The Garden of England

Why everywhere should be more like Essex

11 October 2014 9:00 am

Apart from the Wye Valley, where I grew up, there are only two places in Britain I’d consider living: Kent…


I'll never feel the same about the Scots

20 September 2014 9:00 am

I doubt I’m alone among English readers of this magazine in having felt uncomfortable with our last issue. ‘Please stay…


Countries shape character (so get ready to like Scots less)

13 September 2014 9:00 am

Is national character real? If so, how is it formed?

Where are the Betjemans de nos jours?

We need more opinionated English eccentrics making documentaries like, ahem, me...

6 September 2014 9:00 am

Is it just me or are almost all TV documentaries completely unwatchable these days? I remember when I first started…

Poet John Clare Photo: Getty

You owe it to yourself to visit John Clare country

2 August 2014 9:00 am

This has been a terrible year for horseflies. It’s bad enough if you’re human: often by the time you swat…

Spain v Netherlands: Group B - 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil

Dan Snow's diary: Making World Cup history

21 June 2014 8:00 am

Could there be a more timely advert for the Better Together campaign than on the field of sport? What the…


Shakespeare invented Britain. Now he can save it

12 April 2014 9:00 am

Shakespeare defined our united national culture – and now he can help save it

Mitchell Johnson Photo: Getty

As England's cricketers wobble, the rugby team are finally getting it together

30 November 2013 9:00 am

My friend Miles was bowling in a festival of wandering cricket clubs in Oxford the other day. First wicket down…


Hurrah for Andrew Strauss

23 November 2013 9:00 am

Andrew Strauss is a serious man and Driving Ambition (Hodder, £20, Spectator Bookshop, £18) is a serious book. It looks…


It’s the summer of the topless man – and there’s nothing we can do to stop it

20 July 2013 9:00 am

Topless men. What does that mean, then? I was opposite one on the tube the other day, heading north from…


Defending the real Downton Abbeys

9 March 2013 9:00 am

Why Britain’s stately homes are struggling

Muddling through

2 June 2012 7:00 pm

It so happened that in 1961 I was part of a little group — three of us — which welcomed…


Rotten, vicious times

14 April 2012 11:00 am

A.N. Wilson recalls the worst decade of  recent history and the death throes of Old England


The bigger picture

27 August 2011 10:00 am

Sam Leith has been enjoying two very different histories of England

England from above

6 August 2011 12:00 am

A highbrow vision of our country


Nostalgie de la boue

19 March 2011 12:00 am

In the late 1960s I grew up in the London borough of Greenwich, which in those days had a shabby, post-industrial edge.


Liberal England dies again

15 January 2011 12:00 am

The Lib Dems’ troubles are a result not only of coalition and foolish promises, but of a resurgence of the old left-right division


Ride on in majesty

2 October 2010 12:00 am

Governments in early modern England, having no standing army nor a civil service to speak of, required the consent of the governed.

Oh Brother, where art thou?

25 September 2010 12:00 am

Benjamin Franklin had this ambition for his body: that after his death it should be reissued ‘in a new and more beautiful edition, corrected and amended by the author’.


Capturing the last of England

25 September 2010 12:00 am

The book is interesting because it has insights and novelty, not least in taking a period and a culture regarded by many as second best compared with what was happening elsewhere at the time, and shows it to have been enlightened, intelligent and full of beauty.


Identity politics

17 July 2010 12:00 am

In the past half century, much ingenuity and humdrum effort has gone into redefining Australia as a nation.


Secrets and silences

30 June 2010 12:00 am

Charlotte Moore’s family have lived at Hancox on the Sussex Weald for well over a century.


More than a painter of Queens

30 June 2010 12:00 am

The last words of Hungarian-born portraitist Philip de László, spoken to his nurse, were apparently, ‘It is a pity, because there is so much still to do.’ As Duff Hart-Davis’s biography amply demonstrates, for de László, art — which he regarded as ‘work’ as much as an aesthetic vocation — was both the purpose and the substance of his life.


The pride of the Sackvilles

23 June 2010 12:00 am

Knole is a country house the size of a small village in the Kent countryside.


Not our finest hour

12 May 2010 12:00 am

Ever since Edward II’s deposition and grisly murder in the dungeons of Berkeley Castle in 1327, his reign has always been regarded as a particularly embarrassing interlude in English history.