Books

The Sistine Chapel as you've never seen it before

27 February 2021 9:00 am

Rosie Millard gets her gloved hands on one of the world’s most lavish – and expensive – art books

From ancient Greece to TikTok: a short history of the sea shanty

6 February 2021 9:00 am

From ancient Greece to TikTok: Alexandra Coghlan on the pulling power of shanties

Most artistic careers end in failure. Why does no one talk about this?

16 January 2021 9:00 am

Rosie Millard dispels the myth that persistence is always rewarded

The grumpy genius of Raymond Briggs

19 December 2020 9:00 am

No one captures better than Raymond Briggs the ambivalence that many of us feel towards the festive season, says Daisy Dunn

Every page of this astonishingly beautiful ode to the citrus is a treat

19 December 2020 9:00 am

Laura Freeman is transported by J.C. Volkamer’s astonishingly beautiful ode to the citrus

Absorbing and beautifully designed: Jane Eyre reviewed

5 December 2020 9:00 am

Blackeyed Theatre is another victim of the virus. Its production of Jane Eyrewas midway through a UK tour, and due…

The genius of I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue

5 December 2020 9:00 am

I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue has just been voted the greatest radio comedy of all time by Radio Times,…

Why I stopped reading novels

5 December 2020 9:00 am

New York I received a letter from a long-time Spectatorreader, James Hackett, enquiring about books I am reading. It is…

Antony Gormley on why sculpture is far superior to painting

7 November 2020 9:00 am

In an extract from their book, Antony Gormley tells Martin Gayford that the 3-D will always trump the 2-D

'We're all members of the Stasi now': Irvine Welsh interviewed

31 October 2020 9:00 am

The arts are everywhere under attack from those who claim offence, writes Nina Power. Irvine Welsh steps into the fray with a documentary on the new censorship

You won’t be able to look away: Shirley reviewed

31 October 2020 9:00 am

This week, two electrifying performances in two excellent films rather than two mediocre performances in the one mediocre film —…

From half a shelf to a library: my life in books

17 October 2020 9:00 am

‘Yes, I will have a coffee,’ said the van driver. He’d driven down to the south of France from Devon.…

East Anglia is the place for birds

10 October 2020 9:00 am

I first visited Orford in 1970, at peak Cold War when this stretch of the East Anglian coast was one…

Funny, tender and properly horrible: Channel 4’s Adult Material reviewed

10 October 2020 9:00 am

A woman is eating a pie in her car as it gets an automatic wash. Careful to keep the pie…

The most important book on black Britishness has one flaw: its author was white

3 October 2020 9:00 am

Can people of one race really understand the experience of another? asks Colin Grant

The gentle genius of Mervyn Peake

19 September 2020 9:00 am

Mervyn Peake’s unsettling illustrations reveal a gentle, kindly man with the soul of a pirate, says Daisy Dunn

A podcast about the literary canon that actually deepens your knowledge (sort of)

29 August 2020 9:00 am

While most of life’s pleasures can be shared, reading is lonely. It’s more than possible for six friends to enjoy…

Unique and disturbing: Donmar Warehouse's Blindness reviewed

22 August 2020 9:00 am

Okay, I admit it. I have a girl crush on Juliet Stevenson. Ever since I first saw her in the…

The weird and wonderful world of hotel carpets

11 July 2020 9:00 am

Sophie Haigney on the weird and wonderful world of hotel carpets

Why is Robert Burton’s masterpiece Anatomy of Melancholy being sold as self-help?

27 June 2020 9:00 am

The BBC has been having a good pandemic. Stuck at home, a generation raised on podcasts and YouTube has discovered…

The art of the incel

13 June 2020 9:00 am

The roots of incel subculture – and its magnificent memes – stretch back to Goethe’s Werther and beyond, says Nina Power

There’s no point in bishops – Covid has shown us so

6 June 2020 9:00 am

It is a relief to parents that young children are allowed out a bit now as the length of the…

Why is it that age limits never apply to men?

6 June 2020 9:00 am

I’d never have thought I’d be good at doing nothing. Or rather walking the dogs, loafing in the sun, trying…

The Literary Disco podcast made me want to throw my laptop at the wall

30 May 2020 9:00 am

One of the stranger things that happened in the period just before lockdown was the sudden disappearance of audiences from…

The lost world of lockdown

23 May 2020 9:00 am

It started when, the day after the announcement of some lockdown easing, I drove five miles along the coast road.…