Adam Smith: The Morality of the Invisible Hand

The Wealth of Nations should not be seen as separate from Smith's moral philosophy — it itself is a profoundly moral text

Could Picasso Draw Better than Raphael?

Comparing Pablo Picasso's drawings to those of the Old Masters reveals his failure to master the basics of draughtsmanship

“Weary of Silence, Soon Sickened by Words”

Delving into the various linguistic predicaments of Samuel Beckett reveals the beautiful complications of his writings.

Beware the Fausts of Neuroscience

Neuroscientists attempt to reduce the greatest aspects of human behaviour and existence to material Darwinism. We should be sceptical about their overblown claims

Paths to Democracy, Catholic and Secular

Setting the tone of Catholic political thought for three centuries, it is in France where one uncovers the roots of the separation of Church and State

Novelists at Arms

Evelyn Waugh said that WWII would serve writers well, replenishing their stocks of experience. But several works borne out of the war were masterpieces of literature

David Hockney: A Life Spent Looking

A major retrospective of David Hockney's work at the Royal Academy showcases the Yorkshire-born artist's love of his Northern homeland

What Survives of Him is Love

Philip Larkin's letters to his lover Monica Jones speak of a non-sexual intimacy and chart his progression to poetic maturity

The Red Roots of Folk Music

Folk music has long been influenced by ultra-Left politics. Yet as the example of composer Cornelius Cardew has shown, even those with Communist sympathies have things to teach us about community music

They’ll Always Have Paris

Cynthia Ozick's intricate and artful new novel Foreign Bodies echoes the majesty of Henry James's late period

Underrated: Abroad

The ravenous longing for the infinite possibilities of “otherwhere”

The king of cakes

"Yuletide revels were designed to see you through the dark days — and how dark they seem today"