Charles Dickens

From the archive: the Spectator’s original verdicts on literary classics

15 December 2018 9:00 am

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë,  reviewed 18 December 1847 An attempt to give novelty and interest to fiction, by resorting…

Pace and quiet: walking can be therapeutic

The highs – and occasional lows – of long-distance walking

14 April 2018 9:00 am

Long-distance walking is all the rage these days. There are all-nighters staged by charities, for instance the annual MoonWalk in…

Tiny Tim by Harold Copping

Time to update our notions of disability and quit with the pity – and Tiny Tim

16 December 2017 9:00 am

It’s time to update our notions of disability, says Selina Mills, and quit with the pity

Why Warren Buffett’s early advice is still essential reading

23 September 2017 9:00 am

Most investment books are rubbish, so praise be for Warren Buffett

How the pretentious ‘reference’ elbowed aside ‘refer to’ or just ‘mention’

3 June 2017 9:00 am

When Dickens wanted to buy a house in 1837, he wrote to Richard Bentley, who had started the magazine in…

‘The tightest topographic tangle in the world’

The bewildering, chaotic beauty of Genoa

22 April 2017 9:00 am

Some say Genoa takes its name from Janus, the two-faced god of time and doorways. Perhaps. What’s certain is the…

America’s first great cultural export

How Santa Claus ate Father Christmas

10 December 2016 9:00 am

Presents, stockings, the flying sleigh? It all began as a New York practical joke

Whatever happened to dustcarts?

6 August 2016 9:00 am

Bin lorries and garbage trucks have routed the old southern English term

‘The Woodman’s Child’, 1860, by Arthur Hughes

Twee, treacly and tearful: Pre-Raphaelites at the Walker Art Gallery reviewed

27 February 2016 9:00 am

Dear, good, kind, sacrificing Little Nell. Here she is kneeling by a wayside pond, bonnet pushed back, shoes and stockings…

Nature beats nurture nearly every time

7 November 2015 9:00 am

I’ve been doing some thinking recently about the findings of behavioural geneticists and their implications for education policy. For instance,…

Carnage on the home front: revisiting a forgotten disaster of the first world war

9 May 2015 9:00 am

Philip Hensher on a little-known episode of first world war history when a munitions factory in Kent exploded in April 1916, claiming over 100 lives

William Hogarth’s ‘Night’, in his series ‘Four Times of the Day’ (1736), provides a glimpse of the anarchy and squalor of London’s nocturnal streets

Dickens’s dark side: walking at night helped ease his conscience at killing off characters

21 March 2015 9:00 am

James McConnachie discovers that some of the greatest English writers — Chaucer, Blake, Dickens, Wordsworth, Dr Johnson — drew inspiration and even comfort from walking around London late at night

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The deep Britishness of fish and chips

1 November 2014 9:00 am

During the D-day landings, members of the parachute regiment, finding themselves behind enemy lines at night, needed a way of…

Melvyn Bragg's notebook: I found hell on Regent Street

14 December 2013 9:00 am

John Lloyd, producer of Blackadder, Spitting Image, QI etc, has boldly picked up where he left off at Cambridge more…

The greatest novel in English – and how to drink it

20 July 2013 9:00 am

Which is the greatest novel in the English language? Let us review the candidates: Clarissa, Pride and Prejudice, Middlemarch, The…