Books

The real villain of the House of York was Richard III’s elder brother

2 November 2019 9:00 am

Trying to describe the outcome of the Wars of the Roses — the fall of the House of York —…

My short, bitter-sweet marriage to the radical historian Raphael Samuel

2 November 2019 9:00 am

In a telling moment early on in A Radical Romance, Alison Light admits that she once identified with the character…

Spooky stories for Halloween

2 November 2019 9:00 am

It is surely significant that Ed Parnell’s first novel The Listeners was an updated examination of themes latent in Walter…

The daring curiosity of Blondie’s Debbie Harry

2 November 2019 9:00 am

My admiration for Deborah Harry goes back a long way and — fittingly for a woman who even as a…

Is there no field in which the Jewish mindset doesn’t excel?

26 October 2019 9:00 am

David Crane describes the astonishing explosion of Jewish talent in the arts, sciences, politics and philosophy – just as anti-Semitism in Europe was plumbing new depths

London has a genius for self-renewal — but what do we miss as a result?

26 October 2019 9:00 am

In the autumn of 1987, after London had been hit by a fierce storm, Simon Jenkins wandered through Bloomsbury and…

Jamal Khashoggi’s assassination was one of the century’s blackest farces

26 October 2019 9:00 am

The story of Jamal Khashoggi’s death is well known. A prominent Saudi journalist, he walked into his nation’s consulate in…

A cross between Joyce Grenfell and Frida Kahlo: Tove Jansson, creator of the Moomins

26 October 2019 9:00 am

In 1971, Tove Jansson paid one of her many visits to London, where 1960s fashion hangovers made the whole city…

A sublime lyricist, but no letter writer: Cole Porter’s correspondence is sadly wit-free

26 October 2019 9:00 am

‘In olden days, a glimpse of stocking/ Was looked on as something shocking’, carolled the company of Cole Porter’s 1934…

Whatever happened to glasnost and perestroika?

26 October 2019 9:00 am

This is a timely book. It addresses the challenges of a fractious and fractured Europe. The first word of the…

Could AI enslave humanity before it destroys it entirely?

26 October 2019 9:00 am

Depending on how you count, we are in the midst of the second or third AI hype-bubble since the 1960s,…

Brexit has at least inspired John le Carré — his thriller on the subject is a cracker

26 October 2019 9:00 am

Since 1903, when Erskine Childers warned of the rising tide of German militarism that preceded the first world war in…

Nick Lowe is that rare phenomenon — the veteran rock star who improves with age

26 October 2019 9:00 am

It is to Nick Lowe’s everlasting credit that in May 1977, a few months after David Bowie released the album…

Our appetite for ‘folk horror’ appears to be insatiable

26 October 2019 9:00 am

This eerie, shortish book apparently had an earlier outing this year, when it purported to be a reissue of a…

Edith Nesbit — a children’s writer of genius who disinherited her own adopted offspring

26 October 2019 9:00 am

‘When one writes for children,’ the novelist Jill Paton Walsh has said, ‘there are more people in the room. Writing…

An unconventional biography of the visionary architect Frank Lloyd Wright

19 October 2019 9:00 am

Stephen Bayley welcomes a sprawling life of Frank Lloyd Wright – cad, fantasist, genius

The concluding volume of Charles Moore’s life of Margaret Thatcher is – as its predecessors are – a triumph

19 October 2019 9:00 am

This outstanding biography comes to an end, not in an atmosphere of triumph and achievement, but in a welter of…

Two wide-ranging collections of short stories by and about women

19 October 2019 9:00 am

Zadie Smith’s first collection of short stories shows that she can pack all the astute social commentary of her novels…

The grand old man of nature writing continues his noble crusade

19 October 2019 9:00 am

Richard Mabey is the grand old man of nature writing. He has produced 40 books in his noble crusade against…

A prince among men: could Albert have changed the course of history?

19 October 2019 9:00 am

Double identities have never been rare: Norman French conquered England. Anglo Irish led its armies to victory. German Jews helped…

Three remarkable sisters at the heart of 20th-century Chinese politics

12 October 2019 9:00 am

Hilary Spurling tells the tale of three remarkable siblings and their influence on politics in 20th-century China

David Cameron’s For the Record ends where the sorriest three years in modern British history begin

12 October 2019 9:00 am

It’s fun to look for what’s missing in a memoir; the forgotten egos, the policy howlers buried for posterity. Some…

A work of art in more ways than one

12 October 2019 9:00 am

Neil Hegarty’s new novel, The Jewel, is a mass of contradictions. It’s about an art heist, but it’s not fun.…

Living on a nuclear submarine does your head in

12 October 2019 9:00 am

Richard Humphreys spent a good part of five years, between the ages of 18 and 23, living inside a nuclear…

Oswald of Northumbria – an Anglo-Saxon saint-king of the north for our time

12 October 2019 9:00 am

In Hamlet a gravedigger asks the riddle: ‘What is he that builds stronger than either the mason, the shipwright, or…