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History

Papuan tribal warriors from Karang Senang village armed with bows and arrows prepare to attack the neighboring Harapan village after two Karang Senang tribesmen were killed in the raging tribal war in Mimika town located in Indonesia's restive Papua province. Authorities effort to mediate between the warring tribes have failed as violence erupted in 2012.  (TJAHJONO ERANIUS/AFP/GettyImages)

Interview with a writer: Jared Diamond

1 March 2013 10:55

In his latest book The World Until Yesterday, Jared Diamond analyses the behavioral differences between human beings in tribal stateless-societies and those living in bureaucratic nation states. Diamond says that if… Continue reading

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Roy Lichtenstein, ‘The red horseman’, 1974.

Roy Lichtenstein: comic genius?

26 February 2013 10:24

Tate Modern promises that its forthcoming retrospective will showcase ‘the full scope of Roy Lichtenstein’s artistic explorations’, to which Spectator art critic Andrew Lambirth responded acidly: ‘I look forward to… Continue reading

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The Silence of Animals hi res

Interview with a writer: John Gray

22 February 2013 9:59

In his new book The Silence of Animals, the philosopher John Gray explores why human beings continue to use myth to give purpose to their lives. Drawing from the material… Continue reading

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The choir perform from within the Dome sanctuary of St Paul's Cathedral. Picture: LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty

Discovering poetry: how the Psalms made the English

19 February 2013 11:14

Psalm 42, verses 1-8 Philip Sidney                                         Miles Coverdale Miles Coverdale’s translation of the psalms was among the first fruit of Henry VIII’s ambivalent reformation. The religion of Henry’s England was… Continue reading

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German Dictator, Adolf Hitler addressing a rally in Germany, circa 1939.  (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

National Socialism: the clue’s in the name

15 February 2013 12:51

How can conservatives ensure they always lose? A good place to start is to concede every lie of the left. The Conservative Party appears to be doing what it can… Continue reading

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US soldiers carry a wounded comrade through a swampy area during action in Vietnam in 1969. NATIONAL ARCHIVES/AFP/GettyImages

War is not to be envied

11 February 2013 13:09

Donald Anderson is a former US Air Force Colonel and current professor of English Literature at the US Air Force Academy. His new book, Gathering Noise from my Life: A… Continue reading

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English Romantic poet George Gordon Byron in Albanian dress, painted by Thomas Phillips circa 1815. Image: Getty

Young Romantics quiz

6 February 2013 11:45

Byron may have been mad, bad and dangerous to know, but how’s your knowledge of the rest of the Young Romantics? Are you a connoisseur of Keats, or a specialist on… Continue reading

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Richard III's deformed skeleton proves that one supposed Tudor libel about the king was no more than the truth. Image: Getty

Richard III should be reburied under Leicester council’s car park

5 February 2013 14:00

Anyone who watched last night’s Channel 4 Documentary Richard III: The King Under the Car Park will need no reminding that members of the Richard III Society tend to be… Continue reading

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The skull of King Richard III. Image: Getty

Reading Richard III

4 February 2013 13:32

The confirmation that bones found beneath a Leicester car park are ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ those of Richard III has launched a deluge of familiar puns. ‘A hearse! A hearse! My… Continue reading

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William of Orange rides to victory over James II at the Battle of the Boyne, 7 years before the publication of Dryden's "Jacobite" translation of Virgil's Aeneid. Image: Getty

Discovering poetry: John Dryden, Jacobite superstar

4 February 2013 9:41

From Dryden’s translation of Virgil’s Aeneid Arms and the man I sing who forced by fate And haughty Juno’s unrelenting hate Expelled and exiled left the Trojan shore. Long labours… Continue reading

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We look at Lincoln through glass that is dark in places and rose-tinted in others. ‘Truth’ is elusive in such light. Image: Getty

Abraham Lincoln ‘somehow’ became the great redeemer

29 January 2013 14:00

Abraham Lincoln, in Walt Whitman’s celebrated phrase, contained multitudes. M.E. Synon showed yesterday quite how many there might have been. There is evidence of prejudice, callousness and corruption. Yet there… Continue reading

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Image: Getty

Abraham Lincoln, the ‘specious humbug’

28 January 2013 10:38

This post by M.E. Synon is the first in a series about Stephen Spielberg’s Lincoln. A counter-argument will be published tomorrow, followed by a comparison of screen and literary adaptations of the… Continue reading

