EU Arrest

We should celebrate Magna Carta by abolishing the European Arrest Warrant

13 June 2015 9:00 am

The European Arrest Warrant is incompatible with our tradition of justice

The Battle of Waterloo on 18th Juny 1815, 1816. Artist: Anonymous, 19th century

How the French won Waterloo (or think they did)

13 June 2015 9:00 am

The French would still prefer to think of Napoleon’s last defeat as a moral victory


From ambrosia to zabaglione — now with added slavery

13 June 2015 9:00 am

This Oxford Companion ranges from the sweet to the decidedly salty, while being the most politically correct reference book you will ever consult, says Paul Levy

Driving test advice from 80 years ago

6 June 2015 9:00 am

First test The driving test celebrated its 80th anniversary. The first person to take the test, R.E.L. Beene of Kensington,…

Cunard – a triumph of steam-age privatisation

30 May 2015 9:00 am

Steam privatisation Cunard celebrated its 175th birthday by sailing three liners down the Mersey. The formation of the Cunard Line…

Anita Dobson as Queen Elizabeth I in ‘Armada: 12 Days to Save England’

BBC2's Armada has something for everybody - including three yummy female historians

30 May 2015 9:00 am

It has been a while since the BBC really pushed the boat out on the epic history documentary front. Perhaps…

Spectator letters: Silence in Scotland, the man who predicted the election result, and what to do with hair clippings

16 May 2015 9:00 am

Scotland’s silent majority Sir: Hugo Rifkind’s article (‘Scotland’s nasty party’, 9 May) is a first for the media. It expresses…

Labour Wanted

Despair after VE day… the men left behind by victory

16 May 2015 9:00 am

The ex-officers left behind after VE day

2. WK Bombenangriffe, Ausgebombte in Hamburg

The carpet-bombing of Hamburg killed 40,000 people. It also did good

9 May 2015 9:00 am

The carpet-bombing of Hamburg killed 40,000 people. It also did good

Hitler with the Goebbels family in the late 1930s

Ménage-à-trois with Hitler: the Goebbels’ marriage was a bit crowded

9 May 2015 9:00 am

It is ironic that this weighty biography of Hitler’s evil genius of a propaganda minister is published on the day…

(Photo: Oli Scarff/Getty)

This election has made me understand how it felt to be a lefty under Thatcher

2 May 2015 9:00 am

On the weekend of 25 April 2015 I started to believe that the party I supported might not win an…

Spectator letters: England’s defining myth, and another forgotten genocide

25 April 2015 9:00 am

Enemies within Sir: I thought Matthew Parris was typically incisive in his last column, but perhaps not quite as much…


A 1992 election-day lunch with the young David Cameron

25 April 2015 9:00 am

Lunch with a young Cameron on polling day, 1992

A portrait of Raymond Carr as Warden of St Antony’s College, Oxford, by his son Matthew

An education to know: remembering Raymond Carr

25 April 2015 9:00 am

Laughter, bird-watching and erudition with Raymond Carr

Mary Shelley by Richard Rothwell

There’s something about Mary (Wollstonecraft and Shelley)

25 April 2015 9:00 am

If Mary Wollstonecraft, as she once declared, ‘was not born to tred in the beaten track’, the same with even…

Following Galileo’s discoveries, a rugged, cratered moon is depicted (with papal approval) by Ludovico Cigoli in his ‘Assumption of the Virgin in the Pauline Chapel’

Moving heaven and earth: Galileo’s subversive spyglass

11 April 2015 9:00 am

We live in an age of astronomical marvels. Last year Europe’s Rosetta spacecraft made a daring rendezvous with the comet…

Ernest Bevin Photo: Getty

The triumph of Guatemalan rum (and a disaster for a Guatemalan ambassador)

11 April 2015 9:00 am

For many years, the Central American republic of Guatemala had a grievance against the United Kingdom. It claimed sovereignty over…

Unity Mitford

‘You are always close to me’: Unity Mitford’s souvenirs of Hitler

28 March 2015 9:00 am

Hitler’s adoring notes to Unity Mitford – and her family’s campaign to stop my book

Although Keynes hated his appearance, he was much painted by the Bloomsbury Group, including by Roger Fry (above)

John Maynard Keyes: an abundance of talent that has aroused jealousy and suspicion ever since

28 March 2015 9:00 am

To the 21st-century right, especially in the United States, John Maynard Keynes has become a much-hated figure whose name is…

(Photo: Getty)

The lost words of John Aubrey, from apricate to scobberlotcher

21 March 2015 9:00 am

Hilary Spurling found a certain blunting of the irregularities of John Aubrey’s language in Ruth Scurr’s vicarious autobiography of the…

How (not) to poison a dog

14 March 2015 9:00 am

Deadly to dogs An Irish setter was allegedly poisoned at Crufts, using beef containing slug pellets. Some other substances with which dog-show rivals…

Self confessed mass murderer Anders Breivik Photo: Getty

Anders Breivik: a moronic knight is called to arms

14 March 2015 9:00 am

In 2011, Anders Breivik murdered 69 teenagers in a socialist summer camp outside the Norwegian capital of Oslo, and eight…


John Aubrey and his circle: those magnificent men and their flying machines

14 March 2015 9:00 am

John Aubrey investigated everything from the workings of the brain, the causation of winds and the origins of Stonehenge to…

How long is it since anniversaries stopped being measured in years?

7 March 2015 9:00 am

‘You must promise to be with us for our silver wedding D.V. which will be in four years,’ wrote Queen…