Anne Chisholm

Henrietta Bingham holds the whip hand with Stephen Tomlin at Ham Spray, home of Lytton Strachey and Dora Carrington

Good stories of bad Bloomsbury behaviour

27 June 2015 9:00 am

Even the Group considered Bunny Garnett and Henrietta Bingham quite ‘wayward’. Their powerful charms appealed to both sexes, says Anne Chisholm — and they even managed a fling together


Germaine Greer's mad, passionate quest to heal Australia

8 February 2014 9:00 am

Like an old woman in a fairy story, Germaine Greer, now in her late seventies, has taken to lurking in…

Woman in black: Madeleine St John, due for revival. 
‘Her steadiest relationships were with a series of cats’

Breakdowns, suicide attempts — and four great novels

18 January 2014 9:00 am

Among the clever young Australians who came over here in the 1960s to find themselves and make their mark, a…

Almost English, by Charlotte Mendelson - review

7 September 2013 9:00 am

Novels about growing up have two great themes: loss of innocence and the forging of identity. With this sparky, sharp-eyed…

Truth and beauty

24 November 2012 9:00 am

Almost 20 years ago, Alice Munro, the Canadian genius of the short story, was interviewed by the Paris Review. She…

The serpent in the garden

11 August 2012 6:00 am

Loss of innocence happens to us all and is one of the great themes of literature. With The River, a…

What was it all for?

31 March 2012 9:00 am

What happens to a novelist who becomes the conscience of a nation? Nadine Gordimer, who is now 89 and whose…


Irrepressible: The Life and Times of Jessica Mitford by Leslie Brody

22 October 2011 11:00 am

Has the Mitford saga delighted us long enough? Some 17 non-fiction books about the family, mostly by its own members,…


What did you do in the war, Mummy?

28 May 2011 12:00 am

By tradition, ‘What did you do in the war?’ is a question children address to Daddy, not to Mummy.


A grief ago

26 March 2011 12:00 am

The cautionary slogan ‘less is more’ has never been the American writer Joyce Carol Oates’ watchword.


Lessons for life

18 December 2010 12:00 am

All modern biographies, one could say, are books of secrets; certainly all biographers during the past four decades have felt entitled to ferret around in their subject’s private as well as public lives.


No love lost

31 July 2010 12:00 am

There is chick lit, or witless, ill-written, juvenile popular fiction, and then there is superior chick lit, which is smart and amusing and written for grown ups.


Her own best invention

17 March 2010 12:00 am

Lesley Blanch, who died in 2007 aged almost 103, did not want this book written.


An institution to love and cherish

3 February 2010 12:00 am

Books about marriage, like the battered old institution itself, come in and out of fashion with writers, readers and politicians, but never quite die away.

Jim’s especial foibles

30 September 2009 12:00 am

As a young man in the 1970s Michael Bloch was the architectural historian and diarist James Lees- Milne’s last (if, we are assured, platonic) attachment, and later became his literary executor.

Raising the last glass

8 July 2009 12:00 am

My Father’s Tears, by John Updike

The benefit of the doubt

13 May 2009 12:00 am

Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel

Deborah Mitford

The châtelaine and the wanderer

3 September 2008 12:00 am

In Tearing Haste: Letters between Deborah Devonshire and Patrick Leigh Fermor, edited by Charlotte Mosley

Growing old gracefully

2 January 2008 12:00 am

Ninety may be the new 70, but it is also seriously old, and no picnic. In her short, sharp, disconcerting…

A very honourable rebel

30 November 2006 10:29 am

In the autumn of 1995 Jessica Mitford, the youngest of the sisters, known to one and all since childhood as…

Fighting free of Father

19 October 2006 11:46 am

When the second world war began, Nicholas Mosley, the distinguished novelist son of the fascist leader Sir Oswald, who thought…

Rampant fascism near Henley

12 July 2006 4:43 pm

There can seldom have been a better first sentence in a book by a daughter about her mother: ‘“Heil Hitler!”…

The dangerous edge of things

7 June 2006 4:35 pm

Listing page content here If her name rings a bell at all, Mary Wesley, who died aged 90 in 2002,…

Counting fewer and fewer blessings

3 December 2005 12:00 am

One of these anthologies (Late Youth) is small and sprightly, with a pretty, jaunty cover depicting one cheery old person…

A bad judge, except of art

24 September 2005 12:00 am

According to this new biography by an earnest, academically inclined American, Peggy Guggenheim deserves to be given a respected place…