History

Why the City must let German bankers back, 1916

19 November 2016 9:00 am

From ‘English versus German banking’, The Spectator, 18 November 1916: At the present moment a good many of us are in…

Mike Pence

Could vice-president Mike Pence be the most powerful man in America?

19 November 2016 9:00 am

Veep Mike Pence is the new president’s link to his party

Ideas for shortening the war, 1916

12 November 2016 9:00 am

From ‘How to Shorten the War. I. Prisoners’, The Spectator, 11 November 1916: Unless we altogether mistake the mental character of…

The library photographed in 1958

The north London library that helped create the Russian Revolution

12 November 2016 9:00 am

There’s a small corner of Clerkenwell where the communist dream never died. The Marx Memorial Library has been in its…

The glamour and pathos of death in war

5 November 2016 9:00 am

From ‘Romance’, The Spectator, 4 November 1916: There is indeed a glamour and a pathos about the private soldier, especially when, as so…

George V’s greatest gift to his ministers: silence

22 October 2016 9:00 am

From ‘A Royal contribution’, The Spectator, 7 October 1916: His Majesty has passed through troublous times, in the constitutional controversy, in…

‘Y’all just follow me…’

Hospitality and historic horror in Mississippi

15 October 2016 9:00 am

Driving into Greenwood after dark, we pull into a gas station and ask directions to a late-night grocery store. ‘Sir……

Looking for hope on the Somme, 1916

24 September 2016 9:00 am

From ‘The Battle of the Somme’, The Spectator, 23 September 1916: It may prove to be the fact that the battle…

My eerie visit to Buckingham Palace in the 1830s

17 September 2016 9:00 am

The borderline between fact and fiction becomes ever hazier, I find. Last February, Daisy Goodwin — the author of the…

The bullet-ridden plaque to Nelson in Napoleon’s Corsica

3 September 2016 9:00 am

European unions come and go. Back in 1794, one of the more improbable ones was founded when Corsica joined Britain…

Churchill: no motive 'except that of personal advancement'

3 September 2016 9:00 am

From ‘Mr Churchill’s misfire’, The Spectator, 2 September 1916: There is nothing that democracy so much hates as unfair privilege, and Mr Churchill…

Rievaulx: only swifts and pigeons break the silence

Stay amid the stones of Rievaulx

3 September 2016 9:00 am

We’re so used to looking at the abbeys smashed up by Henry VIII — particularly Rievaulx and Byland, in north…

I have no interest in hearing Melvyn bragging about the North

3 September 2016 9:00 am

The last thing we need right now, in these divisive times, is a series that spends all its time crowing…

English cricket clubs are mad to stay away from Zimbabwe

3 September 2016 9:00 am

Make sure you tell everybody about Zimbabwe,’ said the lady at our block of flats in suburban Harare as we…

Where ‘taxi’ really came from

3 September 2016 9:00 am

Old Quentin Letts was on the wireless the other day asking ‘What’s the point of the London black cab?’ Between…

Would you recognise this face? Mussolini back in 1924, on a drive with his pet lion cub, Ras

A beautiful place to die: Mussolini at Lake Como

27 August 2016 9:00 am

If your destiny is to be shot dead with your mistress, where better than Lake Como, which, in the words…

Sketch of Dr James Barry

Doctor in disguise: the secret life of James Barry

27 August 2016 9:00 am

On 25 July 1865, during a heatwave, Dr James Barry died of dysentery in his London lodgings. A charwoman came…

A toast to the glories of Provence

27 August 2016 9:00 am

Friends have a house in Provence, near the foot of Mont Ventoux. Even in a region so full of charm…

Team GB is a near-perfect post-Brexit ideal

20 August 2016 9:00 am

Throughout our holiday, reports from Rio rippled in — last thing at night, first thing in the morning — a…

How to name an aeroplane, 1916

20 August 2016 9:00 am

From ‘News of the Week’, The Spectator, 19 August 1916: The Parliamentary Air Committee having recently inhaled much ozone at…

The case against an early election, 1916

13 August 2016 9:00 am

From ‘Restless politicians’, The Spectator, 12 August 1916: Even those journals which a few months ago were most zealous for…

The true queen of the Eighties wasn't Thatcher – it was Delia, according to the Beeb

13 August 2016 9:00 am

Proof that someone has really made it as a TV historian comes, I would suggest, when they join the likes…

Sir Walter Scott and some of his most famous creations, by E.F. Skinner

Scottish literature’s long and splendid history

30 July 2016 9:00 am

There is an immediate problem for anyone producing a guide to places in Scotland with literary connections: as Walter Scott…

Is there no such thing as new science?

30 July 2016 9:00 am

Rupert Sheldrake had it coming. In A New Science of Life (1981), he argued that animals and plants have inherited…

St Mark’s Gospel is as good as EastEnders

30 July 2016 9:00 am

More brides in Britain go down the aisle to Gloria Gaynor’s ‘I Will Survive’ than to any other tune, Simon…