Books

Ruin near Kelso, Mojave Desert, California

Comfort in melancholy

3 October 2013 1:00 pm

Geoff Nicholson is the Maharajah of Melancholy. The quality was there in his novels, it was there in his non-fiction…

Books and Arts

28 September 2013 9:00 am

Colette’s France, by Jane Gilmour - review

28 September 2013 9:00 am

Monstrous innocence’ was the ruling quality that Colette claimed in both her life and books. Protesting her artless authenticity, she…

Music at Midnight, by John Drury - review

28 September 2013 9:00 am

When John Drury, himself an Anglican divine, told James Fenton (the son of a canon of Christ Church) that he…

Monsieur le Commandant, by Romain Slocombe - review

28 September 2013 9:00 am

There can be few characters in modern fiction more unpleasant than Paul-Jean Husson, the narrator in Romain Slocombe’s Monsieur le…

Six Bad Poets, by Christopher Reid - review

28 September 2013 9:00 am

Is poetry in good enough health to be made fun of in this way? The irony is that this long,…

Move Along, Please, by Mark Mason - review

28 September 2013 9:00 am

Mrs Thatcher was widely believed to have said that ‘any man over the age of 26 who finds himself on…

One Night in Winter, by Simon Sebag Montefiore - review

28 September 2013 9:00 am

Simon Sebag Montefiore’s One Night in Winter begins in the hours immediately following the solemn victory parade that marked the…

When Britain Burned the White House, by Peter Snow - review

28 September 2013 9:00 am

Peter Snow explains that he decided to look into this extraordinary story when he realised how few people knew about…

As Luck Would Have It, by Derek Jacobi - review

28 September 2013 9:00 am

Alan Bennett once overheard an old lady say, ‘I think a knighthood was wasted on Derek Jacobi,’ and I know…

Do women want what they say they want?

28 September 2013 9:00 am

What do women want? You might have thought the Wife of Bath had got this one sorted, but Daniel Bergner…

Books and Arts

21 September 2013 9:00 am

To 'Flufftail' from 'Pinkpaws': The Animals is only good for celebrity-spotting

21 September 2013 9:00 am

There is a fine old tradition of distinguished literary men addressing their loved ones by animal-world pet names. Evelyn Waugh…

Marriage Material, by Sathnam Sanghera - review

21 September 2013 9:00 am

Sathnam Sanghera, in his family memoir The Boy with the Topknot, heaped much largely affectionate contempt and ridicule on his…

Wilkie Collins by Andrew Lycett - review

21 September 2013 9:00 am

In the outrageous 2010 press hounding of the innocent schoolteacher Christopher Jefferies over the murder of his young female tenant…

The Story of the Jews, by Simon Schama - review

21 September 2013 9:00 am

The recorder of early Jewish history has two sources of evidence. One is the Bible. Its centrality was brought home…

Isaac & Isaiah, by David Caute - review

21 September 2013 9:00 am

The scene is the common room of All Souls College, Oxford, in the first week of March 1963. It is…

What’s in a Surname, by David McKie - review

21 September 2013 9:00 am

In South Korea, some 20 million people share just five surnames. Every one of Denmark’s top 20 surnames ends in…

Bizarre Cars, by Keith Ray - review

21 September 2013 9:00 am

My various Oxford dictionaries define bizarre as eccentric, whimsical, odd, grotesque, fantastic, mixed in style and half-barbaric. By so many…

Royal Marriage Secrets, by John Ashdown-Hill - review

21 September 2013 9:00 am

My brother Pericles Wyatt, as my father liked to say, is by blood the rightful king of England, the nephew…

Stage Blood, by Michael Blakemore - review

21 September 2013 9:00 am

Stage Blood, as its title suggests, is as full of vitriol, back-stabbing and conspiracy as any Jacobean tragedy. In this…

Pine by Laura Mason; Lily, by Marcia Reiss - review

21 September 2013 9:00 am

After the success of their animal series of monographs, Reaktion Books have had the clever idea of doing something similar…

Hanns and Rudolf, by Thomas Harding - review

21 September 2013 9:00 am

Confronted by this lavishly endorsed book — ‘compelling’ (David Lodge), ‘gripping’(John le Carré),‘thrilling’ (Jonathan Freedland) — I felt depressed. Two…

An Appetite for Wonder, by Richard Dawkins - review

21 September 2013 9:00 am

It is peculiarly apt that the author of this autobiography should be the man who coined that now fashionable term…

Poker

21 September 2013 9:00 am

To DadYou wonder if it’s worth the gamble getting up out of your armchair onto your bad leg, to stoke…