Books

Liberal lefties should relish hating the Daily Mail while they can

15 April 2017 9:00 am

According to Private Eye, executives at the Daily Mail were alarmed by the impending publication of Adrian Addison’s new history…

Making amends to Native Americans may be endangering their history

15 April 2017 9:00 am

A few years ago, a group of Native American leaders drove 12 hours from Oklahoma to Denver Museum of Nature…

The picture-postcard English village has long been a sham

15 April 2017 9:00 am

The old coaching inn on the green. The Sunday morning toll of church bells. The ducklings paddling on the pond.…

‘The Death of Lord Robert Manners’ by Thomas Stothard

The short, heroic life of Lord Robert Manners

15 April 2017 8:00 am

In the north transept of Westminster Abbey, there is a memorial by Joseph Nollekens to three British captains killed at…

Turner’s Stonehenge is strewn with the bodies of sheep and their shepherd, victims of an electrical storm

Romancing the standing stones

15 April 2017 8:00 am

If Britain’s prehistoric monuments have had a magnetic attraction for generations of artists, it is perhaps because they have long…

A computer illustration of people in cryogenic pods

Who on earth wants to live forever with the people who want to live forever?

15 April 2017 8:00 am

Are you a deathist? A deathist is someone who accepts the fact of death, who thinks the ongoing massacre of…

Nicky Beard on holiday in Cornwall shortly before his death

The tragedy of a brother’s drowning

8 April 2017 9:00 am

Nicholas Shakespeare is full of admiration for Richard Beard’s painful inquest into the death of his brother

Sign for a thermopolium (taverna) in Pompeii, depicting a phoenix, with the inscription ‘Phoenix Felix et Tu’ – ‘the Phoenix is happy (or lucky) – and you!’

The myth and magic of the phoenix

8 April 2017 9:00 am

The most appealing phoenix in literature is surely the eponymous bird from E. Nesbit’s 1904 classic, The Phoenix and the…

César Aira is a master of the supernatural

8 April 2017 9:00 am

The Argentinian writer César Aira is a prodigy: at the age of 68 he has published, according to a ‘partial…

Fresh-faced and knowing: Charlotte Rampling in the 1970s

The sexy inscrutability of Charlotte Rampling

8 April 2017 9:00 am

This slight book comes with heavy baggage. In 2009, Rampling handed back a hefty advance for her contribution to a…

Maud Russell: mistress of Mottisfont Abbey — and Ian Fleming

8 April 2017 9:00 am

The name Maud Russell creeps almost apologetically into a few 20th-century diaries such as those of her friend Violet Bonham…

How Min Kym’s life became unstrung

8 April 2017 9:00 am

Min Kym is a violinist, but if you Google her name you won’t find sound-clips or concert reviews, touring schedules…

Murder and mayhem in 18th-century Bristol

8 April 2017 9:00 am

Helen Dunmore’s new novel concerns lives, consequential in their day, that pass away into utter oblivion. Appropriately, the ‘solitary and…

The Mountains of Parnassus: Czeslaw Milosz’s curious sci-fi experiment

8 April 2017 9:00 am

Science fiction is not the first thing one thinks of in connection with the Polish poet Czeslaw Milosz, though the…

Ferdinand Mount at the 2010 Edinburgh International Book Festival

Ferdinand Mount is the most supple and clear-sighted novelist I can name

8 April 2017 9:00 am

Ferdinand Mount published his first novel 50 years ago. But his fiction deserves to be better known, says Richard Davenport-Hines

As early as 1895, Octave Uzanne foresaw ‘the end of books’ with the invention of the portable audiobook. Illustration from ‘Contes pour les bibliophiles’

Why The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie could not be read aloud

8 April 2017 9:00 am

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The cacao tree in flower and fruit. Its only pollinators are flies — so without flies there would be no chocolate

Flies, bees and chocolate trees

8 April 2017 9:00 am

It is estimated that the world’s insects perform an annual pollination service for all humankind worth $215 billion. In return,…

Self-portrait

David Jones – the 20th century’s great neglected genius

1 April 2017 9:00 am

When Stravinsky visited David Jones in his cold Harrow bedsit, he came away saying, ‘I have been in the presence…

Has Jonathan Lethem read every book ever published?

1 April 2017 9:00 am

According to Martin Amis in The Information, the last person to have read every book ever published was Coleridge. Faced…

The greatest forgotten achievement of the second world war

1 April 2017 9:00 am

During and after the second world war the Fourteenth Army in Burma became famous as the Forgotten Army, almost as…

The best new thrillers are intense family dramas

1 April 2017 9:00 am

A young Norwegian police officer finds a rusting vintage car inside a locked and disused barn, and the presence of…

Anna Magnani: Fellini describes her circling the Pantheon, laden with bags, feeding stray cats

How the body of a young woman washed up on a beach soured the dolce vita

1 April 2017 9:00 am

Shawn Levy specialises in chronicling 20th-century hotspots such as London in the Sixties and Sinatra’s Vegas. Here, he turns his…

Why is Tim Parks so obsessed with adultery?

1 April 2017 9:00 am

Tim Parks is a writer of some very fine books indeed, which makes it even more of a shame that…

Not everyone’s dream: the Simpson Desert, Australia

Flatness is far from boring, as Barry Higman demonstrates

1 April 2017 9:00 am

On the website of the Australian National University in Canberra, emeritus professor of history Barry Higman lists his research interests…

Hari Kunzru’s White Tears feels like a racial revenge fantasia

1 April 2017 9:00 am

The title might be taken as a provocation. In the compressed language of digital media, white tears, like first-world problems…