infidelity

Pamela Lane in 1957, the year after Look Back in Anger was first performed. On seeing the play, she was heard to exclaim: ‘Oh no, not the ironing board...’

First wife, enduring love: the passionate affair of John Osborne and Pamela Lane

31 March 2018 8:00 am

Look Back in Anger, John Osborne’s 1956 play, was a fertile cultural seedbed: out of it sprouted the Angry Young…

Portrait of Gabrielle Renard and Jean Renoir. Gabrielle was an important part of the Renoir household, both as nanny and artist’s model

Renoir’s exuberant canvases masked a tortured soul

7 October 2017 9:00 am

In 1959 the formidable interviewer John Freeman took the Face to Face crew to the 81-year-old Augustus John’s studio. The…

Nights of the living dead in London’s bomb-damaged theatreland

2 September 2017 9:00 am

Patrick McGrath is a master of novels about post-traumatic fragmentation and dissolution, set amid gothic gloom. His childhood years spent…

They shared a love of books, beekeeping, print-collecting, alchemy, geometry, music, astronomy and the English language: John Evelyn (left) and Samuel Pepys

Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn: a meeting of like minds

19 August 2017 9:00 am

For Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn, two great recorders of Restoration England, life was a cabinet of curiosities, says Frances Wilson

Ida Nettleship, aged 24, the year she married Augustus John

The ordeal of being married to Augustus John

6 May 2017 9:00 am

What will we do when there are no longer caches of letters to piece together and decipher; only vague memories…

The betrayer’s betrayed in Hanif Kureishi’s latest novel

29 April 2017 9:00 am

Perhaps the least necessary piece of advice ever given to a Hanif Kureishi protagonist comes in 2014’s The Last Word.…

Why is Tim Parks so obsessed with adultery?

1 April 2017 9:00 am

Tim Parks is a writer of some very fine books indeed, which makes it even more of a shame that…

Sam Miller’s life with two fathers

11 March 2017 9:00 am

No disrespect to any of the present incumbents, but Karl Miller (1931–2014) was a literary editor in an age when…

Hamlet, as retold from inside the womb

3 September 2016 9:00 am

Ian McEwan’s novels are drawn to enclosed spaces. There is the squash court upon which the surgeon plays a meticulously…

Roland Penrose sculpting

The surreal life — and loves — of Roland Penrose

25 June 2016 8:00 am

Roland Penrose: The Life of a Surrealist

Vita Sackville-West, c. 1940

More family history from Knole and Sissinghurst

16 April 2016 9:00 am

In deciding to write a book about her forebears and herself, Juliet Nicolson follows in their footsteps. Given that her…

Getty images

Carly Simon: funniest, most sexually blunt star of her generation

30 January 2016 9:00 am

I usually dread the final 15 minutes of a celebrity interview: the awkward section during which the writer must steer…

Portrait of Pepys, after John Hayls. The Diary for 17 March 1666 reads: ‘This day I begin to sit [for Hayls], and he will make me, I think, a very fine picture.... I sit to have it full of shadows, and do almost break my neck looking over my shoulder to make the posture for him to work by.’

The joy of an unexpurgated Pepys — without the bother of reading it oneself

22 August 2015 9:00 am

We all know about Samuel Pepys witnessing the Great Fire in his Diaries, but how many have read the definitive…