I am so at home in Dublin, more than any other city, that I feel it has always been familiar to me. It took me years to see through its soft charm to its bitter prickly kernel - which I quite like too.

Issue 130, February 2021

Hear No Evil

It is widely accepted that there was often collusion – and more ‑ between

Labour Titan

Ernest Bevin never knew who his father was and was orphaned aged eight. He started work as a farm labourer at eleven and later became a lay preacher and union organiser. As foreign secretary in the post-1945 Labour government he helped stiffen the Americans’ resolve to stand up to Stalin.

Reading Empson

William Empson’s reputation as a severely intellectual critic can be offputting for anyone coming to him for the first time, but it’s a misleading view. His mission was in another direction altogether, seeking to clarify what

News from Nowhere

Some of what passes for news comes not from ‘the coal face’ but from the fevered brains of its inventors. In a guide to news in the era of fake news Alan Rusbridger says Murdoch’s Fox News will have a ‘special place in journalistic hell’ for its Covid coverage, which contributed to numberless deaths.

A Nurse in Wartime

The tempo of life in wartime is swift and changeable. Men and women come into and slip out of one’s life, never to be seen again. Have they

Not for Gain Alone

Edmund Burke is often regarded as the father of political conservatism,

A Naipauline Conversion?

A new biographical study charts VS Naipaul’s progress from confidently judging the world to be simply ‘what it