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A man dressed as Henry VIII progresses up the Thames in search of more plenty. Image: Getty

Discovering poetry: Henry VIII’s Camelot

21 January 2013 10:23

‘Pastime with good company’, attributed to Henry VIII Pastime with good company I love and shall until I die. Grudge who list, but none deny, So God be pleased, thus… Continue reading

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Paul Emsley's portrait of Catherine Duchess of Cambridge, presently showing at the National Portrait Gallery. Image: Getty

The Duchess of Cambridge, defining a portrait

14 January 2013 12:26

Poor Kate Middleton. In the royal tradition of artistic and literary representation, what defines her at this moment in time? The creepy feature on her wardrobe statistics in February’s Vogue?… Continue reading

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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? It can be done. I can’t promise pictures, but I… Continue reading

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spinrunFinal

‘Turboparalysis’ Revisited

20 December 2012 18:33

The word ‘turboparalysis’, coined by Michael Lind (who has a brilliant piece on the subject in the Spectator Christmas double issue), is paradoxical, even illogical. And yet it is clear, perfect for… Continue reading

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Connecticut Community Copes With Aftermath Of Elementary School Mass Shooting

Newtown, Connecticut: A Very American Tragedy - Spectator Blogs

18 December 2012 19:09

I’ve not written anything for a few days because, well, I’ve been trying to organise what I think about the awfulness of the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut. Trying, also, to… Continue reading

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Admiral Darlan (R) pictured with Marshal Petain, months before his assassination in December 1942. Image: Getty

An assassination at Christmas

18 December 2012 8:00

In the upper outer corridor of the Summer Palace, with its views of the palm fringed courtyard below, the young man was waiting with his gun. It was a no… Continue reading

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Enthusiasts Take Part In The Annual Reenactment Of The Battle Of Hastings

The History Kids

13 December 2012 15:28

Martin Kettle has a column in today’s Guardian lamenting the inadequacy of the teaching of English history in schools today. He suggests that “the English people are increasingly cut off… Continue reading

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Dr Cosmo Lang, Archbishop of Canterbury, leaves Number 10 Downing Street on 6th December 1936 after meeting with Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin and other ministers to discuss the abdication crisis. Image: Getty.

Cosmo Lang, his part in Edward VIII’s downfall

10 December 2012 9:30

In December 1936, following the Abdication of Edward VIII, a rhyme circulated about the Archbishop of Canterbury, Cosmo Lang: ‘My Lord Archbishop, what a scold you are! And when your… Continue reading

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Michael Portillo dressed as King Charles II, the 'Merrie Monarch'. Image: Getty.

Henry Jermyn – the hidden power behind Charles II’s throne

4 December 2012 10:00

350 years ago, Charles II ruled over a Britain whose destiny – as a world power or a defeated backwater – was intricately tied to its relations with Europe. The… Continue reading

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History suggests that if you throw enough bones to this pack of partisan dogs, they'll agree. Image: Getty.

300 years of hating party politics

3 December 2012 9:37

‘Whig and Tory Scratch and Bite’, by Aaron Hill Whig and Tory scratch and bite, Just as hungry dogs we see: Toss a bone ‘twixt two, they fight, Throw a… Continue reading

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John K. Thornton believes that the creation of a militaristic ‘Atlantic World’ was driven by the hunger of European states for hard cash. Image: Getty.

The Atlantic, the ocean that made the modern world

26 November 2012 11:31

Just as the classical world was built around the Mediterranean, the modern world was built around the Atlantic. The Romans called the Med ‘Mare Nostrum’ – Our Sea. The Atlantic,… Continue reading

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Time Magazine's spiel prompts the question, how useful is the Freedom of Information Act against the machinery of the secret State? Image: Getty

Secrecy and the State in Modern Britain

23 November 2012 17:41

In his new book Classified: Secrecy and The State In Modern Britain, Dr Christopher Moran gives an account of the British state’s long obsession with secrecy, and the various methods… Continue reading

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Justin Welby returns to his seat after addressing the General Synod of the Church of England, which includes the House of Laity. Image: Getty

The Church of England is becoming a church in England

21 November 2012 9:22

This morning’s newspapers (and indeed the airwaves) are full of apocalyptic predictions about the future of the Church of England. The failure of the General Synod to ordain women bishops has… Continue reading

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