Second world war

Rarely has the West End seen such a draining and nasty experience: The Exorcist reviewed

11 November 2017 9:00 am

The Exorcist opened in 1973 accompanied by much hoo-ha in the press. Scenes of panic, nausea and fainting were recorded…

Don’t believe the sales figures – DVDs are thriving

4 November 2017 9:00 am

According to the accountants’ ledgers, DVDs are dying. Sales of those shiny discs, along with their shinier sibling the Blu-ray,…

Narvik harbour, March 1940

Snatching victory from the jaws of defeat

21 October 2017 9:00 am

Lord Woolton put it best: ‘Few people have succeeded in obtaining such a public demand for their promotion as the…

Anthony Powell, by Henry Lamb (1934)

Of his time

30 September 2017 9:00 am

Great novelists come in all shapes and sizes, but one thing they all share is a status of half-belonging. If…

The evil that men do

5 August 2017 9:00 am

The first thing to say about Claudio Magris’s new novel is that it is, in an important sense, unreadable. There…

Festival time, Serbian style: playing the trumpet in Guca

Balkan brass

29 July 2017 9:00 am

When brass instruments with button-operated valves were introduced in the second half of the 19th century, music-making changed. Once requiring…

Visual, visceral, confusing

22 July 2017 9:00 am

Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk has already been described as ‘a masterpiece’ and ‘a glorious, breathtakingly vivid triumph’, but we need to…

Plywood at its most curvaceous, acceptable and collectible: Alvar Aalto armchair, 1930 (left), and moulded plywood chair by Grete Jalk, 1963

Grain of truth

8 July 2017 9:00 am

We routinely feel emotional about materials — often subliminally. Which is why new substances and techniques for manufacturing have provoked…

The kindest man in the Bordeaux wine business

9 April 2016 9:00 am

There was a moment during the war when De Gaulle was being more than usually impossible. Roosevelt, furious, asked Churchill…

Scarlett Johansson as a mermaid? Bung her in

What is a serious film festival doing opening with Hail, Caesar!

20 February 2016 9:00 am

What is a serious film festival doing opening with Ethan and Joel Coens’ turkey Hail, Caesar!? James Woodall reports from Berlin

Dream team: the cast of ‘Dad’s Army’ 2016

Watch it backwards – and then don’t stay for long: Dad’s Army reviewed

6 February 2016 9:00 am

The TV sitcom Dad’s Army ran on the BBC from 1968 to 1977 (nine series, 80 episodes) with repeats still…

Where’s all the joy gone?

2 January 2016 9:00 am

Britain seems to be suffering from a dearth of lightheartedness

The Field Marshal, the restaurateur and the wine family

2 January 2016 9:00 am

As the bottles flowed, the talk ranged, to a serious vineyard, an awesome Field Marshal and a delightful restauranteur. For…

Ian Rankin’s diary: Paris, ignoring Twitter and understanding evil

21 November 2015 9:00 am

After ten days away, I spent last Friday at home alone, catching up on washing, shopping for cat food, answering…

Fair, just, brave: George Bell, Bishop of Chichester 1929–1958

The Church of England’s shameful betrayal of bishop George Bell

7 November 2015 9:00 am

The Church of England has rushed to posthumously condemn one of the greatest men it has produced

From top left: Lucian Freud, Rudolf Bing, Stefan Zweig, Walter Gropius, Rudolf Laban, Max Born, Kurt Schwitters, Friedrich Hayek, Fritz Busch, Frank Auerbach, Emeric Pressburger, Oskar Kokoschka

German refugees transformed British cultural life - but at a price

3 October 2015 9:00 am

German-speaking refugees dragged British culture into the 20th century. But that didn’t go down well in Stepney or Stevenage, says William Cook

How anarchy was responsible for Auschwitz

12 September 2015 9:00 am

In September 1939 Britain went to war against Germany, ostensibly in defence of Poland. One big secret that the British…

Forget Chilcot. Here’s the inquiry we really need

5 September 2015 9:00 am

What we really need is an inquiry into why so many of us are so eager to support ‘humanitarian’ wars

I lived next to St Paul’s Cathedral as a baby in 1940 – it’s a miracle I am alive

5 September 2015 9:00 am

While the Germans were raining bombs on London during the second world war, the architects’ department of London County Council…

A.N. Wilson’s diary: VJ Day and the Virginia Woolf Burger Bar

15 August 2015 9:00 am

Should we have celebrated VJ Day? Hearing the hieratic tones of the Emperor Hirohito on Radio 4 the other day,…

The Alster: Hamburg’s centrepiece

Wealthy, cosmopolitan – and sometimes rough: the secrets of Hamburg (and my grandmother)

15 August 2015 9:00 am

‘What was it like growing up in Liverpool?’ a journalist asked John Lennon. ‘I didn’t grow up in Liverpool,’ he…

If the government have their way, will Radio 4’s dramas be broken up by ads for dentures?

1 August 2015 9:00 am

‘Bait by Cartier,’ she growls as her priceless diamond bracelet is strapped to a piece of rope and dropped overboard…

I can understand those seduced by Isis; once, it could have been me

25 July 2015 9:00 am

One of the great moments of my student life was opening the door and seeing visitors step back, shocked. I’d…

The new adventures of the adventure playground

25 July 2015 9:00 am

Are adventure playgrounds set to make a comeback, asks Maisie Rowe

Who dares lies: why do so many men pretend to have been in the SAS?

18 July 2015 9:00 am

Why do so many men (including Sir Christopher Lee) fib about serving with the SAS?