Journal of a disappointed man

14 January 2012 10:30 am

Simon Goldhill introduces his new book by recalling a lunch with his editor, who suggested he make a pilgrimage and…

Pearls before swine

4 June 2011 12:00 am

The story of Harry the Valet is the stuff of fiction.


Theatre of the macabre

8 January 2011 12:00 am

Sam Leith marvels at Victorian Britain’s appetite for crime, where a public hanging was considered a family day out and murder became a lurid industry in itself


On the brink

2 June 2010 12:00 am

Stephen Potter’s Lifemanship contains a celebrated tip for writers who want to ensure good reviews.


Mystery of the empty tomb

2 June 2010 12:00 am

John Henry Newman was an electrifying personality who has attracted numerous biographers and commentators.


Life beyond the canvas

24 February 2010 12:00 am

Angela Thirlwell’s previous book was a double biography of William Rossetti (brother to the more famous Dante Gabriel) and his wife Lucy (daughter of the more famous Ford Madox Brown).


The grandest of old men

27 January 2010 12:00 am

Mr Gladstone’s career in politics was titanic.


Double vision

27 January 2010 12:00 am

Thomas Babington Macaulay’s early essays in the Edinburgh Review were an immediate success, and soon made him a respected figure in Whig society.

Cheering satanism

4 November 2009 12:00 am

‘For my generation of Essex teenagers, Dennis Wheatley’s novels represented the essential primer in diabolism,’ Ronald Hutton, the historian and expert on paganism, recalls.

Concealing and revealing

30 September 2009 12:00 am

In 1837 The Quarterly Review’s anonymous critic — actually, one Abraham Hayward — turned his attention to Charles Dickens, then in the first flaring of his popularity as the author of Sketches by Boz, The Pickwick Papers and Oliver Twist.

Surprising literary ventures

23 September 2009 12:00 am

Ermyntrude and Esmeralda, by Lytton Strachey