Melanie McDonagh

Melanie McDonagh writes for the Evening Standard and has contributed to the Guardian and The Spectator, among others.

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We want Bernard's D-Day story, not my uncle Frank's

We don't want to hear about the cock-ups and the drunks, but about the derring-do
Prime Minister Andrew Bonar Law

Ireland’s forgotten revolutionaries: The Irish president’s meeting with the Queen was a landmark, but few acknowledge why peace took so long

Irish revolutionary politics were nothing new, but revolutionary nationalism triumphed as British politicians saw off the alternative

Taking sides: a rally by Kosovo Serbs

'Why are you in politics?' 'To get rich!': Kosovo's local poll is being enlivened by the satirical Strong Party

Led by its self-styled 'legendary president', the party's logo is the double-headed Albanian eagle, albeit sporting comedic bulging wing muscles

It's not right until there's a Mr Right

Show me the woman who puts matrimony and children on hold

Pope Benedict XVI didn’t fail as the spiritual leader of the church, he just wasn’t up to running it

The modern world, not just the church, will be poorer for the absence of a thoughtful intellectual in public life

Speak roughly ...
Alice is unfazed by
the ferocious Duchess
in Alice's Adventures
in Wonderland

Melanie McDonagh: All hail Alice and her 150 years of quiet scepticism

To amuse the Liddell sisters, Lewis Carroll created an enduring host of pompous eccentrics – and one defiant little girl who is not take in

Portrait of the artist: Illustrator Posy Simmonds

Where have all the book illustrators gone?

Charles Dickens enjoyed close collaborative relationships with the illustrators of his novels, but now it's rare to find a picture outside the world of children's books. Is drawing a lost art, or could we be on the brink of a new golden age?

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Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering