Welcome to the autumn issue of Spectator Life. This is my first issue as editor and you’ll notice a few changes. I wanted to give the magazine a clear structure, so this issue has a beginning (Front), a middle (Features) and an end (The Back Pages). I also wanted to create more fixtures and fittings — editorial content that recurs in every issue — so you’ll find a number of new columnists such as Roger Scruton (Bad Philosophy), Merryn Somerset Webb (The Investor’s Bookshelf), Bruce Palling (The Wine List), Sarah Vine (The Adventures of Mrs Toad) and Candida Crewe (Single Life), as well as several regular slots written by guest contributors: Pundits in Peril, My Holiday Hell and Gentrified. Sean Langan’s contribution to My Holiday Hell — an account of his Airbnb disaster in Washington DC — is a humdinger.
I’ve been writing a weekly column for The Spectator since 1998 and I’ve tried to give this magazine a more Spectator-ish feel. I don’t just mean more contributions from the magazine’s roster of excellent writers, such as Douglas Murray, Freddy Gray and Damian Thompson, but also a more irreverent tone. If you read Meirion Jones’s profile of Alan Yentob, you’ll see what I mean. Also, keep an eye out for our new website — life.spectator.co.uk — which will be updated every week.
I haven’t done any magazine editing since working for Vanity Fair in the mid-1990s and would have fallen down several mineshafts if it weren’t for the constant handholding of Spectator Life’s brilliant deputy editor Danielle Wall. I hope you enjoy reading this issue as much as I’ve enjoyed putting it together.