Darwin

A river of green topiary cascades down the terrace steps at West Dean. Cotoneaster horizontalis covers the wall on the right

Top topiary: the year’s best gardening books

17 November 2018 9:00 am

There are probably no more gifted professional gardeners in England than Jim Buckland and Sarah Wain, husband and wife and…

Barbara Kingsolver. Credit David Wood

Treat in store: Unsheltered, by Barbara Kingsolver, reviewed

3 November 2018 9:00 am

In a living room in Vineland, New Jersey, in the 1870s, a botanist and entomologist named Mary Treat studied the…

‘Cnidarians’ from Haeckel’s book Art Forms in Nature, 1899–1904

Art nouveau owes a lot to this dodgy German biologist and his dazzling illustrations

23 September 2017 9:00 am

Over the winter of 1859–60, a handsome young man could be seen patrolling the shores of the Gulf of Messina…

Hope, the blue whale, replaces Dippy, the diplodocus, in the Natural History Museum’s Hintze Hall

The newly refurbished Natural History Museum is glorious

12 August 2017 9:00 am

Sometimes, it pays to rediscover what’s already under your nose. I’ve been umpteen times to the Natural History Museum but…

How I fell in love with Diana over lunch

5 August 2017 9:00 am

Diana Spencer has been dead for 20 years. I was a journalist on the Evening Standard in those days and…

Do Daniel C. Dennett's memes deserve to survive?

4 March 2017 9:00 am

The greatest of Bach’s 224 cantatas is BWV 109, ‘Ich glaube, lieber Herr, hilf meinem Unglauben’. Its subject — the…

Fanny Cornforth’s mouth comes under Kathryn Hughes’s scrutiny. The Pre-Raphaelite muse is seen here in Rossetti’s ‘The Blue Bower’

Why did Darwin grow a beard? And what was George Eliot so keen to hide?

21 January 2017 9:00 am

The fetishisation of the Victorians shows no sign of abating. Over the past 16 years, since the centenary of the…

The Elephant House at London Zoo, designed in 1964 by Casson Conder Partnership

Want to understand your animal side? Head to the Wellcome Collection

19 November 2016 9:00 am

We’ll do anything to forget we are animals. Charles Foster hails a forthcoming exhibition that makes us face up to reality

Trail to the ruins of Machu Pichu, Peru

Secrets of the snail trail

10 September 2016 9:00 am

You could say that this book contradicts itself. Robert Moor’s chosen topic is trails — not just walking, where you…

Conceptual image of Lactobacillus acidolphus that occurs naturally in the gastrointestinal tract and mouth

Want to feel better? Be kind to your bugs

27 August 2016 9:00 am

There are more bacteria in your gut than there are stars in our galaxy. Ed Yong’s book explaining their possibilities is as wondrous as a sacred text, says Kate Womersley

Science was invented in 1572

16 January 2016 9:00 am

There was no science before 1572, the year that Tycho Brahe saw a new star in the night sky above…

The best things in the world have always sprung up by accident. Take the internet, for instance

2 January 2016 9:00 am

Since no one has bothered to ask what my must-read book of last year was I’m going to tell you…

Green is the colour of happiness

17 October 2015 8:00 am

According to this wonderfully thought-provoking book, human attachment to plants was much more evident in the 19th century than it…

Clash of the titans

26 October 2013 9:00 am

This is an odd book: interesting, informative, intelligent, but still decidedly odd. It is a history of the Victorian era…

E.O. Wilson has a new explanation for consciousness, art & religion. Is it credible?

7 September 2013 9:00 am

His publishers describe this ‘ground-breaking book on evolution’ by ‘the most celebrated living heir to Darwin’ as ‘the summa work…

Why politics needs more Darwinists – and fewer economists

22 June 2013 9:00 am

An ardently left-wing friend of mine is travelling over from Thailand next week to look for a private school for…

Darwin — from worms to collops

1 April 2009 12:00 am

By all accounts a modest and retiring example of his species, Charles Darwin would surely have been more astonished than flattered by the honours done him during this year’s bicentennial celebrations.