Lead book review

At the Opera’ by Thomas-Francis Dicksee;

Boxed and stalled

8 December 2012 9:00 am

That the operatic tradition survives at all is a marvel, says Philip Hensher; but it would be even better if the repertory could move with the times

An Irish peasant girl with her family’s last few possessions after eviction for non-payment of rent (The Illustrated London News)

A deeply stricken country

1 December 2012 9:00 am

Ireland has suffered bitterly over the centuries through war and want. And the disastrous famine of 1845-9 proves in itself a divisive subject, says Paul Johnson

Books of the year

24 November 2012 9:00 am

A  further selection of the best books of 2012, chosen by some of our regular contributors

Books of the year

Books of the year

17 November 2012 9:00 am

A selection of the best books of 2012, chosen by some of our regular contributors

Nostalgic nationalist piety

10 November 2012 9:00 am

Roger Scruton’s vision of a tolerant, age-old Anglicanism — church bells echoing over the countryside, calling the faithful to prayer — doesn’t ring true to Simon Jenkins

A family at war

3 November 2012 9:00 am

Philip Hensher finds nothing very sinister or sensational about the 9th Duke of Rutland censorsing his own archives

Ace of bureaucrats

27 October 2012 9:00 am

Though the name ‘Raffles’ conjures up exoticism and glamour, the man himself turns out to be a bit of a disappointment, says Sam Leith

The sage of Aix

20 October 2012 9:00 am

Paul Cézanne, though hailed by Pissarro as ‘the genius of the future’, was never recognised as one in his lifetime, says Richard Shone

Love letters to foreign lands

13 October 2012 9:00 am

The writer Patrick Leigh Fermor was not only brave, charming and cultivated. He had a knack of getting under the skin, says Philip Mansel

Blackmail, bribery and bullying

6 October 2012 9:00 am

The postwar Communist takeover of Eastern Europe might have been resisted, argues Norman Stone, if the various opposition parties had stood firmer

Smackhead cows in the backyard

29 September 2012 9:00 am

Philip Hensher is unimpressed by J. K. Rowling’s much heralded move into adult fiction

The authorised version

22 September 2012 9:00 am

It is no surprise that politics and religion should once again take centre stage in this familiar account of the Tudor ‘golden age’, says Sam Leith

A way with clay

15 September 2012 9:00 am

A.N.Wilson's latest novel celebrates the genius of Josiah Wedgewood, perhaps the greatest potter of all time. It's a labour of love, says Richard Ryder

Models of impropriety

1 September 2012 8:00 am

The ethereal romanticism of Pre-Raphaelite painting was a far cry from the lives of the artists themselves, says Tom Hodgkinson