literary biography

At the Tropicana nightclub: Dr Hasselbacher and Wormald celebrate with Milly on her 17th birthday. A scene from Carol Reed’s film of Our Man in Havana with Burl Ives, Alec Guinness and Jo Morrow

‘Where every vice was permissible’: Graham Greene’s Cuba

6 April 2019 9:00 am

Cuba meant a lot to Graham Greene. Behind his writing desk in his flat in Antibes he had a painting…

Pamela Hansford Johnson (right) and Elizabeth Taylor at a Book Society party in Knightsbridge in 1954

Lonely hearts and guilty minds: the world of Pamela Hansford Johnson

13 October 2018 9:00 am

Pamela Hansford Johnson, once a powerful figure in literary circles, is now largely forgotten. Are her novels worth returning to, wonders Philip Hensher

How Joseph Conrad foresaw world trade and terrorism

14 October 2017 9:00 am

In the 1890s, when British-owned ships carried 70 per cent of all seaborne trade, legislators worried about the proportion of…

The only way wasn’t Wessex

19 November 2016 9:00 am

The ten pallbearers at Thomas Hardy’s funeral in Westminster Abbey on 16 January 1928 included Kipling, Barrie, Housman, Gosse, Galsworthy,…

Oliver Goldsmith: still an enigma

Oliver Goldsmith: the most fascinating bore in literature

7 May 2016 9:00 am

On 10 April 1772, the biographer James Boswell recorded in his diary that he had hugged himself with pleasure on…