Before the establishment of penal settlements in Australia, British convicts were transported to brutal slave garrisons on the West African coast. Sam Leith describes this disastrous experiment
English patriotism was still a force in 1914.
Britain recovered from the humiliating loss of her American colonies surprisingly swiftly. But a harsh fate awaited many of her loyalist supporters, according to John Preston
In a market town in Kent at the time of Thatcher’s Britain, Charles Pemberton attends the town’s minor public school where his businessman father is a governor.
On 2 January, 1980, a new decade was ushered in with a strike by steelworkers.
Tony Blair gave his record in government ten out of ten, though an ungrateful electorate scored rather less well and his Cabinet colleagues performed even worse.
The craters are all filled in, the ruins replaced, and the last memories retold only in the whispery voices of the old.
Why are scholars so prone to melancholy? According to the expert, Robert Burton of Christ Church, it is because ‘they live a sedentary, solitary life...
Seventy years after the RAF repelled the Luftwaffe, the Battle of Britain continues to have a powerful resonance.
Alistair Urquhart describes himself as ‘a lucky man as well as an angry man’.
When I was at Eton, many years before David Cameron, much of the school was run by a self-elected society known as ‘Pop’.
When the Kenyan human rights campaigner, Maina Kiai, recently addressed the House of Commons, his list of policy recommendations probably surprised many MPs.
‘I was not an enthusiast about getting US forces and going into Iraq,’ Dick Cheney said in 1997, looking back on the First Gulf War.
This is a long book, but its argument can be shortly stated.
A great deal of time in Neel Mukherjee’s A Life Apart and Max Schaefer’s Children of the Sun is spent in gents’ public toilets — cottaging being a key feature of both debuts — and yet such is the elegance and intelligence of their prose, the reader comes away feeling educated rather than soiled.
In a sense, as this interest- ing collection of his writings makes clear, Rudyard Kip- ling was always abroad.
It is more than ten years since Natasha Walter published The New Feminism, a can-do look at the ‘uniquely happy story’ of the women’s movement.
Lance Price is better placed than most to write about ‘spin’ in politics, having worked as a BBC political reporter and as Alastair Campbell’s deputy in Downing Street.
William Pitt the Elder, Earl of Chatham was hailed by Victorian schoolboys as the man who made England great.
What was it about post-war British cinema? Our films were lit up by a collection of wonderfully idiosyncratic performers.
You may find this book irritating. A complex exposition of 2,000 years of history, it is intended for the general reader, whoever he is (a general reader would surely not attempt it), so its source material is not identified but tidied away into long footnotes, presumably on the principle of pas devant la bonne.
Very funny guy, John O’Farrell.
Men of War: Courage under Fire in the 19th-century Navy, by David Crane
The Movement Reconsidered: Larkin, Amis, Gunn, Davie and their Contemporaries, edited by Zachary Leader
When the Lights Went Out: Britain in the Seventies, by Andy Beckett