Dog day afternoon: the Veuve Clicquot Gold Cup polo final at Cowdray Park, West Sussex. Photo: Jocelyn Bain Hogg/VII
Watching the Englishman: Kate Fox on the peculiar rituals of the privileged
By Kate Fox - 16 October 10:00

England’s upper-middle class pretend that class no longer matters. But try to infiltrate the tribe and you’ll see how strict the rules are, says anthropologist Kate Fox. 

Quids in: Jeff Koons poses for cameras at a preview for his retrospective at the Whitney in New York. Photo: Andrew Burton/Getty Images
Pop goes the easel: sharp encounters with contemporary artists
By Martin Gayford - 16 October 10:00

Are artists solitary individuals, or do they emerge from a workshop, family or other communities? In other words, are all works of art collective creations? Is an artist obliged to engage with politics or is it enough just to make good stuff?

Queen Viv: Westwood on the catwalk after her autumn/winter 2014/15 womenswear show at Paris Fashion Week in March. Photo: Getty
Punk, seams and SEX: the life and fashion of Vivienne Westwood
By Jane Shilling - 16 October 10:00

Jane Shilling reviews a new autobiography of the veteran British fashion designer and punk icon.

Everything is illuminated: Marilynne Robinson. Photo: Danny Wilcox Frazier/Redux/Eyevine
Living the good life: Rowan Williams on Marilynne Robinson
By Rowan Williams - 16 October 10:00

Robinson’s trilogy set in small-town Christian America is more than great fiction – it is a political and ethical project. 

Ancient and modern: solstice revellers celebrate sunrise at Stonehenge in June. Photo: Getty
Ancient watchfulness: searching for the spirit of place
By Erica Wagner - 16 October 10:00

Marsden examines the notion that there are places on the earth which chime mysteriously with the human spirit, which drew our ancestors to them just as we are drawn there.

An Iranian woman reads a copy of “Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows” at a bookshop in Tehran. Photo: Getty
Read whatever the hell you want: why we need a new way of talking about young adult literature
By Elizabeth Minkel - 14 October 17:25

Should adults be reading books supposedly aimed at children and teenagers? According to the literary establishment in 2014, this is a question fraught with difficulty. But is it really as hard as all that?

Why nobody knows what to think about Patrick Modiano winning the Nobel Prize for Literature
By Leo Robson - 13 October 16:51

The French author has never been internationally popular, but he is nevertheless widely studied. Leo Robson looks at the reaction to his Nobel win, and what this tells us about the way his work is perceived.

Richard Dawkins. Photo: Getty
Richard Dawkins doesn’t deserve this fellow atheist’s smears
By Jerry A Coyne - 10 October 10:50

John Gray should attack his ideas, not his character.

Unbuttoned: Andrew Marr, novelist. Photo: Jeff Mitchell/Getty
Witty and wicked: Andrew Marr’s revealing political thriller
By Adam Boulton - 09 October 10:00

What makes Head of State worth reading is that it is Marr unbuttoned. The cloak of fiction allows him to express his view of his world in the way he used to when chatting to his fellow hacks, waiting to go live from Downing Street.

Photo: Leon Harris/Eyevine
Karl Miller’s grand style: John Sutherland remembers the late, great editor and academic
By John Sutherland - 09 October 10:00

Karl Miller was less a literary editor and more a conductor. He wielded his baton with the authority of a maestro. 

Julian Assange appears on screen to discuss the revelations about New Zealand's mass surveillance at Auckland Town Hall, 15 September. Ph
When Julian Assange went head to head with Google
By Bryan Appleyard - 09 October 10:00

For Julian Assange, Google is all but an arm of the US state department. For the company’s chairman, Eric Schmidt, and Jonathan Rosenberg, an adviser to its CEO, Larry Page, Google is the model of the 21st-century company.

Toppling Maggie: a blown-up photo of Thatcher is taken down at the end of the Conservative Party Conference, 2 October. Photo: Getty
Darkly humorous vision: Hilary Mantel’s “The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher”
By Erica Wagner - 09 October 10:00

The conceit of this book’s title story has prompted calls for Mantel’s head – but how well would Wolf Hall have gone down at the court of Henry VIII?

Shadows of giants: the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale, where Deresiewicz taught for ten years
Poison Ivy League: The dangers of a world-class education
By Mark Damazer - 09 October 10:00

The American Ivy League universities are accused of churning out automatons, whose principal task is securing a lucrative career. But is Oxbridge just as bad?

His atheism is its own kind of narrow religion.
The closed mind of Richard Dawkins
By John Gray - 04 October 16:01

His atheism is its own kind of narrow religion.

