A.N. Wilson on the mysterious life of John Meade Falkner
Geoffrey Wheatcroft remembers the idiosyncratic historian whose funny, sharp reviews were only bettered by his exquisitely entertaining letters
Why is a fish like a bicycle? Pedro Friedeberg’s letters to Duncan Fallowell may provide a clue at last
Duncan Fallowell on the elusive Mexican artist and man-of-letters who has been his friend and faithful correspondent over many years — though they have never met
News of Michel Houllebecq’s Soumission caused such a stir that the book was pirated online before publication. David Sexton reports on the latest literary event in France
Mark Amory remembers a close friend and trusted reviewer
If it’s all right with you, I’d like to launch a campaign please. Right here. You may be wanting me…
The 10 best loo books of 2014: why we sing so much better in the shower and what became of Queen Victoria’s children’s milk teeth
Nancy Mitford would not call them ‘toilet books’, that’s for certain. Loo books? Lavatory books? One or two people I…
Graham Robb on the book currently taking France by storm
The full series of the Maigret novels, together with some of the romans durs, are being republished by Penguin Classics at a rate of one per month. Patrick Marnham salutes a magnificent long-term project.
From Two More Pints by Roddy Doyle (Cape, £7.99, pp. 114, ISBN 9780224101899).
Between the brothers Peter and Ian Fleming, Fionn Morgan wonders who was the better writer and who the better man
On Laurie Lee’s centenary, Jeremy Treglown wonders how the writer’s legacy stands up
Christopher Maclehose recalls his dealings with the author of the Flashman novels, George Macdonald Fraser
In Dylan Thomas’s centenary year, Hilly Janes recalls her father’s friendship with the poet and his visits to the Boat House at Laugharne
Hugo Williams describes his early association with The Exploding Galaxy — a group of innovative artists, musicians, poets and dancers that burst on the London scene in the late 1960s
Louise Welsh rarely repeats herself, a quality to celebrate in a crime novelist. Her latest novel, A Lovely Way to…
Rumer Godden’s An Episode of Sparrows, first published in 1955, focuses on the roaming children — the ‘sparrows’ — of a shabby street in bomb-torn London. When ten-year-old Lovejoy Mason finds a packet of cornflower seeds and decides to create an ‘Italian’ garden hidden in a rubble-strewn churchyard, the consequences are life-changing for all who become involved. Below is the foreword to a recent reissue of the novel (Virago Modern Classics, £7.99, Spectator Bookshop, £7.49).