A.N. Wilson

‘I hope you don’t mind these letters that just go on and on’

Iris Murdoch’s letters just go on and on — as she herself was the first to admit

29 October 2015 9:00 am

Iris Murdoch’s emotionally hectic novels have been enjoying a comeback lately, with an excellent Radio 4 dramatisation of The Sea,…

VJ Day celebrations in Piccadilly Circus (Photo: Getty)

A.N. Wilson’s diary: VJ Day and the Virginia Woolf Burger Bar

15 August 2015 9:00 am

Should we have celebrated VJ Day? Hearing the hieratic tones of the Emperor Hirohito on Radio 4 the other day,…

The influence of money: a donor who helped build the fifth-century Basilica of Aquileia is commemorated in a mosaic portrait

Paying and praying: economics determined theology in the early Christian church

11 April 2015 9:00 am

Peter Brown’s explorations of the mindsets of late antiquity have been educating us for nearly half a century, ever since…

John Gielgud, left, as Raskolnikov in a production of Crime and Punishment. (Photo by Alex Bender/Denis De Marney/Getty Images)

This new translation of Crime and Punishment is a masterpiece

20 September 2014 9:00 am

Subscribers to this periodical, while Mark Amory has been literary editor, must often have felt they were enjoying an incomparable…

Peter Levi Photo: Getty

Peter Levi – poet, priest and life-enhancer

30 August 2014 9:00 am

Hilaire Belloc was once being discussed on some television programme. One of the panellists was Peter Levi. The other critics…

John Betjeman Photo: Getty

A.N. Wilson's diary: The book that made me a writer – and the pushchair that made me an old git

23 August 2014 9:00 am

Like many inward-looking children, I always doodled stories and poems. Knowing one wanted to be a writer is a different…

Portrait of Dante by Domenico di Michelino

A divine guide to Dante

28 June 2014 9:00 am

Reading Dante is an experience of a lifetime. You never come to the end of it. But,  like Dante himself,…

Front quad of Oriel College, Oxford

Oriel: the college that shaped the spiritual heart of 19th century Britain

5 April 2014 9:00 am

Oriel was only the fifth college to be founded in Oxford, in 1326. Although it has gone through periods of…

Gin and sin: the sign of the ‘Mischief’, circa 1850

G without T

7 December 2013 9:00 am

The true drink of England is better taken neat, says A.N. Wilson


George Orwell's doublethink

26 October 2013 9:00 am

The inventor of ‘doublethink’ was consistently inconsistent  in his own political views, says A.N. Wilson. And no fun at all

Reflections on a Metaphysical Flaneur, by Raymond Tallis - review

10 August 2013 9:00 am

There are books we read for pleasure and there are books we are paid to review. However enjoyable the books…

The history girl

13 July 2013 9:00 am

Ronald Knox, found awake aged four by a nanny, was asked what he was thinking about, and he replied ‘the…

British Royalty. pic: 1933. HRH.The Duchess of York, portrait. The Duchess of York, (1900-2002) born Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, was Queen Consort to King George VI, and on his death became the Queen Mother, ever popular with the people.

Such fun!

24 November 2012 9:00 am

Nearly all the pages in this book are filled with thank-you letters. As a child, Elizabeth Bowes Lyon was writing…


Bertie: A Life of Edward VII, by Jane Ridley

18 August 2012 6:00 am

After this irreverent new life of Edward VII, royal biography will never be the same again, says A.N. Wilson

Good queen, bad subject

2 June 2012 7:00 pm

There is a paradox at the heart of all books about the Queen. The very thing which makes her such…


Bookends: Shady people in the sun

26 May 2012 3:00 pm

Carla McKay’s The Folly of French Kissing (Gibson Square, £7.99) is a very funny, cynical tale about British expatriates in…


Rotten, vicious times

14 April 2012 11:00 am

A.N. Wilson recalls the worst decade of  recent history and the death throes of Old England


10 March 2012 4:00 pm

Some time in the olden days, an Irishman called St Piran took the trouble to float over the ocean on…

Helping our unbelief

21 January 2012 11:00 am

Over 125 of the 320 pages in this book are either blank, or taken up with black-and-white illustrations, of subjects…


In a class of his own

27 August 2011 10:00 am

Ysenda Maxtone Graham’s Mr Tibbits’s Catholic School captures the hilarity and pathos of an eccentric headmaster and the unusual establishment he founded in Kensington in the Thirties. A.N.Wilson introduces us to his funny, peculiar world

Worshippers at the high altar

20 August 2011 12:00 am

What grabbed me about Newman and His Contemporaries was a puff from an Australian writer quoted on the back.


The way to dusty death

21 May 2011 12:00 am

Beryl Bainbridge’s last novel is a haunting echo of her own final years, according to A. N. Wilson


When wailing is appropriate

7 May 2011 12:00 am

This is a strange exercise. It is a commonplace book of quotations from great authors, assembled by the philosopher A. C. Grayling. The extracts from the great books, how- ever, are provided without attribution.


The man mountain of Fleet Street

23 April 2011 12:00 am

A. N. Wilson has a queasy feeling that he won’t be re-reading the works of G. K. Chesterton for a while

Perchance to dream

5 February 2011 12:00 am

This book reads like an interesting after- dinner conversation between intelligent friends.