Non-fiction

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Not quite cricket

7 April 2012 10:00 am

To the French, Albion’s expertise in perfidy will come as no surprise. But centuries of warfare have given them time…

The attraction of repulsion

31 March 2012 11:00 am

Take some boiled maize, chew it, spit it out, put the mixture into an urn, bury it, dig it up…

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A fine and private painter

31 March 2012 11:00 am

Prunella Clough was a modest and self-effacing artist who nevertheless produced some of the most consistently original and innovative British…

Going ethnic

31 March 2012 11:00 am

Tyler Cowen, a professor of economics at George Mason University, has been keenly interested in food for years. Besides being…

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Prophetic times

31 March 2012 11:00 am

Philip Hensher traces the emergence of Islam as a political and cultural force in the crowded world of late antiquity

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A gruesome sort

31 March 2012 10:00 am

Everybody knows that the heart pumps blood around the body, and that a man called William Harvey somehow discovered this…

Pawns in the game

31 March 2012 10:00 am

The authors of this book have attempted a difficult thing: to ‘write about something that could never be known’. Here…

Special providence …

31 March 2012 10:00 am

When Ed Smith became a full-time professional cricketer for Kent in 1999 the county side was preparing for the new…

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Searching for a saviour

31 March 2012 10:00 am

The central themes of Russian history have remained constant for over a millennium.  Russia’s vast spaces and lack of any…

Ways of making men talk

24 March 2012 12:15 pm

Eric Rosenbach is a former academic who is now deputy assistant secretary of defence in Washington. Aki Peritz used to…

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Architectural bonsai

24 March 2012 12:00 pm

In the summer of 1961 I was in my second year at Magdalen College, Oxford with rooms in the 18th-century…

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Who are the losers now?

24 March 2012 12:00 pm

The second world war was the most destructive conflict in human history, but the victors have fared worse than the vanquished, says Paul Johnson

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Siege mentality

24 March 2012 11:00 am

The mirrored sunglasses worn by Putin on the cover of Angus Roxburgh’s The Strongman give the Russian president the look…

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Bookends: A matter of opinion

24 March 2012 10:00 am

In an age when the merely mildly curious believe they can get all they really need to know from Wikipedia…

Lest we forget

17 March 2012 11:15 am

It was not possible, as Primo Levi memorably wrote, to convey the full horror of the Nazi extermination camps because…

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Hero of his own drama

17 March 2012 11:00 am

Sam Leith is enthralled by the larger-than-life genius, August Strindberg — playwright, horticulturalist, painter, alchemist and father of modern literature

Here be monsters

17 March 2012 10:00 am

The lovely title of this book comes from the philosopher David Hume. The question he posed was this: if a…

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Last of the swagmen

17 March 2012 10:00 am

I have hitherto resisted my wife’s frequent recommendations that I should read a daily blog about the life of the…

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Agreeing to differ

17 March 2012 10:00 am

‘Frankie and Johnny were sweethearts; Lordie, how they could love.’ The ballad has many variant versions but the denouement is…

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Inflated dreams

17 March 2012 10:00 am

When almost every tale about the Arctic has been told, when the major explorers have been assessed and re-assessed, when…

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Bookends: A life of gay abandon

17 March 2012 9:00 am

Sometimes, only the purest smut will do. Scotty Bowers’s memoir, Full Service: My Adventures in Hollywood and the Secret Sex…

Africa’s excesses

17 March 2012 9:00 am

There are an awful lot of prostitutes in Africa and most of them seem to pass through the pages of…

Abiding inspiration

17 March 2012 9:00 am

In 1971 looking back over his life, Lionel Trilling (1905-1975) declared himself surprised at being referred to as a critic.…

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A paralysed landscape

10 March 2012 11:00 am

‘Very, very, very sexy’, a field-researcher scratches in his Antarctic notebook. He is describing a meteorite the size of a…

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The triumph of failure

10 March 2012 11:00 am

In l958, my hero in life, the person I most wanted to be, was Keith Dewhurst. I had arrived on…