Paul Johnson

Shangri-La Hotel Opens In The Shard

Paul Johnson’s diary: Boris would make a great PM – but he must strike now

I feel an intense antipathy for Vladimir Putin. No one on the international scene has aroused in me such dislike…

The Tribes of Israel reunite round the Ark of the Covenant in the Sinai desert after the exodus from Egypt

(German School, 
17th century)

The Story of the Jews, by Simon Schama - review

The recorder of early Jewish history has two sources of evidence. One is the Bible. Its centrality was brought home…

Cover illustration for the first edition of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Paul Johnson reviews 'C.S. Lewis: A Life', by Alister McGrath

C.S. Lewis became a celebrity but remains a mysterious figure. Several biographies have been written, not to much avail, and…


Reason to believe

In a world beset by evil, we are universally compelled towards good – surely proof of the existence of God

An Irish peasant girl with her family’s last few possessions after eviction for non-payment of rent (The Illustrated London News)

A deeply stricken country

Ireland has suffered bitterly over the centuries through war and want. And the disastrous famine of 1845-9 proves in itself a divisive subject, says Paul Johnson


Apologia pro vita sua

Any fair-minded person who has looked into the matter knows that Conrad Black was wrongly convicted. Indeed under English law…


A weakness for beauty

James Stourton is not only a successful auctioneer and chairman of Sotheby’s but also an accomplished writer, the author of…


Fearsome and devilish

Bruce Boucher reviews the first substantial exhibition devoted to the magically delicate sculpture of Desiderio da Settignano.


Who are the losers now?

The second world war was the most destructive conflict in human history, but the victors have fared worse than the vanquished, says Paul Johnson

The age of achievement

Doctors say it’s all downhill from 45. History suggests otherwise

Season’s greetings

Christmas cards past, present and yet to come

A gimlet eye

We should be grateful to families which encourage the culture of writing letters, and equally vital, the keeping of them.…


The meanest flowers that blow

Sarah Raven comes of a botanising family. Her father John, a Cambridge classics don, travelled all over the British Isles…


When the going got tough

The acute emotional pain caused by his first wife’s infidelity was of priceless service to Evelyn Waugh as a novelist, says Paul Johnson

Sense and magnanimity

People see William Rees-Mogg as an archetypal member of the Establishment.

Heroic long-suffering

English patriotism was still a force in 1914.


The power of a pocket

Why it matters who wears the trousers


Sins of the fathers

The papacy is in good shape and looks set to last another 2,000 years, says Paul Johnson; but too few popes in the past have been pious or clement or innocent


Failure of the feminists

After 100 International Women’s Days, real achievement still trumps leftist ideology


Dirty rotten scholars

Brilliance, bitterness and filth in the loftiest of ivory towers

The plum pudding trick

A magical Christmas party, starring Charles Dickens


A race against time

Lord Palmerston poses severe quantitative problems to biographers.


Welsh wizardry and venom

Paul Johnson reviews Roy Hattersley’s life of David Lloyd George


Not every aspect pleases

Half a century ago I read W. G. Hoskins’s book, The Making of the English Landscape, when it first came out. It was for me an eye-opener, as it was for many people.


For true democracy, bring back ostracism

Our electoral system does not answer the need for punishment, anger and rebellion, says Paul Johnson. What fun it would be to vote to get rid of our thoroughly bad eggs