Issue: January/February 2014

They All Read The Same Bible

A superb new film vividly portrays the use and abuse of scripture by slavers to justify their evil acts

Kings, Princes and a Musical Voltaire

It was a fine year for the Bard, with David Tennant, Rory Kinnear and Jude Law impressing, but there was far more than just Shakespeare

The Sound of Swindon

For two decades Harry Stanley Fairclough turned the Wiltshire town into a leading centre of opera

Overrated: Ptolemy

The Egyptian astronomer's dubious methods dominated the science for over a millennium

Underrated: Tycho Brahe

This great Danish astronomer made a heliocentric theory credible

Viking Versus Sepoy

The changing of the guard in the world of chess was achieved not by smash-and-grab play, but by herculean displays of patience

Platonic Plonk

Plato attempted to divorce wine-drinking and pleasure and to conscript wine to “worthy” purposes. Thank goodness no one listened to him

The Best Years of American Cinema

The greatest American movie of all time was made in 1946 and you'll never have heard of it

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"