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James Delingpole

DIY down the ages

One balmy summer afternoon in my final year at prep school, a group of my fellow-prefects and I gathered under the apple trees on the slope by the croquet lawn where only prefects were allowed, and reminisced about the five years we’d spent together. ‘Do you know, Delingpole,’ said one of them, ‘it was you

The first iron curtain

Religious tradition has defined human societies and shaped their habits of mind more strongly than any other factor. It still does, even in communities which have lost their collective belief in God. Indifference to formal creeds may be common to the governing elites of most countries, and in Europe to their electorates as well. Yet

What it’s really like

In a recent column in the Telegraph (8 March) headed ‘How I long for the bombs to start falling,’ Mark Steyn wrote, ‘This interminable non-rush to non-war is like a long, languorous, humid summer, where everyone’s sweaty and cranky and longing for the clouds to break and the cool refreshing rain to fall. Bring it

Not great but definitely good

Who was Hannah More? William Cobbett called her an old bishop in petticoats, and she was the subject of a hefty, pious Victorian biography, since when she has been pretty much forgotten. The Edwardian wit Augustine Birrell buried 19 volumes of her collected works in his garden for compost. She owes her disinterment to the

A bit of a smash in Soho

The legendarily catastrophic life of Julian Maclaren-Ross has tempted biographers before. But the task of pursuing him, like the Hound of Heaven, through the sordid backstreets, rented basements and sodden saloon bars of his progress has always proved too much of a challenge. It is an extraordinary story of profligacy and waste which has been