Nigel Jones


What drove Europe into two world wars?

Sir Ian Kershaw won his knight’s spurs as a historian with his much acclaimed two-volume biography of Hitler, Hubris and…

Nero and Agrippina by Antonio Rizzi

Rid of their enemies, the Caesars set about murdering family and friends

According to Francis Bacon, the House of York was ‘a race often dipped in its own blood’. That being so,…

John Freeman boards the plane to Washington to take up his post as Ambassador (Photo: Getty)

John Freeman: polymath or psychopath?

They don’t make Englishmen like the aptly named John Freeman any more. When he died last Christmas just shy of…

Hitler with the Goebbels family in the late 1930s

Joseph Goebbels: Hitler’s ‘little doctor’ was devoted unto death

It is ironic that this weighty biography of Hitler’s evil genius of a propaganda minister is published on the day…

Winston Churchill, First Lord of the Admiralty, Leslie Hore-Belisha , Secretary of State for War and Lord Hankey. Front Row, Lord Halifax, Foreign Secretary, Sir John Simon, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Neville Chamberlain, Prime Minister, Sir Samuel Hoare, Home Secretary and Lord Chakfield, Co-ordination of Defence Photo: Getty

The knives come out of the cabinet in Churchill’s wartime government

Coalitions, as David Cameron has discovered, are tricky things to manage. How much more difficult, then, was it for Winston…

‘Chelsea pensioners reading the Waterloo Dispatch’ by Sir David Wilkie

From prince to pauper: a dramatic overview of Britain on 18 June 1815

Of all the big battalions of books marking the bicentenary of the battle of Waterloo that have come my way,…

Henry VIII, Edward VI, Charles I, George VI and George V

Game of thrones: five kings spanning five centuries launch a new series on royalty

Nigel Jones reviews the first five titles to appear in a new series on British monarchs

‘There was great danger of being kidnapped by licensed thugs and turned into a not-so-jolly Jack Tar’ George Morland’s ‘The Press Gang’ (1790s)

Terror plots, threats to liberties, banks in crisis: welcome to Britain during the Napoleonic Wars

At the end of the 18th century, Britain shuddered in Boney’s shadow, living in constant expectation of invasion and occupation, says Nigel Jones


From slaves' rectums to porn vids, there are few places people haven't tried to conceal secret messages

John Gerard, a Jesuit priest immured in the Tower of London in 1597, and tortured by being hung from manacles…

A document relating to the double-agent Garbo - whose messages helped to deceive the Germans about the location and timing of the D-Day landings Photo: PA Images

The one-man spy factory who changed history

With two new biographies of Kim Philby out, an espionage drama by Sir David Hare on BBC2, and the recent…

Two angry old men

Though lasting literary friendships between natural rivals are not rare — Byron and Shelley, Coleridge and Wordsworth and Edward Thomas…