later staff the IRA

When Irish nationalism meant sexual adventure

18 October 2014 9:00 am

One of the easiest mistakes to make about history is to assume that the past is like the recent past,…

Ezra Pound in the early 1920s

Ezra Pound – the fascist years

18 October 2014 9:00 am

‘There are the Alps. What is there to say about them?/ They don’t make sense. Fatal glaciers, crags cranks climb,…

Tolstoy’s favourite novel is a guide to being idle

18 October 2014 9:00 am

Oblomov, first published in 1859, is the charming tale of a lazy but lovable aristocrat in 19th-century Russia. The novel’s…

Is it boring being the god of the sea?

18 October 2014 9:00 am

Writing to a god seems a presumptuous thing. Who are we, feeble mortal creatures whose lives pass in the blink…

Title Stories: Sonnets from the Portuguese by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

18 October 2014 9:00 am

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Lazarus is back

18 October 2014 9:00 am

Australia’s Ambassador to the United States, Kim Beazley, still quips that John Winston Howard is his nemesis. This does not…

The Irony of Wislava Szymborska

16 October 2014 2:00 pm

In London, I remember the indignation.    Surely the Nobel prize should have gone to Zbigniew Herbert, the Polish poet we…

Title Stories: Sonnets from the Portuguese by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

16 October 2014 2:00 pm

The post Title Stories: Sonnets from the Portuguese by Elizabeth Barrett Browning appeared first on The Spectator. Got something to…

Lazarus is back

16 October 2014 2:00 pm

Australia’s Ambassador to the United States, Kim Beazley, still quips that John Winston Howard is his nemesis. This does not…

The Irony of Wislava Szymborska

16 October 2014 2:00 pm

In London, I remember the indignation.    Surely the Nobel prize should have gone to Zbigniew Herbert, the Polish poet we…

Title Stories: Sonnets from the Portuguese by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

16 October 2014 2:00 pm

Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.

Two small children dying together in the gutter in the Chinese famine of 1946

How Hitler's dreams came true in 1946

11 October 2014 9:00 am

In 1946, in the aftermath of a devastating war, the world seemed a very dark place indeed, says Sam Leith

An epic performance that brings a lost novelist back to life

11 October 2014 9:00 am

Hugh Walpole, now almost forgotten, was a literary giant. Descended from the younger brother of the 18th-century prime minister Robert…

To be astonished by nature, look no further than Claxton

11 October 2014 9:00 am

Mark Cocker is the naturalist writer of the moment, with birds his special subject. His previous book, Birds and People,…

Imagine Eastenders directed by David Lynch

11 October 2014 9:00 am

Ghostly doings are afoot in Edwardian London. Choking fog rolls over the treacle- black Thames. Braziers cast eerie shadows in…

Shackleton’s ship the Nimrod in the ice at McMurdo Sound

Flawed, unproductive and heroic: the real Ernest Shackleton

11 October 2014 9:00 am

Polar explorers are often cast as mavericks, and this is hardly surprising. The profession requires a disdain for pseudo-orthodoxies and,…

A jaunty romp of rape and pillage through the 16th century

11 October 2014 9:00 am

The Brethren, by Robert Merle, who died at the age of 95 ten years ago, was originally published in 1977,…