Oliver Soden

A purring cat is not always contented

Large cats cannot miaow. (Lions and tigers, I mean, not moggies who have overindulged on Whiskers Meaty Selection in Gravy.) The largest feline ever to have lived was a sabre-toothed cat in South America, which weighed nearly half a tonne. Female house cats can copulate up to 20 times a day when in the mood.

Crash test: the new era of economic uncertainty

40 min listen

On the podcast: The Spectator’s economics editor Kate Andrews looks back on a week of economic turbulence and asks whether we should be worried, for her cover piece in the magazine. She is joined by the economist – and former ‘Trussketeer’ – Julian Jessop, to discuss whether we are entering a new era of economic uncertainty

Caring for the dying in a world of Zoom

Ten years ago, recently graduated and unemployed, I sent my CV to a raft of radio producers. Just one replied. ‘Dear Oliver,’ wrote Marilyn Imrie, in an email with the subject line ‘YOU’: ‘How nice to hear from you and about you.’ Her generosity and enthusiasm were writ large in those three capitals, which headed

Rescued by the Goldberg Variations

Were this a less good book than it is, it would be called How Bach Can Help You Grieve. As it is, Counterpoint serves very well, describing the American art and architecture critic Philip Kennicott’s intertwined themes: his reaction to the death of his mother, with whom he had a fractious and traumatic relationship, and