the Reformation

When atheists stole the moral high ground

9 November 2019 9:00 am

In 1585, Jacques du Perron presented to the court of the French king Henry III, as a kind of after-dinner…

James Simpson’s provocative book draws primarily on literary evidence, with Milton as its presiding genius

The brutish origins of British liberalism

16 February 2019 9:00 am

If the road to hell is paved with good intentions, the one to heaven may be surfaced with bad ones.…

Sheep being milked in a pen. (From the Luttrell Psalter, English School, 14th century)

Wool, wheat and wet weather

12 August 2017 9:00 am

Englishness is big business in the nation of shopkeepers, and not just in politics and tourism. In literature, the gypsy…

John Knox (Photo: Getty)

John Knox: like the blast of 500 trumpets

2 May 2015 9:00 am

John Knox, Cranmer complained, was ‘one of those unquiet spirits, which can like nothing but that is after their own…

Henry VIII, Edward VI, Charles I, George VI and George V

Game of thrones: five kings spanning five centuries launch a new series on royalty

3 January 2015 9:00 am

Nigel Jones reviews the first five titles to appear in a new series on British monarchs

Portrait of Thomas Cromwell wearing ‘the George’, by Hans Holbein

Thomas Cromwell: more Tony Soprano than Richard Dawkins

23 August 2014 9:00 am

The travel writer Colin Thubron once told me that to understand a country and its people he first asks, ‘What…

How we lost the seasons

4 January 2014 9:00 am

... for tomorrow traditional seasonal rituals may just be ghostly memories of a vanished world, says Melanie McDonagh