George Orwell

Radio 4's new H.P. Lovecraft adaptation will give you the chills

24 January 2020 10:00 pm

Of all the many things I’ve learned from the radio so far this decade, the most deranging is that the…

George Orwell would have been a Brexiteer

24 January 2020 10:00 pm

I’ve been reading a new biography of George Orwell that’s been published to coincide with the 70th anniversary of his…

What would George Orwell make of Brexit?

24 August 2019 5:30 pm

In the London Review of Books this month, James Meek wrote a long article about Jacob Rees-Mogg and his ‘curious duality’ in…

The royals should embody virtue – not signal it

24 August 2019 9:00 am

ONE should not be censorious if the Duke and Duchess of Sussex fly in private jets to their holidays, though…

George Orwell. Credit: Getty Images

Novel explosives of the Cold War

24 August 2019 9:00 am

One autumn night in 1991, I stood on the rooftop terrace of a tacky villa in Saranda once owned by…

History holds far fewer lessons for Brexit than both sides think

17 August 2019 9:00 am

How we love bringing history into our political debates. It may seem strange in a country where so little history…

China’s surveillance technology is terrifying – and on show in London

6 July 2019 9:00 am

I was recently treated to a small taste of the real China. It was in the incongruous setting of a…

The spring gentian’s ‘tongues of ocean blue’

Dying buddleias on railway lines are what excite the new nature writer

3 March 2018 9:00 am

A parliament of owls. A gaggle of geese. A convocation of eagles. But what is the generic term for the…

‘Pastry Cook of Cagnes’, 1922, by Chaïm Soutine

Cabbages and kings

14 October 2017 9:00 am

The first pastry cook Chaïm Soutine painted came out like a collapsed soufflé. The sitter for ‘The Pastry Cook’ (c.1919)…

Labour must stop feeling repulsed by the idea of Englishness

21 May 2016 9:00 am

My party needs to stop being scared of patriotism

Down and Out in Paris and London is a chav safari

30 April 2016 9:00 am

Down and Out in Paris and London is a brilliant specimen from a disreputable branch of writing: the chav safari,…

Long may we Brits laugh at our absurd demagogues

23 April 2016 9:00 am

In Reflections on the Revolution in France, Edmund Burke warned that ‘pure democracy’ was as dangerous as absolute monarchy. ‘Of…

I became a Conservative thanks to a little winged rabbit called Pookie

2 April 2016 9:00 am

His father’s dental cast, writes Graham Greene near the beginning of The Power and the Glory ‘had been [Trench’s] favourite…

Did criticism kill John Keats? Sketch by Joseph Severn of the poet in his last illness

Aphorisms and the arts: from Aristotle to Oscar Wilde

19 March 2016 9:00 am

The author of this jam-packed treasure trove has been a film critic at the New York Times since 2000 and…

Nimoy and Shatner in ‘The Man Trap’, the first episode of Star Trek (September 1966)

Close encounters on the starship Enterprise

5 March 2016 9:00 am

For a show with a self-proclaimed ‘five-year mission’, Star Trek hasn’t done badly. Gene Roddenberry’s ‘Wagon train to the stars’…

Always prone to depression: David Astor c.1946

David Astor: the saintly, tormented man who remade the Observer

5 March 2016 9:00 am

Before embarking on this book, Jeremy Lewis was told by his friend Diana Athill that his subject, the newspaper editor…

All washed up: Birmingham after the apocalypse

20 February 2016 9:00 am

The dystopian novel in which a Ballardian deluge or viral illness transforms planet Earth has become something of a sub-genre,…

Marlene Dietrich, George Orwell and the rebirth of a nation

20 February 2016 9:00 am

The purpose of Lara Feigel’s book is to describe the ‘political mission of reconciliation and restoration’ in the devastated cities…

From dressing-gown drudge to Man Booker winner

2 January 2016 9:00 am

John Gross’s The Rise and Fall of the Man of Letters: English Literary Life since 1800, a standard text for…

Why I’ve finally given up on the left

19 September 2015 8:00 am

I cannot be part of a movement run by half-educated fanatics

War, socialist tyranny and the oppression of the handicapped - welcome to the new dance season

19 September 2015 8:00 am

If there’s one thing scarcer than hen’s teeth in serious choreography nowadays, it’s a light heart. When was the last…

The Baroque composer who was a world music pioneer

19 September 2015 8:00 am

On Private Passions this week the writer Amitav Ghosh gave us a refreshingly different version of what has become a…

She knows who’s next

Six rules for a perfect pub

12 September 2015 9:00 am

Whenever one of those news stories appears about how many pubs have been forced to close in the last year,…

James Runcie’s diary: A Willie’s shock at the SNP

9 May 2015 9:00 am

I am writing a play about Dr Johnson and his Dictionary. It will be performed in Scotland later this year.…

What Samsung’s new TVs owe to Jeremy Bentham

14 February 2015 9:00 am

Watching brief Samsung warned users of its voice-activated televisions that what they said in front of the TV could be…