Books

Who needs Jordan Peterson when we have Ferdinand Mount?

5 May 2018 9:00 am

You will by now doubtless be familiar with the University of Toronto academic Jordan Peterson. He’s the unlikely YouTube star…

John Hoyland, 7.11.66, 1966

The London painters that conquered the world

5 May 2018 9:00 am

This is an important, authoritative work of art criticism that recognises schools of painters, yet displays the superior distinctions of…

The young Descartes: I fought, therefore I thought

5 May 2018 9:00 am

Descartes is most generally known these days for being the guy who was sure he existed because he was thinking.…

Above: The Spangled Cotinga of the Amazon Rainforest is one of the seven species known to fly-tiers as the Blue Chatterer. Left: The Resplendent Quetzal, found from Chipias, Mexico to Western Panama

The most bizarre museum heist ever

28 April 2018 9:00 am

Maggie Fergusson discovers a strange fraternity for whom exotic plumage is a criminal passion

Kitty Marion: too radical even for the suffragettes

28 April 2018 9:00 am

The suffragettes are largely remembered not as firestarters and bombers but as pale martyrs to patriarchy. The hunger artists refusing…

A disturbing psychological experiment involving secrecy, small boys and sharp knives

28 April 2018 9:00 am

Gina Perry is the eminent psychologist who blew apart Stanley Milgram’s shocking revelations from his 1961 research. Milgram had caused…

Britain was utterly wretched in 1975. No wonder Europe seemed a better bet

28 April 2018 9:00 am

‘I voted to stay in a common market. No one ever mentioned a political union.’ It is the complaint of…

In rebel-held territory, two boys contemplate the rubble of Daraa, September 2017

The tragedy of Syria: how protest spiralled into savagery

28 April 2018 9:00 am

The fateful day five years ago began like any other for the family. A pot of black tea with cardamon…

‘A verger’s dream: Saints Cosmas and Damian performing a miraculous cure by transplantation of a leg’. The Spanish altarpiece by the Master of Los Balbases depicts a vision described in Jacobus de Voragine’s late medieval Legenda Aurea. (From Medieval Bodies, by Jack Hartnell)

Will ‘I’m a Tudorbethan, Get Me Out of Here’ be hitting our screens soon?

28 April 2018 9:00 am

Are books becoming an adjunct to TV? Both of these are good reads, but both feel influenced by — and…

An intense conversation about life, love and writing with Deborah Levy

28 April 2018 9:00 am

Deborah Levy draws her epigraph for The Cost of Living from Marguerite Duras’s Practicalities: ‘You’re always more unreal to yourself…

The daring exploits of Romain Gary

28 April 2018 9:00 am

When Romain Gary, a courageous and much decorated pilot in the RAF’s Free French squadron, was presented to the Queen…

Millions of copies of Stalin’s works were printed,but few survive

From Stalin’s poetry to Saddam’s romances: the terrible prose of tyrants

28 April 2018 9:00 am

‘Reading makes the world better. It is how humans merge. How minds connect… Reading is love in action.’ Those are…

A single mother hits rock bottom in Tokyo: Territory of Light reviewed

28 April 2018 9:00 am

Before her death two years ago, Yuko Tsushima was a powerful voice in Japanese literature; a strong candidate for the…

How I singlehandedly kept the Will Self industry going

28 April 2018 9:00 am

In 1994, Matthew De Abaitua, an aspiring writer and student on East Anglia’s Creative Writing MA, applies for a job…

Texas: the myriad contradictions of the Lone Star state

21 April 2018 9:00 am

Texas is beautiful, barren, corrupt, honourable, a red state with a blue majority. Michael Moorcock enjoys the startling contradictions

Where are the heirs of Zola? The writer photographed in his sumptuous study

Is there no end to books on the ‘end of France’?

21 April 2018 9:00 am

Here is a detail that says a lot. In the French translation of this latest book by the Israeli historian…

Did the Grenfell Tower fire put paid to the social housing ideal?

21 April 2018 9:00 am

As a schoolboy, I used to go round to my best mate Mike’s home. It was a good place: a…

For the man who has everything, only a space rocket will do

21 April 2018 9:00 am

Today’s VHNWI wants a PRSHLS. That’s Very High Net-Worth Individual and Partially Reuseable Super Heavy Lift System. Or, in the…

Guess who’s coming to dinner with Angela Huth?

21 April 2018 9:00 am

Anglea Huth, the broadcaster and author of some 18 books, has now written her memoirs, Not the Whole Story. And…

Pathos and humanity in pictures of abject misery

21 April 2018 9:00 am

In 1971 the late Linda Nochlin burst onto the public scene with her groundbreaking essay, ‘Why Have There Been No…

What does John Gray’s anti-atheism amount to?

21 April 2018 9:00 am

K. Chesterton, in one of his wise and gracious apothegms, once wrote that ‘When Man ceases to worship God he…

Our sheltered lives have made us overly fearful: Aminatta Forna’s Happiness reviewed

21 April 2018 9:00 am

In her keynote lecture for a conference on ‘The Muse and the Market’ in 2015 Aminatta Forna mounted a powerful…

Inger Nilsson as Pippi Longstocking in the Swedish television series. Astrid Lindgren drew deeply on her own childhood for her books

There’s much of Astrid Lindgren in the carrot-haired rebel Pippi Longstocking

21 April 2018 9:00 am

Pippi Longstocking is a nine-year-old girl who lives alone with a monkey and horse in a cottage called Villa Villekulla…

With Leonardo, improbable speculations are never-ending, The Da Vinci Code enthusiasts see the figure of St John (on the right in this detail of ‘The Last Supper’) as Mary Magdalene, hiding in plain sight

The codes and codswallop surrounding Leonardo da Vinci

14 April 2018 9:00 am

Leonardo da Vinci has suffered more than most artists from fake history and misinterpretation. But it doesn’t make him any less fascinating, says Martin Gayford

The changing face of war and heroism

14 April 2018 9:00 am

On War and Writing by Samuel Hynes is hardly about war at all. There is little about combat here, or…