Non-fiction

To take or not to take a pseudonym

18 October 2012 14:04

Literary pseudonyms have been on my mind lately, for a couple of reasons. The first is Salman Rushdie’s revelation that…

Killing as entertainment

18 October 2012 9:36

‘The history of our love affair with violence’ is how Michael Newton describes his new book, Age of Assassins. In…

Review – A Doomed Marriage by Daniel Hannan

17 October 2012 9:23

When Dan Hannan’s book, A Doomed Marriage: Britain and Europe, arrived through the post I was alarmed to see that…

Outliving Ozymandias

9 October 2012 10:02

In 1842, a wealthy heiress called Sarah Losh built a church in Wreay (rhymes with ‘near’, apparently), close to Carlisle.…

Shelf Life: Roger Moore

3 October 2012 16:02

A few surprising revelations from this week’s esteemed Shelf Lifer, as Roger Moore tells us which literary character he’d sleep…

The loneliness of Edwina Currie

2 October 2012 9:49

Edwina Currie is very much an acquired taste and I am very happy that I acquired it in 1983 when…

Interview – Patrick Hennessey, Kandak: Fighting with the Afghans

28 September 2012 11:35

“It always struck me that it was a much easier war to support the closer you got to it,” says…

Let’s not be beastly to the Germans

27 September 2012 15:11

The question of how Europe stumbled into the horrific abyss of  the First World War, the catastrophe which The Economist…

Unmastered: A book on desire, most difficult to tell (…or read)

26 September 2012 9:42

Among the new words which entered the English Dictionary last year was ‘overshare’, def: ‘to reveal an inappropriate amount of…

The death of Osama bin Laden

25 September 2012 11:12

Everyone knows something of what happened the night American Navy Seals killed Osama bin Laden in the Pakistani garrison town…

The Good Loo Guide

20 September 2012 9:46

Funny the ways you can learn about a book. Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones alerted me to one recently,…

Interview: John R. MacArthur on the US election

19 September 2012 10:06

When Barack Obama entered the White House in January 2009, millions of citizens across the United States believed it was…

Robert Hughes – The novelty of the shock

18 September 2012 9:43

The real shock of the new came in 1991. It was sobering, and it was reverent, which aren’t exactly the…

The poetic lies against Old Ironsides

17 September 2012 15:19

‘How the War Began’ by Thomas Jordan, 1663. ‘I’ll tell you how the war began: The holy ones assembled (For…

Africa’s growth spurt

12 September 2012 10:32

When South African police opened fire on striking miners at Lonmin’s Marikana platinum mine, it had all of the hallmarks…

A tale of two Smiths: Zadie Smith and The Smiths

10 September 2012 15:00

It is lit-fiction season: that time of the year of when the premier novelists of the age dominate the market.…

Hot War in the South China Sea?

5 September 2012 16:22

Like the deserts of the Middle East, the barren islands of the South China Sea now loom as a new…

The language of patronage

4 September 2012 14:58

Somehow, sex is less appealing when it’s characterised as ‘equitable return’. Though I’ve heard the phrase used in a similar…

Midway: The overlooked battle

4 September 2012 10:33

For many of us the Battle of Midway is just one more Hollywood spectacular in, to paraphrase Neville Chamberlain, a…

Naomi Wolf, Marie Stopes and grand deceit

3 September 2012 11:27

‘This man makes a pseudonym and crawls behind it like a worm,’ wrote Sylvia Plath in The Fearful. The weekend’s…

In England’s green and pleasant land

31 August 2012 9:20

The idea came to me after I had just got back from South America after a long trip to Peru. …

Jeremy Vine’s survival guide

29 August 2012 18:34

I first knew Jeremy Vine as a very young, charming, earnest and totally driven political correspondent for the BBC in…

General Franco’s British foes

29 August 2012 15:02

David Lomon was one of the lucky ones. While fighting in Aragon in south-west Spain in the spring of 1938,…

Last rites

28 August 2012 9:10

‘Village’, to most middle-Englanders, conjures up a cosy, living community. Perhaps the post office is threatened with closure or the…

Nina Bawden dies age 87

22 August 2012 18:34

Author of classic children’s novel Carrie’s War and the Booker shortlisted Circles of Deceit, Nina Bawden has died today aged 87.…