Nature

Self-portrait, with his wife Margaret

The dazzling vision of Thomas Gainsborough

12 August 2017 9:00 am

Working in semi-darkness, Thomas Gainsborough produced some of the airiest, most poetic paintings imaginable, says Philip Hensher

A Tommy rescues two canaries from a ruined house on the Western Front in 1915. Canaries were treasured not only as gas detectors but also in ambulance trains, where their song comforted wounded soldiers

Foreign fields forever England

26 November 2016 9:00 am

In July 1915 the poet Edward Thomas enlisted as a soldier with the Artists’ Rifles, even though, at the age…

The Capability Brown-landscaped garden at Prior Park, near Bath, and the first know image of a railway line, from a drawing by Anthony Walker, 1750

Capability Brown is Britain's most influential – and pernicious – artist

20 August 2016 9:00 am

In a piece of light verse from the 1770s ‘Dame Nature’ — out strolling ‘one bright day’ — bumps into…

I’ve finally made friends with a hedgehog – and you can too

6 August 2016 9:00 am

Hedgehogs, and other joys of a carefully messy garden

Why all civilised people should love wasps

23 July 2016 9:00 am

All gardeners, and all readers, have reason to thank them

The content was clearly a secondary consideration: Brian Cox’s Forces of Nature reviewed

9 July 2016 9:00 am

Pop idol turned top boffin Brian Cox doesn’t shy away from the big issues. With programmes such as Wonders of…

The EU hasn’t settled the ‘German question’. It’s reopened it

4 June 2016 9:00 am

‘No one can seriously deny that European integration brought an end to Franco-German conflict and has settled the German question…

Ocean acidification: yet another wobbly pillar of climate alarmism

30 April 2016 9:00 am

Another pillar of climate alarmism is looking distinctly wobbly

Snakes, kookaburras and bandicoots: a garden in Australia’s rainforest

23 April 2016 9:00 am

What you can see from a tin house in the Australian rainforest

The children’s author BB had the right idea about man’s part in nature

16 January 2016 9:00 am

Wild Lone is one of the most violent books I’ve ever read. It was published just before the last war…

The confessions of Gerard Manley Hopkins

9 January 2016 9:00 am

‘I am 12 miles from a lemon,’ lamented that bon vivant clergyman Sydney Smith on reaching one country posting. He…

Photograph by Charles Sturge

Remembering P.J. Kavanagh

19 September 2015 8:00 am

OBITUARY

Don’t tell me not to be scared of sharks

20 June 2015 9:00 am

If naturalists accept they’re terrifying, we’ll have a better chance of saving them

The beautiful Balkans on horseback

3 January 2015 9:00 am

There’s no better way to see Bulgaria’s mountains

Rory Sutherland: The one issue where we accept the idea of genetic determinism

23 November 2013 9:00 am

Some people are gay. Get over it’ — this was the slogan for a campaign against homophobia. A series of YouTube…

Revealed: how exam results owe more to genes than teaching

27 July 2013 9:00 am

New research by Professor Robert Plomin shows genes are more important than we like to think

Long life: I passed a death sentence on two ducklings

22 June 2013 9:00 am

My collection of poultry here in Northamptonshire (consisting at present of six ducks and eight hens) includes two little chattering…

Nature study

28 April 2012 10:00 am

On my desk is the vertebra of a narwhal. It was given to me by a man in Canada after…

The calls of the wild

21 April 2012 11:00 am

This is a weird and wonderful book. Bernie Krause, who started out as a popular musician and then in the…

Bookends: Deeply peculiar

5 March 2011 6:00 am

The kraken legend is often said to have been inspired by real sightings of giant squid, and this is why Wendy Williams in her Kraken: The Curious, Exciting and Slightly Disturbing Science of Squid (Abrams, £12.99) has chosen this as a title for her book.

Seeing the wood from the trees

4 September 2010 12:00 am

This book is a work of art by an artistic photographer.

His island story

4 November 2009 12:00 am

‘If you don’t come to terms with the ghost of your father, it will never let you be your own man.’ Here Christopher Ondaatje (brother of novelist Michael) combines his voyage of filial discovery with another quest: to pursue his obsession with a story he heard at his father’s knee, of a man-eating leopard.

Poisoned spring

6 May 2009 12:00 am

Say Goodbye to the Cuckoo, by Michael McCarthy
Wings and Rings: A History of Bird Migration Studies in Europe, by Richard Vaughan

Darwin — from worms to collops

1 April 2009 12:00 am

By all accounts a modest and retiring example of his species, Charles Darwin would surely have been more astonished than flattered by the honours done him during this year’s bicentennial celebrations.

The romance of the jungle

25 March 2009 12:00 am

The Lost City of Z, by David Grann