History

Over-mighty thugs

It may seem hard to believe that posterity has too favourable an image of Hitler’s SA (Sturm-Abteilung). Formed in 1921 as a bodyguard to protect Nazis and intimidate their opponents,...

  • STORMTROOPERS

    Daniel Siemens

Architecture

Integrity acts

In July last year, the New York Times ran three separate pieces about the uproar surrounding the push by estate agents to rebrand a southern part of Harlem as “SoHa”....

  • THE ROOTS OF URBAN RENAISSANCE

    Brian D. Goldstein

  • DOWN THE UP STAIRCASE

    Bruce D. Haynes and Syma Solovitch

Arts

To live side by side

Safi knows a thing or two about story­telling. In a past lifetime, before arriving in Calais, he was a student of English Language and Literature at the University of Aleppo,...

  • THE JUNGLE

    Joe Murphy and

Biography

Walter Pater, 1890s

Renaissance man

The importance of Classics to Walter Pater

  • PATER THE CLASSICIST

    Charles Martindale, Stefano Evangelista and Elizabeth Prettejohn, editors

Biography & Memoirs

Renaissance Manu

The French take philosophy seriously. The opinions of their philosophers are listened to, and anyone who matters is expected to have some grounding in the subject. Since the President himself...

  • LE PHILOSOPHE ET LE PRÉSIDENT

    François Dosse

  • Macron par Ricœur

    Pierre-Olivier Monteil

  • MACRON, UN PRÉSIDENT PHILOSOPHE

    Brice Couturier

Classics

From weeping to sleeping

Imagine yourself to be a doctor asked to cure, or at least help, a mentally ill patient somewhere in the classical Greece of Hippocrates and company. You would not have...

  • A HISTORY OF THE MIND AND MENTAL HEALTH IN CLASSICAL GREEK MEDICAL THOUGHT

    Chiara Thumiger

Commentary

To speken short and pleyn

In 1894 the Reverend Walter W. Skeat (1835–1912), Elrington and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Cambridge University, published his six-volume edition of The Complete Works of Geoffrey Chaucer at the...

Fashion

On their bikes

Who would guess, looking at late Victorian women’s fashions, that the Dress Reform Movement dated back to the 1830s? By 1900, the crinoline and the bustle had come and gone,...

  • BIKES AND BLOOMERS

    Kat Jungnickel

Fiction

Cat who walks by himself

If there were some sort of prize for Most Widely Admired Thriller Writer, Lee Child would win it time and again. Not long ago a contributor to the TLS (full...

History

A very British battle

The British have a curious tendency to celebrate and remember their heroic military failures more readily than their many victories. Corunna, the first disastrous day on the Somme, and Dunkirk...

  • ARNHEM

    Antony Beevor

Literary Criticism

Space invaders

For Mike Ashley, the golden age of science fiction ended before Apollo 11 landed on the Moon, in 1969, and even before Mariner 4 sent back the first close-range images...

  • MOONRISE
    LOST MARS

    Mike Ashley, editor

Literature

Better to enjoy

No one can mistake the voice of Dr Johnson: “Sir, a woman’s preaching is like a dog’s walking on its hinder legs. It is not done well; but you are...

  • THE WORLD IN THIRTY-EIGHT CHAPTERS

    Henry Hitchings

Literature & Poetry

Separate dots

A haphazard group of Europeans leads a mildly pressurized life in a sanatorium high above Geneva. The pressures come from tuberculosis and the woes of history. At an indeterminate time...

  • Zofia Nalkowska
    CHOUCAS
    Translated by Ursula Phillips
    200pp. Northern Illinois University Press. Paperback, $29.95.
    978 0 87580 707 2

NB

Dylan on record

The prospect of the writer under surveillance has long held a fascination for readers. There are several books on the subject, notably Herbert Mitgang’s Dangerous Dossiers: Exposing the secret war...

Poems

The Day

The day after I die will be lively with traffic. Business will doubtless be up and doing, fuelled by creative percentages; the young with their back-packs will be creeping snail-like...

Poetry

Mortal concerns

Frank Ormsby THE DARKNESS OF SNOW 128pp. Bloodaxe. Paperback, £9.95. 978 1 78037 366 9 The Darkness of Snow has five parts. The first and longest comprises mainly re­collections of...

