Undoubted genius Premium

18 August 2016 | by John McEwen
First some facts: Ruskin did not burn Turner’s erotic drawings. Turner’s claim to have been lashed to a storm-driven mast was probably mischief. He uttered no famous last words.

Going strong Premium

18 August 2016 | by David Platzer
Lawrence Ferlinghetti, poet, painter, founder of City Lights bookshop in San Francisco and its eponymous press, publisher of Allen Ginsberg and other Beat writers, remains, now aged 97, a busy man.

Shelf life Premium

18 August 2016 | by Suzi Feay

Bad connections Premium

18 August 2016 | by Andrew Atherstone
This argumentative, gossipy, fitfully entertaining book has been eagerly awaited for several months, since the first print run was pulped in the spring due to undisclosed legal issues.

He’s in there, somewhere Premium

18 August 2016 | by Robert Bathurst
A daughter writes about her father. It’s been done before, but Keggie Carew’s family archaeology has produced an engaging, funny and evocative depiction of war, snobbery, deprivation, insanity, dementia and ghastly relatives.

Listener, she married him Premium

18 August 2016 | by Julian Margaret Gibbs
Jane Eyre is a penniless orphan who becomes a governess and falls for her employer, the brooding Mr Rochester. Discovering he has a lunatic wife, she flees and only submits to marrying him after the wife’s dramatic death.

The road to Nuremberg Premium

10 August 2016 | by Bernard Wasserstein
A learned, gripping, idiosyncratic, personal account of the cauldron in which international human-rights law was forged

Ancient and modern Premium

10 August 2016 | by Michael Alexander
This will for some time be the one-volume academic version of Oxford’s institutional history.

An Anglican apologia Premium

03 August 2016
New facts and striking insights come thick and fast in this riveting collection of essays and reviews by a master historian

Dead and alive Premium

03 August 2016 | by Markie Robson-Scott
Hisham Matar’s novels, In the Country of Men and Anatomy of a Disappearance, are both narrated by a boy whose father is kidnapped by a totalitarian regime.

1966 and all that: witnessing the end of old-fashioned Britain Premium

28 July 2016 | by Adrian Chiles
Fifty years ago today, England reached the final of the World Cup for the first and only time. A wry memoir puts the game in its social and historical context

Dizzy heights Premium

28 July 2016 | by Christopher Bray
“Read no history,” Benjamin Disraeli famously said, “nothing but biography, for that is life without theory.” Fair enough. Yet except for the fact that it happens to be true, who would believe the story of this half-educated, circumcised and Anglicanised Italian Jew (whose family had made its money in straw hats), who became the Queen’s favourite?

Chills, multiplying Premium

28 July 2016 | by Emma Hughes
Alaska turns everything on its head. America’s largest, emptiest state resists attempts to pin it down – and those who do attempt it tend to find their gaze being forced inwards instead. “I looked directly into its eyes,” wrote anthropologist Richard K. Nelson of his encounter with an Alaskan wolverine, “and knew that I understood nothing.”

Those were the days Premium

28 July 2016 | by Jon M. Sweeney
One comes away from reading about the Berrigans with a sense of “those were the days”. Those were the days when priests made headlines for going to jail for peace. Phil died in 2002, at 79, of cancer. Dan just died, at 94, on 30 April this year. He had been living for years in a Jesuit infirm­ary in New York City. 

Oh! What a lovely Waugh Premium

21 July 2016 | by Martin Stannard

Dangerous thinking Premium

21 July 2016 | by William Eichler
Islam is in trouble. Islamic orthodoxy has been infiltrated by a totalitarian ­ideology and captured by fundamentalists sporting well-crafted facial furniture. It has declined from once great heights, and ­morphed into an unreflective dogma followed blindly by automata.

Runners and riders Premium

21 July 2016 | by Markie Robson-Scott
Could Ginger be just another rich white woman messing with a kid whose culture she doesn’t understand? When she and her husband Paul volunteer as a host family with the Fresh Air Fund, which places inner-city kids with kind folks in upstate New York for two weeks in the summer, some people, including Velvet’s mother and Paul, are dubious about her motives.

Hard-luck stories Premium

21 July 2016 | by Sue Gaisford
Throughout her account, Colin adds his own comments: “Well, anybody can say that,” and, “It’s bloody hard work trying to keep you lot under control … don’t expect no sympathy from me.” When the moment arrives for her to be deported, she is injected with a sedative, and slumps to the floor. Colin hands the baby to the little girl.

Summer reading Premium

14 July 2016

Lives in the margins Premium

06 July 2016 | by Anthony Kenny
The editors of this book aim to show that scholarly publication is a legitimate and honourable form of ministry for a priest, whether secular or regular. The authority of Pope Pius XI is cited to the effect “that fine scholarship is in the modern world the most efficacious of all apostolic work”.

The Spanish prisoner Premium

06 July 2016 | by Fernando Cervantes
This reconstruction of the life of Miguel de Cervantes shows that at every stage of their development, his writings were influenced by their author’s experience. William Egginton goes on to make an ­extra­ordinary claim: the man who wrote Don Quixote, he insists, is the “inventor” of fiction.

Slithery plot Premium

06 July 2016 | by Clarissa Burden
In 1893 a village on the muddy coast of Essex was being terrorised by a mythical monster called the Essex Serpent. Cora Seaborne, recently widowed and coming to Essex from London for some fresh air, hears about the Serpent and, as an amateur natur­alist and keen collector of fossils, becomes convinced that this could be a new and undiscovered species of sea creature.

The human factor Premium

06 July 2016 | by Abigail Frymann Rouch
It’s far easier to grasp the reality of a great crisis when we experience it through the eyes of one individual – think Anne Frank or Malala Yousafzai.

Seeking the transcendent Premium

29 June 2016 | by Lucy Beckett
Wagner’s Ring of the Nibelung is an extraordinary work of art. It is also extraordinarily demanding. Four evenings in the opera house are occupied with an introductory piece in a long single act, Das Rheingold, and then three huge music dramas of three acts each: Die Walküre, Siegfried and finally Götterdämmerung (Twilight of the Gods).

Last things Premium

29 June 2016 | by Julian Hughes
The memory of one particular Saturday shortly after I had qualified as a doctor is seared into my mind. An elderly lady who had undergone several major operations in the previous weeks had taken a turn for the worse.

Chapter and verse Premium

29 June 2016 | by Henry Wansbrough
There is hardly enough murder to justify the title, but murder there was – that of William Tyndale, the noble first translator of the Bible into modern English, kidnapped and later garrotted and burnt at the stake for his heretical, Lutheran tendencies.

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