It was in his room in Magdalen College, Oxford, in 1875 that Oscar Wilde said, ‘I find it harder and harder every day to live up to my blue china.’ Now, more than 130 years after he left Magdalen, with a double first in classics, the room has been decorated in his memory by Robert Douglas-Fairhurst, a Magdalen Fellow.
Foreign money now dominates at the most traditional of summer fixtures
Some schoolboys used to know about Alexander the Great (356–323BC), how he extended the Macedonian Empire from Greece to India, cut the Gordian knot, and wept when there were no more worlds to conquer. Fewer schoolboys — or grown-ups — will know how skilled, and moving, the art of the Macedonian court was. Now they can, thanks to an exhibition at the Ashmolean, Heracles to Alexander the Great (until 29 August).
The making of Mount Street
The surprising return of the public lecture
Harry Mount tracks Roman footsteps in Provence
Harry Mount looks across the Dardanelles and sees yesterday’s weather today
Bettany Hughes is the Nigella Lawson of the classical world — all tumbling raven curls and smoky-voiced seduction, as she takes telly viewers through the greatest hits of the olden days; recent programmes have covered the Spartans, Athens and the Bible.
New Labour Islington is no more – it is now an area for Tory-voting bankers
The United States is almost as segregated under Obama as it was in the time of Martin Luther King
Harry Mount regrets that his favourite coastline in Wales has been turned into a scene from Baywatch by posturing RNLI lifeguards roaring around on quad bikes
Tim Waterstone is the man who set up the bookshop chain in 1982, so you might expect him to have read a few books, and be OK at writing them.
Why do 21st-century Englishmen turn into such slobs in summertime? Harry Mount laments the rise of sleeveless vests, baggy shorts and plastic sandals
The Greek and Roman Collections
Sculpture Promenade 2010
Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, until 28 January 2011
Harry Mount watches Nick Griffin try to win round the disgruntled former Labour voters of Dagenham and Barking — if he wasn’t so ridiculous, he might be dangerous
Ronald Searle, who turned 90 this month, talks to Harry Mount about being captured by the Japanese, chronicling the 1950s and inventing both St Trinian’s and Molesworth
We are so overwhelmed by petty laws that it has become impossible to get through the day without committing a crime, says Harry Mount
Britain in the 21st century has finally abandoned faded beauty, says Harry Mount, and fallen for the sterile minimalism of the international rich
How can we expect our children to grow up, asks Harry Mount, when British culture is becoming increasingly babyish — full of primary colours and little letters
A decade after the first elections to the National Assembly of Wales, Harry Mount says that the principality is at last escaping its dire caricature. No, really
Harry Mount celebrates the 60th anniversary of Carol Reed’s masterly film The Third Man with a tour of Harry Lime’s postwar Vienna — the true star of the movie
Harry Mount traces the fictional tracks of Charles Pooter
But private schools, private tutors and bestselling books are filling the vacuum, says Harry Mount. Larkin was right: there is a hunger in us all ‘to be more serious’
Harry Mount on the fate of Georgian country houses in Ireland
Beyond the Work of One — Oxford College Libraries and their Benefactors
The Bodleian Library, Oxford, until 1 November, admission free