The puppet queen

14 January 2017 9:00 am

It is easy to see why the bare century of the Tudor dynasty’s rule has drawn so much attention from…

Attractive female on the phone

Body language

14 January 2017 9:00 am

Others goes straight to the head. Things start like this: with an article on a website called ‘Women and Film’,…


Restoration man

14 January 2017 9:00 am

Given that he wrote and published some of the most stunningly handsome books of the 17th century, John Ogilby has…


The best Brontë

14 January 2017 9:00 am

Fans of the novels and poems written by the sibling inhabitants of Haworth Parsonage always have a Top Brontë. Fame-seeking…

Soviet power does not punish, it corrects (The slogan on the wall of the former Red Corner punishmen Artist: Anonymous

Only obeying orders

14 January 2017 9:00 am

Spare a thought for the poor Gulag guard: the rifleman standing in the freezing wind on the outside of the…

House of Fraser BAFTA TV Awards 2016 - Press Room - London

A shameful whitewash

14 January 2017 9:00 am

I have been researching and writing about black British history for over 30 years but never before have I been…

Display of Assassin Weapons

Licence to kill

14 January 2017 9:00 am

As I read the last chapter of this book, news broke that the Russian ambassador to Ankara, Andrey Karlov, had…

horse in the mist

Perfect Sunday evening schmaltz

14 January 2017 9:00 am

Set in rural England in 1911, Tim Pears’s latest novel tells of a friendship between 12-year-old Leo, a precocious carter,…


Sweat-drenching, muscle-aching stuff

14 January 2017 9:00 am

‘John, we need your autobiography.’ ‘I thought I’d express my life experience in song.’ ‘That’ll be fine.’ This would be…


An astronomical feat

14 January 2017 9:00 am

Think of a computer and your mind might conjure the brushed steel contours of the latest must-have laptop or, for…


An unmagnificent seven

7 January 2017 9:00 am

One of the most interesting developments in modern publishing has surely been the revival of interest in women writers of…


A gentle reproach to Shakespeare

7 January 2017 9:00 am

A few years ago, I fell hopelessly in love with Harriet Walter. It only lasted an hour or two: she…

Warwickshire v Surrey - Royal London One-Day Cup Final

Hit for six

7 January 2017 9:00 am

Frankie Howerd, the great, if troubled, comedian, was once asked whether he enjoyed performing. ‘I enjoy having performed,’ he replied.…

Lilburne The Leveller

Power to the people

7 January 2017 9:00 am

Jeremy Corbyn will probably enjoy this book — which doesn’t mean you won’t. Asked to name the historical figure he…


From Balzac to the Beatles

7 January 2017 9:00 am

All biography is both an act of homage and a labour of dissection, and all biographers are jealous of their…


Not so cold-blooded

7 January 2017 9:00 am

The recent furore over a freakshow ice rink in Japan, with hapless fishes embedded beneath the skaters’ feet, was inexplicable…

Emile Zola

Emile in exile

7 January 2017 9:00 am

Michael Rosen, a poet, journalist and prolific author of novels for children, has written an account of Emile Zola’s year’s…


Put out more flags

29 December 2016 3:00 pm

Did you know that 190 out of 200 nations in the world have either red or blue on their flags?…

Two female figures collect the remains of a dead horse for food.

Whisper who dares

29 December 2016 3:00 pm

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

Canal At Amsterdam

A fresh start

29 December 2016 3:00 pm

Most of us lead lives of quiet desperation. So we’re told. Frits van Egters apparently leads a life more desperate…

Margaret Cavendish

Homage to Mad Madge

29 December 2016 3:00 pm

There has never previously, I believe, been a novel about Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle, one of the 17th century’s…

A picture taken on November 12, 2006 of

A truly monstrous regiment

29 December 2016 3:00 pm

When George Omona first saw soldiers in the infamous Lord’s Resistance Army, he was amazed. The scary fighters who had…


Hitchcock’s favourite bird

29 December 2016 3:00 pm

‘The Birds is coming’ screamed the posters for Tippi Hedren’s only famous film. Well, the cats is coming in her…


Cuckoo in the nest

29 December 2016 3:00 pm

‘Light as a feather, free as a bird.’ Günter Grass starts this final volume of short prose, poetry and sketches…

Answers to ‘Spot the British Author’

10 December 2016 9:00 am

1. Kingsley Amis 2. Beatrix Potter 3. Graham Greene 4. Salman Rushdie 5. Nick Hornby 6. Arthur Conan Doyle 7.…