William Dalrymple's notebook: How I lured Jhumpa Lahiri and Jonathan Franzen to Jaipur

1 February 2014 9:00 am

In 2004, ten days after I moved my family to a new life in India, I gave a reading at…

Christopher Isherwood with W. H. Auden  (Photo: John F Stephenson/Getty Images)

The Rothschilds, the Spenders, the Queen...

19 October 2013 9:00 am

The novelist David Plante is French-Québécois by ancestry, grew up in a remote Francophone parish in Yankee New England and…


26 May 2012 3:00 pm

This month has been the launching season for my new collection of poems, Nefertiti in the Flak Tower. Not many…

The death of laughter

23 July 2011 12:00 am

If you were stranded on a desert island, Ruth Leon would be the perfect companion.


12 February 2011 12:00 am

Michael Ashcroft opens his Diary


22 January 2011 12:00 am

Sarah Standing opens her Diary


15 January 2011 12:00 am

Boris Johnson opens his Diary


8 January 2011 12:00 am

Geoffrey Wheatcroft opens his Diary


1 January 2011 12:00 am

Max Hastings opens his Diary


11 December 2010 12:00 am

Susannah Herbert opens her Diary

Diary: P.J. O’Rourke

4 December 2010 12:00 am

P.J. O’Rourke opens his diary


27 November 2010 12:00 am

A.N. Wilson's Diary


13 November 2010 12:00 am

Recently I was on a lecture tour in sunbelt America — Alabama and Texas — and mentioned to various people that I commute from the suburb where I live in Westchester County to Manhattan by train.


27 October 2010 12:00 am

Miriam Gross opens her Diary


23 October 2010 12:00 am

Justin Webb's Diary


9 October 2010 12:00 am

Harry was so scared when we entered him in the Best Veteran category in the Friends of Tooting Common Dog Show that he tried to jump out of the ring, and when he found he couldn’t break free he clung on to me for dear life.

In a Greene shade

2 October 2010 12:00 am

Some travel writers, in an attempt to simulate the hardship of Victorian journeys, like to impose artificial difficulties on themselves.

Straining for effect

29 September 2010 12:00 am

A saint of self-deprecation, Chris Mullin closed the first volume of his diaries A View from the Foothills ‘contemplating oblivion’ after his dismissal from ministerial office.


Keeping the lid on

16 June 2010 12:00 am

For all of the nine years that he worked, first as official spokesman for Tony Blair and then as Director of Communications for the government, Alastair Campbell was obliged to defend a huge lie: that all was well at the heart of the New Labour project when, manifestly, it was not.

A literary gypsy

4 November 2009 12:00 am

When Lavinia Greacen undertook her magisterial yet intimately sympathetic biography of James Gordon Farrell, she gained access to his diaries and many of his letters, especially love letters and letters to his literary agents, editors and publishers about his professional desires and requirements.

Jim’s especial foibles

30 September 2009 12:00 am

As a young man in the 1970s Michael Bloch was the architectural historian and diarist James Lees- Milne’s last (if, we are assured, platonic) attachment, and later became his literary executor.

Was his diary his downfall?

30 September 2009 12:00 am

The audiotape of Alan Clark’s Diaries — barely mentioned in this rather Dr Watsonish, sensible shoe of a biography — is well worth hearing.

Life & Letters

9 September 2009 12:00 am


Tales out of school

15 April 2009 12:00 am

The Old Boys’ Network, by John Rae


Member of the In and Out

11 March 2009 12:00 am

A View from the Foothills, by Chris Mullin