News and reviews

Apollinaire’s Letters to Madeleine reviewed in the TLS

Added on 05/03/2019

Guillaume Apollinaire, who died, aged thirty-eight, in 1918, seven months after the publication of the exuberant poems in Calligrammes, was by all accounts a generous friend whose fellows included many notable painters.


Insiders/Outsiders featured in the Times

Added on 04/03/2019

When, in the early 1930s, in the face of rising antisemitism, thousands of Jews fled Germany, Britain must have seemed a safe haven. For those who followed in 1938 in the wake of Kristallnacht, the feeling of danger escaped was more intense.


Lost Maps of the Caliphs reviewed in the Telegraph

Added on 02/03/2019

Around 1,000 years ago (sometime between 1020 and 1050, to be as precise as we can be), a Muslim scholar living in Cairo wrote a book. Titled The Book of Curiosities of the Sciences and Marvels of the Eye.


How to see beyond Brexit, James Meek in the Guardian

Added on 23/02/2019

I was living in Norwich when the Brexit referendum happened. The city voted remain, an island of European feeling separated from Cambridge – the next dot in the remainer archipelago – by 60 miles of rural leaverdom.


Margaret Drabble surveys the fiction of Anthony Burgess in the TLS

Added on 21/02/2019

The International Anthony Burgess Foundation, established in 2003 by Anthony Burgess’s colourful widow Liana, is a remarkable and unusual institution. It is dedicated to Burgess’s considerable literary and musical output.


Four Words for Friend reviewed in the Evening Standard

Added on 20/02/2019

Relying on Google Translate to speak a foreign language is a dangerous game. It helps to know the nuance of a phrase — “Je suis chaude”, said by a woman, for example, admits to being more flushed in France than you might realise.


Food on the Move reviewed in Country Life

Added on 19/02/2019

Being something of a foodie (in a Malaysian dining car, she watches the sky turn sepia while polishing off red curry and sweetly sticky rice), Miss Rajesh would probably enjoy Food on the Move, which is dedicated to railway cuisine.


Gilded Youth reviewed in the Financial Times

Added on 18/02/2019

In 1948 George Orwell, the old Eto­nian socialist visionary, wrote that his alma mater represented “a form of education that is hardly likely to last much longer”. The UK’s private schools had just swerved the great postwar social reformers.


Twilight of the Elites reviewed in the Sunday Times

Added on 17/02/2019

Written long before the riots began, this acute analysis explains the gilets jaunes. The speed with which their movement grew from a narrowly focused protest to a full-scale citizens’ revolt has wrong-footed France’s political classes.


North Pole: Nature and Cultire reviewed in the Spectator

Added on 16/02/2019

From the Ancient Egyptians onward, this timeless, magnetic place of water surrounded by land has fascinated astronomers, philosophers and navigators. Having spent much of my life at both poles, I know the spells these places cast.


Verso Books launches ‘bold’ fiction imprint

Added on 15/02/2019

Radical publisher Verso Books is launching its own fiction imprint this September, promising a string of “politically astute” novels. Launched as a paperback imprint in the 1970s, Verso became known for publishing hard-hitting works.


Nicholas Hilliard reviewed in the Evening Standard

Added on 14/02/2019

The knowing glances of wealthy sitters in meticulous tiny portraits painted by Nicholas Hilliard are mesmerising, leaping 400 years like a lover’s dart. Set in precious mounts, these 5cm tall watercolours were called “pictures in little”.