Empire

The Great War was enough to make grown men weep

7 December 2019 9:00 am

Following the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo it took a mere six weeks for the diplomats of Europe’s…

Radio 4 treats its radio listeners as second-best in favour of those who listen to podcasts

13 October 2018 9:00 am

How very odd of Radio 4 not only to release The Ratline as a podcast before broadcasting it on the…

Shashi Tharoor’s book is a polemic, says Kapil Komireddi – beware of Hindu nationalism

6 October 2018 9:00 am

Most religions bind their adherents into a community of believers. Hinduism segregates them into castes. And people excluded from the…

The World Cup has made us proud to be English

14 July 2018 9:00 am

The World Cup has allowed us to stop being ashamed of Englishness

What the Windrush scandal reveals about Theresa May

21 April 2018 9:00 am

Everyone speaks about the Windrush. The boat was actually called the Empire Windrush. The full name reveals what the story…

Plywood at its most curvaceous, acceptable and collectible: Alvar Aalto armchair, 1930 (left), and moulded plywood chair by Grete Jalk, 1963

How plywood helped us win the second world war

8 July 2017 9:00 am

The V&A’s Plywood show has much to teach us about human nature, says Tanya Harrod

Next time I go to India, I want imperialism 2.0

23 January 2016 9:00 am

When in India, I always appal my highly educated tour guides. They despair of me, as they drag me round…

Kandy mountains: buzzing bees and cigarette trees, pretty much

Sri Lanka makes me yearn to be a pre-war tea planter

17 October 2015 9:00 am

James Delingpole tastes bliss in the steamy heat

The eyes have it: Andy Warhol’s gift for second sight was preternatural

What I learned from reshooting the dullest film ever made

15 August 2015 9:00 am

Stephen Smith finally sees the point of Empire, one of the dullest films in cinema history

‘The Discovery of the Large, Rich, Beautiful Empire called Guiana’, from ‘Newe Weld un Americanische Historien’, by Johann Ludwig Gottfried, 1631

The strange history of Willoughbyland, modern-day Suriname

8 August 2015 9:00 am

John Gimlette on the strange and superbly told story of Willoughbyland, England’s ‘lost’ colony

The voices of Indian PoWs captured in the first world war

15 November 2014 9:00 am

At six o’clock on 31 May 1916, an Indian soldier who had been captured on the Western Front alongside British…

In the empire stakes, the Anglo-Saxons were for long Spain’s inferiors

19 July 2014 9:00 am

‘Every schoolboy knows who imprisoned Montezuma and who strangled Atahualpa.’ Macaulay, anticipating Gove, was complaining that the schoolboys by contrast…

Christmas past in Spectator letters

14 December 2013 9:00 am

This is a selection of seasonal letters from The Spectator’s 185-year archive, now online at archive.spectator.co.uk. The emblem to the…

Tristram Hunt's diary: Why has Gove allowed a school that makes women wear the hijab?

19 October 2013 9:00 am

ONE OF THE MINOR sociological treats of being appointed shadow education secretary is a frontbench view of David Cameron’s crimson…

The European Empire

23 March 2013 9:00 am

The EU’s decision to ignore its own rules and steal money directly from the pockets of the citizens of Cyprus…

The dirty dozen

2 June 2012 7:00 pm

I have this fantasy in which I’m the Emperor Nero. I’m relaxing in my toga, and there are these slave…

Enterprising Scots

16 July 2011 12:00 am

If you wish to see how Scotland changed in the century after the Act of Union (1707), you might visit and compare the two houses in Edinburgh that belong to the National Trust for Scotland.

All eyes and ears

14 August 2010 12:00 am

Both of these books aim, in their different ways, to cater for Britain’s long-standing obsession with espionage and other forms of political and military intelligence.

Cherchez la femme

12 May 2010 12:00 am

The 22nd Earl of Erroll, Military Secretary in Kenya in the early part of the second world war, was described by two of his fellow peers of the realm as ‘a stoat — one of the great pouncers of all time’ and ‘a dreadful shit who really needed killing’.

Triumph of the will

7 April 2010 12:00 am

Alistair Urquhart describes himself as ‘a lucky man as well as an angry man’.

In the shadow of Mau Mau

24 March 2010 12:00 am

When the Kenyan human rights campaigner, Maina Kiai, recently addressed the House of Commons, his list of policy recommendations probably surprised many MPs.

Becoming a Victorian

17 March 2010 12:00 am

Winston Churchill was a racist. He said things like ‘I hate people with slit eyes and pig-tails. I don’t like the look of them or the smell of them’.

A slave to her past

10 February 2010 12:00 am

It is to Andrea Levy’s credit that for this, her eagerly-awaited fifth novel, she adopts a narrative approach strikingly different from that of the best-selling, prize-winning, televised Small Island.