Kingsley Amis

Speaker-speak: the maddening rhetoric of John Bercow

23 March 2019 9:00 am

Much has recently been written about the incumbent Commons Speaker, from (vigorously denied) allegations of bullying to (less vigorously denied)…

A biographer’s tale: beware of meeting your literary heroes

1 December 2018 9:00 am

Germaine Greer described biographers as ‘vultures’. I prefer to think of myself as a version of Philip Marlowe or Sam…

When Kingsley Amis needed a new insult, he reached for the taboo

25 November 2017 9:00 am

‘It’s up there on the shelf you can’t reach,’ said my husband in an unhelpfully helpful tone. The ‘it’ was…

The

28 October 2017 9:00 am

Veronica, who looks at Twitter, told me of an exchange she thought would interest me, about the use of the.…

It’s time to kill James Bond

28 May 2016 9:00 am

You now need to be in your mid-sixties or older — a chilling thought — not to have lived your…

Ferdinand Mount picks out the plums nicely

21 May 2016 9:00 am

Book reviews, John Updike once wrote, ‘perform a clear and desired social service: they excuse us from reading the books…

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…

Hilly, wife of Kingsley Amis, in Swansea

Larkin’s misty parks and moors — in all their lacerating beauty

12 December 2015 9:00 am

When Philip Larkin went up to St John’s College, Oxford, in the early 1940s, he found himself in a world…

Lolita's secret revenge mission, and other daft theories of literary spite

25 October 2014 9:00 am

Richard Bradford has written more than 20 books of literary criticism and biography. This latest one is a compendium of…

Mark Amory's diary: Confessions of a literary editor

20 September 2014 9:00 am

Until recently I used to claim that I had been literary editor of The Spectator for over 25 years; now…

The biography that makes Philip Larkin human again

23 August 2014 9:00 am

How does Philip Larkin’s gloom retain such power to disturb? His bleakest verses have the quality of direct address, as…

Mugabe envy in Scotland

11 January 2014 9:00 am

Who owns Scotland? The people who most commonly ask this question believe that the land has been wrested from ordinary…