The Week

Leading article

Portrait of the week


Remembering the genius of Clive James

‘Clive James Stirs.’ That was the standard subject line for the emails I used to get from the great Australian polymath. I liked it. It cast him, I thought, as a sort of barnacled kraken — still hanging in there, occasionally roused to action. He was usually submitting a new poem. For a while, after

Ancient and modern

We could certainly do with a Tacitus now

As a contemporary John Clapham reported, Queen Elizabeth I ‘had pleasure in reading the best and wisest histories’, and translated the Roman historian Tacitus as a ‘private exercise’. This has been confirmed by a manuscript of a translation of Tacitus corrected by her, recently discovered in Lambeth Palace. But what on earth was she doing


What weather records were broken in 2019?

Keeping it in the family A study by the Middle East Technical University claimed to prove that the pronounced chin of Charles II of Spain and many of his Habsburg relatives was the result of marriage between cousins. Some royals who went even further: — Tutankhamun’s wife Ankhesenamun is believed to have been his half-sister.