News and reviews

Arabs in the Sunday Times’ books of the year roundup

Added on 01/12/2019

Best known for his historical travel narratives, Mackintosh-Smith has produced a sumptuous book. Sweeping across 3,000 years of Arab history, he writes with infectious enthusiasm for a people too often maligned by western writers.


A review of the year’s art books in the Spectator

Added on 30/11/2019

A Feast for the Eyes: Edible Art from Apple to Zucchini is more an amuse-gueule than a full study. Alphabetically arranged, it contains some genuine art, such as the American artist Ed Ruscha’s ‘Chocolate Room’…


A fine selection of Yale Rep titles in the TLS Books of the Year

Added on 29/11/2019

Imperial Intimacies is a captivating memoir by Hazel Carby, a professor at Yale. Carby was born in 1948 to a Welsh mother and Jamaican father, and in writing about her childhood she also shines a light on working-class social history.


Ahab’s Rolling Sea a pick of the week in Nature

Added on 27/11/2019

Herman Melville’s sprawling masterpiece Moby-Dick is a fictional feat studded with empirical evidence, reveals maritime historian Richard King in this invigorating study. King traces references to ethology, meteorology and the oceans…


The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes in the Guardian

Added on 24/11/2019

Two men go head to head in a TV debate. They wrestle with Britain’s relationship to Europe, the meaning of sovereignty, the nature of global influence, the question of job losses. They listen carefully to each other.


Lakota America included in Evening Standard’s Best Books of 2019

Added on 22/11/2019

A brilliant, bold, gripping history of the Lakota/Sioux nations who slaughtered Custer’s force in 1876, but instead of narrating the story from the point of view of the empire-builders and settlers, this is the tale of the Lakota empire.


Studio Lives reviewed in the Art Newspaper

Added on 20/11/2019

Studio Lives is an unusual and authoritative contribution to the history of British art and architecture between the end of the 19th century and the Second World War. Equal importance is given to the architect and the artist…


Homes with a story to tell – Novel Houses reviewed in the Times

Added on 15/11/2019

Bleak House or Brideshead? Howards End or Hobbit hole? In the game of literary Location, Location, Location, where would you choose to hang your cloak? Novel Houses is a lively literary gazetteer to great imaginative homes.


Conservative Revolutionary – Richard J Evans’ Book of the Year

Added on 13/11/2019

Lewis Namier has long held a legendary status among historians. Hayton shows both why his work on 18th-century politics was hailed as revolutionary on its first appearance, and why it is no longer influential today. Masterly


Conservative Revolutionary reviewed in History Today

Added on 11/11/2019

Some biographies approach in style the character of their subjects. It’s true of this biography of Lewis Namier, a British historian of the mid-20th century. David Hayton on Namier, like Namier, is precise, yet ready to wield an ethical pen.


The Letters of Cole Porter reviewed in The Times

Added on 10/11/2019

Cole Porter’s songs glitter and dazzle, and beneath the veneer of Fifth Avenue sophistication they are often surprisingly frank about the joys of sex. Let’s Do It, Let’s Fall in Love is much more than a request to hold hands.


Crises of the Sentence reviewed in the Times Literary Supplement

Added on 08/11/2019

So which will it be? The ascetic dictums of The Elements of Style, William Strunk and E. B. White’s standard compositional manual, which cautions against “unnecessary words” – or the unrepentantly roiling verbosity of Walt Whitman?