George Orwell

The royals should embody virtue – not signal it

24 August 2019 9:00 am

ONE should not be censorious if the Duke and Duchess of Sussex fly in private jets to their holidays, though…

George Orwell. Credit: Getty Images

Novel explosives of the Cold War

24 August 2019 9:00 am

Humour, satire, drama and poetry proved explosive weapons in the fight against Stalinism, says Nicholas Shakespeare

History holds far fewer lessons for Brexit than both sides think

17 August 2019 9:00 am

History may hold fewer lessons for Brexit than both sides think

Was 1972 the defining year of postwar Britain?

10 August 2019 9:00 am

Maybe the equality inspectors at the corporation didn’t get the chance to vet Richard Littlejohn’s series for Radio 2, The…

China’s surveillance technology is terrifying – and on show in London

6 July 2019 9:00 am

China’s new surveillance technology goes far beyond Big Brother

The spring gentian’s ‘tongues of ocean blue’

Dying buddleias on railway lines are what excite the new nature writer

3 March 2018 9:00 am

A parliament of owls. A gaggle of geese. A convocation of eagles. But what is the generic term for the…

‘Pastry Cook of Cagnes’, 1922, by Chaïm Soutine

The painter who devoted himself to turning kitchen-weary men into kings and popes

14 October 2017 9:00 am

Chaïm Soutine turned kitchen-weary men into monarchs and popes, says Laura Freeman

American-English has conquered the world

24 June 2017 9:00 am

‘There is room for a very interesting work,’ Gibbon observed in a footnote, ‘which should lay open the connection between…

Boualem Sansal

By 2084, will Islam rule the world?

25 March 2017 9:00 am

Boualem Sansal’s prophetic novel very clearly derives its lineage from George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. A totalitarian surveillance state, a fundamentalist…

First Love: a hilarious send-up of chick lit

11 February 2017 9:00 am

If ever there was a book for our uncaring, unsharing times, it is Gwendoline Riley’s First Love, in which Neve,…

Why has the Peninsular War been so readily forgotten?

12 November 2016 9:00 am

You learn startling things about the long entanglement of the British with Spain on every page of Simon Courtauld’s absorbing…

George Orwell and the whiff of genius

3 September 2016 9:00 am

The Orwellian past is a foreign country; smells are different there. Pipe smoke and carbolic, side notes of horse dung…

A Gypsy documentary that alternated between the eye-opening and the hair-raising

18 June 2016 9:00 am

In his latest documentary for the This World series, the Romanian film-maker Liviu Tipurita could have been forgiven for treading…

Labour must stop feeling repulsed by the idea of Englishness

21 May 2016 9:00 am

My party needs to stop being scared of patriotism

Down and Out in Paris and London is a chav safari

30 April 2016 9:00 am

Down and Out in Paris and London is a brilliant specimen from a disreputable branch of writing: the chav safari,…

Long may we Brits laugh at our absurd demagogues

23 April 2016 9:00 am

In Reflections on the Revolution in France, Edmund Burke warned that ‘pure democracy’ was as dangerous as absolute monarchy. ‘Of…

I became a Conservative thanks to a little winged rabbit called Pookie

2 April 2016 9:00 am

His father’s dental cast, writes Graham Greene near the beginning of The Power and the Glory ‘had been [Trench’s] favourite…

Did criticism kill John Keats? Sketch by Joseph Severn of the poet in his last illness

Aphorisms and the arts: from Aristotle to Oscar Wilde

19 March 2016 9:00 am

The author of this jam-packed treasure trove has been a film critic at the New York Times since 2000 and…

Nimoy and Shatner in ‘The Man Trap’, the first episode of Star Trek (September 1966)

Close encounters on the starship Enterprise

5 March 2016 9:00 am

For a show with a self-proclaimed ‘five-year mission’, Star Trek hasn’t done badly. Gene Roddenberry’s ‘Wagon train to the stars’…

Always prone to depression: David Astor c.1946

David Astor: the saintly, tormented man who remade the Observer

5 March 2016 9:00 am

Before embarking on this book, Jeremy Lewis was told by his friend Diana Athill that his subject, the newspaper editor…

All washed up: Birmingham after the apocalypse

20 February 2016 9:00 am

The dystopian novel in which a Ballardian deluge or viral illness transforms planet Earth has become something of a sub-genre,…

Marlene Dietrich, George Orwell and the rebirth of a nation

20 February 2016 9:00 am

The purpose of Lara Feigel’s book is to describe the ‘political mission of reconciliation and restoration’ in the devastated cities…

From dressing-gown drudge to Man Booker winner

2 January 2016 9:00 am

John Gross’s The Rise and Fall of the Man of Letters: English Literary Life since 1800, a standard text for…

Why I’ve finally given up on the left

19 September 2015 9:00 am

I cannot be part of a movement run by half-educated fanatics

War, socialist tyranny and the oppression of the handicapped - welcome to the new dance season

19 September 2015 8:00 am

If there’s one thing scarcer than hen’s teeth in serious choreography nowadays, it’s a light heart. When was the last…