Philip Ziegler

Lesley Blanch in a bar in Menton in the south of France, in 1961Lesley Blanch in a bar in Menton in the south of France, in 1961

Lesley Blanch: like a gilded cupid trailing clouds of glory

28 March 2015 9:00 am

Lesley Blanch (1904–2007) will be remembered chiefly for her gloriously extravagant The Wilder Shores of Love, the story of four…

Dean Inge, one of the last Victorians. Photograph: Topical Press Agency/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Daring? No. Well written? Yes

26 July 2014 9:00 am

This has all the appearance of a book invented by a publisher. Two years ago W. Sydney Robinson published an…

Fanny Burney

The Thucydides of court gossip? Steady on...

5 April 2014 9:00 am

Sir Brian Unwin leads off with some decidedly questionable assertions. He wonders why the first of his two subjects, the…


Was Roy Jenkins the greatest prime minister we never had?

29 March 2014 9:00 am

Roy Jenkins may have been snobbish and self-indulgent, but he was also a visionary and man of principle who would have made a good prime minister, says Philip Ziegler

Prince Albert (Photo: John Jabez Edwin Mayall/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Clash of the titans

26 October 2013 9:00 am

This is an odd book: interesting, informative, intelligent, but still decidedly odd. It is a history of the Victorian era…


Edwardian Requiem, by Michael Waterhouse - review

29 June 2013 9:00 am

The photograph on the jacket, reproduced above, says it all — or at least all of what most of us…

Margaret Thatcher: The Authorized Biography, by Charles Moore, and Not for Turning, by Robin Harris - review

4 May 2013 9:00 am

It is a measure of Lady Thatcher’s standing that her death has been followed not only by the mealy-mouthed compliments…

'The Undivided Past', by David Cannadine – review

6 April 2013 9:00 am

David Cannadine detests generalisations and looks disapprovingly on any attempt to divide humanity into precise categories. The Undivided Past provides…

Trader Faulkner celebrating the life and work of Lorca

More Lothario than Hamlet

5 January 2013 9:00 am

Ronald ‘Trader’ Faulkner is that relative rarity: an unassuming actor. In their memoirs most actors, after the obligatory two or…

Two of the best: Chips Channon and Virginia Woolf

A painless lesson in political history

6 October 2012 9:00 am

This book is not a history, explains Ruth Winstone, who has edited this collection of excerpts from diaries published between…

Highbrows and eyebrows

16 June 2012 6:00 am

Juliet Nicolson is a member of a literary dynasty second in productivity only to the Pakenhams. She is herself the…


Agreeing to differ

17 March 2012 10:00 am

‘Frankie and Johnny were sweethearts; Lordie, how they could love.’ The ballad has many variant versions but the denouement is…

Talking tough

4 February 2012 11:00 am

This thoughtful, challenging and deeply depressing book takes as its launch pad the Nuremberg Trials, in which the author’s father…

Voyages of discovery

10 December 2011 10:00 am

Roger Louis is an American professor from the University of Texas at Austin who knows more about the history of…

The Diamond Queen by Andrew Marr

12 November 2011 10:00 am

‘Of making many books there is no end’, particularly when the subject is Queen Elizabeth II. It is less than…


At home in the corridors of power

24 September 2011 12:00 am

To be the daughter of an enormously powerful man must always be an enthralling if sometimes daunting experience. To be…


Neither Greek nor German

11 June 2011 12:00 am

Prince Philip’s childhood was such that he had every right to be emotionally repressed and psychologically disturbed.

A fate worse than death

16 April 2011 12:00 am

Hugo Vickers has already produced a well-documented and balanced biography of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.


In from the cold

12 February 2011 12:00 am

Philip Ziegler puts the case for Terence Rattigan, whose centenary is celebrated with numerous revivals of his work


How we roared!

20 November 2010 12:00 am

To most people Christopher Plummer means Captain von Trapp in The Sound of Music. Plummer would not be in the least ashamed by this.


The invisible man

31 July 2010 12:00 am

Nicklaus Thomas-Symonds’s study of Clement Attlee is a specimen of that now relatively rare but still far from endangered species, the ‘political’ biography.


Golden youth or electric eel?

2 June 2010 12:00 am

Patrick Shaw-Stewart was the cleverest and the most ambitious of the gilded gang of young men who swam in the wake of the not-so-young but perennially youthful Raymond Asquith.


Casualties of war and peace

14 April 2010 12:00 am

John Simpson quotes Humbert Wolfe’s mischievous lampoon but makes it clear that, in spite of the somewhat disobliging title of his book, he does not accept it as fair comment.

Some sunny day!

30 December 2009 12:00 am

In August 1945 Cyril Patmore of the Royal Scots Fusiliers returned on compassionate leave from India.

Home thoughts from abroad

25 November 2009 12:00 am

This book is companion to a television series (though the times seem slightly out of joint — on the front cover we are told that it is ‘As seen on the BBC’ while at the back the series is described as ‘first broadcast in 2010’).