Orlando Bird

There are no ‘correct’ recipes when it comes to pasta

A few years ago I was feeling peckish at Catania airport. I wandered over to the main café and spotted – beyond the stacks of panini stuffed with wilting prosciutto – a sign promising pasta. I assumed they’d be doling it out ready-made from a hulking pot, school-canteen style. But no: they were carefully blanching

An enduring classic

A couple of years back, John Carey reviewed a new biography of Kingsley Amis and began with the question that people had been asking for years: why was he so horrible? Amis is regarded as one of a generation of fat philistines, drink-sodden and misanthropic, who made careers of bating Britain’s ‘Trots and leftist shags’.

The ‘Big Society’ in Georgian and Victorian literature

When David Cameron unveiled his plans for a ‘Big Society’, transferring power from ‘the elite in Whitehall to the man and woman on the street’, Ed Miliband accused him of wanting to drag the welfare state back to Victorian times. Presumably he feared a Tory Britain in which a latter-day David Copperfield was left to

From the archives: The Chatterley trial

It’s 50 years since the case of Lady Chatterley’s Lover was declared sub judice, so commenting on the trial amounted to contempt of court. Here’s how the Spectator circumvented the order at the time: The Prosecutors, The Spectator, August 26, 1960 As Penguin Books Ltd. have been summoned under the Obscene Publications Act, the case