Philip larkin

The touching traces of the past in church visitors’ books

15 June 2019 9:00 am

I am memorialised twice in my village church. Not in some premature lapidary way, but in the visitors’ book. The…

The upsides of dementia: Forgetfulness can be a blessing

1 June 2019 9:00 am

My 91-year-old father-in-law has always had a terror of hospitals. This dates from his time as a Royal Marine when,…

How Philip Larkin f****d me up

20 April 2019 9:00 am

I first came across Philip Larkin’s poem ‘This Be the Verse’ when I was 18 in the late 1970s. You…

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…

John Ruskin as a boy, seated beside his mother, listening to the sermon

Every day is mother’s day for writers: most have strong feelings about their mothers, though not always of love

10 March 2018 9:00 am

You attempt to write a review with a stiff dose of objectivity, but it’s hard not to start with a…

‘Nympheas (Waterlilies)’, 1914–15, by Claude Monet

The link between herbaceous borders and the avant-garde

30 January 2016 9:00 am

Philip Larkin once remarked that Art Tatum, a jazz musician given to ornate, multi-noted flourishes on the keyboard, reminded him…

Shock and awe in Coventry, 14 November 1940

21 November 2015 9:00 am

On 14 November 1940, at seven in the evening, the Luftwaffe began to bomb Coventry. The skyline turned red like…

Beatles mania! (Photo: Getty)

The best of British — from Agatha Christie to the YBAs

26 September 2015 8:00 am

Is it true that, having lost an empire, we reinvented ourselves as an island of entertainers? Do we channel the…

Barbara Pym: a woman scorned

23 May 2015 9:00 am

Anyone who has ever listened to the thump of a rejected manuscript descending cheerlessly on to the mat can take…

Who needs drugs when you have Radio 3?

30 August 2014 9:00 am

I’m willing to bet it’s only on the BBC’s Radio 3 that you’ll find yourself listening to a programme quite…

Why can’t country views be protected from wind turbines?

12 April 2014 9:00 am

‘Surprisingly’, writes Geoffrey Lean (Daily Telegraph, 4 April), ‘two thirds of the country support onshore wind turbines’. It should not…