Hilary Mantel

Thomas Cromwell, c. 1530, Holbein School

Diarmaid MacCulloch delves deep into the soul of Thomas Cromwell – administrator, henchman and evangelical

29 September 2018 9:00 am

The final moments of Hilary Mantel’s magnificent Wolf Hall see its central protagonist, Thomas Cromwell, trying to banish ghosts. Assailed…

From Don Quixote to Alan Partridge, delusion lies at the heart of many lasting comic creations

Paul Ewen’s Francis Plug is the saviour of comic fiction

22 September 2018 9:00 am

Such was the perceived low standard of the 62 books recently submitted for the 2018 Wodehouse Prize for comic fiction,…

The Spectator’s notes

22 July 2017 9:00 am

We went to the first night of the Proms last week. Thinking it was all over, we left the auditorium…

Books aren’t medicine. They’re more powerful than that

30 April 2016 9:00 am

Who can forget the terrible climax of Howards End, when Leonard Bast is killed by a deluge of books? Death…

Long before Twitter, Wogan offered continuous conversation

6 February 2016 9:00 am

For once, the superlatives that have greeted Terry Wogan’s death from cancer have been entirely in keeping with the man.…

History is the art of making things up. Why pretend otherwise?

31 January 2015 9:00 am

In a recent interview, the celebrity historian and Tudor expert David Starkey described Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall as a ‘deliberate…

Without childhood traumas, how did Alan Bennett ever become a writer?

10 January 2015 9:00 am

‘So — take heart,’ said Alan Bennett, sending us out from his play, Cocktail Sticks, on a cheery note. The…

The Thomas Cromwell plays would be stronger if they made him weaker 

18 January 2014 9:00 am

Three things you might not expect of the RSC’s adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Tudor novels. First, Mike Poulton’s plays have…

Angel, by Elizabeth Taylor - review

30 November 2013 9:00 am

‘She wrote fiction?’ Even today, with the admirable ladies at Virago nearly finished reissuing her dozen novels, Elizabeth Taylor remains…

How to think like Chekhov or Turgenev

30 November 2013 9:00 am

I recently met an A-level English student who had never heard of Pontius Pilate. How is it possible to reach…