Politics

Government is the problem

Though it’s now almost forgotten, amid the slew of scandals and tweetstorms that have come in its wake, there was a moment last summer when sanity briefly reasserted itself in...

  • DEMOCRACY IN CHAINS

    Nancy MacLean

Politics & Social Studies

Salty as the sea

The Venetian Republic hit the apogee of its gastronomic renown in 1574, with the glittering banquets held to honour Henri III. The King was meant to be racing from Poland...

  • Katie and Giancarlo Caldesi
    VENICE
    Recipes lost and found
    272pp. Hardie Grant Books. £25 (US $39.95).
    978 1 74270 773 0

    Laura Zavan
    VENICE
    Cult recipes
    272pp. Murdoch Books. £20.
    978 1 74336 310 2

Religion

Cath. Quest.

The country is divided; the Cabinet is divided; Tory prime ministers, nervous of the Opposition cashing in on Tory disunity, attempt to hold the ring; a single issue obsesses the...

  • THE KING AND THE CATHOLICS

    Antonia Fraser

Science

Poster commemorating the space flight of Valentina Tereshkova in 1963.

Whitey on the moon

Zaheer Baber on NASA and pressing social movements

  • APOLLO IN THE AGE OF AQUARIUS

    Neil M. Maher

Science & Natural History

Monkeys, lizards and men

Unbeknown to each other, Leif Bers­weden and Jon Dunn set themselves the same goal in 2013 and 2016 respectively: to see all the species of native orchid in Britain and...

  • THE ORCHID HUNTER

    Leif Bersweden

  • ORCHID SUMMER

    Jon Dunn

Biography & Memoirs

Emoji-studded rebellion

At the height of its allure, Islamic State was drawing hundreds of female Western recruits to the caliphate each season. Now that the group has all but collapsed, most of...

  • TWO SISTERS

    Asne Seierstad

Twenty questions

Twenty Questions with M. John Harrison

If you could make a change to anything you’ve written over the years, what would it be? Graham Greene was right, you just shouldn’t publish your first three novels

Monkeys, lizards and men

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July 11, 2018

Unbeknown to each other, Leif Bers­weden and Jon Dunn set themselves the same goal in 2013 and 2016 respectively: to see all the species of native orchid in Britain and...

Insatiable for hawks

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July 11, 2018

J . A. Baker’s The Peregrine burst onto the literary scene in 1967 with all the breathtaking force and surprise of its eponymous subject. Baker himself was entirely unknown at...

To live side by side

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July 11, 2018

Safi knows a thing or two about story­telling. In a past lifetime, before arriving in Calais, he was a student of English Language and Literature at the University of Aleppo,...

With the same power

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July 10, 2018

The name Alison Bechdel may first bring to mind the Bechdel test – a system she invented that ranks films based on how many conversations they feature between two women...

From weeping to sleeping

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July 10, 2018

Imagine yourself to be a doctor asked to cure, or at least help, a mentally ill patient somewhere in the classical Greece of Hippocrates and company. You would not have...

Pornographic apparitions

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July 10, 2018

To zealous early Christians, pagan civilization was Babylon. They saw themselves as a beleaguered minority stranded in a society of the spectacle, whether the shows of the circus or the...

Taken at her word

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July 10, 2018

When Margaret Atwood published The Handmaid’s Tale in 1985, the United States was in the midst of a Republican revival. Ronald Reagan had recently destroyed his Democrat opponent Walter Mondale...

Space invaders

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July 10, 2018

For Mike Ashley, the golden age of science fiction ended before Apollo 11 landed on the Moon, in 1969, and even before Mariner 4 sent back the first close-range images...

Renaissance Manu

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July 10, 2018

The French take philosophy seriously. The opinions of their philosophers are listened to, and anyone who matters is expected to have some grounding in the subject. Since the President himself...

How to beat gravity

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July 10, 2018

I  want to be an astronaut”, sixteen-year-old Nujeen Mustafa told the BBC in 2015. A Syrian refugee with cerebral palsy, she had already travelled 3,500 miles. Three years later, it...