Lewis Jones

Ivor Novello as a ‘sympathetic Ripper’ in Hitchcock’s The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog

Jack the Ripper unmasked again

28 November 2015 9:00 am

The Whitechapel Fiend is a psychic conduit for the vilest aspects of Victorian sex and class, and a creature mainly…

Gore Vidal at his italian residence in Ravello on the Amalfi coast (Photo: Getty)

Gore Vidal, wannabe aristocrat and proud degenerate

5 September 2015 9:00 am

History for Gore Vidal was a vehicle to be ridden in triumph, perhaps as in an out-take from Ben-Hur, which…

Ecclestone and Mosley at Brands Hatch in 1978 — a double-act worthy of Ealing Studios

The fast, furious life of Max Mosley

4 July 2015 9:00 am

Max Mosley’s autobiography has been much anticipated: by the motor racing world, by the writers and readers of tabloid newspapers,…


How to Skin a Lion is full of ingenious solutions to unusual problems — but give me Dear Mary any day

16 May 2015 9:00 am

As Dear Mary so wittily demonstrates, our need for advice is perennial. But fashions change. Mary would probably take issue…

John Steinbeck at the time of writing Travels with Charley

Doing the Steinbeck trail: Geert Mak meets too many others who’ve had the same idea

3 January 2015 9:00 am

In 1960 John Steinbeck set off with his poodle Charley to drive around the United States in a truck equipped…

Têtes coupées by Théodore Géricault, 1818

From head-shrinking to skull-seeking: a history of the severed head

15 November 2014 9:00 am

A severed head, argues Frances Larson in her sprightly new book, is ‘simultaneously a person and a thing… an apparently…

John Cleese Book Signing

Was John Cleese ever funny?

1 November 2014 9:00 am

Like many of my generation I was enchanted by the surrealistic irreverence of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, until I overheard…

‘Some find their death by swords and bullets; and some by fluids down the gullet’. Thomas Rowlandson’s illustration of ‘The English Dance of Death’ by William Combe, 1815 — a satire on the evils of drinking gin

Enjoy gin but don’t read books? Or read them only while drinking gin? This is the book for you

6 September 2014 9:00 am

Gin Glorious Gin: How Mother’s Ruin Became the Spirit of London is a jaunty and diverting history of ‘a wonderful…

Ian Fleming on the beach near Goldeneye Photo: Getty

From Jamaica With Love: how the Caribbean made Bond

9 August 2014 9:00 am

Lewis Jones on Ian Fleming’s Jamaican retreat and the inspiration it provided for the Bond novels

Josefa Duran, the flamenco dancer known as ‘Pepita’

Wealth is no guarantee of happiness. Look at the Sackville-Wests

10 May 2014 9:00 am

When Robert Sackville-West was writing Inheritance (2010), his history of Knole and the Sackvilles, he was ‘struck’, as he recalls…


Lost Kerouac that should have stayed lost

15 March 2014 9:00 am

In 1944, when he was 22, Jack Kerouac lost a manuscript — in a taxi, as he thought, but probably…

The 18-year-old Anjelica Huston, directed by her father, 
makes her screen début in A Walk with Love and Death as the 
14th-century French aristocrat Claudia, fleeing the savagery of the Jacquerie

Finally, a celebrity memoir worth reading

4 January 2014 9:00 am

Unlike many celebrity memoirs, Anjelica Huston’s is worth reading. In her Prologue she writes that as a child she modeled…

Norman Mailer and Patricia Kennedy Lawford Photo: WireImage

'A little bit of rape is good for a man's soul': the outrageous life of Norman Mailer

23 November 2013 9:00 am

Heroically brave and mad, prodigious in his industry and appetites, Norman Mailer was an altogether excessive figure. Since his death…

After their daring feat in Washington, the Royal Navy bombarded Fort McHenry
 at Baltimore in November 1812, but failed to take it

When Britain Burned the White House, by Peter Snow - review

28 September 2013 9:00 am

Peter Snow explains that he decided to look into this extraordinary story when he realised how few people knew about…

The Unwinding, by George Packer - review

13 July 2013 9:00 am

The Unwinding is a rather classy addition to the thriving genre of American apocalypse porn. The basic thesis can be…

The Frontman, by Harry Browne - review

8 June 2013 9:00 am

According to a story which Harry Browne accepts is surely apocryphal, but which he includes in his book anyway, at…

The armoured cars of Leclerc’s division arrive at the Rue Guynemer on 25 August

Eleven Days in August, by Matthew Cobb - review

4 May 2013 9:00 am

It is fair to assume that Professor Matthew Cobb has often been asked if he is related to Professor Richard…

The boys’ brigade

23 February 2013 9:00 am

British schoolboys doubtless have quite different fantasies nowadays, but for much of the last century most of them liked to…

Thrust into the limelight by the rivalry of the press barons. From left to right: Ivanov, Rice-Davis, Keeler and Profumo

Dirty tricks campaigns

5 January 2013 9:00 am

The real scandal of the Profumo Affair, says Lewis Jones, was the rotten state of Britain at the time


The Wiggins streak

29 December 2012 9:00 am

As the first British winner of the Tour de France and a gold medalist at London 2012, Bradley Wiggins is…

‘The Terrors of St Anthony’ by Michelangelo.

Agonies and ecstasies

8 December 2012 9:00 am

William James considered an hallucination to be ‘as good and true a sensation as if there were a real object…

Living on the brink

17 November 2012 9:00 am

To write this book Aman Sethi, a journalist for the Hindu, spent five years hanging out with the casual labourers…

Off the beaten tracks

20 October 2012 9:00 am

In 1941 Roy Plomley was 27, and living in Bushey, Herts. After stints as an estate agent, film extra and…

Edmond Dantès, incarcerated in the Chäteau d’If. Dumas drew on his father’s account of his captivity in Taranto for some of the scenes of human suffering in The Count of Monte Cristo

A dark family past

6 October 2012 9:00 am

Like the Dombeys, Pitts, Amises et al, les Dumas are famously père et fils, but there was of course also…

American enterprise

4 August 2012 6:00 am

The title of A.A. Gill’s latest book comes from Emma Lazarus’s poem ‘The New Colossus’ (1883), which is inscribed on…