DJ Taylor

David John Taylor is a British critic, novelist and biographer.

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DJ Taylor: Eager beaver Nigel Festing-Jones is kept spiritually afloat on dreams of bygone sporting glory

It is a slack morning at the barristers' chambers overlooking Lincoln's Inn Fields and Nigel Festing-Jones, a copy of Hutchinson on Torts propped up against his computer as camouflage, is hard at work on some private correspondence.

Reviews of Olivia Vinall and Anthony Calf in The Hard Problem by Tom Stoppard suggested the play lacked human passion (Johan Persson)

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character

Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now

DJ Taylor: Office enforcer Bethany Meek has a well-concealed but absolutely iron-clad will

Who is there among us without some friend or acquaintance of the calibre of Mrs Bethany Meek, chief ornament of the clerical department of Messrs Blatterthwaite & Sons, sheet-metal manufacturers, Smethwick, West Midlands?

George Orwell described short stories as an unloved form

George Orwell, James Joyce and short fiction's place in the world of literature

When rewards are so negligible and publishers so unenthusiastic, why do authors even bother to write short stories at all?

DJ Taylor: Punk icon Johnny Wolverine's fortunes have taken a turn for the better recently

Once or twice a year, usually among the CD racks at the local branch of HMV, somebody – invariably a middle-aged man – having stared at his thinning but undeniably spiky hair and slightly corrugated face, will twitch at Jonathan Wilkinson's leather-jacketed shoulder and timidly enquire, "Aren't you Johnny Wolverine?"

Golden Globes 2015: What would Greta Garbo have made of it? Modern Hollywood needs more of her mystique

The glamour of yesteryear was in short supply at last week's ceremony. Maybe we know too much about the stars nowadays

DJ Taylor: For prodigy nurturer Melissa Fretwell it is a humbling experience to have charge of the intellectual development of a pre-teen 'genius'

'Now Toby," Melissa will say, when two or three adults are gathered around the family dinner table, "why don't you tell us the first eight numbers of the Fibonacci sequence?" But Toby, aged nine, is too old a hand to be fooled by this elementary enquiry. "Really, mum," he sighs. "One, one, two, three, five, eight, 13, 21." "Wonderful, darling. And how many wives did Henry VII have?" This is a trick question in its way, but Toby has the answer (one), together with the information that the author of Anna of the Five Towns is Arnold Bennett.

ChihiraAico, Toshiba’s Communication Android at the CES in Las Vegas

Technology that inspires awe, wonder... and doubt

The CES techno fair was full of eye-catching gadgetry, but we of the 'Tomorrow's World' generation are not convinced
The practical jokes played in American Pie films have none of the the wit or scale to be considered art-statements

When dealing with the French right, sometimes only a laxative in wine will do the trick

The practical joke has a long, occasionally noble, tradition, as illustrated by recent antics in Bordeaux
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Day In a Page

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links