Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc from ‘Vie des Femmes Celebres’, 1505

The songs my father’s mistress taught me ignited my love of France

5 May 2018 9:00 am

When John Julius Norwich was a boy, his father was British ambassador in Paris.School holidays were spent in the exceptionally…

The Book of Joan: part apocalyptic tale, part erotic poem

24 February 2018 9:00 am

Does J.G. Ballard’s ‘disquieting equation’, ‘sex x technology = the future’, still hold? Not in Lidia Yuknavitch’s novel, which imagines…

Wasn’t Lawrence of Arabia more annoying than this new play suggests?

14 May 2016 9:00 am

T.E. Lawrence is like the gap-year student from hell. He visits a country full of exotic barbarians and after a…

Act of faith: Sybil Thorndike as Saint Joan, c.1924, in George Bernard Shaw’s ‘Saint Joan’

Why does drama always end up sneering at religion?

5 March 2016 9:00 am

Religion remains a surprisingly popular subject for plays. It’s partly because there’s already a core of theatricality there, in the…

Shakespeare at his freest and most exuberant: The Wars of the Roses reviewed

24 October 2015 9:00 am

The RSC’s The Wars of the Roses solves a peculiar literary problem. Shakespeare’s earliest history plays are entitled Henry VI…

Plotinus and Michel de Montaigne are included in George Steiner’s broad survey. His argument that we should elevate the pursuit of disinterested knowledge over the making of money is a familar one since classical times

From Plotinus to Heidegger: a history of European thought in 48 pages

18 April 2015 9:00 am

T.S. Eliot liked to recall the time he was recognised by his London taxi driver. Surprised, he told the cabbie…