Social history

James Gillray’s ‘The Wig’. Hairdressing was a good time to catch up on the latest novel

The lost pleasure of reading aloud

26 August 2017 9:00 am

‘I have nothing to doe but work and read my Eyes out,’ complained Anne Vernon in 1734, writing from her…

‘Return of the Staghunt’ by Edwin Landseer, 1837 (from Highland Retreats)

The Highland dream — from picturesque cottage to fantasy castle

27 May 2017 9:00 am

As well as being a leading architectural historian Mary Miers is an editor at Country Life. For her latest book…

When healthy eating was a packet of salt-and-vinegar crisps. Golden Wonder, not Walkers

24 September 2016 9:00 am

Oh for the days when a digestive biscuit or a bag of crisps were regarded as health food, says Henry Jeffreys

Bellamont Forest, Co. Cavan (c.1728), often described as a perfect Palladian villa, was designed by Sir Edward Lovett Pearce for Thomas Coote

Bedding down with the butler in Georgian Ireland

21 May 2016 9:00 am

If you had the resources, Georgian Ireland must have been a very agreeable place in which to live. It was…

How did Britain ever have unarmed criminals?

8 November 2014 9:00 am

Once, both police and criminals in Britain routinely did without guns. How did that happen? And why did it change?

The People’s Songs, by Stuart Maconie - a review

20 July 2013 9:00 am

For Stuart Maconie fans, this book might sound as if it’ll be his masterpiece. In his earlier memoirs and travelogues,…

The Unwinding, by George Packer - review

13 July 2013 9:00 am

The Unwinding is a rather classy addition to the thriving genre of American apocalypse porn. The basic thesis can be…

‘On Glasgow and Edinburgh', by Robert Crawford - review

9 March 2013 9:00 am

Glasgow and Edinburgh are so nearby that even in the 18th-century Adam Smith could breakfast in one city and be…

Foundling Hospital tokens

2 March 2013 9:00 am

‘Dear Sir, I am the unfortunate woman that lies under sentens of Death in Newgatt…’  So begins a letter of…

Ladies, you don’t want to go back there

19 May 2012 10:00 am

In 2009 a magazine survey found that many women in their twenties wanted to stay at home baking while their…

Rotten, vicious times

14 April 2012 11:00 am

A.N. Wilson recalls the worst decade of  recent history and the death throes of Old England

Far from close

14 April 2012 10:00 am

In 1598, a certain Margaret Browne of Houndsditch gave a graphic description to the court of her neighbour Clement Underhill…

Trading places

3 December 2011 9:00 am

Thirty years ago Sir Keith Joseph, portrayed by Sir Ian Gilmour, a fellow minister, as owning ‘a Rolls-Royce mind without…

Another form of segregation

18 December 2010 12:00 am

William Feaver on a sumptuous work of scholarship devoted exclusively to the black arts