Boyd Tonkin

Books of the year II: more choices of reading in 2023

Ruth Scurr In Ways of Life (Jonathan Cape, £30), Laura Freeman channels the spirit of the art critic and collector Jim Ede. She traces the origins of Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge – not a museum, nor art gallery, more a cabinet of curiosities – through Ede’s own life, his work for the Tate, the other houses and countries he lived in and the artists he cared for and wrote about. In Foreign Bodies: Pandemics, Vaccines and the Health of Nations (Simon & Schuster, £30), Simon Schama argues that ‘all history is natural history’, and introduces a rich cast of protagonists who pushed forward the frontiers of science for the good