Issue: December 2012

ONLINE ONLY: Lang’s Misunderstood Life

Robert Beaken's new biography of Cosmo Lang reveals an Archbishop who, in times of war and crisis, put public good before private gain

ONLINE ONLY: Radical Chic and the Corruption of Art

Critics may be heralding the end of contemporary art as we know it, but nothing will change as long as artists worry about how fashionable, rather than how good, their work is

The Swindler and the Swindled

In chess one should never take one's opponent in trust: it leaves one open to the swindle

The Old Men Who Made Paint Itself Expressive

It is rare for great artists to keep producing well into old age. Two biographies of Titian and Cézanne reveal masters who saved their best until last

Bombarded By White Noise

Camille Paglia's Glittering Images is a bewildering nightmare of frenzied distraction, precisely the modern condition the author hoped to combat

Elegy to a Country’s Church

The Church of England is part of this country's identity and the key to its past, according to Roger Scruton in his superb new book, Our Church

On Her Majesty’s Silver Service

In Serving Victoria Kate Hubbard has produced a wonderful, anecdote-laden account of what it would have been like to work for the great Queen

The Tiger Under the Table

Founder of Singapore, emancipator of slaves, discoverer of the world's smelliest flower: Stamford Raffles comes alive in Victoria Glendinning's biography

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"