Judith Flanders

A group of boys riding in an army tank on the roundabout at the Hampstead Heath Fairground in 1944.  (Photo by Harry Shepherd/Fox Photos/Getty Images)

Beer and skittles and Lucian Freud and Quentin Crisp – a Hampstead misery memoir

20 September 2014 9:00 am

The rise of the ‘misery memoir’ describing abusive childhoods, followed by the I-was-a-teenage-druggie-alkie-gangbanger-tick-as-appropriate memoir, pushed into the shadows an older…


The pen was mightier than the brush

2 June 2012 7:00 pm

Of the making of books about the Pre-Raphaelites, it appears, there is no end. Like the Bloomsberries, most of the…


Making sense of a cruel world

4 February 2012 10:00 am

The actor-biographer Simon Callow has played Dickens, and has created Dickensian characters, in monologues and in a solo bravura rendition…


The odd couple

24 September 2011 12:00 am

Carola Hicks was an acclaimed art historian, and, as she phrased it, a biographer of objects, exploring the ‘lives’ of…

An upside-down world

10 September 2011 12:00 am

Last year, with William Ryan’s The Holy Thief, detective-fiction aficionados welcomed the thrillingly horrific first instalment in a new series set in 1930s Moscow.

Pearls before swine

4 June 2011 12:00 am

The story of Harry the Valet is the stuff of fiction.


Massacre of the innocents

12 March 2011 12:00 am

‘La justice flétrit, la prison corrompt et la société a les criminels qu’elle mérite’ — Justice withers, prison corrupts, and society gets the criminals it deserves.


A palace in miniature

13 November 2010 12:00 am

There’s nothing like a really good wallow in nostalgia.


Lurking beneath the surface

12 May 2010 12:00 am

One’s past life is, usually, comfortably past.


Life beyond the canvas

24 February 2010 12:00 am

Angela Thirlwell’s previous book was a double biography of William Rossetti (brother to the more famous Dante Gabriel) and his wife Lucy (daughter of the more famous Ford Madox Brown).


Riding for a fall

17 February 2010 12:00 am

Many attempts have been made to portray the ‘Roaring Twenties’, or the ‘Gilded Nineties’, or the something-or-other sometime-else, but in truth the 1930s is one of the few decades that fits neatly into a nice round summary, with the Great Depression at one end, the second world war at the other.

Not perfect freedom

30 December 2009 12:00 am

‘Servants’ and ‘service’ have not always meant ‘servility’.

Ten minutes that shook Europe

5 November 2008 12:00 am

Wrath of God: the Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755, by Edward Paice


Out of the frying pan . . .

24 September 2008 12:00 am

Stranger in the House: Women’s Stories of Men Returning from the Second World War, by Julie Summers

A dying fall

28 May 2008 12:00 am

Judith Flanders reviews Stephen Galloway's novel about the siege of Sarajevo 

When pink was far from rosy

23 January 2008 12:00 am

Judith Flanders on the new book by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin

Beautiful Victorian behemoth

1 February 2007 7:20 am

It would take a heart of stone to contemplate St Pancras station and its appended Midland Grand Hotel without laughing,…

Pea-soupers and telegraphic paralysis

9 November 2006 8:27 am

Lee Jackson is the creator of that cornucopia of Victorian delight, the Victorian London website (www.victorianlondon.org). From Mogg’s Strangers’ Guide…

The bad old East End

26 October 2006 11:28 am

‘The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.’ L. P. Hartley’s famous opening is used by Gilda…

The Boogie and Ginnie double act

14 September 2006 9:26 am

Relationships between mothers and daughters are sometimes harmonious, often troubled, and always contradictory. Daughters want to break away, be independent,…


The master and the loyal retainer

10 May 2006 6:14 pm

Listing page content here It was not easy to be an attendant at the court of King Pablo, for Picasso,…

The Goddams and the snail-eaters

25 March 2006 12:00 am

A French journalist writing in 1999 was succinct: ‘The English hate the French. Who reciprocate … A purée of prejudice…

Lust for life

4 March 2006 12:00 am

I must declare an interest. At my solitary meeting with Maggi Hambling, she suddenly barked, ‘Would you like to see…

Dogged does it

15 October 2005 12:00 am

William Boyd has written a dozen novels and short stories in the past quarter-century. That makes him a fairly prolific…

New technology, component costs and product placement

13 November 2004 12:00 am

The fashion for novelty is scarcely, well, novel. In the 18th century Dr Johnson warned that the frenzy for the…