Charles Saumarez Smith rss

‘Returning from Brooks’s’ by James Gillray (1784)

Where the Whigs went

25 January 2014
Brooks’s, 1764–2014 Charles Sebag-Montefiore and Joe Mordaunt

Crook Brooks’s, pp.216, £40, ISBN: 9781907372612

A book about one of the London clubs, published to mark its 250th anniversary, might be regarded as of extremely limited public appeal, designed only for the enjoyment of its… Read more


Rus in urbe

The London Square: Gardens in the Midst of Town Todd Longstaffe-Gowan

Yale, pp.304, £30

One of the pleasures of my week is walking across St James’s Square. The slightly furtive sense of trespassing as one opens the ironwork gates; the decision as to whether… Read more


Last of the swagmen

17 March 2012
Spitalfields Life the Gentle Author

Saltyard Books, pp.448, 20

I have hitherto resisted my wife’s frequent recommendations that I should read a daily blog about the life of the denizens of Spitalfields, but, now that they have been published… Read more

Singing in exultation

13 December 2006

Every Christmas, I face the problem of choosing an official card. The National Gallery Company sends through the range of choice some time in June, when it all seems far… Read more

God’s house with many mansions

Christ’s: A Cambridge College over Five Centuries edited by David Reynolds

Macmillan, pp.266, 25

Institutional history is a tricky genre, so prone to over-reverence, so likely to be tedious to anyone but those attached to the institution described. So it was superficially brave of… Read more

Temples of culture under siege

27 December 2003
Whose Muse? Art Museums and the Public Trust edited by James Cuno

Princeton University Press, pp.224, 19.95

A couple of years ago, I was walking up Quincy Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts with Ivan Gaskell, a curator at the Fogg Art Museum, when he asked if I had… Read more