Andrew Lycett

Under deep suspicion in Beirut, Kim Philby still carried on regardless

16 October 2021 9:00 am

The story of the Cambridge spies has been served up so often that it has become stale — too detailed,…

The cosmopolitan spirit of the Middle East vanished with the Ottomans

28 August 2021 9:00 am

One of the most depressing vignettes in Michael Vatikiotis’s agreeably meandering account of his cosmopolitan family’s experiences in the Near…

Not so dryasdust: how 18th-century antiquarians proved the first ‘modern’ historians

3 July 2021 9:00 am

Antiquaries have had a bad press. If mentioned at all today, they are often derided as reclusive pedants poring over…

‘Britain’s Dreyfus Affair’: a very nasty village scandal

6 March 2021 9:00 am

It has been described as Britain’s Dreyfus Affair — the wrongful imprisonment in 1903 of a half-Indian solicitor George Edalji…

War was never Sir Edward Grey’s métier

12 December 2020 9:00 am

This meaty but easily digested biography pivots around the events either side of that fateful evening of 4 August 1914…

Death in the Cape – the lonely fate of Mary Kingsley

15 February 2020 9:00 am

What compelled three well-known British writers to leave their homes and travel 6,000 miles to participate in a nasty late-19th-century…

A page-turning work of well-researched history: The Mountbattens reviewed

14 September 2019 9:00 am

He would want to be remembered as the debonair war hero who delivered Indian independence and became the royal family’s…

What really amused Queen Victoria? Dwarfs, giants and bearded women

11 May 2019 9:00 am

The American dwarf ‘General’ Tom Thumb is only mentioned once in Lee Jackson’s encyclopaedic survey of Victorian mass entertainment, and…

Juliette Gréco and Miles Davis at the Salle Pleyel, Paris, c. 1949

Paris at its most liberated: the turbulent 1940s

24 March 2018 9:00 am

We all have our favourite period of Parisian history, be it the Revolution, the Belle Époque or the swinging 1960s…

Jeremy Thorpe gets off Scott-free

14 May 2016 9:00 am

Appropriately for the dog days of British politics, there’s plenty of canine activity in this neatly groomed account of the…

Always prone to depression: David Astor c.1946

David Astor: the saintly, tormented man who remade the Observer

5 March 2016 9:00 am

Before embarking on this book, Jeremy Lewis was told by his friend Diana Athill that his subject, the newspaper editor…

David Litvinoff: queeny aesthete or street-hustling procurer?

6 February 2016 9:00 am

Even David Litvinoff’s surname was a concoction. It was really Levy. Wanting something ‘more romantic’, he appropriated that of his…

Diana Athill finally accepts ‘Old Woman’ status, aged 98

23 January 2016 9:00 am

There’s something reassuring about 98-year-old Diana Athill. She’s stately and well-ordered, like the gardens at Ditchingham Hall in Norfolk, her…

The real subject of John le Carré’s novels is his conman father Ronnie

29 October 2015 9:00 am

John le Carré has been writing about a mirror world for over 50 years — and he’ll continue to do so for as long as his father haunts him, says Andrew Lycett