The Week

Leading article

Boris Johnson must hold his nerve over lifting restrictions

A charge repeatedly made against Boris Johnson over the past 16 months is that he has ‘ignored scientific advice’. But unless he has been in the habit of drumming his fingers on the table and looking out of the window while Professor Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance have made their presentations, it is a

Portrait of the week


A quiet revolution for our times may have begun

I’ve been amazed by the response to my decision to leave my band, Mumford & Sons. The article in which I explained why has now been read 700,000 times and has been republished by newspapers in the UK, the US and Germany. My main hope in publishing it was to restore my own sense of

Ancient and modern

What the Romans would have made of Diana’s statue

The recently unveiled funerary monument of Princess Diana prompts comparison with Greek and Roman archetypes. To many, Diana was a heroic figure. Greek sculptors represented females as dignified figures, intricately coiffed, in graceful, loose-fitting, free-flowing tunics and ankle-length cloaks, with contrasting vertical and diagonal folds. Males were nude, a public statement of power and physical


Who was the first to wear a face mask?

Mask crusader Who first wore a medical face mask? — The beaked outfits worn by plague doctors aside, the first doctor to wear a mask was the French abdominal surgeon Paul Berger in 1897. His mask, made from six layers of gauze, was inspired by the work of German microbiologist Carl Flugge, who had revealed


Letters: Let the housing market collapse

Treading the boards Sir: As a teacher, I was sorry Lloyd Evans did not include school productions in his excellent assessment of the cultural devastation inflicted by Covid-19 (‘Staged’, 3 July). While cancellation of West End shows is a tragedy, far more damage will be done to the thousands of children whose one chance to