Psychoanalyst Carl Jung (Photo: Getty)

Carl Jung meets David Icke (and writes a book of bonkers business-speak)

25 April 2015 9:00 am

What do you get if you cross renegade psychoanalyst Carl Jung with lizard-men conspiracist David Icke? It is a question…

Nicole Minetti (with statutory sunglasses) in Milan in 2011. The bunga-bunga girl, catapulted into politics by Berlusconi, was accused of aiding and abetting prostitution and submitting fraudulent expenses

Italy on the brink: the dolce vita turns sour

7 February 2015 9:00 am

Like so many Britons who chased the dream and woke up in Italy I have contemplated writing a book about…

Ezra Pound in the early 1920s

Ezra Pound – the fascist years

18 October 2014 9:00 am

‘There are the Alps. What is there to say about them?/ They don’t make sense. Fatal glaciers, crags cranks climb,…

Straying from the Way

26 May 2012 4:00 pm

No sensible writer wastes good material. A couple of years ago Tim Parks published a memoir, Teach Us to Sit…


A cult of virility and violence

19 November 2011 9:00 am

Mussolini’s brutal sex-addiction makes for dispiriting reading, but provides material for a fine psychological study, says David Gilmour

The scandal that inspired La Dolce Vita

13 August 2011 12:00 am

A new account of a classic Italian mystery

Wool of bat and lizard leg

16 July 2011 12:00 am

When Julia Blackburn and her Dutch husband Herman move into an old village house perched on a cliff high above the Italian Ligurian Riviera they become part of a dwindling community in a landscape of forests and deserted villages with roofless ruins almost swallowed up by the riotous undergrowth.


Bella vistas

9 July 2011 12:00 am

Many moons ago when I went to Sissinghurst to ask Nigel Nicolson (late of this parish) if I could write about his mother, Vita Sackville-West, he raised his hands, and eyebrows, in horror, ‘Oh! Not another book about my mother!’ These two titles on Italian gardens may provoke a similar reaction, for there has been a recent run of revisiting via Charles Latham’s vintage Country Life photographs, Edith Wharton’s Edwardian musings and Georgina Masson’s 1961 classic, now revived.


A reluctant country

5 March 2011 12:00 am

The unification of Italy 150 years ago was a terrible mistake, according to David Gilmour, imposing a national state on a diverse collection of people with little sense of patria. But Barry Unsworth thinks it’s too early to cry failure

Not so serene

9 September 2009 12:00 am

Is there anything original left to say about Venice? Probably not, but that doesn’t stop the books from coming, tied in, as they mostly now are, with a television series.

Acute observations

9 September 2009 12:00 am

In the 1950s, when I was 14, I spent a winter fortnight with my parents at the Villa Mauresque, which Somerset Maugham had lent to them to entertain the recently widowed Rab Butler and his daughter, Sarah.