Book review – History

My family's better days

18 January 2014 9:00 am

Simon Blow recalls the wealth, recklessness and beauty of his family’s better days

Shostakovich, Leningrad, and the greatest story ever played

11 January 2014 9:00 am

The horrors of the Leningrad siege — the 900 Days of Harrison Salisbury’s classic — have been pretty well picked…

Secrets of the Kremlin

14 December 2013 9:00 am

A building bearing testimony to the power of eternal Russia; a timeless symbol of the Russian state; a monument to…

When we dropped the Bomb by mistake

14 December 2013 9:00 am

In January 1976 New York’s late-lamented National Lampoon produced a bicentennial calendar as a contribution to the general rejoicing. For…

According to legend, the cross-dressing 18th-century Irishwoman Mary Read outdid her fellow male pirates when it came to pure violence

The pirate myth

23 November 2013 9:00 am

Hear the word ‘pirate’ and what picture springs to your mind? I see a richly-bearded geezer in a tricorne hat…

Did Hollywood moguls really make a pact with Hitler?

23 November 2013 9:00 am

At the recent Austin Film Festival, at every ruminative panel or round-table discussion I attended, I slapped my copy of…

Marie Duplessis

The Girl Who Loved Camellias, by Julie Kavanagh - review

17 August 2013 9:00 am

Verdi’s La Traviata is the story of a courtesan who is redeemed when she gives up the man she loves…

The figure of the flâneur, captured by Degas in ‘Place de la Concorde’, had its origin in Mr Spectator

Tales of Two Cities, by Jonathan Conlin - review

15 June 2013 9:00 am

In Jonathan Conlin’s Tales of Two Cities the little acknowledged but hugely significant histoire croisée of two rival metropoles gets…

Byron’s War, by Roderick Beaton - review

1 June 2013 9:00 am

Although Lord Byron is hailed as a national hero in Greece, his legacy has been largely destructive, says David Crane