Laura Freeman

I’m shouting it loud: I’m proud to be a prude

22 April 2017 9:00 am

Forget compromises – women must learn to say ‘no, I’d rather not’

The latest first novels are full of violence, loss and grief

22 April 2017 9:00 am

If you go down to the woods today… That is the starting point for Idaho by Emily Ruskovich, who grew…

A Neapolitan quartet, Naples 1955

How on earth do you put 1,600 pages of Elena Ferrante on stage?

4 March 2017 9:00 am

How do you distil Elena Ferrante’s monumental Neapolitan quartet into four acts over two evenings? Laura Freeman finds out

‘Allegro Moderato Fireman’s Parade’ (from the Calcium of Light portfolio), 1974–76, by Eduardo Paolozzi

Paolozzi was not a slim man but you have to run to keep up with him

25 February 2017 9:00 am

Rudolfo Paolozzi was a great maker. In the summer, he worked almost without stopping in the family’s ice-cream shop, making…

Rodin’s ‘Gates of Hell’: more than 300 figures, including a panther-like Eve

Why Auguste Rodin preferred to sculpt women who couldn’t sit still

18 February 2017 9:00 am

The girl who posed for Auguste Rodin’s figure of Eve on the ‘Gates of Hell’ was, the sculptor said, a…

Longing for a back-of-cab kiss? Then don’t get an Uber

11 February 2017 9:00 am

How Uber is killing the back-of-cab clinch

‘Ossie Wearing a Fairisle Sweater’, 1970, by David Hockney

Colour, heat and sex: David Hockney at Tate Britain reviewed

11 February 2017 9:00 am

No Californian could have painted Hockney’s pools. No La-La Land artist, raised on sun and orange juice, would have done…

Rackham frontispiece: ‘Hey! Up the chimney, Lass! Hey after you!’, from ‘The Ingoldsby Legends, or Mirth & Marvels’

Disney, Biba, Laura Ashley, Tim Burton – all owe a debt to the great Arthur Rackham

7 January 2017 9:00 am

Laura Freeman celebrates the riotous imagination of tidy, thrifty, cautious Arthur Rackham

Is The Evenings really the best Dutch novel of all time?

31 December 2016 9:00 am

Most of us lead lives of quiet desperation. So we’re told. Frits van Egters apparently leads a life more desperate…

‘Hello… can you put Nigel Slater on the line?’

The Princess and the Pea? I know just how she feels

3 December 2016 9:00 am

Have you, on hearing the story of the princess who felt a pea through 40 feather mattresses, ever thought that…

The white stuff: drawing showing sections of the stucco interiors at 20 Portman Square, c.1775, by Robert Adam

Three cheers for stucco – which The Spectator once called 'immoral'

19 November 2016 9:00 am

Whenever the words ‘stucco house’ appear in the newspapers, you can be certain the occupiers have been up to no…

Button up your overcoat before settling down with Ed O’Loughlin

29 October 2016 9:00 am

Brrrrr, this is a chilly book. Each time a character put on his sealskin kamiks, muskrat hat, wolfskin mittens and…

Hardy perennial: a crowd in the V&A Cast Courts

The best – and worst – places for a V&A assignation

24 September 2016 9:00 am

Thomas Hardy, while still married to his first wife Emma, but arranging assignations in London with Florence, his second-wife-to-be, used…

Why quiet is becoming the ultimate luxury

17 September 2016 9:00 am

I’ve heard the future, and it’s quiet

What makes a great art room in school? It’s all about the mess

10 September 2016 9:00 am

School art studios should be all about the creative atmosphere – and the mess, says Laura Freeman

The taste of freedom and sunburnt holidays

The taste of freedom, sunburnt holidays and pocket money to burn

30 July 2016 9:00 am

It was a mistake to tell us about the gelati-to-sightseeing ratio. This was the formula my father, his younger sister…

Astonishing splashes of colour: historiated initial from a gradual, Entry into Jerusalem (c.1410–20), by Cristoforo Cortese

From purple goats to monkeys bottoms – the joy of medieval manuscripts

30 July 2016 9:00 am

From purple goats to monkeys’ bottoms, Laura Freeman on the delights of medieval manuscripts

Robots will not take over the world

9 July 2016 9:00 am

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE - Forget those sci-fi visions of androids run amok. Smart machines are all about saving lives, says Laura Freeman

‘Sausage Shop’, 1951, by Stanley Spencer

In our fondness for his roses we have cut off Stanley Spencer’s thorns

2 July 2016 9:00 am

In our fondness for his roses we have cut off Stanley Spencer’s thorns. It’s time to see beyond the wisteria blossom, says Laura Freeman

Our sinister, soul-sapping happiness industry

25 June 2016 9:00 am

Ever feel a moment of melancholy? There are many, many apps for that

For the ultimate posh picnic, the sky’s the limit

11 June 2016 9:00 am

Hoping for a clear blue summer of al fresco dining? Laura Freeman finds the ultimate kit for the poshest picnics

Cartoon for St Luke, Chichester Cathedral Tapestry, 1965, by John Piper

The shimmering, restless, groovy fabrics of John Piper

21 May 2016 9:00 am

A story John Piper liked to tell — and the one most told about him — is of a morning…

The power of napping... how a daytime doze can boost memory and beat pain

7 May 2016 9:00 am

A daytime doze can boost memory and even overcome pain

It starts with tidying your sock drawer. It ends with emptying your mind

16 April 2016 9:00 am

It starts with tidying your sock drawer. It ends with emptying your mind