History

How Britannia got her trident

23 July 2016 9:00 am

How Britannia got her trident Parliament voted to renew Trident as Britain’s independent nuclear deterrent. But what about Britannia and…

Wasps

Why all civilised people should love wasps

23 July 2016 9:00 am

All gardeners, and all readers, have reason to thank them

German infantry retreating across the desolate countryside near Chemin des Dames, 1916 (Photo: Getty)

The Spectator’s peace terms, 1916

16 July 2016 9:00 am

From ‘Terms of peace’, The Spectator, 15 July 1916: As the man in the street might say, ‘The Allies are not…

(Photo: Getty)

Joseph Chamberlain, Theresa May's new lodestar

16 July 2016 9:00 am

Joseph, not Neville

Is football now bigger than rugby in Wales?

25 June 2016 8:00 am

Big game hunt Wales beat Russia 3–0 to finish above England in their group at the European Football Championships. Which…

Capability and mustard: Gatton Park

A Capability Brown jewel hiding just outside the M25

18 June 2016 9:00 am

Gatton Park is probably Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown’s least famous landscape. It is tucked away near Reigate Hill, just beyond the…

The clock is ticking: women paint luminous dials in 1932

The Radium Girls — still glowing in their coffins

11 June 2016 9:00 am

On the morning of 15 October 1927, a dim, autumn day, a group of men foregathered at the Rosedale cemetery…

Welcome to Wilson (Photo: Getty)

1916: Sorry, President Wilson, but this is not a gentlemanly war

4 June 2016 9:00 am

From ‘President Wilson and the Lessons of History’, 2 June 1916: Emphatically it is not a war of what we…

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

Live like a laird: Brodie Castle

The saddest, most romantic view in Britain

4 June 2016 9:00 am

Is there a more forlornly romantic spot in Britain than the moors east of Inverness where the Jacobite dream died?…

Matt Lucas in A Midsummer Night's Dream

BBC1’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream seems deliberately designed to flush out purists

4 June 2016 9:00 am

Spoiler alerts aren’t normally required for reviews of Shakespeare — but perhaps I’d better issue one before saying that in…

Gentlest and sweetest of dogs

Beautiful, wilful, never dull: in praise of Clumber spaniels

7 May 2016 9:00 am

For the first time in more than 30 years we have no Clumber spaniel. We have had five: Henry, Judith,…

Britain’s fight with European law goes back 750 years

30 April 2016 9:00 am

It is no surprise that the laws imposed on the UK by a European parliament in Brussels should so infuriate…

Benjamin Franklin in London, with the bust of Isaac Newton on his desk

Benjamin Franklin: from man about town to man on the run

27 February 2016 9:00 am

Just who was Benjamin Franklin? Apart, that is, from journalist, statesman, diplomat, founding father of the United States, inventor of…

Turkish invaders: soldiers marching in Damascus (Photo: Getty)

What to do about Syria – the view from 1916

6 February 2016 9:00 am

From ‘The future of Syria’, The Spectator, 5 February 1916: We say with all the emphasis at our command, and…

Cecil John Rhodes (Photo: Getty)

Here’s my solution to the problem of what to do with the statue of Cecil Rhodes at Oriel College

23 January 2016 9:00 am

Lobengula was the second king of the Matabele people in what is now Zimbabwe. He was also the last. Cecil…

Like southern France — with added kangaroos

The lovely Clare Valley, like southern France with added kangaroos

23 January 2016 9:00 am

It is a century and a half since The Spectator noted the exceptional qualities of South Australia, a colony of…

Small comfort: a mother, whose only son was killed in a car accident at the age of 23, holds a picture of him as a child. Many such bereaved parents, unable to conceive again and struggling to support themselves in later life, say they have nothing left to live for

China’s brutal one-child policy will be catastrophic for us all

16 January 2016 9:00 am

China’s brutal one-child policy was not only inhuman; it will profoundly damage the rest of the world, says Hilary Spurling

Ancient and Modern

2 January 2016 9:00 am

In Living with Difference, a think-tank report on the problems raised by a multi-faith UK, the chair Baroness Butler-Sloss says…

Margaret Thatcher, with Geoffrey Howe, Keith Joseph, John Nott, Norman Tebbit  (Photo: Getty)

The Field Marshal, the restaurateur and the wine family

2 January 2016 9:00 am

As the bottles flowed, the talk ranged, to a serious vineyard, an awesome Field Marshal and a delightful restauranteur. For…

Mel Gibson in Braveheart (Photo: Getty)

The top loo books of 2015

21 November 2015 9:00 am

There is not, sadly, a dedicated Trivia Books section in your local Waterstones, although at this time of year there…

The Tower of Babel by Lucas van Valckenborch, 1591

The buildings we treasure most are often the ones we’ve never seen

14 November 2015 9:00 am

Here are two books which have almost nothing in common: form, function, source material, methodology, all utterly different. The surprise…

Fair, just, brave: George Bell, Bishop of Chichester 1929–1958

The Church of England’s shameful betrayal of bishop George Bell

7 November 2015 9:00 am

The Church of England has rushed to posthumously condemn one of the greatest men it has produced

Kandy mountains: buzzing bees and cigarette trees, pretty much

Sri Lanka makes me yearn to be a pre-war tea planter

17 October 2015 9:00 am

James Delingpole tastes bliss in the steamy heat

The frigate ?Coquille? anchored near Ascension Island, 1822-1825.

Notes from a very small island: wonderful, eccentric Ascension

17 October 2015 8:00 am

A toast to Ascension Island – remote, eccentric, and now vital to the space race – on its 200th birthday