Christopher Hirst

Christopher Hirst is an award-winning food writer and freelance journalist.

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Book review: Gorilla, By Ted Gott and Kathryn Weir

Our vegetarian cousins (we shared a common ancestor seven million years ago) have generated an odd mix of fear and appeal.

Book reivew: The Horologicon, By Mark Forsyth

Ahoy! A word lover's guide to English archaisms

Book review: Inventing Ruritania, By Verna Goldsworthy

The vampire chronicles: what bookish Balkans did for us

Book review: The Sleepwalkers, By Christopher Clark

Probing the events and characters that ignited war in 1914, this book is as authoritative as it is gripping.

Book review: Ostrich, By Edgar Williams

Lack of flight produced not only size but also singular feathers. "Soft, downy and symmetrical", they were used by Egyptians as symbols of fairness and the Folies Bergère for tantalising coquetry.

Book review: The Richard Burton Diaries, Edited by Chris Williams

Inevitably, there's a ton of ego in these journals, from 1939 to 1983, but also intelligence, tenderness, good taste ("I've always refused to talk to Jeffrey Archer"), keen observation and honesty.

Book review: Bloody Foreigners, By Robert Winder

Starting with the Romans, who (like continentals today) relished our shellfish, this lively history of immigration is packed with interest. Medieval Flemish merchants gave us much including diapers (from d'Ypres).

Book review: Clarissa's England, By Clarissa Dickson Wright

Black pudding, red herrings – and lots of fruity detours

Book review: Twirlymen, By Amol Rajan

"The great spin bowlers," declared the Aussie spin maestro Arthur Mailey, "were… not always pleasant but invariably interesting." This view is amply substantiated through practitioners from underarm spinner David Harris, who initiated the hat-trick and sat in an armchair between overs, to Shane Warne.

Book review: The Spanish Ambassador's Suitcase, By Matthew Parris & Andrew Bryson

Despite the cartoon cover, this collection of ambassadorial missives is not a work of unbridled hilarity. Occasionally the humour is strained but a 1993 account of getting a Turkmen horse given to John Major through Moscow bureaucracy is a gem.

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The President is ready to press ahead with the long-promised plan to overhaul America's 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?
Bill Cosby rape allegations explained: Why are these allegations coming out now? Why didn’t these women come forward earlier? And why has nobody taken legal action?

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Paul Scholes column: England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil

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Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win says defender as he prepares to return with Hull

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Hull defender faces his struggling former club on Sunday ready to show what they are missing. But he says he will always be grateful to Tottenham
Frank Warren column: Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game

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Synagogue attack: Fear unites both sides of Jerusalem as minister warns restoring quiet could take 'months'

Terror unites Jerusalem after synagogue attack

Rising violence and increased police patrols have left residents of all faiths looking over their shoulders
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The Ebola crisis has Medecins sans Frontieres in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa
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