Sophia Waugh

Rough kids: boys from Rutherford School and girls from Sarah Siddons in Marylebone strike against caning, detention and uniforms, May 1972

State secrets, or the hidden advantages of a public-sector education

Devotees of private schools are often pretty snooty about comprehensives, but Sophia Waugh not only successfully educated her children in state schools – she went on to teach in one


State schools are ‘character building’ too

Do public schools really teach it? By Sophia Waugh

Author Kirsty Gunn Photo: Getty

Stories about storytelling: Kirsty Gunn’s preoccupation with words is utterly entrancing

Although entitled Infidelities this collection of short stories could as well be called Choices, because that is what really preoccupies…


God, aliens and a novel with a mission

They say never work with children and animals. They could just as well say don’t write about aliens and God.…


An utterly charming, totally bonkers short novel

This utterly charming, totally bonkers short novel is something from another age. There are elements of A Handful of Dust…

Generation Fun (Photo: Chris Ware/Getty)

Young people aren't driven by fun, but by fear

Family legend has it that when I arrived in Durham, a fresh-faced ingénue from deepest Somerset, I called home. ‘This…


Auberon Waugh's way with wine

Auberon Waugh’s way with wine, remembered by Sophia Waugh

A ladykiller at large

Ever since Sergeant Cuff appeared in The Moonstone in 1868, we English have loved our detectives. Moody Scandinavian fiction might…

Angelina Jolie with jeweller Robert Procop

Rock Stars

How celebrities took over jewellery design

From Luxor to Heston services

This wonderful book is not a history of food in 100 recipes at all; it is a history of the…

Family get together 

Mark Haddon is in what must sometimes seem like the unenviable position of having written a first (adult) novel which…

… in the fall of a sparrow

Set in Romania in the 1950s, this is the story of two people, Augustin and Safta, who are both very…

Losing my bottle

Why does Waitrose think I can’t be trusted with Chablis?


Bookends: Getting it perfect

There is an old joke which says that if you are lost in the desert, start making a salad dressing as someone will pop out of a sand dune and tell you that you are making it the wrong way.


It’s all here

Sophia Waugh hymns the unique spirit of her home county

Just the one regret

Is he a monster, saint, genius or lunatic? In this massive book Naim Attallah attempts to lay to rest the…