Books

Shostakovich, Leningrad, and the greatest story ever played

11 January 2014 9:00 am

The horrors of the Leningrad siege — the 900 Days of Harrison Salisbury’s classic — have been pretty well picked…

Critics can be creative - look at Malcolm Cowley

11 January 2014 9:00 am

Even Spectator book reviewers have to concede that their craft is inferior to the creative travail of authors. Henry James…

John Bellany: potent, prolific, patchy

11 January 2014 9:00 am

When John Bellany died in August last year, an odyssey that had alternately beguiled and infuriated the art world came…

Books and Arts

11 January 2014 9:00 am

Dayshifts

9 January 2014 3:00 pm

The Man in the Moon will come on Tuesday. He will wear his grey hat and be travelling alone. Take…

Dayshifts

9 January 2014 3:00 pm

The Man in the Moon will come on Tuesday. He will wear his grey hat and be travelling alone. Take…

How we lost the seasons

4 January 2014 9:00 am

... for tomorrow traditional seasonal rituals may just be ghostly memories of a vanished world, says Melanie McDonagh

The Roth of tenderness and of rage

4 January 2014 9:00 am

In the autumn of 2012, Philip Roth told a French magazine that his latest book, Nemesis, would be his last.…

Forgiveness

4 January 2014 9:00 am

The bunting was hardly down, and the bones of the feast hardly buried in sand, when the prodigal son started…

Do Manet's asparagus remind you of your struggling long-term relationship?

4 January 2014 9:00 am

In calling their book Art as Therapy Alain de Botton and John Armstrong have taken the direct route. They’re not…

Finally, a celebrity memoir worth reading

4 January 2014 9:00 am

Unlike many celebrity memoirs, Anjelica Huston’s is worth reading. In her Prologue she writes that as a child she modeled…

The many attempts to assassinate Trotsky

4 January 2014 9:00 am

Leon Trotsky’s grandson, Esteban Volkov, is a retired chemist in his early eighties. I met him not long ago in…

An utterly charming, totally bonkers short novel

4 January 2014 9:00 am

This utterly charming, totally bonkers short novel is something from another age. There are elements of A Handful of Dust…

The food of love

4 January 2014 9:00 am

The Albek Duo are two astonishingly beautiful and talented Venetian musicians, Fiona and Ambra, who are identical twins. Hearing the…

Books and Arts

14 December 2013 9:00 am

How honest was Bernard Berenson?

14 December 2013 9:00 am

Sam Leith suspects that even such a distinguished connoisseur as Bernard Berenson did not always play a straight bat

Secrets of the Kremlin

14 December 2013 9:00 am

A building bearing testimony to the power of eternal Russia; a timeless symbol of the Russian state; a monument to…

In defence of Herodotus

14 December 2013 9:00 am

How many writers would give their eye teeth to have a book reissued 2,500 years after their death? It certainly…

Spot the play title

14 December 2013 9:00 am

Answers to ‘Spot the Play Title’

14 December 2013 9:00 am

1. Cat Honour Hot Tin Roof 2. Frank Hen Stein 3. Ark A Deer 4. Hammer Day S 5. Hiss…

Deserter, wifebeater, great poet: the shame and glory of Vernon Scannell

14 December 2013 9:00 am

Vernon Scannell was a thief, a liar, a deserter, a bigamist, a fraud, an alcoholic, a woman-beater and a coward.…

A Yorkshire Christmas Eve

14 December 2013 9:00 am

His nearby town wore annual evening-dress, cheap jewellery of lights, white fur and bright drapes of Santa red which might…

What took Francis Mitterrand to the top?

14 December 2013 9:00 am

Of a dashing political rival, François Mitterrand once remarked: He was more intelligent than I was, he thought faster than…

Weaving Scotland's history

14 December 2013 9:00 am

A couple of years ago, while tracking down paintings for the Public Catalogue Foundation in the far north of Scotland,…

What nannies know

14 December 2013 9:00 am

Soon after moving to London at the age of 20, Nina Stibbe wrote to her sister Vic saying, ‘Being a…