A literary quiz: which author and poet wrote the inspirational line, “writers are the engineers of human souls”? The answer is Joseph Stalin, which is probably why it doesn’t crop up among the quotes the
Looking at the literature of the two world wars – from a British perspective – there is an interesting division. The First World War produced poetry of the highest rank – Wilfred Owen, Rupert Brooke, Graves,
Almost exactly halfway through Deborah Levy’s startling eighth novel, a 56-year-old man called Saul Adler, while walking across the pedestrian crossing on Abbey Road, is knocked down by a car driven by
The news that Tumblr, a $1.1 million company in 2013, was being sold for a mere £3 million this week was divisive. The main reaction, for instance, was “What, Tumblr’s still going?” And yet, for its millions
Have you read the latest Marcel Proust? Not a question you expect to be asked in 2019. This autumn, a collection of his hitherto “lost” stories will be published in France. The stories were apparently
What we require from scientists are hard facts, like: “The thin air of Mars is 99 per cent carbon dioxide and utterly unbreathable.” When they start getting mystical, it’s high time to put them out to
The Renaissance began in 1492, they say, when Christopher Columbus encountered America and Lucrezia Borgia’s father, Rodrigo, was made Pope Alexander VI. During the 11-year Borgia papacy, until 1503, was
Late one April afternoon in 1856, 33 imported camels walked down the gangplank at Powder Point in Indianola, Texas. They’d been a while in coming. The notion of a “camel convoy” was mooted some 20 years
Lies, lavish dinners and Lena Dunham: how Anna Delvey scammed the New York elite – and her own ‘best friend’
One Monday in April this year, Anna Delvey (born Anna Sorokin), the socialite and con artist who, since 2018, has made headlines across the world for brazenly swindling the who’s who of New York out of
If even the queen of feminism was eclipsed by a man, what hope is there for the rest of us, asks Kate Kirkpatrick In The Second Sex (1949), Simone de Beauvoir claimed that women were harmed by growing
Where Quentin Blake’s pen leads, he follows. Now 86, he tells Tristram Fane Saunders what’s next – and shows The Telegraph some exclusive new drawings Some artists give part of themselves to their creations.
The chief lesson of Trinity, Frank Close’s superlative biography of Klaus Fuchs, “the most dangerous spy in the history of nations,” is that John le Carré never needed to invent a single thing. It’s all
It’s commonplace to say that satire is out of date. Overtaken by our bonkers politics, it has been made irrelevant by larger-than-life buffoons who, having arrived at the centres of power, engineer an
Kim Philby inspired the Cold War’s two greatest thriller writers – then he drove them apart, says Duncan White In early 1968 Graham Greene and John le Carré came into very public dispute. It was an unexpected
Scouring the shores of the Thames, Lara Maiklem uncovers pieces of the city’s forgotten past ‘All you need are wellies, a bag for finds and sunscreen. I’ll bring the latex gloves.’ Lara Maiklem’s email,
A TV version of the unfinished ‘Sanditon’ will give viewers a taste of what could have been a classic novel. By Rupert Christiansen It’s one of the most tantalising might-have-beens of literary history
Steven Poole reviews Invasive Aliens by Dan Eatherley (William Collins) The question of which organisms really “belong” in which parts of the world is most politically heated in the case of human beings.
Clare Mulley enjoys a study of the unsung women behind enemy lines who helped with the invasion on June 6 1944 D-Day was mostly a male business. About 156,000 Allied troops landed in Normandy on the first
Toni Morrison died on August 5. This interview was originally published in 2015 Toni Morrison is, without a doubt, a world-class novelist. Her work as an editor, however, has received much less attention.
Beneath the Cosmos and canapés, Sex and the City dealt with far more disturbing issues. Alice Vincent examines how Candace Bushnell’s subversive depiction of New York was forgotten Candace Bushnell has
This Is Not Propaganda by Peter Pomerantsev, review: 'like an essay on icebergs written from the tilting deck of the Titanic'
Tim Smith-Laing reviews This Is Not Propaganda by Peter Pomerantsev (Faber) We live in an era of astonishing “information abundance”. Those of us who spend large chunks of our lives online have, at any
Legacy: Gangsters, Corruption and the London Olympics by Michael Gillard, review: 'a brave investigation'
James Walton reviews Legacy: Gangsters, Corruption and the London Olympics by Michael Gillard (Bloomsbury) When it comes to wildly misjudged libel cases, David Hunt vs Times Newspapers Ltd (2013) may be
That is the role of the comic satirist in a world that seems – a remark often made about Donald Trump – to satirise itself? How can one salvage a scrap of earnest reality from the postmodern melange of
Cricketing pilgrims travel to Hambledon, a little village in the hills of Hampshire. Next to an old pub called the Bat and Ball is Broadhalfpenny Down, a small ground fringed with trees, known as the of
If literature were a sport, James Patterson would be a Donald Bradman or Usain Bolt figure, so far ahead of his rivals that it’s hardly worth their bothering to turn up. Although many critics would maintain
Green Eggs and Ham (1960) is perhaps, thinking about the profound pleasure I take from reading it aloud, one of my top 10 poems ever. And yet I don’t recall reading a Dr Seuss book as a child. My love