Biography

Boozing and bitching with Germaine Greer: David Plante’s Difficult Women revisited

20 November 2017 15:24

Difficult Women: A Memoir of Three  David Plante New York Review of Books Classics, 2017, £10.99 Worlds Apart: A Memoir David…

Books Podcast: Claire Tomalin

19 October 2017 17:40

In this week’s Books Podcast I talk to the incomparable Claire Tomalin — veteran literary editor, biographer of Mary Wollstonecraft,…

If Cameron is deleting all No. 10 emails, who will write his history?

17 June 2015 12:01

This is an extract from Charles Moore’s Notes in this week’s Spectator, out tomorrow. Subscribe from just £1. In a few weeks, I…

The week in books – a 19th century career woman, the courtesan of the camellias, Vasily Grossman and why France is turning into the USA

16 August 2013 13:40

The forecast is bad. Football is back. Gloom strikes. Cure the malaise by reading the book reviews in this week’s…

Winston Churchill was a very human leader, says Churchill and Empire author Lawrence James

13 August 2013 11:18

More books have been written about Winston Churchill than perhaps any other figure in British history. Do we really need…

Henry Addington thought Robert Peel was bad. What would he have made of David Cameron?

3 July 2013 11:03

Henry Addington, first Viscount Sidmouth, was briefly and, on the whole, ingloriously Prime Minister at the beginning of the nineteenth…

Amy Winehouse and the 27 Club, by Howard Sounes – review

12 June 2013 9:30

As an early dedicated fan of the Doors, who ran away from boarding school just so that I could catch my…

Tory backbencher Jesse Norman. Picture: PA

Jesse Norman interview: Edmund Burke, our chief of men

24 May 2013 9:00

When he arrived in London, Burke had a very brief career in law. He soon dedicated his time to critical…

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…

The more Shane Warne practised, the more magical he got

5 January 2013 16:15

It was a placid start. A tubby kid with peroxide blond hair approached the crease in 6 easy steps. He…

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…

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…

John Keats by Nicholas Roe – review

13 November 2012 17:22

The joke has been made by Jack Stillinger, an American editor of Keats, that there have been so many treatments…

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.…

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.…

From the archives: The Late Dorothy Parker

22 August 2012 15:11

In celebration of the birthday of Dorothy Parker (1893 – 1967) today, here’s a review from the archives of her…

George Washington: Gentleman warrior

15 August 2012 11:24

It is easy to forget that the dignified eighteenth-century gentleman whose image appears on the one-dollar bill, the first President…

Raphael’s paintbrush

12 July 2012 10:00

One of the puns that circulated the cultured elite of Italy during the Renaissance compared the potency of an artist’s…

Practically a Conservative

1 July 2012 16:15

Francis Elliott and James Hanning’s latest update on all things Cameron, Cameron: Practically a Conservative, is a masterclass of painstaking…

Summer reading

21 July 2011 12:36

It’s a tradition of the British summer. A Tory MP produces a summer reading list of weighty and worthy tomes…