Memoir

From ‘little Cockney’ to playing Queen Mary: the remarkable career of Eileen Atkins

16 October 2021 9:00 am

Eileen Atkins belongs to a singular generation of British actresses, among them Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Sian Phillips and Vanessa…

The life of an ambassador’s wife

25 September 2021 9:00 am

‘One day,’ she writes, ‘we had the Minister for Northern Ireland for the night. He arrived wearing a kilt, which…

Only Iain Sinclair could glimpse Hackney in the wilds of Peru

18 September 2021 9:00 am

It seemed like a preposterous proposition. For decades, Iain Sinclair has been an assiduous psychogeographer of London, an eldritch cartographer…

A narrow escape in Britain’s most treacherous mountain range

28 August 2021 9:00 am

Twenty-five years ago, my cousin Jock, a Scottish priest, rang in shock. Two priest friends, David and Norman, had been…

A glimpse of lost London – before the yuppie invasion

28 August 2021 9:00 am

In a 1923 book called Echo de Paris, the writer Laurence Houseman attempted to conjure up in a very slim,…

The cosmopolitan spirit of the Middle East vanished with the Ottomans

28 August 2021 9:00 am

One of the most depressing vignettes in Michael Vatikiotis’s agreeably meandering account of his cosmopolitan family’s experiences in the Near…

On the run from the Nazis: a Polish family’s protracted ordeal

31 July 2021 9:00 am

Writers of memoirs are often praised for their honesty — but how do we know? I found I did believe…

A death foretold: the last days of Gabriel García Márquez

31 July 2021 9:00 am

In March 2014 Gabriel García Márquez went down with a cold. The man who wrote beautifully about ageing was approaching…

A volte face over what caused the pandemic needs explaining

31 July 2021 9:00 am

Sir Jeremy Farrar, the head of the Wellcome Trust, writes that ‘the last year has been an eye-opener for me.…

Even psychiatrists don’t know how the drugs they prescribe work

24 July 2021 9:00 am

What is it like to go mad? Not so much developing depression or having a panic attack — which is…

The great awakening: Henry Shukman becomes a child of the universe

24 July 2021 9:00 am

For eight years I rented a small house in Oxford overlooking the canal. The landlord, a poet and novelist younger…

The life cycle of the limpet teaches universal truths

17 July 2021 9:00 am

Adam Nicolson is one of our finest writers of non-fiction. He has range — from place and history to literature…

A lesson in understanding serial killers and child molesters

3 July 2021 9:00 am

True crime is having a moment: every day there’s a new documentary, book, podcast, or blockbuster film announced, detailing the…

Death by negligence: why did no one diagnose my sister’s TB?

12 June 2021 9:00 am

In 2016, Arifa Akbar’s elder sister, Fauzia, died suddenly in the Royal Free Hospital, London at the age of 45.…

Remembering David Storey, giant of postwar English culture

12 June 2021 9:00 am

Jasper Rees remembers David Storey, giant of postwar English culture and wry teller of tales, whose newly published memoir is perhaps his most remarkable work

Not just a trolley dolly: the demanding life of an air hostess

1 May 2021 9:00 am

Come Fly the World is not the book I thought I was getting. The slightly (surely deliberately) pulpy cover —…

Haunted by the soft, sweet power of the violin

1 May 2021 9:00 am

An extraordinary omission from Neil MacGregor’s A History of the World in 100 Objects is the lyre, the instrument closest…

Two of a kind: Monica Jones proved Philip Larkin’s equal for racism and misogyny

24 April 2021 9:00 am

Monica Jones certainly proved Philip Larkin’s equal for racism and misogyny, says Andrew Motion

Marina Warner becomes her mother’s ‘shabti’

24 April 2021 9:00 am

There comes a time after the death of parents when grief subsides, the sense of loss eases, and you, the…

The home life of Shirley Jackson, queen of horror

17 April 2021 9:00 am

‘One of the nicest things about being a writer,’ Shirley Jackson once noted in a lecture titled ‘How I Write’,…

Nostalgia for seedy nightclubs reeking of sex and poppers

17 April 2021 9:00 am

Gay bar, how I miss you. Barely any lesbian joints have survived the online dating scene, and Grindr has replaced…

Journey to ‘the grimmest place in the world’

3 April 2021 9:00 am

Suffering from post-traumatic stress and the effects of government austerity measures, Paul Jones resigned as the head of an inner-city…

One of the lucky ones: Hella Pick escapes Nazi Germany

27 March 2021 9:00 am

Hella Pick is one of that vanishing generation of Jewish refugees who arrived in Britain on the eve of the…

Learning to listen: Sarah Sands goes in search of spirituality

27 March 2021 9:00 am

It was the 13th-century wall of a ruined Cistercian nunnery at the far end of her garden in Norfolk that…

The sufferings of Okinawa continue today unheard

20 March 2021 9:00 am

Okinawa is having a moment. Recently a Telegraph travel destination, to many in the west it’s still unfamiliar except as…