Ysenda Maxtone Graham

(Photo by Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

I’ve seen the future of English education, and it makes me sad

22 October 2016 9:00 am

A typical Kentish town, with its grammar school at one end and its secondary school at the other, is a…

Back in business: Professor James Malone-Lee at Whittington Hospital

Snakes and bladders: how patients saved a pioneering medic cast down by NHS rules

22 October 2016 9:00 am

How patient power rescued the work of a pioneering medic cast down by NHS rules


HS2 is a triumph of male vanity. Theresa May should kill it

27 August 2016 9:00 am

Time is running out to kill HS2. Theresa May should act now

Beach murder antique illustration

Murder most foul in Victorian Greenwich

23 July 2016 9:00 am

With the current political saga running in our heads, trumping all other stories, it has been hard to concentrate on…

New potatoes on a market stall

The original Metric Martyrs are still waiting for a royal pardon

9 July 2016 9:00 am

Campaigners for the original Metric Martyrs feel their time has finally come

Neil Kinnock Unveils An English Heritage Blue Plaque To Nye Bevan And Jennie Lee

Warning: there’s a plague of fake blue plaques

4 June 2016 9:00 am

One of the great distinctions and pleasures of British life has been devalued by cheap imitations

Bridge Club (Photo: Getty)

No place for sissies among the Bridge Ladies of Connecticut

28 May 2016 9:00 am

Not a single line of this highly distinctive memoir happens out of doors. All of it takes place in rooms:…


The price of a cathedral – and how deans pay it

26 March 2016 9:00 am

Deans are facing tough decisions to keep their beautiful buildings in good order

Though they never went quite as far as these schoolgirls, good deportment was enforced with rigour at Cheltenham in the 1950s

Horrible histories of the famously austere Cheltenham Ladies’ College in the 1950s

12 March 2016 9:00 am

Ysenda Maxtone Graham contrasts chilly 1950s tales of the famously disciplined Cheltenham Ladies’ College with life at the school today


A mother-son relationship that made me feel sick

12 March 2016 9:00 am

A boy, a car, a journey, a question: the first sentence of Elizabeth Day’s new novel goes like this: From…


The most annoying word in advertising

5 March 2016 9:00 am

There’s a plague of first-person advertising

Sir Michael Wilshaw visits the Windrush Nursery in Woolwich (Photo: Getty)

Private-school ‘superheads’ are a publicity-seeking waste of time

20 February 2016 9:00 am

Private-school ‘superheads’ are wonderful for publicity.They may not be so good for teaching

Author John Irving (Photo: Getty)

John Irving spoilt my Christmas

23 January 2016 9:00 am

This novel, John Irving’s 14th, took the sheen off my Christmas, and here are the reasons.   The comments on…


The best short story collections — from childish gabbling to jaded nihilism

28 November 2015 9:00 am

Anyone who enjoyed Ali Smith’s novel How to be Both, with its charmingly loopy monologue of an Italian Renaissance painter…

‘Have you done this in class?’ Essays often require a lot of help from parents – and Wikipedia

What’s the point of homework?

19 September 2015 9:00 am

Homework is meant to inculcate a love of learning in students, but Ysenda Maxtone Graham thinks it’s at least as likely to do the reverse


The perfect big bang that opens this book was too good to be true

19 September 2015 8:00 am

Houses, as any plumber will testify, do sometimes blow up in gas explosions, destroying their contents and inhabitants, but would…


Breast-feeding isn't always best

29 August 2015 9:00 am

New mothers who can’t keep to the breast-feeding orthodoxy face needless misery and shame


Bubble-wrap, berry-picking and the secret pleasures of destruction

25 July 2015 9:00 am

The secrets of bubble-wrap and other delicious little sensations


Which comes first — the chicken or the pig?

13 June 2015 9:00 am

Here are two parallel books, both by Americans, both 260 pages (excluding indexes) long, both using ‘likely’ as an adverb.…


What does your front garden say about you?

23 May 2015 9:00 am

What does your front garden say about you?

‘Ass And The Angel’. A child kisses a donkey at the seaside, circa 1935. Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images

Brian Sewell does some donkey work: how Britain’s best-known art critic put his ass on the line

4 April 2015 9:00 am

I suppose all children’s authors write the stories they would have liked to read as children. But in the case of…


In praise of messy old kitchens

28 March 2015 9:00 am

Against sterile modern kitchens

Few shall be chosen… perhaps only one in eight

The truth about private school admissions

14 March 2015 9:00 am

Your child may not Get In, says Ysenda Maxtone Graham


It takes a village (or six): the battle for rural churches

21 February 2015 9:00 am

Can England’s 10,000 rural churches survive?


How to stop being scared of full stops

24 January 2015 9:00 am

Modern manners and the fear of the full stop