Issue: October 2012

Legends of the Urban Landscape

A provocative new book by Jonathan Meades asks us to reassess the value of the under-appreciated metropolitan environment

Falstaff’s Sack

Shakespeare's Falstaff — suspicious of the "sober-blooded" — is veritably rhapsodic about the empowering virtues of Andalusian sherry

The Art of the 64 Squares

While not all artists are chess players, all chess players are artists. So said Marcel Duchamp, a mean player himself

Underrated: Chris Woodhead

The iconoclastic former Chief Inspector of Schools understood the dangers of state control.

Overrated: Fiona Millar

The indefatigable enemy of education reform is making the job of free school champions easier

Tiptoeing in the Mecca Ballroom

Tom Holland's film on the origins of Islam deserves praise for not shying away from controversy

All Pout and No Clout

Joe Wright's Karenina is well-scripted but too stagey and his Anna lacks depth

What Are Big Girls Made Of?

Two new plays and one classic depict young women who are mad, bad and dangerous to know

A Mania For Nymphs

Peter Lely's underrated pastorals and mythologies are erotic delights for the connoisseur

Ballet Lessons For the Orchestra

Classical music must follow the example of an art form that has survived by extending its range

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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