Books

The Porte des Allemands in Metz, where France meets Germany and Luxembourg

Lotharingia: Charlemagne’s much disputed legacy

9 March 2019 9:00 am

In 1919, only months after the end of the Great War, a French airman called Jacques Trolley de Prevaux, accompanied…

A delicious novel from one of our most inventive contemporary voices

9 March 2019 9:00 am

‘Food experiences,’ writes Michael Flanagan in his paper ‘Cowpie, Gruel and Midnight Feasts: Food in Popular Children’s Literature’, ‘form part…

Faber’s new ‘poetry’ collection

9 March 2019 9:00 am

If you’re unsure whether Shaun Ryder’s lyrics for Happy Mondays and Black Grape really deserve the full Faber-poetry treatment, then…

A clear vision of Walter Gropius the man is hard to come by

2 March 2019 9:00 am

Walter Gropius (1883–1969) had the career that the 20th century inflicted on its architects. A master of the previous generation…

Tobias and the angel, attributed to Titian

Angels through the ages

2 March 2019 9:00 am

A good question for your upcoming Lent quiz: where are angels mentioned in the Nicene Creed? I asked this at…

Village voices: Max Porter’s haunting new novel, Lanny

Love, death and loss in a small village – Lanny reviewed

2 March 2019 9:00 am

Max Porter’s first book, Grief is the Thing with Feathers (2015), got a lot of credit for finding original ways…

A woman of some importance: prolific writer Charlotte Bingham revisits the 1950s

The world according to Charlotte Bingham, Spies and Stars reviewed

2 March 2019 9:00 am

Charlotte Bingham has had an extraordinary writing career. She wrote her first book, Coronet Among the Weeds (newly republished by…

I Will Never See the World Again, Ahmet Altan’s fourth book written from prison

2 March 2019 9:00 am

There’s no getting away from that title. I will never see the world again. It catches your eye on the…

Mister Miracle, the cheesiest of all superheroes, reviewed

2 March 2019 9:00 am

Mister Miracle is, on the face of it, one of the cheesiest of all costumed super-heroes. Created by Jack Kirby…

Going mad: A.K. Benjamin analyses himself

Playing mind games: Let Me Not Be Mad reviewed

2 March 2019 9:00 am

The journalist Auberon Waugh, in whose time-capsule of a flat I briefly lived in 2000, once summed up what he…

Hundreds of graves were vandalised in Sarre-Union’s Jewish cemetery in eastern France in February 2015

’I know it when I see it’ – anti-Semitism for dummies

2 March 2019 9:00 am

Some people might argue that Deborah Lipstadt has given us the book we desperately need from the author best equipped…

Discover your inner wolf: love your family, value your home, respect your elders, be altruistic, and have fun, says Elli Radinger

Discover your inner wolf and lead a better life

23 February 2019 9:00 am

For a practical at medical school on the subject of the nervous system, it was thought unwise to wire students…

Detail of Raphael’s ‘The School of Athens’, with Pythagoras in the foreground. Hypatia, the first great female mathematician, is in white, beside a figure thought to be Parmenides

What the Ancient Greeks did for us

23 February 2019 9:00 am

I am undoubtedly, alas, an example of what the Fowler brothers, H.W. and F.G., of The King’s English fame, would…

An exposé of high-ranking gays in the Catholic Church bears the fingerprints of the Pope’s closest advisors

23 February 2019 9:00 am

The publication of In the Closet of the Vatican by the French gay polemicist Frédéric Martel has been meticulously timed…

Magda was beautiful, perfectly proportioned and elegant — all things her son had not appreciated when she was alive

How my mother survived the Nazis, but took her own life

23 February 2019 9:00 am

When the poet George Szirtes returned as an adult to Budapest, the city of his birth which he had left…

Marlon James

Tolkien in Africa: Black Leopard Red Wolf, by Marlon James, reviewed

23 February 2019 9:00 am

Anyone who has issues with Tolkien (at 16, even in a suitably ‘altered state’, I could not finish The Hobbit,…

Portrait of Ruskin dated 1870

John Ruskin: the making of a modern prophet

16 February 2019 9:00 am

At the time of his death in 1900, John Ruskin was, according to Andrew Hill, ‘perhaps the most famous living…

The inventor of gonzo journalism: Hunter S. Thompson, in his heyday in the 1960s

How fear and loathing of Nixon sent Hunter S. Thompson crazy

16 February 2019 9:00 am

Hunter Stockton Thompson blazed across the republic of American arts and letters for too short a time. When in February…

The road to Calvary: Enrique Irazoqui as Christ in Pier Paolo Pasolini’s 1964 film The Gospel According to Matthew

Seeing and believing: the best spiritual films of Europe’s golden age

16 February 2019 9:00 am

The Italian film director Federico Fellini was not known for his piety (far from it), yet towards the end of…

The North Pole, from the star atlas of the French Jesuit priest and scientist, Ignace-Gaston Pardies, published in 1674

The unearthly powers of the North Pole

16 February 2019 9:00 am

Having spent too much of my life at both poles (writing, not sledge-pulling), I know the spells those places cast.…

Credit: Getty Images

Fiction for the #MeToo age: Victory, by James Lasdun, reviewed

16 February 2019 9:00 am

James Lasdun is my favourite ‘should be famous’ writer, his work extraordinarily taut and compelling. His eye-boggling psychological thrillers are…

James Clerk Maxwell: funny, flippant and charming, with an extraordinarily fertile mechanical imagination

The powerful magnetism of James Clerk Maxwell

16 February 2019 9:00 am

Chances are, you are reading these words in some room or other. Build a wall down the middle of it,…

Sam Lipsyte. Credit: Ceridwen Morris

Hitting the bull’s-eye: Hark, by Sam Lipsyte, reviewed

16 February 2019 9:00 am

This is an ebullient, irreverent and deeply serious novel in the noble tradition of Mark Twain, Sinclair Lewis (especially Babbitt…

Yiyun Li, Credit: Roger Turesson

No escape from grief: Where Reasons End, by Yiyun Li, reviewed

16 February 2019 9:00 am

When Yiyun Li first became a writer, she decided that she would leave behind her native language, Chinese, and never…

James Simpson’s provocative book draws primarily on literary evidence, with Milton as its presiding genius

The brutish origins of British liberalism

16 February 2019 9:00 am

If the road to hell is paved with good intentions, the one to heaven may be surfaced with bad ones.…