H.g. wells

War of the Worlds is as bad as Doctor Who

23 November 2019 9:00 am

Edwardian England deserved everything it got from those killer Martian invaders. Or so I learned from the BBC’s latest adaptation…

‘Working Boats from around the British Coast’: mural with mermaids and a dancing lobster by the visionary artist Alan Sorrell, commissioned for the Festival of Britain, 1951

Fishy women: the mermaid in folklore, art and literature

11 July 2015 9:00 am

The first mermaid we meet in this intriguing, gorgeously produced book is spray-painted in scarlet on a wall in Madrid,…

Moura Budberg with two of her lovers, H.G. Wells and Maxim Gorky

The spy who loved (a lot): Moura Budberg’s life reads like a thriller — and may have been more interesting than she was herself

9 May 2015 9:00 am

Moura Budberg (1892–1974) had an extraordinary life. She was born in the Poltava region of Ukraine, and as a young…

Churchill reading in his library at Chartwell

Churchill was as mad as a badger. We should all be thankful

19 April 2014 9:00 am

The egotistical Churchill may have viewed the second world war as pure theatre, but that was exactly what was needed at the time, says Sam Leith

‘Less political satire than back-handed homage:Charlie Chaplin in a scene from The Great Dictator

Charlie Chaplin, monster

12 April 2014 9:00 am

No actual birth certificate for Charles Spencer Chaplin has ever been found. The actor himself drew a blank when he…