Journalism and Commentary

Review: Squeezing the Orange by Henry Blofeld

There can be a strong strain of self-parody in even the greatest commentators. When Henry Blofeld describes the progress of a pigeon in his inimitably plummy tones, or greets a visiting Ocker to the commentary box with a jovial ‘My dear old thing!’, he is impersonating himself as surely as Rory Bremner has ever done. […]

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Explaining cricket to America

The American series “30 Rock” has been airing in the U.K. for several years now, and most of it carries perfectly well across the pond. But comedy depends on context, and I was surely not alone among my countrymen in raising an eyebrow at one plot twist. Jack Donaghy, the fictional head of NBC (played […]

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The dinosaur capital of the world

Jesus and the dinosaurs are living happily alongside one another in a town in Canada – but can the peace last, asks Tom Holland. Drumheller is definitely the place to visit if you like dinosaurs. Perched amid the fossil-rich badlands above the town, the Royal Tyrrell Museum is probably the greatest treasure trove of palaeontological […]

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Dinosaurs aren’t extinct

You wouldn’t know it from Jurassic World, but tyrannosaurs had coats of fuzz and the same molecular structure as a hen. Forget about cloning dinosaurs, writes the historian Tom Holland. They’re still us — they’re called birds. Read the full article on the Sunday Times website

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Dinomania: the history of an obsession

They made the Victorians shudder with awe, but before long dinosaurs were loved mostly by cartoonists and children. Then came a series of discoveries that began a dazzling chapter in the history of science and which leaves Jurassic World trailing far behind.   Read the full article on the Guardian website

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Auctioning a Diplodocus

It is hard to think of a more remarkable bargain than “Misty”, the diplodocus that went under the hammer this week for £400,000. The chance to own a 17-metre dinosaur does not come along every day, after all. So remote from us is the Jurassic period that the odds of even the tiniest fragment of […]

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Review: Byron: Child of Passion, Fool of Fame by Benita Eisler

Byron’s memoirs were burnt by friends terrified of what they might contain. Ever since, biographers have been trying to make up for the loss. The attractions of the challenge are obvious. Not only was Byron a poet of the very highest rank – in every sense of the word – but he also led a […]

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Review: Augusta Leigh: Byron’s Half-Sister by Michael and Melissa Bakewell

Celebrities, we have it on good authority, are like candles in the wind. As it is the nature of candles to illumine what would otherwise be dark, this means that within every biography of a Marilyn or Diana there are also fleeting biographies of the purely tangential, those who are of interest only because they […]

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In praise of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

Considering the habitual British distaste for foreigners and learning musical instruments, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin was a brave title for a novel. But Louis de Bernieres clearly knew what he was doing: four years after its original publication, his story of love and war on the island of Cephalonia remains so firmly cemented in the best-seller […]

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The resurrection of the Caliphate

Read the full article on the Financial Times website [paywall]

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