Books

The Greek myths are always with us

19 March 2022 9:00 am

Once upon a time there was a collection of stories that everybody loved. They involved brave heroes such as Perseus…

The ghostly ruins of vanished Britain

19 March 2022 9:00 am

Take a walk in the English countryside and you get the impression that little has changed. The churches and farmhouses,…

Enjoy your beloved car while you can

19 March 2022 9:00 am

Remember ashtrays in cars? Soon cars will themselves become objects of wet-eyed nostalgic reverie. A thrilling era of propelling ourselves,…

When Oxford life resembled a great satirical novel

19 March 2022 9:00 am

Paula Byrne describes life at Oxford University in its eccentric heyday

The Belfast Blitz: These Days, by Lucy Caldwell, reviewed

19 March 2022 9:00 am

Caught outside at the start of a raid in the Belfast Blitz as the incendiary bombs rain down, Audrey looks…

Portrait of a domestic tyrant: The Exhibitionist, by Charlotte Mendelson, reviewed

19 March 2022 9:00 am

If vivid, drily hilarious tales about messy families stuffed with passive aggression and seething resentment are your thing, you will…

Knotty problems: French Braid, by Anne Tyler, reviewed

19 March 2022 9:00 am

Anne Tyler’s 24th novel French Braid opens in 2010 in Philadelphia train station. We find the teenage Serena, who has…

Jesus’s female disciples remain women of mystery

12 March 2022 9:00 am

Is there a patron saint of conjecture? Perhaps it is a name known only to Bible scholars, who have rich…

Abandoned for a bogus guru – Lily Dunn’s harrowing family memoir

12 March 2022 9:00 am

Sins of My Father begins with an ending. Describing her 61-year-old parent’s final desperate flight from a life of vibrant…

The heartbreak left in the wake of the Terra Nova

12 March 2022 9:00 am

The story of the five women waiting at home for Captain Scott and his doomed polar party is naturally occluded…

The party’s finally over for Nigel Farage

12 March 2022 9:00 am

Nigel Farage was never even an MP, but Michael Crick argues convincingly that he is one of the top five…

Lasting infamy: Booth, by Karen Joy Fowler, reviewed

12 March 2022 9:00 am

Were it not for an event on the night of 14 April 1865, John Wilkes Booth would be remembered, if…

New light on the building of Stonehenge

12 March 2022 9:00 am

When it comes to Stonehenge, we are like children continually asking why and never getting a conclusive answer. There are…

An ill wind in Buenos Aires: Portrait of Unknown Lady, by María Gainza, reviewed

12 March 2022 9:00 am

How to review a book that pokes fun at critics? When the protagonist of María Gainza’s Portrait of an Unknown…

A magical epic: Moon Witch, Spider King, by Marlon James, reviewed

12 March 2022 9:00 am

When the first volume of Marlon James’s Dark Star trilogy appeared in 2019, it was quickly recognised as a masterly…

Graham Robb deserves to be a French national treasure

12 March 2022 9:00 am

Philip Hensher is enthralled by Graham Robb’s evocative new history of France

What the Anglo-Saxons made of 1066 and all that followed

5 March 2022 9:00 am

By any yardstick, the Norman Conquest was a ghastly business. Within two decades, the English aristocracy had been more than…

Sister, where are you? – Clover Stroud mourns her beloved sibling

5 March 2022 9:00 am

‘CERTIFICATE IS NOT EVIDENCE OF IDENTITY,’ the freshly issued death certificate read. In the craziness and shock of grief for…

The making of a poet: Mother’s Boy, by Patrick Gale, reviewed

5 March 2022 9:00 am

Charles Causley was a poet’s poet. Both Ted Hughes and Philip Larkin considered him the finest candidate for the laureateship,…

Troubles of the past: The Slowworm’s Song, by Andrew Miller, reviewed

5 March 2022 9:00 am

Andrew Miller specialises in characters who are lost, often struggling to deal with the burden of failure. They don’t come…

TB is back with a vengeance

5 March 2022 9:00 am

If you were a teenager before 2005, one reminder of tuberculosis in British life is that small circular scar on…

Julie Burchill has found a new way to provoke: she’s turned sincere

5 March 2022 9:00 am

The greatest ever social media spat took place before the first tweet was sent, and was conducted via fax, which…

The torment of mentoring spoilt rich kids

5 March 2022 9:00 am

For 20 years of my adult life, I moonlighted as a private tutor. After a full day in the office…

The fuss over Mary Seacole’s statue has obscured the real person

5 March 2022 9:00 am

Mary Seacole may not have qualified as a nurse in the modern sense, but British troops benefited greatly from her healing skills, says Andrew Lycett

Howard Jacobson superbly captures the terrible cost of becoming a writer

26 February 2022 9:00 am

Howard Jacobson, who turns 80 this year, published his first novel aged 40. Since then he has produced roughly a…