Christopher Howse

Photograph by Charles Sturge

Remembering P.J. Kavanagh

19 September 2015 8:00 am


St George as depicted in The Golden Legend

St George: patron saint of England, patronised by all

25 April 2015 9:00 am

What did St George do? Killed a dragon, as everyone knows. And yet, as Samantha Riches points out, no mention…

The two billionth view

Christmas Quiz

13 December 2014 9:00 am

Set by Christopher Howse.

Illustrated by Castro

Even Cilla’s biographer admits that critics were justified in knocking the ‘prurience ‘of Blind Date

The tat-world of dystopia that celebrities construct for themselves: five of the year’s top biographies

6 December 2014 9:00 am

Cilla Black has become a strange creature during her 50 years in showbiz. When her husband Bobby was in hospital…

The jilted bride

Charles Saatchi’s new book of photos makes me feel sick

13 September 2014 9:00 am

Charles Saatchi, the gallery owner, has created his own Chamber of Horrors in this thick, square book, ‘inspired by striking…

‘Flying Rock’

Floating bodies, seeing hands, rippling skies - is Jerry Uelsmann’s photomontage a tragic dead-end?

30 August 2014 9:00 am

An untitled photograph by Jerry Uelsmann from 1991 shows a rock like Magritte’s floating in the sky between an Ansel…

What! Has John Sutherland really not read Don Quixote from cover to cover?

Judge a critic by the quality of his mistakes

10 May 2014 9:00 am

What the title promises is not found inside. It is a tease. John Sutherland says he has ‘been paid one…

A street in Madrid: there is something more interesting behind the sunny façade…

The right way to see Madrid

29 March 2014 9:00 am

I got Madrid utterly wrong for quite a long time. It’s a lovely city to walk in, and I thought…


The Spectator's Christmas Quiz

14 December 2013 9:00 am

Set by Christopher Howse


The Christmas Quiz answers

14 December 2013 9:00 am

Says who? 1. David Cameron. 2. The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd Justin Welby. 3. Nick Clegg. 4. Prince…

P G Wodehouse writing at his home in Paris, 1945 Photo: Getty

What's notable about 'a lovely little old rectangular green French silver whittling knife'? 

30 November 2013 9:00 am

In the reminiscences of Bertie Wooster we find this: As I sat in the bathtub, soaping a meditative foot and…

‘For most of us, ballet is simply a bore’, says Charles Saatchi — 
except when photographed by Tatiana Mikhina

Charles Saatchi's photo play

23 November 2013 9:00 am

The game that Charles Saatchi plays in The Naked Eye is to find photographs of subjects that look surprisingly like…

E.E. Cummings, ‘looking like a plainsman fresh out of the barbers after delivering 300 head of Texas longhorns’

How much can you tell about E.E. Cummings from this photo?

9 November 2013 9:00 am

Do you think you can tell things about writers from the way they look in a painting or photograph? A…

Charing Cross Road, 1951

Notes on…London’s secondhand bookshops

8 June 2013 9:00 am

After seeing the Dalai Lama receive an award at St Paul’s Cathedral, I thought I’d look in at some secondhand…

The Cleansing of Naaman by Elisha. Woodcut from the Biblia Sacra Germanaica

The Serpent’s Promise, by Steve Jones - review

11 May 2013 9:00 am

The weight of bacteria that each of us carries around is equal to that of our brain, a kilogram of…

‘Ware’s Victorian Dictionary of Slang and Phrase', by J. Redding Ware - review

9 March 2013 9:00 am

James Redding Ware, with his idiosyncratic treatment of slang, plunges the reader straight into the late 19th-century Bartholomew Fair of…


Christmas Quiz

15 December 2012 9:00 am

It’s time for the immemorial Christmas custom in which the family gathers round the iPad, cracks another walnut, and sharpens…

The answers

15 December 2012 9:00 am

Weird world1 Mark Rothko’s2 George Washington3 Nadine Dorries4 The Duchess of Cornwall5 Sakhalin6 The 158th Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race7…

Ceiling fresco of the Last Judgment in Marienburg Abbey, South Tyrol, Italy

The beating of heavenly wings

8 December 2012 9:00 am

How did the cherubim, solemn figures of beaten gold in the Holy of Holies of the Hebrew Temple, become chubby…


Catalonia Notebook

6 October 2012 9:00 am

We sang a hymn called ‘Poble en Marxa’ at the beginning of Mass in the working-class parish of Sant Blai.…


Spanish Notebook

24 March 2012 3:00 pm

Round a bend in the mountain path, between the flowering rosemary and the wild box bushes, above the spine of…


Christmas Quiz

17 December 2011 11:15 pm

Set by Christopher Howse
Illustrated by Castro


Landscapes of grief

29 October 2011 1:00 pm

The caption on the photograph (above) makes a difference: ‘A young boy grieves at the funeral of his father who…


What the eye don’t see

20 August 2011 12:00 am


Low life and high style

13 August 2011 12:00 am

The return of Roy Kerridge