Charles Dickens

Victorian novels to enjoy in lockdown

16 May 2020 9:00 am

It’s the perfect opportunity to crack open those classics of 19th-century fiction you’ve always been meaning to read, and I…

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…

From the archive: the Spectator’s original verdicts on literary classics

15 December 2018 9:00 am

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë,  reviewed 18 December 1847 An attempt to give novelty and interest to fiction, by resorting…

Pace and quiet: walking can be therapeutic

The highs – and occasional lows – of long-distance walking

14 April 2018 9:00 am

Long-distance walking is all the rage these days. There are all-nighters staged by charities, for instance the annual MoonWalk in…

Tiny Tim by Harold Copping

Time to update our notions of disability and quit with the pity – and Tiny Tim

16 December 2017 9:00 am

Here we go again. Partridges in pear trees. Lovely big Christmas turkey. The Queen’s speech. And then, at some point…

‘The Woodman’s Child’, 1860, by Arthur Hughes

Twee, treacly and tearful: Pre-Raphaelites at the Walker Art Gallery reviewed

27 February 2016 9:00 am

Dear, good, kind, sacrificing Little Nell. Here she is kneeling by a wayside pond, bonnet pushed back, shoes and stockings…

Nature beats nurture nearly every time

7 November 2015 9:00 am

I’ve been doing some thinking recently about the findings of behavioural geneticists and their implications for education policy. For instance,…

Carnage on the home front: revisiting a forgotten disaster of the first world war

9 May 2015 9:00 am

Philip Hensher on a little-known episode of first world war history when a munitions factory in Kent exploded in April 1916, claiming over 100 lives

William Hogarth’s ‘Night’, in his series ‘Four Times of the Day’ (1736), provides a glimpse of the anarchy and squalor of London’s nocturnal streets

Dickens’s dark side: walking at night helped ease his conscience at killing off characters

21 March 2015 9:00 am

James McConnachie discovers that some of the greatest English writers — Chaucer, Blake, Dickens, Wordsworth, Dr Johnson — drew inspiration and even comfort from walking around London late at night

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The deep Britishness of fish and chips

1 November 2014 9:00 am

During the D-day landings, members of the parachute regiment, finding themselves behind enemy lines at night, needed a way of…

Melvyn Bragg's notebook: I found hell on Regent Street

14 December 2013 9:00 am

John Lloyd, producer of Blackadder, Spitting Image, QI etc, has boldly picked up where he left off at Cambridge more…

The greatest novel in English – and how to drink it

20 July 2013 9:00 am

Which is the greatest novel in the English language? Let us review the candidates: Clarissa, Pride and Prejudice, Middlemarch, The…