Features

This year, I’m performing all 32 of Beethoven’s sonatas. Here’s why

21 December 2019 9:00 am

For the past several decades, little in my life as a professional pianist has been as constant as my relationship…

Words to live by from Saint John Henry Newman

21 December 2019 9:00 am

On 13 October, John Henry Newman, a distinguished and distinctive Englishman, was officially declared a Saint. A well-known saying of…

‘I’ve had two totally successful marriages’: Stanley Johnson interviewed

21 December 2019 9:00 am

If anything could make me feel sorry for Boris Johnson, it’s meeting his father, Stanley. Before we met, he sent…

What have you changed your mind about? A Spectator Christmas survey

21 December 2019 9:00 am

Grayson Perry In 1992 I created a graphic novel called Cycle of Violence. Reading it now, the initially striking thing…

Lady Hale’s Christmas diary (as told to Quentin Letts)

21 December 2019 9:00 am

They say I must retire next month when I turn 75. Irritating. I have been a member of the Supreme…

We’ve just had the best decade in human history. Seriously

21 December 2019 9:00 am

Let nobody tell you that the second decade of the 21st century has been a bad time. We are living…

Roger Scruton: A year in which much was lost – but more gained

21 December 2019 9:00 am

  January My 2018 ended with a hate storm, in response to my appointment as chair of the government’s Building…

‘I was a tortured, obviously brilliant child’: James Ellroy interviewed

21 December 2019 9:00 am

James Ellroy is occasionally quoted as saying he’s the greatest American crime novelist ever. The man sometimes called the ‘demon…

Anne Glenconner: My Christmas gift from Queen Mary

21 December 2019 9:00 am

At the age of 87 I find myself not just a first-time author, but a bestseller. I’ve always told stories,…

A soldier’s legacy: how a baby’s cry saved a family

21 December 2019 9:00 am

It was early evening on Sunday 6 August 1944. The Allies’ bloody struggle to liberate Normandy from the Nazis had…

Michael Moorcock: I feel I’ve been cheated by the British state

21 December 2019 9:00 am

Back to Texas to prepare for guests arriving for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Once again we left our Paris home not…

History may hold the secrets of statecraft – but not the secrets of business leadership

21 December 2019 9:00 am

‘How can one person lead one hundred?’ That was one of the questions in my Cambridge entrance exams back in…

I was born to be a pantomime Dame (oh yes I was!)

21 December 2019 9:00 am

‘Flamenco, lambada/ But hip hop is harder/ We moonwalk the foxtrot/ Then polka the salsa…’ I’m sure you know those…

Eggs and hard liquor: Spectator writers on their favourite examples of meals in literature

21 December 2019 9:00 am

P.J. O’Rourke I love poems but hate poetasters, love wine but detest oenophiles, love food but can’t stand foodies. Therefore…

A.N. Wilson: The V&A’s Tristram Hunt is a modern Prince Albert

21 December 2019 9:00 am

We don’t have Thanksgiving in Britain, but this does not stop us giving thanks and Christmas is a good time…

The King of Christmas: A short story by Owen Matthews

21 December 2019 9:00 am

The Christmas King steps slowly from his house and sniffs the evening’s chill. His tread is dainty, for all his…

‘Cook it like a prayer’: Bip Ling’s Christmas curry

21 December 2019 9:00 am

This dish is refreshing and super yummy. It’s a recipe that Didas (my Indian grandmother) taught me. The zesty tomato…

Away from the manger: the holy relics of Bethlehem

21 December 2019 9:00 am

‘No crib for a bed,’ says ‘Away in a Manger’ rather puzzlingly, since a crib is a manger. ‘No one…

Changing the script: the shifting character of our political parties

14 December 2019 9:00 am

Elections should be carnivals of democracy. The campaign we have just been through, though, has felt more like amateur dramatics.…

All the world’s a stage: this election has echoes of Shakespeare and Dickens

14 December 2019 9:00 am

The Christmas election has unfolded like a series of mini-dramas from panto, Dickens and other popular classics. Boris has come…

Finland is rebooting its politics – and its new centrism is defined by youth

14 December 2019 9:00 am

 Helsinki Sanna Marin is the world’s new feminist political icon. At the age of 34, she’s just been appointed the…

The chilling stories from inside China’s Muslim internment camps

14 December 2019 9:00 am

Vegetable-seller Kairat Samarkhan didn’t know why he had been summoned to the police station. ‘I had to empty my pockets…

Trans activists are making life harder for trans people

14 December 2019 9:00 am

This was the year that the word ‘non-binary’ went mainstream. It has now officially entered the dictionary — lexicographers at…

A river of lost souls: the extraordinary secrets of the Thames

14 December 2019 9:00 am

If you spend enough time on the Thames, you will eventually come across human remains. It is a river of…

Is St Edmund’s body buried beneath a Suffolk tennis court?

14 December 2019 9:00 am

Here in St Edmundsbury cathedral, a bunch of clerics and local bigwigs are preparing for a most unusual anniversary. Throughout…