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Charles Moore

The crisis at the heart of the National Trust

When Tim Parker announced his resignation as chairman of the National Trust last week, it was a first. Since it was founded in 1895, the Trust has endured many controversies, but until now the shared acceptance of its founding purposes has seen it through. The very first meeting proposed a body ‘for the holding of

How TikTok can turn a book into a bestseller

I have an American friend who loves reading, but is clueless about technology. The last time I visited him he was still using Internet Explorer, which even Microsoft has given up on. My friend was puzzled when he walked into his local bookshop and was met by a table of books with the sign ‘#BookTok

What does your wedding reading say about you?

Arts journalism, like crime, doesn’t pay. So I’ve been thinking of getting a side hustle. ‘You know about books and stuff,’ say friends who are getting married. ‘What should we have for our readings?’ If I can advise friends, why not strangers? By the laws of wedding economics — pick a number and add some

The ‘clean meat’ revolution is coming

On 19 December last year, some chicken nuggets were sold in a restaurant called 1880, in Singapore. This doesn’t sound like a significant turning point in history, but it was. That small plate of chicken nuggets might well have been the start of a major industrial, social and cultural revolution — one the UK needs

Why Chinese women don’t want more children

Years after my mother and I left China, I found out the real reason why. A neighbour had reported my mother for being pregnant with her second child. She was paid a visit by local officials who gave her a choice: she could either take herself to the abortion clinic or they’d take her there

The Dickensian delights of London in lockdown

I’m blessed by the fact that I live almost smack-bang in the middle of old London, a pebble’s toe punt from St Paul’s cathedral. Being an aficionado of Charles Dickens and J.B. Priestley, I’ve been able to wander along empty streets and alleys that have been immortalised in such novels as Angel Pavement and Bleak

There was no Hillsborough ‘cover-up’

Eight years ago, I was instructed as leading counsel for two South Yorkshire Police officers who had overseen the force’s evidence-gathering in response to the Hillsborough stadium disaster. They were accused of trying to minimise the blame placed on the police by amending witness statements. It has been the longest and most challenging assignment of

Notes on...

Do you speak Viking?

Supposedly 5 per cent of words in English are borrowed from Old Norse. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but much of our key vocabulary was brought over in longboats: ‘get’, ‘take’, ‘give’ and ‘egg’ are all derived from the language of the Vikings. Indeed, it took the Saxons centuries to thwart the gangs of