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King Charles II
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Saturday 19 May 2012
The capable author of The Mitford Girls tackles a dynasty – probably the dynasty – with entertaining results.
Monday 16 April 2012
Behind the innuendo, Hampton Court Palace's new exhibition offers a fascinating insight into King Charles II's love of the female form, writes Adrian Hamilton
Saturday 03 September 2011
Wednesday 06 July 2011
Saturday 21 May 2011
The British aristocracy consumed human flesh, a new book on medicinal cannibalism reveals.
Friday 25 March 2011
One's book of a lifetime should become a total obsession – a work that leaves you seeing the world through different eyes. For me, it's the unexpurgated 'Diary of Samuel Pepys'. Completing the 11-volume set challenges even the most dedicated, but the entries are so vivid and comprehensive that the readers feel almost as if we're living a parallel life.
Friday 12 November 2010
Andrew Marvell was a great poet, but not an especially nice man. He had few friends, and did not trust people easily. He was also an angry man, and his immediate posthumous reputation was based on a series of sharp satires. As Nigel Smith shows in this profound and often moving biography, Marvell's anger came from hurt and disappointment. He grew up a clever clergyman's son in flourishing Hull, where he went to school with richer boys. Marvell's life illustrates the idea that to become a great poet some setbacks in youth are required. The loss of his father in 1641 in a boating accident left him desolate; he never entirely recovered.
Friday 13 August 2010
Anthony Capella's gastro-romance explores the unexpectedly heated history of ice cream. When a young Italian kitchen hand, Carlo Demirco, arrives at the court of Louis XIV, he works with the King's "limonadier" perfecting the art of chilled cordials and sorbets.
Monday 09 August 2010
The silly season is upon us. And so begins a three-part series dedicated entirely to hair – ready-to-hair!
Friday 06 August 2010
Thursday 13 May 2010
When a public figure dies, the whole of his life flashes before other people's eyes. So hours after the Prime Minister's post-dated political demise, a kneejerk appreciation called Gordon Brown: a Political Life was rushed on to Radio 4. Yet although Shaun Ley's programme contained a perfectly comprehensive checklist of all the delights of Brown's years in office – Bigotgate, psychological flaws, Forces of Hell, moral compass, smile – it had a perfunctory air that suggested now was not the best time to take the measure of the man. And that is the problem with living in interesting times. Achieving perspective from the middle of a political avalanche is a challenge and the Today programme has coped better than most. Unlike the TV studios, where captive politicians can sit for hours repeating formulas on a loop, Today's presenters have been far sharper than their televisual equivalents. When Paddy Ashdown came on with a lofty peroration about how he could not possibly reveal his own position, Nick Robinson was as cutting as a kitchen knife. "We can hear what you're saying, Paddy, and so can the rest of the country."
Friday 07 May 2010
The ballot counters sit facing the observers across the tables. Up in the bar, behind the glass wall, observers look down. I look up, observing the observers observing the observers. But who's observing me?
Friday 07 May 2010
As a clapped out-regime falls apart, "a young, charismatic man is called to power". But what happens when "the fireworks fade and the euphoria cools"? Jenny Uglow, the learned, stylish doyenne of biographers, turns her hand to Charles II and the decade after his 1660 Restoration.
Monday 05 October 2009
Saturday 18 July 2009
Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'
Thought you'd seen it all after the Jeremy Paxman interview?
Greatest mystery about the hit BBC1 show is how it continues to be made at all, writes Grace Dent
"History is violent," says the US Army tank commander Don "Wardaddy" Collier
Striker's four-month ban for biting an opponent expires on Friday
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Attacks on 'Ukip Calypso' show how skewed people’s priorities are
- 1 This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
- 2 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 3 Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
- 4 Ottawa shootings: Bruce MacKinnon's cartoon is the perfect tribute to soldier Nathan Cirillo
- 5 Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella