Oxford

We’re all poorer for the loss of our small rail lines

2 December 2017 9:00 am

Forget more roads – trains connect the ancient and the unspoiled to the modern and the busy

The Queen and Prince Philip’s 70th anniversary party sounds glorious

25 November 2017 9:00 am

Windsor Castle on Monday night sounds like a children’s party magnified. The rooms were filled with golden-leaved trees. A giant…

Alan Hollinghurst’s new novel is dazzling – and just like all his others

14 October 2017 9:00 am

If you think you know what to expect from an Alan Hollinghurst novel, then when it comes to The Sparsholt…

C. Day Lewis’s prose was even better than his poetry

7 October 2017 9:00 am

Literary reputation can be a fickle old business. Those garlanded during their lifetimes are often quickly forgotten once dead. Yet…

Michael Rosen reveals what a nasty place 1950s Britain was

7 October 2017 9:00 am

In 1952, the five-year-old Michael Rosen and his brother were taken on holiday along the Thames by their communist parents.…

Oxford’s spires mark a new beginning

Never mind the Northern Powerhouse – here comes the Oxford to Cambridge corridor

2 September 2017 9:00 am

Oxbridge is an ivory-tower state of mind, perhaps, or at least two ancient rival universities, but how about this: in…

Chris Patten: ‘wearing red feathers (and a Hula-Hula skirt)’

22 July 2017 9:00 am

My old friend Richard Ingrams was said always to write The Spectator’s television reviews sitting in the next-door room to…

‘Study for Charity’, c.1519, by Raphael

Lucian Freud was wrong to think Raphael dull – he was a genius

17 June 2017 9:00 am

Late one afternoon, early in the year, I was walking through the Vatican Stanze with a small group of critics…

Vincent Franklin (Mr Prendergast), Jack Whitehall (Paul Pennyfeather) and Douglas Hodge (Captain Grimes) in ‘Decline and Fall’

Jack Whitehall does Waugh proud: BBC1's Decline and Fall reviewed

1 April 2017 9:00 am

Jack Whitehall could have been perfectly awful as Paul Pennyfeather in Decline and Fall (BBC1, Fridays). He has spent most…

‘Explosive eruption of Vesuvius viewed from Naples, October 1822’ by George Poulett Scrope Frontispiece from Considerations on Volcanoes, 1825

The pulling power of volcanoes, from Empedocles to J.M.W. Turner

11 February 2017 9:00 am

At a new exhibition in the Bodleian Libraries Laura Gascoigne discovers the pulling power of volcanoes

Eric Christiansen at New College in 1972

Geoffrey Wheatcroft remembers his close friend, the historian Eric Christiansen

19 November 2016 9:00 am

Geoffrey Wheatcroft remembers the idiosyncratic historian whose funny, sharp reviews were only bettered by his exquisitely entertaining letters

Zac Goldsmith should have been loyal to his constituents, not his father

5 November 2016 9:00 am

An MP’s first duty Sir: Toby Young writes (Status anxiety, 29 October) that Zac Goldsmith’s decision to campaign for Leave in…

Jan Morris — ‘the greatest descriptive writer of her time’

29 October 2016 9:00 am

Married as I am to an antiquarian book dealer, and living in a house infested with books and manuscripts, I’m…

The rise and fall of the Cameron Chumocracy

24 September 2016 9:00 am

Emily Hill untangles the intricate web of trusted old pals who surrounded David Cameron... and led him to his downfall

A Field Guide to Reality plays superbly with mystery, trickery and scholarship

16 July 2016 9:00 am

‘Transparency,’ remarks Eliade Jenks, narrator of Joanna Kavenna’s fourth novel, A Field Guide to Reality, ‘is an aspiration. But wouldn’t…

The naked lunch menu: sign up now for Britain’s first nude restaurant

11 June 2016 9:00 am

Have you got your names down yet for the Bunyadi? I’d hurry, if I were you. There’s currently a waiting…

Oxford is full of overindulged whiners. It wasn’t like that in my day

23 April 2016 9:00 am

I was in the attic killing some Taleban on Medal of Honor when Girl interrupted and said: ‘Dad, what’s this?’…

Brexit is none of Mark Carney's business

12 March 2016 9:00 am

Surely there is a difference between Mark Carney’s intervention in the Scottish referendum last year and in the EU one…

Why the next Tory leader is likely to be in the ‘Leave’ camp

13 February 2016 9:00 am

Here is a thought for all those Tory MPs calculating their personal advantage in the forthcoming EU referendum: unless the…

Moral sainthood is a bore; sinners are much more fun

13 February 2016 9:00 am

Gstaad I had the rather subversive idea of offering a six-figure sum to Oriel College, Oxford. On one condition: that…

Why must David Cameron insult Oxford, when it gave him so much?

6 February 2016 9:00 am

In 2000, the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, accused Magdalen College, Oxford, of class bias in failing to…

‘Untitled (Oxidation Painting)’, 1978, by Andy Warhol

Warhol the traditionalist: the Ashmolean Museum show reviewed

6 February 2016 9:00 am

When asked the question ‘What is art?’, Andy Warhol gave a characteristically flip answer (‘Isn’t that a guy’s name?’). On…

Hilly, wife of Kingsley Amis, in Swansea

Larkin’s misty parks and moors — in all their lacerating beauty

12 December 2015 9:00 am

When Philip Larkin went up to St John’s College, Oxford, in the early 1940s, he found himself in a world…

Charles Williams: sadist or Rosicrucian saint?

14 November 2015 9:00 am

Charles Williams was a bad writer, but a very interesting one. Most famous bad writers have to settle, like Sidney…

‘I hope you don’t mind these letters that just go on and on’

Iris Murdoch’s letters just go on and on — as she herself was the first to admit

29 October 2015 9:00 am

Iris Murdoch’s emotionally hectic novels have been enjoying a comeback lately, with an excellent Radio 4 dramatisation of The Sea,…