Griffith in 1961, at the height of his powers

A portrait of a gay boxer

3 October 2015 9:00 am

I don’t like boxing. If I ever get into a boxing ring, I’ll be in the corner with the governor…

William Mars-Jones (right) attends the second day of the Moor Murders, 1966 (Photo: AP)

The trials of living with a High Court judge

29 August 2015 9:00 am

This intensely written memoir by Adam Mars-Jones about his Welsh father, Sir William, opens with the death of Sheila, Adam’s…

Hanya Yanagihara (Photo: Jenny Westerhoff)

An epic study of trauma and friendship in the age of self-invention

15 August 2015 9:00 am

Just over a century after Virginia Woolf declared that ‘on or about December 1910 human character changed’, the American novelist…

Patrick Gale Photo: Ulf Andersen/Getty

Coming in out of the cold: Patrick Gale’s hero sees stars in the Canadian prairies

21 March 2015 9:00 am

Patrick Gale’s first historical novel is inspired by a non-story, a gap in his own family record. His great-grandfather Harry…

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Hock and partridge help fascism go down in 1930s London

14 March 2015 9:00 am

Anthony Quinn’s fourth novel, set in London’s artistic and theatrical circles in 1936, is not the kind in which an…

French journalist Eric Zemmour Photo: Getty

Is France now the sick man of Europe? It is if it’s taking Eric Zemmour seriously

22 November 2014 9:00 am

Graham Robb on the book currently taking France by storm

Cat among the pigeons: Jennifer Fry, the exotic beauty who so disrupted life at Farringdon House in the 1940s

My mad gay grandfather and me

18 October 2014 9:00 am

Mirabel Cecil on Lord Berners’s volatile ménage — as surprising and colourful as his famous dyed doves

Tennessee Williams on the stage set of A Streetcar Named Desire (1947)

Confused, unbalanced, brilliant: the Blanche Dubois of Tennessee Williams biographies

20 September 2014 9:00 am

Thomas W. Hodgkinson finds John Lahr’s ‘stand-alone’ biography of Tennessee Williams as confused and unbalanced as Streetcar’s heroine

Charles Scott Moncrieff (left) had a deep personal affinity with Proust (right). His rendering of 'À La Recherche du Temps Perdu' is considered one of the greatest literary translations of all time

Soldier, poet, lover, spy: just the man to translate Proust

16 August 2014 9:00 am

Sam Leith is astonished by how much the multi-talented Charles Scott Moncrieff achieved in his short lifetime


Sex and squalor in San Francisco

5 April 2014 9:00 am

Frog Music begins with a crime against a young mother, committed in a tiny space. Unlike Emma Donoghue’s bestselling novel…


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

An almost masochistic docility: E.M. Forster in his youth

What E.M. Forster didn't do

8 March 2014 9:00 am

‘On the whole I think you should write biographies of those you admire and respect, and novels about human beings…

A sign common in Johannesburg, South Africa, 1956 Photo: Getty

How to get around South Africa's many boundaries

15 February 2014 9:00 am

There are writers whose prose style is so fluid, so easy, the reader feels as though he has been taken…

Unnerving as Bill Sikes in Carol Reed’s Oliver!

What Fresh Lunacy is This?, by Robert Sellers - review

22 June 2013 9:00 am

Midway through this startling book, Robert Sellers asks himself a question with such apparent seriousness I barked with laughter: ‘Was…

Backing Into the Light, by Colin Spencer - review

22 June 2013 9:00 am

Colin Spencer first came to my notice in the Swinging Sixties when a fellow undergraduate alerted me to his larky…


Complete Poems, by C.P. Cavafy - review

18 May 2013 9:00 am

Constantine Cavafy was a poet who fascinated English novelists, and remained a presence in English fiction long after his death…

Fanny (left) and Stella —‘the more presentable of the two’

'Fanny and Stella: The Young Men Who Shocked Victorian England', by Neil McKenna - review

9 March 2013 9:00 am

Mick Jagger, the Danny La Rue of rock, impersonates a woman on the cover of the 1978 Stones album Some…

Finding Mr Wright

28 January 2012 5:00 pm

The film When Harry Met Sally may be infamous for the scene in which the heroine mimics orgasm in a…