T.S. Eliot

Pam Tanowitz’s Four Quartets is a revelation

1 June 2019 9:00 am

T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets is full of music and movement. The players, such as they are, slip, slide, shake, tumble,…

Would Faber & Faber still exist without T.S. Eliot?

27 April 2019 9:00 am

Like many a 20th-century publishing house, the fine old firm of Faber & Faber came about almost by accident. The…

Exemplary candour: detail from Paula Rego’s ‘Abortion Sketches’ (1998)

Worth a trip for the David Joneses alone: Journeys with ‘The Waste Land’ reviewed

24 February 2018 9:00 am

To bleak, boarded-up Margate — and a salt-and-vinegar wind that leaves my face looking like Andy Warhol’s botched 1958 nose-peel…

The best kind of poem: England on two wheels

The English countryside on two wheels is like the best kind of poem

25 November 2017 9:00 am

No seat belts. No airbags. Just air, and coming at you as fast as you like. Motorcycling shouldn’t be allowed,…

… trailing strands in all directions

29 July 2017 9:00 am

Letters of Intent — letters of the intense. Keen readers of Cynthia Ozick (are there any other kind?) will of…

Down and Out in Paris and London is a chav safari

30 April 2016 9:00 am

Down and Out in Paris and London is a brilliant specimen from a disreputable branch of writing: the chav safari,…

George Bell in his study at Chichester Palace in 1943

George Bell: witness to the truth

2 April 2016 9:00 am

George Bell (1883–1958) was, in many respects, a typical Anglican prelate of his era. He went to Westminster and Christ…

Groucho Marx (Photo: Getty)

When Groucho Marx lectured T.S. Eliot

27 February 2016 9:00 am

Groucho Marx was delighted when he heard that the script for one of his old Vaudeville routines was being reprinted…

‘The Evening’ by Caspar David Friedrich

At the going down of the sun

6 February 2016 9:00 am

One of the epigraphs to Peter Davidson’s nocturne on Europe’s arts of twilight is from Hegel: ‘The owl of Minerva…

The confessions of Gerard Manley Hopkins

9 January 2016 9:00 am

‘I am 12 miles from a lemon,’ lamented that bon vivant clergyman Sydney Smith on reaching one country posting. He…

How pop is Peter Blake?

5 December 2015 9:00 am

Painters and sculptors are highly averse to being labelled. So much so that it seems fairly certain that, if asked,…

Illustration by Jane Ray for Kevin Crossley-Holland’s Heartsong

The best children’s authors of 2015 — after David Walliams

28 November 2015 9:00 am

The easy way round buying books for children at Christmas is just to get them the latest David Walliams and…

Charles Williams: sadist or Rosicrucian saint?

14 November 2015 9:00 am

Charles Williams was a bad writer, but a very interesting one. Most famous bad writers have to settle, like Sidney…

‘Capel-y-ffin’, 1926–7 (watercolour and gouache)

David Jones: painter, poet and mystic

26 September 2015 8:00 am

David Jones (1895–1974) was a remarkable figure: artist and poet, he was a great original in both disciplines. His was…

Sebastian Faulks returns to the psychiatrist’s chair in Where My Heart Used to Beat

12 September 2015 9:00 am

There can hardly be two novelists less alike than Sebastian Faulks and Will Self, in style and in content. Faulks…

Helen Vendler is full of condescending waffle (and not just when she’s attacking me)

25 July 2015 9:00 am

Is it possible to tell a good poem from a bad one? To put the question another way: are there…

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…

Tom Eliot — a very practical cat. Did T.S. Eliot simply recycle every personal experience into poetry?

31 January 2015 9:00 am

The musical Cats reopened in the West End in December, with a judge from The X Factor in the lead…

Chico, Harpo and Groucho Marx (left to right) enjoy a day at the races

What unites Churchill, Dali and T.S. Eliot? They all worshipped the Marx Brothers

10 January 2015 9:00 am

‘I had no idea you were so handsome,’ Groucho Marx wrote to T.S. Eliot in 1961 on receiving from him…

‘Some find their death by swords and bullets; and some by fluids down the gullet’. Thomas Rowlandson’s illustration of ‘The English Dance of Death’ by William Combe, 1815 — a satire on the evils of drinking gin

Enjoy gin but don’t read books? Or read them only while drinking gin? This is the book for you

6 September 2014 9:00 am

Gin Glorious Gin: How Mother’s Ruin Became the Spirit of London is a jaunty and diverting history of ‘a wonderful…

Sorbet with Rimbaud

23 August 2014 9:00 am

The Bloomsbury of the title refers to the place, not the group. The group didn’t have a poet. ‘I would…

The mad, mum-fixated maiden aunt of modernism

7 December 2013 9:00 am

Marianne Moore’s poems are notoriously ‘difficult’ but her personality and the circumstances of her life are as fascinating today as…