Dominic Selwood

The surprising history of England’s three lions

English lions went extinct 12,000 to 14,000 years ago. So why will eleven Danish men – each dutifully sporting the ‘DBU’ roundel of the Danish Football Association – be facing tonight 33 embroidered images of panthera leo on the shirts of the England team? The answer has nothing to do with football, or any other

The Plantagenet we always forget

Watching Heston Blumenthal arrange the infernal horror that is a lamprey’s head on a plate is one thing; seeing an enthusiastic dinner guest suck the raw, bloody meat out of it is quite another — something you will never, in fact, unsee. But finding the YouTube link to this spectacle in the chatty preface to

The Cold War is over – and the Grey War has begun

Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary General, announced on Friday that the Cold War is “back with a vengeance”. Although the US and Russia are squaring off militarily in a way that has not been seen for decades, Guterres is wrong. This is not a return to the Cold War. This is something new. His error is

If the Turin Shroud is the work of a medieval artist, it’s one of the greatest artworks ever created

Last week something rather unusual happened in the quiet Italian city of Turin. Inside the 15-century cathedral, an ancient, stained, and burned piece of medieval linen was removed from its airtight, bulletproof case and put on display. The exhibition will last 67 days. Last time the intensely controversial textile was brought out, in 2010, over 2.5 million people poured into