Childhood

Let’s go fly a kite...

The highs – and lows – of learning to fly a kite

25 August 2018 9:00 am

I’ve flown only three kites in my life. My stepfather bought me the first. I remember seeing him from a…

Photograph of an almshouse waif by Lewis W. Hine, entitled ‘Little Orphan Annie in a Pittsburg Institution’ (1909) [Bridgeman Art Library]

‘I am not a number’: the callous treatment of orphans

4 August 2018 9:00 am

Victorian fiction abounds in pitiable orphans. But what did they suffer in reality, wonders Philip Hensher

Vignettes of a bygone English childhood

4 August 2018 9:00 am

Across the fields from the medieval manor house of Toad Hall, and the accompanying 16th-century timber-frame apothecary’s house which Alan…

The Florida Project never sanctifies or demonises and is absorbing throughout

11 November 2017 9:00 am

The Florida Project is a drama set in one of those cheap American motels occupied by poor people who would…

Traditional school trunks and tuck boxes are treasures for life

9 September 2017 9:00 am

Traditional trunks and tuck boxes are treasures for life. Laura Freeman

David Jones, aged 12, with his chemistry set and, right, as ‘potty prof’ Daedalus

Remembering my brother Daedalus, the potty prof

19 August 2017 9:00 am

Remembering the man behind Daedalus

What the Romans thought about death in childhood

22 July 2017 9:00 am

Charlie Gard is incurably brain-damaged, blind, deaf, cannot cry, and cannot move or breathe without help. At the request of…

Brava Bella Pollen

3 June 2017 9:00 am

I like Bella Pollen for her open-mindedness, self-deprecation and verve. Given her early success as a fashion designer — top…

Debate: Is boarding school cruel?

29 April 2017 9:00 am

Being sent away from home can make – or break – a child

How moaning about pink Lego hurts girls

11 February 2017 9:00 am

Feminists are picking on the wrong toy

Love unflinching: every child should know it

Why every child should know a dog

11 February 2017 9:00 am

Henry, our springer spaniel, has died, suddenly and prematurely. With the passing weeks, we are becoming accustomed to the strange…

Uh-oh: even a baby can tell you when there’s trouble ahead

31 December 2016 9:00 am

Here are the first 50 words in the order that they were learnt by a child called Will: 1 uh-oh;…

Why I’m telling my son about the sky fairy

10 December 2016 9:00 am

After we were married, my husband and I went on honeymoon to Mexico. We drove across country east to west,…

The London prep school circuit is a horrible racket

21 May 2016 9:00 am

Prep schools are a soul-sapping waste of money

Why I’d like to be a more dangerous dad

26 March 2016 9:00 am

According to figures obtained by BBC Breakfast last week, more than 500 people were arrested in England and Wales in…

What Aristotle would have made of Cambridge’s Lego-sponsored professor

20 June 2015 9:00 am

So Cambridge University has accepted £4 million from the makers of Lego (snort) to fund a Lego chair (Argos sells…

American teenagers in the 1940s: part of the Silent Generation — so called for conforming to the norm and focusing on careers rather than activism

Older, more angsty...and maybe wiser: the new face of growing up

2 May 2015 9:00 am

We live in an age of generational turmoil. Baby-boom parents are accused of clinging on to jobs and houses which…

Meet the Skype Dads: a new sorrow of divorce in the internet age

11 April 2015 9:00 am

What happens when a divorce court accepts video calls as a substitute for visiting your children

The end of childhood - what we lost when we dropped the age of consent

14 March 2015 9:00 am

When the state excuses underage sex, what chance do our children have?

Miriam Gross’s diary: Why use Freud and Kurt Weill to promote Wagner?

7 March 2015 9:00 am

Last week I went to the exhilarating English National Opera production of Wagner’s The Mastersingers — five hours of wonderful…

Alexander Masters’s diary: The idea that could unlock dozens of new cancer drugs

15 November 2014 9:00 am

Two million pounds can buy you consideration for a place on a medical trial! Every year untold numbers of potential…

Why there’s no such thing as an Etonian

11 October 2014 9:00 am

Finally, just in the last few years I’d say, we’ve all begun to accept the role of nature in the…

Today’s Disney princesses look like Russian mafia wives. This is their café

4 October 2014 9:00 am

The Disney Café is a gaudy hell on the fourth floor of Harrods, Knightsbridge. It is adjacent to the Harrods…

The truth about being a politician’s child

31 May 2014 9:00 am

It was a Friday morning in 1992, Britain had just had an election, and I was on an ice rink.…

Dyslexia is meaningless. But don't worry – so is ADHD

15 March 2014 9:00 am

There is a beautiful symmetry to all things, I think, and probably related somehow to the concept of karma. Only…