Issue: November 2018

Our frightful years?

'It is one of the joys of editing a magazine that, if it is good enough, great writers occasionally descend from Parnassus to contribute. Bob Conquest was one'

Chastising Churchill

'Seventy years after independence, bashing Winston Churchill has become a sure-fire way of attracting a mass following on Indian social media'

Virtue Broadcasting

'The BBC’s new policy on “equality and diversity” reads as though it is straight out of the W1A comedy series'

Skin and bone

'Jusepe de Ribera went beyond palpability — the way the paint becomes flesh — to the visceral. He sought to engage all our senses at once'

Bess the best

'There once was a Tudor woman with flaming red hair. Her name was Elizabeth, but she wasn’t the queen. Her reputation preceded her — Bess of Hardwick'

Beginning of a bond meltdown?

‘Adam Smith observed, “There is a great deal of ruin in a nation.” There is certainly a great deal more potential ruin in the government bond markets’

Walk on the wild side

‘The lion wakes me at 3 a.m. as it walks past my tent. It must be some while since an ancestor of mine has had to fear encountering the animal’

Marie Colvin’s myth

‘Marie Colvin created herself in the image of the ideal war correspondent. She crafted a one-of-the-boys persona: she was tougher than the toughest’

The modern Julien Sorel

‘Pride of place in Emmanuel Macron’s presidential office goes to Le Rouge et le Noir. Does he recognise in himself the characteristics that enabled Julien Sorel to fly so close to the sun before he crashed and burned?’

Earnings vs. ermine

‘The real reason for former prime ministers not going to the Lords is their dislike of declaring how much they earn’

An autumn note

“For many, the end of this uneasy year cannot come quickly enough”

An ordinary killing

Ian Cobain’s book uses the killing of Millar McAllister to paint a meticulous portrait of the Troubles

Greater—not wiser

John Mullan elucidates the genius of Charles Dickens
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