History

The Spectator on the killing of Rasputin

7 January 2017 9:00 am

From ‘News of the Week’, The Spectator, 6 January 1917: The war has been crowded with romantic adventures by sea…

Why Putin’s Russia will be keeping quiet about 1917

7 January 2017 9:00 am

The 100th anniversary of the Russian revolution presents today’s Russian autocrats with an embarrassing dilemma

Infantrymen, circa 1915

The first world war’s Christian soldiers

10 December 2016 9:00 am

From a letter published under the heading ‘The religion of the ordinary soldier’, The Spectator, 23 December 1916: During a discharge…

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

Red dawn: Lenin demands revolution, April 1917

The centenary of the Russian revolution should be mourned, not celebrated

10 December 2016 9:00 am

As its centenary looms, never forget the brutal oppression ushered in by the Russian Revolution

The consolations of sports geekery

10 December 2016 9:00 am

Sports geekery is a comfort in dark times – like, say, now

‘Snow scene in the Garden of a Daimyo’. Triptych by Hiroshige and Uagawa Kunisada

The terrible beauty of snow

10 December 2016 9:00 am

Here is William Diaper in 1722, translating Oppian’s Halieuticks (a Greek epic poem on the loves of the fishes): As…

Let food prices rise! The Spectator’s answer to shortages, 1916

3 December 2016 9:00 am

From ‘The food shortage and how to meet it’, The Spectator, 2 December 1916: A rise in prices, if properly understood…

What past Buckingham Palace renovations cost (and who paid)

26 November 2016 9:00 am

Bucks for Bucks Buckingham Palace is to be renovated at a cost of £369m, funded through an increase in the…

What Thucydides would have thought of Donald Trump

19 November 2016 9:00 am

‘America’s journey into the great unknown’, screamed a headline greeting Donald Trump’s election as next President of the United States.…

Why the City must let German bankers back, 1916

19 November 2016 9:00 am

From ‘English versus German banking’, The Spectator, 18 November 1916: At the present moment a good many of us are in…

Mike Pence

Could vice-president Mike Pence be the most powerful man in America?

19 November 2016 9:00 am

Veep Mike Pence is the new president’s link to his party

Ideas for shortening the war, 1916

12 November 2016 9:00 am

From ‘How to Shorten the War. I. Prisoners’, The Spectator, 11 November 1916: Unless we altogether mistake the mental character of…

The library photographed in 1958

The north London library that helped create the Russian Revolution

12 November 2016 9:00 am

There’s a small corner of Clerkenwell where the communist dream never died. The Marx Memorial Library has been in its…

The glamour and pathos of death in war

5 November 2016 9:00 am

From ‘Romance’, The Spectator, 4 November 1916: There is indeed a glamour and a pathos about the private soldier, especially when, as so…

George V’s greatest gift to his ministers: silence

22 October 2016 9:00 am

From ‘A Royal contribution’, The Spectator, 7 October 1916: His Majesty has passed through troublous times, in the constitutional controversy, in…

‘Y’all just follow me…’

Hospitality and historic horror in Mississippi

15 October 2016 9:00 am

Driving into Greenwood after dark, we pull into a gas station and ask directions to a late-night grocery store. ‘Sir……

Looking for hope on the Somme, 1916

24 September 2016 9:00 am

From ‘The Battle of the Somme’, The Spectator, 23 September 1916: It may prove to be the fact that the battle…

My eerie visit to Buckingham Palace in the 1830s

17 September 2016 9:00 am

The borderline between fact and fiction becomes ever hazier, I find. Last February, Daisy Goodwin — the author of the…

The bullet-ridden plaque to Nelson in Napoleon’s Corsica

3 September 2016 9:00 am

European unions come and go. Back in 1794, one of the more improbable ones was founded when Corsica joined Britain…

Churchill: no motive 'except that of personal advancement'

3 September 2016 9:00 am

From ‘Mr Churchill’s misfire’, The Spectator, 2 September 1916: There is nothing that democracy so much hates as unfair privilege, and Mr Churchill…

Rievaulx: only swifts and pigeons break the silence

Stay amid the stones of Rievaulx

3 September 2016 9:00 am

We’re so used to looking at the abbeys smashed up by Henry VIII — particularly Rievaulx and Byland, in north…

I have no interest in hearing Melvyn bragging about the North

3 September 2016 9:00 am

The last thing we need right now, in these divisive times, is a series that spends all its time crowing…

English cricket clubs are mad to stay away from Zimbabwe

3 September 2016 9:00 am

Make sure you tell everybody about Zimbabwe,’ said the lady at our block of flats in suburban Harare as we…

Where ‘taxi’ really came from

3 September 2016 9:00 am

Old Quentin Letts was on the wireless the other day asking ‘What’s the point of the London black cab?’ Between…