The Spectator

18 May 2019

Cometh the hour

The biggest threat to Boris Johnson’s leadership bid is Boris himself


Letitia at the height of her fame in 1825. H.W. Pickersgill’s original portrait was exhibited at the Royal Academy

Lead book review

The celebrated poet who’s been erased from English literature

Letitia Elizabeth Landon was the leading star of 1820s London — until banished from society and the literary canon

Sandra Newman. Credit: George Baier


Parallel worlds: The Heavens, by Sandra Newman, reviewed

Newman’s novel shifts between contemporary New York and Tudor London, and it’s the former that seems strangest

Credit: Robin Hill


Gothic extremes of human cruelty: Cari Mora, by Thomas Harris, reviewed

The spirit of Hannibal Lecter looms large, and there are enough dismemberments to satisfy Harris’s most hardened fans


Feminism for the Fleabag generation: The Polyglot Lovers, by Lina Wolff, reviewed

Everyone behaves badly in this pitiless tale of misogyny,vengeance and a doomed manuscript


Drawing from the deck: superb sketches by sailors

Seafarers paintings and drawings from the 14th century to the present are charming, imaginative, instructive and wonderfully vivid


It’s judo, not chess, that’s Putin’s game

Mark Galeotti argues that the Russian President is an opportunist rather than strategist, simply seeking stability at home and recognition abroad


The stormy lives of Jack the Dripper and the Wife with the Knife

Lee Krasner, married to Jackson Pollock, liked to ‘slash the canvas like a vengeful yenta’. But who was the better painter?


Murder at Margate — and other crimes of passion

Jeff Noon reviews the latest thrillers from Iain Maitland, Mark Billingham, David F. Ross and Jess Kidd


Levitating basketball players: investigating the psychic in sport

Ed Hawkins longs to believe in the possibility of mind control over players. But there’s nothing occult about the psychology of sport


Where were you when you read John Hersey’s ‘Hiroshima’?

Hersey’s article describing the effects of the atomic bomb, published in the New Yorker in 1946, was arguably the most influential of the century