Lead book review

The stuff of fiction: Elizabeth Bowen exploits her extra-marital affairs

20 February 2021 9:00 am

Lara Feigel tells of the passion, pain and sexual exploitation involved in Elizabeth Bowen’s affair with a young married scholar

The serious rows at Marvel Comics

13 February 2021 9:00 am

If Marvel characters seem dysfunctional, just look at their creators, says Dorian Lynskey

Imagining a future for John Keats — the novelist

6 February 2021 9:00 am

Keats is a much stranger poet than we tend to realise – who shocked his first readers by his vulgarity and gross indecency, says Philip Hensher

Rescuing Elizabeth Barrett Browning from her wax-doll image

30 January 2021 9:00 am

Elizabeth Barrett Browning was an ambitious, passionate, determined woman – not the sad-eyed invalid of legend, says Robert Douglas-Fairhurst

The art of the short story: what we can learn from the Russians

23 January 2021 9:00 am

Viv Groskop takes a masterclass in the art of the short story

Dolly Parton represents all that’s best about America

16 January 2021 9:00 am

Dolly Parton is the living embodiment of America’s best values, says Philip Hensher

The life and loves of Mary Wollstonecraft

9 January 2021 9:00 am

Ruth Scurr reveals what an impulsive, life-loving individual Mary Wollstonecraft was

Will we soon see the end of conservatism as we know it?

19 December 2020 9:00 am

The future of conservatism depends crucially on its ability to withstand the new hard right, says William Hague

The tug of war over the Rosetta Stone

12 December 2020 9:00 am

The decipherment of the Rosetta Stone led to bitter feuding – but there was mutual curiosity and collaboration too, says Elizabeth Frood

Roy Strong’s towering egotism is really rather engaging

5 December 2020 9:00 am

Stephen Bayley recalls his (mainly enjoyable) encounters with the flamboyant former museum director

Barack Obama was decidedly a man of action as well as words

28 November 2020 9:00 am

Barack Obama was famous for his rhetoric, but his achievements show just what a steely political operator he was too, says Sam Leith

Harold Bloom finally betrays how little he really understood literature

21 November 2020 9:00 am

Harold Bloom devoted his life to literature – but he had little feeling for words, says Philip Hensher

Books of the Year II — chosen by our regular reviewers

14 November 2020 9:00 am

David Crane If nothing else, this has been a good time for catch-up. Theodor Fontane’s Effi Briest (translated by Walter…

Books of the year, chosen by our regular reviewers

7 November 2020 9:00 am

Reviewers choose the books they have most enjoyed in 2020 – and a few that have disappointed them

The humble biscuit has a noble history

31 October 2020 9:00 am

Prue Leith traces the biscuit’s surprisingly colourful history

Tom Bower pulls his punches with his life of Boris Johnson

24 October 2020 9:00 am

The Prime Minister may have lost his bounce –but perhaps that’s no bad thing, says Lynn Barber

Behind the veil of secrecy: GCHQ emerges from the shadows

17 October 2020 9:00 am

The brilliance of GCHQ can now be recognised – and about time too, says Sinclair McKay

De Profundis: the agony of filming Oscar Wilde’s last years

10 October 2020 9:00 am

Philip Hensher admires a witty account of the horrors of modern film-making

Written in blood or bound in human skin: the world’s weirdest books

3 October 2020 9:00 am

Dennis Duncan enjoys some of the world’s most bizarre books

Ladies’ man: Tom Stoppard’s love life revealed

26 September 2020 9:00 am

Tom Stoppard is a non-stop genius of jokes – but many of them make his latest biographer uneasy, says Craig Raine

City of dazzling mosaics: the golden age of Ravenna

19 September 2020 9:00 am

Ian Thomson describes Ravenna’s golden age, when classical Rome, Byzantium and Christianity met

Hitler’s admiration has severely damaged Wagner’s reputation

12 September 2020 9:00 am

Wagner gripped the communal mind for decades after his death. Philip Hensher examines his enduring influence

The paradox of Graham Greene – searching for peace in the world’s warzones

5 September 2020 9:00 am

Graham Greene was constantly searching for peace of mind along with escapist thrills, says Nicholas Shakespeare

Toussaint Louverture: the true hero of Haiti

29 August 2020 9:00 am

Toussaint Louverture’s ‘crazy dream’ for Haiti has still to be realised, says Amy Wilentz

Sport, for the English, has always been a defiant assertion of liberty

22 August 2020 9:00 am

The history of English sport reflects a defiant people determined to protect their ancient prerogatives, says Alex Massie