Peter Robins

Peter Robins is The Spectator’s production editor.

The word that links these two men is 'happy': Ed Miliband and Al Smith

Where did Ed Miliband get ‘Happy Warrior’ from? (Clue: not Wordsworth)

7 April 2015 18:18

William Wordsworth, sad to say, may not after all have a significant role in the 2015 election campaign. His name…

(Photo: Peter Robins)

Calorie-counting six sweets at a time

27 October 2014 13:13

Anyone who is trying vaguely to control their weight and still eats tasty, nasty processed foods — me, for instance…

The old technique is to look closely for creases on spines

How to tell who’s really reading Thomas Piketty

11 July 2014 18:33

No one owns a Kindle for very long without becoming obsessed by its social highlighting feature: unless you go into…

Clement Attlee ventures into the East End... Cartoon by Michael Heath. (1963)

Clement Attlee’s conversion

5 June 2014 15:28

In the early 1960s, The Spectator ran a series called ‘John Bull’s first job’ – reminiscences by various prominenti about…

Voters Take To The Polls In European and Local Elections

The pleasures of voting

22 May 2014 15:46

The rhetoric with which we are exhorted to vote is grand and sententious: do your civic duty; people died so…

Philip Hensher at the time of his own Booker shortlisting, for The Northern Clemency

Man Booker prize shortlist 2013 - how was our tipping?

10 September 2013 12:28

One of Philip Hensher’s many qualities as a critic is that he doesn’t take prisoners. So his entertaining and judicious…

Kenneth Tynan: he said it, but he didn't say it first. Photograph: Topical Press Agency/Getty Images

Foresworn: Jonathan Lethem, Kenneth Tynan, and the unpredictable progress of swearing

2 September 2013 16:31

For a few days last week, it seemed that Jonathan Lethem had achieved something unique: he had become the first…

Elmore Leonard

On borrowing Elmore Leonard

20 August 2013 16:59

When you walk into a new branch library, or stumble across an unfamiliar secondhand bookshop, which writer do you look…

Charles Dickens as a very young man. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

A.D. Harvey in The Spectator – a little tribute to Eric Naiman’s ‘When Dickens met Dostoevsky’

19 April 2013 15:22

Beginning with what he finds to be a rather implausible account of a meeting between Dickens and Dostoevsky, Eric Naiman’s…

Oxford Street, London, in 1890

Historical directories: Street View for time-travellers - Spectator Blogs

7 January 2013 12:40

Fancy a walk into London’s past? How about a stroll down Fleet Street in 1895? Or Oxford Street in 1899?…

A scene in Clacton, Essex, yesterday, courtesy of Getty Images and the London Stereoscopic Company

Also not found in Essex: the worst lion headline ever - Spectator blogs

28 August 2012 15:53

In honour of the Essex lion, which seems now to have passed into legend, here is another urban myth. This…

Bernie gag cartoon - 'Unhappy, please help'

Does the New Statesman need more cartoons? Yes!

24 August 2012 12:56

The current issue of the New Statesman leads off with a characteristically elegant and thorough feature by its deputy editor,…

A 1947 Penguin of Graham Greene's The Lawless Roads, author's name misspelt

Graham Greene, Penguin and an old spelling mistake - Spectator blogs

24 August 2012 11:43

Mistakes will sometimes happen even in the best-run places. Pictured with this post, by way of proof, is a 1947…


Max Hastings, John Keegan and Falklands - Spectator Blogs

10 August 2012 12:07

In a notebook from Iceland in this week’s magazine, Max Hastings pays tribute to the late Sir John Keegan with,…


Butlins and the return of the apostrophe - Spectator Blogs

9 August 2012 13:45

When you begin in subediting – the odd little craft of preparing other people’s journalism for publication – certain things,…


An anti-Labour leaflet in a pro-Labour font

30 April 2012 13:51

The leaflet pictured above landed on my doorstep in Peckham last week. It’s the most interesting piece of election literature…


How dangerous is cycling?

3 February 2012 15:49

Am I dicing with death every morning and evening? The Times would say so. I cycle to work, and, for…

In and out of copyright

5 January 2012 9:22

New Year’s Eve, among its other distinctions, is the date when copyright terms tend to expire: with the beginning of…

Local interest

21 October 2011 18:33

A pregnant 24-year-old from Carmarthen, north Wales, has pleaded guilty to attacking a parked police car with a rolling pin.…

Local interest

14 October 2011 17:43

A tourist from Crystal Palace, south London, rescued an 11-month-old boy from the River Yare, in Norfolk, after his pushchair…

Local interest

7 October 2011 17:38

A former postman has stripped naked and superglued himself to a desk at the Job Centre in Bridlington, in protest…

Your Nobel Prize for Literature link round-up

6 October 2011 14:47

1) The official announcement of Tomas Transtömer’s victory  2) The one person in Britain we can be absolutely certain has read…

Local interest

2 September 2011 18:42

Exeter Cathedral is to mark the tenth anniversary of 11 September 2001 by having John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ played on its…

Local interest

26 August 2011 17:44

A couple in Merthyr transformed their front room into a shop selling cannabis and diazepam in order to pay off…

Local interest

19 August 2011 17:18

A woman has been banned from every bookshop in the country after stealing £56 worth of magazines and Plasticine from…