The Irish nationalist Rover Casement kept diaries of his sexual exploits. Photo: Topical Press Agency/Getty Images
Romancing rebellion: the culture that spawned the Irish rebels of Easter 1916
By Colm Tóibín - 02 October 9:30

Despite the wealth of sources on this subject, a puzzle remains: not only about the effect of the rebellion but about what caused it to take place.

After Mark Cocker’s glorious book, you will never look at a blackberry bush the same way again
By Philip Hoare - 02 October 9:15

Great nature writing makes us look anew at what we take for granted.

Chuck Barry jams with fellow starts in an illustration by Robert Crumb.
Red, white and blues: The History of Rock’n’Roll in Ten Songs
By Mark Ellen - 02 October 9:12

This ambitiously-titled new work eschews the blunt logic of most rock scholarship, and instead charges down a particular path and then meanders off-road through the dense pop-cultural undergrowth.

David Mitchell, the master builder
By Erica Wagner - 02 October 9:10

When he was a child, David Mitchell drew maps. Now he creates worlds.

Alan Johnson leaving No 10 Downing St in 2009, when he was health secretary. Photo: Getty
Alan Johnson’s Please, Mister Postman: the best political testament I have ever read
By Peter Wilby - 02 October 9:07

This second volume of Alan Johnson’s memoirs brings to life a world in which postal workers fed cats while their owners were away and fetched coal for old folk.

Edge of desire: Tennessee Williams in Key West in 1981. Photo: Nathan Benn/Ottochrome/Corbis
The beautiful and damned: the vertiginous life and art of Tenessee Williams
By Douglas Kennedy - 02 October 9:03

One of the underlying truisms of literary biography is that the messier the personal narrative, the more interesting the read, which is why this one is such a page-turner.

“The Inquisition in New Spain” by Samuel de Champlain (1574-1635). Image: Brown University Library, Rhode Island/Bridgeman Images
John Gray: is religion to blame for history’s bloodiest wars?
By John Gray - 01 October 16:32

From the Inquisition to Isis, religion is blamed for brutality. But violence is a secular creed too.

The shortlist for the 2014 Goldsmiths Prize has been announced
By Critic - 01 October 6:00

The award for “fiction at its most novel” returns for its second year.

Job seekers.
“Innocent, gullible, and blinded by illusions”: Honoré de Balzac on the misery of interns in 1841
By Philip Maughan - 29 September 11:20

“There are two types of interns: poor ones and rich ones. The poor intern has pockets full of hope and needs a permanent position; the rich intern is unmotivated and wants for nothing.”

Karl Miller, former literary editor of the NS, who has died aged 83
Great Scot: Karl Miller’s pilgrimage through the London literary world
By Leo Robson - 26 September 11:43

The editor, critic and writer, who was literary editor of the New Statesman in the 1960s, head of English at UCL and founded the London Review of Books, has died, aged 83.

Unity, Diana and Nancy Mitford in 1932. Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Why the Mitford sisters were the Kardashians of their day
By Hope Whitmore - 25 September 14:12

These beautiful, wayward young women, who caused such scandal in their time, were the reality stars of their day, providing plentiful fodder for the papers, society magazines and gossip rags.

Detail from Head and Heart: a painting by the German-Jewish artist Charlotte Salomon, who died in Auschwitz
Glow in the dark: how history’s boldest women embraced vulnerability
By Melissa Benn - 25 September 11:33

Melissa Benn reviews two new books about remarkable 20th-century women – from Emmeline Pankhurst to Marilyn Monroe.

Image taken from "Dad's National Service Album, 1951", a collection uploaded to Flickr by an ex-conscript's son. Photo: Steve Bowbrick/Flickr
The way we war: a history of British national service
By Richard Overy - 25 September 10:00

Reading this detailed account of the national service experience – peppered with moments of humour among the long years of pointless routine – invites the question whether it made any sense.

Committed socialist: Newens (left) with Coretta Scott King, widow of Martin Luther King, and Lord Brockway, in 1970. Photo: Getty
Independent spirit: Stan Newens’s fight for a fairer Britain
By Stephen Brasher - 25 September 10:00

A new autobiography by the former Labour MP and left-wing campaigner. 

What does an artist look like? One of Grayson Perry's witty illustrations in Playing to the Gallery
Do I make myself Claire? Grayson Perry dissects the art world
By Thomas Calvocoressi - 25 September 10:00

In this illustrated handbook to contemporary art, Perry compares his once unfashionable pottery to the woman ordering a Babycham in a style bar and everyone suddenly wanting one.