Time to sit and stare

11 February 2012 10:00 am

Hermitic, oneiric withdrawal from responsibilities and threats is the most effective way of alleviating the pangs of middle age, suggests…

A holy terror

11 February 2012 10:00 am

In the summer of 1520, Michelangelo Buonarotti wrote a letter of recommendation on behalf of his protégé, the painter Sebastiano…

Storm in a wastepaper basket

11 February 2012 10:00 am

‘It’s the revenge of Dreyfus,’ came the cry from the dock. The speaker was the veteran right-wing ideologue, Charles Maurras,…

Real and imagined danger

11 February 2012 10:00 am

What was the Cold War? For Professor John Lewis Gaddes, it was a conflict between two incompatible systems, democracy and…

Menace, mystery and decadence

11 February 2012 10:00 am

Richard Davenport-Hines on the seamy side of interwar Alexandria, as depicted by Lawrence Durrell

Talking tough

4 February 2012 11:00 am

This thoughtful, challenging and deeply depressing book takes as its launch pad the Nuremberg Trials, in which the author’s father…

All to play for

4 February 2012 11:00 am

There was a time when sportsmen fretted about the morality of being paid to play. Now the question is whether…

‘A world dying of ugliness’

4 February 2012 11:00 am

Philip Hensher on the marvellous, brutal, excoriating letters of the novelist Joseph Roth

Triumph of the redcoats

4 February 2012 10:00 am

Given the choice between philosophising in the company of Socrates or fighting in the army of the soldier-monarch Charles XII…

Making sense of a cruel world

4 February 2012 10:00 am

The actor-biographer Simon Callow has played Dickens, and has created Dickensian characters, in monologues and in a solo bravura rendition…

Godfather of rap

28 January 2012 10:00 am

At a funeral in New Orleans in 1901, Joe ‘King’ Oliver played a blues-drenched dirge on the trumpet. This was…

A feast of vanities

28 January 2012 10:00 am

The name of Savonarola slides off the tongue as if concocted for an orator’s climax. But when it came to…

Gunboat diplomacy

28 January 2012 10:00 am

Philip Mansel on the brief period in British history when Mare Nostrum became our sea

Queen of sorrows

21 January 2012 11:15 am

She was the ill-educated younger child of the Duke of York; a mere female, she was sickly and not expected…

Helping our unbelief

21 January 2012 11:00 am

Over 125 of the 320 pages in this book are either blank, or taken up with black-and-white illustrations, of subjects…

Spirit of place

21 January 2012 11:00 am

There are two ways of viewing the changes sweeping through the Arab world in general and Cairo in particular. There…

Age of ideas

21 January 2012 11:00 am

Sam Leith on Tony Judt’s rigorous, posthumously published examination of the great intellectual debates of the last century

Holy law

21 January 2012 10:00 am

In the autumn of 1347, the Black Death arrived in Egypt. In the 18 months that followed, mosques turned into…

A waist of shame

14 January 2012 1:00 pm

Britain has the worst obesity rates in Europe, with one in four adults now clinically obese. A friend who works…

A horrid story of intellectual corruption

14 January 2012 11:00 am

The death of a great author often causes interminable displays of corrosive envy. Heirs, acolytes, interpreters and academics resent one…

The heart of Hemingway

7 January 2012 11:00 am

A new biography of ‘Papa’ has deeply impressed Sam Leith, although its thoroughness — like its subject — ‘teeters on nuts’

Still roughing it

7 January 2012 10:00 am

We are all tourists now, and there is no escape. The first thing we see as we jet round the…

When treason was the last resort

7 January 2012 10:00 am

One hundred and fifty years after Anglo-Saxon England was invaded by the Normans, Anglo-Norman England was invaded by the French.…

Painful truths

31 December 2011 10:00 am

Juan E. Méndez has a fantastic CV. Mercilessly tortured in Argentina, the country of his birth, when 30, he is…

Crusader on the attack

31 December 2011 10:00 am

Why have we forgotten John Bright? In his day he was a massive political celebrity. He could command audiences of…