History

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A 1992 election-day lunch with the young David Cameron

25 April 2015 9:00 am

Lunch with a young Cameron on polling day, 1992

A portrait of Raymond Carr as Warden of St Antony’s College, Oxford, by his son Matthew

An education to know: remembering Raymond Carr

25 April 2015 9:00 am

Laughter, bird-watching and erudition with Raymond Carr

Mary Shelley by Richard Rothwell

There’s something about Mary (Wollstonecraft and Shelley)

25 April 2015 9:00 am

If Mary Wollstonecraft, as she once declared, ‘was not born to tred in the beaten track’, the same with even…

Following Galileo’s discoveries, a rugged, cratered moon is depicted (with papal approval) by Ludovico Cigoli in his ‘Assumption of the Virgin in the Pauline Chapel’

Moving heaven and earth: Galileo’s subversive spyglass

11 April 2015 9:00 am

We live in an age of astronomical marvels. Last year Europe’s Rosetta spacecraft made a daring rendezvous with the comet…

Ernest Bevin Photo: Getty

The triumph of Guatemalan rum (and a disaster for a Guatemalan ambassador)

11 April 2015 9:00 am

For many years, the Central American republic of Guatemala had a grievance against the United Kingdom. It claimed sovereignty over…

Unity Mitford

‘You are always close to me’: Unity Mitford’s souvenirs of Hitler

28 March 2015 9:00 am

Hitler’s adoring notes to Unity Mitford – and her family’s campaign to stop my book

Although Keynes hated his appearance, he was much painted by the Bloomsbury Group, including by Roger Fry (above)

John Maynard Keynes: transforming global economy while reading Virginia Woolf

28 March 2015 9:00 am

To the 21st-century right, especially in the United States, John Maynard Keynes has become a much-hated figure whose name is…

(Photo: Getty)

The lost words of John Aubrey, from apricate to scobberlotcher

21 March 2015 9:00 am

Hilary Spurling found a certain blunting of the irregularities of John Aubrey’s language in Ruth Scurr’s vicarious autobiography of the…

How (not) to poison a dog

14 March 2015 9:00 am

Deadly to dogs An Irish setter was allegedly poisoned at Crufts, using beef containing slug pellets. Some other substances with which dog-show rivals…

Self confessed mass murderer Anders Breivik Photo: Getty

Anders Brievik: lonely computer-gamer on a killing spree

14 March 2015 9:00 am

In 2011, Anders Breivik murdered 69 teenagers in a socialist summer camp outside the Norwegian capital of Oslo, and eight…

books

John Aubrey and his circle: those magnificent men and their flying machines

14 March 2015 9:00 am

John Aubrey investigated everything from the workings of the brain, the causation of winds and the origins of Stonehenge to…

How long is it since anniversaries stopped being measured in years?

7 March 2015 9:00 am

‘You must promise to be with us for our silver wedding D.V. which will be in four years,’ wrote Queen…

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Sir James Goldsmith

Zac Goldsmith: How my dad saved Britain

28 February 2015 9:00 am

If you’re grateful not to be in the euro, it’s James Goldsmith and his ‘rebel army’ you should thank

Portrait of Lord Dufferin, 1893

The first Lord Dufferin: the eclipse of a most eminent Victorian

28 February 2015 9:00 am

The first Marquess of Dufferin and Ava is largely forgotten today — rotten luck for the great diplomat of the…

WRACS Celebrate

VE day anniversary: why politics will take second place the day after the election

21 February 2015 9:00 am

Will politics take second place the day after the election?

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Rowleys is Did Mummy Love Me Really? food – and it’s perfect

21 February 2015 9:00 am

I think Rowley’s is the perfect restaurant; but I am really a gay man. Rowley’s is at 113 Jermyn Street…

A sniff of the ancient world: Fez’s tanneries

A walk through Fez is the closest thing to visiting ancient Rome

14 February 2015 9:00 am

Fez is one of the seven medieval wonders of the world. An intact Islamic city defined by its circuit of…

That annoying ‘likely’ is more old-fashioned than American

14 February 2015 9:00 am

What, asks Christian Major of Bromley, Kent, do I think of ‘this new, I assume American, fad for using the…

Spectator letters: Oxfam’s Ebola appeal; what Cumberbatch should have said; and why Prince Charles is right and wrong

7 February 2015 9:00 am

In defence of Oxfam Sir: Mary Wakefield rightly praises Médecins sans Frontières but makes many misinformed claims about Oxfam and…

A Palestinian boy during a rally in Beit Hanun in the northern Gaza Strip, 2015

Tony Judt: a man of paradox who made perfect sense

7 February 2015 9:00 am

Tony Judt was not only a great historian, he was also a great essayist and commentator on international politics. Few…

Ep6

History is the art of making things up. Why pretend otherwise?

31 January 2015 9:00 am

In a recent interview, the celebrity historian and Tudor expert David Starkey described Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall as a ‘deliberate…

Muriel Lester looks on as John Galsworthy lays a brick at the foundation ceremony for the Kingsley Hall Photo: Getty

Muriel and Nellie: two radical Christians build Jerusalem in London’s East End

31 January 2015 9:00 am

This is the tale of Muriel Lester, once famous pacifist and social reformer, and Nellie Dowell, her invisible friend. Nellie…

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Tom Holland’s diary: Fighting jihadism with Mohammed, and bowling the Crown Prince of Udaipur

24 January 2015 9:00 am

As weather bombs brew in the north Atlantic, I’m roughing it by heading off to Rajasthan, and the literary festival…

Soldier, poet and author Siegfried Sassoon (1886 - 1967 Photo: Getty

Standing firm is the price of civilisation. Are we still ready to pay it?

17 January 2015 9:00 am

Reading Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man, as I have recently, you cannot help but be struck by what a perfectly…