Tolstoy

Lenin centre stage — as the great self-promoter

How Lenin manipulated the Russian Revolution to his own ends

25 March 2017 9:00 am

With the old order rotten to the core, Russia was more than ripe for revolution in 1917.  But Lenin thought the revolution was all about him, says Roland Elliott Brown

The unexpected delights of dementia

11 February 2017 9:00 am

August Geiger led an unremarkable life. Born in 1926, the third of ten children of a Catholic farming family in…

The full horror of the siege of Leningrad is finally revealed

31 December 2016 9:00 am

Stand aside, Homer. I doubt whether even the author of the Iliad could have matched Alexis Peri’s account of the…

The man who read the whole of Anna Karenina, letter by letter, to the man next door

25 June 2016 8:00 am

I’d just heard (on catch-up) Jenny Abramsky (a former director of BBC radio) telling Gillian Reynolds (the esteemed radio critic…

The interior of the Swan Theatre, Southwark, in 1596, based on a sketch by a Dutch traveller, Johannes de Witt, and probably the best indicator of what the Globe Theatre would have looked like.

William Shakespeare: all things to all men

23 April 2016 9:00 am

The best new books celebrating Shakespeare’s centenary are full of enthusiasm and insight — but none plucks out the heart of his mystery, says Daniel Swift

Wooden model of a brewing and baking workshop, Egypt, c.2000 bc, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

Ancient Egypt’s obsession with death was in fact a preoccupation with life

2 April 2016 9:00 am

The Fitzwilliam Museum is marking its bicentenary with an exhibition that takes its title from Agatha Christie: Death on the…

Spectator letters: How to level the cricket pitch

30 January 2016 9:00 am

Levelling the cricket pitch Sir: As a cricket addict and believer in state education, it pains me to agree with…

‘We can really slow down and live with the characters, understand what they’re thinking and feeling’: a scene from the BBC’s adaptation of ‘War and Peace’

‘It’s good to chop out the boring bits!’: Andrew Davies on adapting War and Peace

23 January 2016 9:00 am

What does Andrew Davies have to say to those who accuse him of gratuitous rumpy-pumpy in his adaptations of the classics? Stephen Smith finds out

A tale of two families

16 January 2016 9:00 am

Gstaad War and Peace has been in the news lately, so what was it that Leo wrote about all happy…

The edible woman: Lily James as Natasha Rostova in ‘War and Peace’

War & Peace is actually just an upmarket Downton Abbey

9 January 2016 9:00 am

Gosh what a breath of fresh air was Andrew Davies’s War & Peace adaptation (BBC1, Sundays) after all the stale…

Radio 4’s War and Peace: almost as good as the book

24 January 2015 9:00 am

To have listened to Radio 4’s marathon ten-hour adaptation of Tolstoy’s War and Peace as it was being broadcast on…

What parenting meant in 1914

10 January 2015 9:00 am

‘Not still War and Peace!’ exclaimed my husband on 1 January during the all-day Tolstoy splurge on Radio 4. In reality…

This new translation of Crime and Punishment is a masterpiece

20 September 2014 9:00 am

Subscribers to this periodical, while Mark Amory has been literary editor, must often have felt they were enjoying an incomparable…

George Orwell's doublethink

26 October 2013 9:00 am

The inventor of ‘doublethink’ was consistently inconsistent  in his own political views, says A.N. Wilson. And no fun at all

'The Shakespeare of the lunatic asylum' - review of The Dostoevsky Archive by Peter Sekirin

22 June 2013 9:00 am

After you decapitate someone, might their severed head continue thinking? Prince Myshkin holds his audience spellbound with this macabre inquiry…

Hero or villein?

2 June 2012 8:00 pm

‘Not one word’, exclaimed Turgenev of Tolstoy, ‘not one movement of his is natural! He is eternally posing before us!’…

The man and the myth

13 November 2010 12:00 am

Tolstoy’s legend is not what it was; but sometimes the world needs idealised versions of ordinary men, argues Philip Hensher