A review of Owning the Past: Why the English Collected Antique Sculpture, 1640 - 1840, by Ruth Guilding. Treats include an illustration of a pair of cleaning ladies in the hall at Castle Howard
A review of Bolano: A biography in Conversations. More of a whimsical detective novel than a real biography
Still, the pictures are nice. A review of New York Mid-Century: Post War Capital of Culture, 1945 - 1965, with contributions by Annie Cohen-Solal, Paul Goldberger and Robert Gottlieb
A review of Unchosen: The Memoirs of a Philo-Semite, by Julie Burchill. You can sum up this memoir in a sentence: Jews are smarter than the rest of the world, so suck it up gentile losers!
A review of A Writer's Garden: How Gardens Inspired Our Best-Loved Authors, by Jackie Bennett, with photographs by Richard Hanson. This visually appealing book includes everything from John Clare's cottage garden to Robert Burns's farm
A review of Joan Littlewood: Dreams and Realities, by Peter Rankin. Shakespeare was too politically middle-of-the-road to make the grade and the second world war was 'boring'
A review of Any Other Business, by Martin Vander Weyer. An ode to the latest in a fine line of Spectator City correspondents
In our own troubled times it is useful and comforting to recollect that ’twas ever thus. Violent threats against prominent politicians? Jenny Uglow reminds us that in 1802 Colonel Edward Despard, a British officer turned radical agitator, was the last… Read more
A review of Matchbox Theatre: Thirty Short Entertainments, by Michael Frayn. Other loo books may sell more come Christmas but none will bring more joy than this collection of ingenious playlets
A review of Lamentation, by C.J. Sansom. This latest instalment of the Matthew Shardlake series maintains momentum over 600 pages
A review of Centuries of Change, by Ian Mortimer. It’s a book that is at its best offering counter-intuitive thoughts on the medieval period
When you compare Shami Chakrabarti's On Liberty with John Stuart Mill's, Mill leaves Chakrabarti standing
A review of Consumed, by David Cronenberg. The Canadian director-turned-author has arrived in his new medium with a number of unfortunate mutations
A review of Being Mortal: Illness, Medicine and What Matters in the End. This is that rare thing: a truly important book
As you would expect, it’s impossible to read this book without drawing fairly direct comparisons between its author and its subject. In promotional exchanges, with the well-worn practice of self-deprecation, its author will of course insist that there is no… Read more
If you want Sharpe-like drama, go for Bernard Cornwell. For Eurocentric revisionism, go for Tim Clayton. If you’re short of time, there’s Brendan Simms’s 80 pager. But in a class of its own is former soldier Robert Kershaw making ‘order out of disorder’