SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
Books
May 03, 2022
Laura Perrins
Let’s keep this simple. If you think inviting an author of sexually explicit material that also has a sprinkling of blasphemy to a Catholic school is a good idea, then do not become a governor at that school and do not teach there. If you are a parent who has a child there I suggest
May 02, 2022
Dr Michael Nazir-Ali
Nine Quarters of Jerusalem: A New Biography of the Old City by Matthew Teller  Profile Books, £13.35, 389 pages If this book were a painting, it would have been done in bold strokes and vibrant colours. It evokes the sights, smells and flavours of “Old” Jerusalem effectively, as Matthew Teller integrates the geography of the
May 02, 2022
Paula Byrne
Bad Relations by Cressida Connolly Viking, £14.99, 288 pages Families don’t always bring out the best in people,” says one of the characters towards the end of Cressida Connolly’s novel Bad Relations. Despite its title, this gem is about much more than familial discord through the generations; its themes are memory, loss, grief and redemption.
May 02, 2022
Serenhedd James
Architectural Drawings: Hidden Masterpieces from Sir John Soane’s Museum by Dr Frances Sands Batsford Press, £35, 159 pages “We’ll make heaven a place on earth,” crooned the songstress Belinda Carlisle. I wonder whether she’s ever visited the Sir John Soane Museum, in the heart of London, where, for people like me, that process has already
May 02, 2022
Fram Dinshaw
A Life of Picasso, Volume IV: The Minotaur Years, 1933-1943 by John Richardson  Jonathan Cape, £35, 368 pages John Richardson died in 2019 with his monumental biography of Picasso half-finished, leaving its subject with 30 years of life still to come. This uncompleted project will surely be the Ozymandias of all biographies, since Richardson’s talents were
May 02, 2022
William Davage
A People’s Church: A History of the Church of England by Jeremy Morris Profile Books, £30, 480 pages The defining and unhappy image of the response of the Church of England to the Covid-19 pandemic was that of the Archbishop of Canterbury celebrating Holy Communion on his kitchen table at Lambeth Palace. It was Easter
April 29, 2022
Archie Hill
The 16 martyrs who were the inspiration for Poulenc’s opera Les Dialogues des Carmélites are on the path to sainthood
March 30, 2022
Fr Christopher Colven
Fr Christopher Colven reviews Mary, Founder of Christianity by Chris Maunder
March 30, 2022
Sophia Waugh
Sophia Waugh reviews Elizabeth Finch, by Julian Barnes
March 30, 2022
Eamon Duffy
Thirty years is a long shelf life for any historical work, and perhaps especially so for a historical work self-consciously designed as a challenge to received opinion. For all its bulk, The Stripping of the Altars is a polemic, written to contest the account of the English Reformation canonised in a long interpretative tradition that
March 30, 2022
Gertrude Clarke
It is a story of philosophy expressed in the story of four friends: Mary Midgley herself, Philippa Foot, Iris Murdoch and Elizabeth Anscombe
March 30, 2022
Cressida Connolly
Cressida Connolly reviews French Braid, by Anne Tyler
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