Books

Haslam

Clothes to die for

12 December 2015 9:00 am

People tend to use the term ‘fashion victim’ somewhat damningly — and maybe jealously — to describe someone obsessed by…

Oliver Sacks (Photo: Getty)

Oliver Sacks bids farewell in style

12 December 2015 9:00 am

‘I cannot say there is no vanity in making this funeral oration of myself, but I hope it is not…

Davies

A journey through magic across three millennia

12 December 2015 9:00 am

With the briefest of introductions to each chapter, it is up to the reader to decide how they want to…

Orson Welles: ‘I started at the top and worked my way down’

Homage to awesome Welles on his centenary

12 December 2015 9:00 am

One day in May 1948 in the Frascati hills southeast of Rome, Orson Welles took his new secretary, Rita Ribolla,…

Chrissie Hynde (Photo: Getty)

Chrissie Hynde writes like an angel on angel dust

12 December 2015 9:00 am

‘The day I found out that Suzi Quatro wasn’t a dyke was the worst day of my life!’ a teenage…

Mass For Four Voices

A Horrible History of English Hymns

12 December 2015 9:00 am

Given that for much of English history the country’s main musical tradition was that connected with the church, it is…

Kukula

The Star of Bethlehem finds a new dedicated follower

12 December 2015 9:00 am

It’s hard to imagine Christmas without stars. They perch at the top of fir trees, glitter from greeting cards and…

India

Scents and sensibility

12 December 2015 9:00 am

Choosing to smell of something other than ourselves, and then perhaps in time coming to view that fragrance as ‘our’…

Journalist A.A. Gill (Photo: Terry O'Neill/Getty)

From Adrian Gill to A.A. Gill — with love and thanks

12 December 2015 9:00 am

Often, Christmas is a time for moaning after the night before, when the seasonal drinking is remembered (if remembered at…

The Silver Ghost, illustrated by Stefan Marjoram

Brian Sewell votes the Silver Ghost the best car in the world

12 December 2015 9:00 am

One of the great joys of the late Brian Sewell’s style of writing was his almost child-like bluntness. He had…

Spot-the-line-of-poetry

Spot the line of poetry

12 December 2015 9:00 am

Test your knowledge

(Photo: Getty)

The smoking diary of Gregor Hens

12 December 2015 9:00 am

The link between smoking and self-expression is long-established. The only thing worse than not being able to smoke, says Will…

Hilly, wife of Kingsley Amis, in Swansea

Larkin’s misty parks and moors — in all their lacerating beauty

12 December 2015 9:00 am

When Philip Larkin went up to St John’s College, Oxford, in the early 1940s, he found himself in a world…

‘Second Empire Renaissance’ (from Pillar to Post). ‘Its most notable feature was the mansard roof. However suitable this device may be on top of the Louvre, it altogether fails to produce an effect of inevitable rightness amid the less exalted surroundings of Victoria Station.’

Osbert Lancaster: a national treasure rediscovered

12 December 2015 9:00 am

True to his saw that ours is ‘a land of rugged individualists’, Osbert Lancaster, in his self-appointed role of popular…

Answers to ‘Spot the Line of Poetry’

12 December 2015 9:00 am

1. Ill-met by moonlight (Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream) 2. Hope springs eternal in the human breast (Pope’s ‘An Essay…

A portrait by Edward Savage of the Washingtons at home, with two of Martha’s grandchildren, adopted by her after the death of their parents

George and Martha Washington were an odd first First Couple

5 December 2015 9:00 am

Frances Wilson on America’s likeable, if unlikely, first First Couple

Paratroopers are dropped to reinforce trapped French troops at Dien Bien Phu, 1954

Hubris made the 20th century the bloodiest in history

5 December 2015 9:00 am

Sir Alistair Horne, like that other great knight of military history, Sir Michael Howard, served in the Coldstream Guards during…

The Allied generals Jake Devers, Oliver Leese, Wladyslaw Anders and Kazimierz Sosnkowski reach the Eighth Army Headquarters. Italy, 1944 (Photo: Getty)

General Anders to the rescue

5 December 2015 9:00 am

Until Poland joined the EU in the 1990s, the biggest single influx of Poles into this country was in the…

Portrait of Richard III by an unknown artist

Richard III: a bad man — and even worse king

5 December 2015 9:00 am

When archaeologists unearthed the battered mortal remains of King Richard III beneath a council car park in Leicester in 2012,…

William Shakespeare

Shakespeare with or without the waffle

5 December 2015 9:00 am

30-Second Shakespeare: 50 key aspects of his works, life and legacy, each explained in half a minute sounds trivial, but…

Guy Burgess

James Klugmann and Guy Burgess: the wasted lives of spies

5 December 2015 9:00 am

Geoff Andrews’s ‘Shadow Man’, James Klugmann, was the talent-spotter, recruiter and mentor of the Cambridge spy ring. From 1962, aged…

iStock_000008666672_Small

The real gardeners’ questions answered

5 December 2015 9:00 am

Why is it that gardening in the public prints is so often treated as a fluffy subject for fluffy people?…

Erl-King

Schubert’s Lieder as never before

5 December 2015 9:00 am

There can be no good reason why Graham Johnson’s marvellous three-volume encyclopaedia of Schubert’s songs has been so neglected by…

Maldives

The Maldives: sun, sand and fanaticism

5 December 2015 9:00 am

Suddenly, the Maldivians are in the news. Earlier this year, they locked up their first democratically elected president, and just…

Portrait of the Duke of Buckingham by Peter Paul Rubens

Was King James I murdered or merely poisoned in error?

5 December 2015 9:00 am

Beware hedonists bearing white powder. This, in part, was the message pressed in a short book about the excesses of…