The latest on books and the arts
Chris Pratt: Jurassic World's "miracle of nature". Photo: Universal Pictures
Even with Chris Pratt and his velociraptors, Jurassic World fails to thrill
By Ryan Gilbey - 11 June 18:20

Ryan Gilbey reviews two sequels: The Look of Silence and Jurassic World.

TS Eliot, whose Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock has its centenary this year. Photo: Chris Bacon/AFP/Getty Images
On the air, the actors come and go: how the establishment adopted T S Eliot
By Antonia Quirke - 11 June 18:13

It's the quickest shortcut to gravitas. T S Eliot has been stolen by actors, like burglars with the crown jewels.

Christopher Lee at the Locarno Film Festival in 2013. Photo: Pier Marco Tacca/Getty
Actor Christopher Lee dies in hospital aged 93
By Anna Leszkiewicz - 11 June 12:48

The actor passes away after respiratory problems and heart failure.

A portion of the Magna Carta, which Melvyn Bragg says is the foundation of modern freedom. Photo: British Library
It made us free: Melvyn Bragg on Magna Carta
By Melvyn Bragg - 11 June 9:50

Parliamentary democracy, trial by jury or habeas corpus - it can be argued that all these flowed from this document.

Helen Kennedy argues that the Magna Carta was influenced by the French. Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
French Kissing: Helena Kennedy on Magna Carta
By Helena Kennedy - 11 June 8:58

As we congratulate ourselves on Magna Carta, let us remember that it came into being 150 years after the Norman Conquest and was probably greatly influenced by the French.

Chasing the dragon: the 19th-century craze for opium made a fortune for many adventurers. Image: William Douglas Almond/ Private Collection / © Look And Learn / Illustrated Papers Collection / Bridgeman Images
Amitav Ghosh concludes his Opium War trilogy in brilliant, ramshackle style
By Randy Boyagoda - 11 June 8:53

Amitav Ghosh’s new novel, Flood of Fire, takes you to the end of its exploring, only to hint that the story is just beginning.

Windows on the sole: why we buy shoes we’re never going to wear
By Jane Shilling - 11 June 8:39

As Shoes: Pleasure and Pain opens at London’s V&A, Jane Shilling explores why our footwear carries such emotional weight.

Sound investment: the history of the record industry is a tale of technology, stars and shady deals. Photo Montage by Dan Murrell
Music is free now – and the industry only has itself to blame
By Bob Stanley - 11 June 8:35

Bob Stanley unpicks the recording industry’s tangled history of takeovers, piracy and changing technology.

Quite contrary: a portrait of Mary Wollstonecraft (circa 1787) by John Keenan. Photo: Private Collection/Bridgeman Images
Finding vindication: on the intertwined lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley
By Melissa Benn - 11 June 8:27

Charlotte Gordon has managed to produce that rare thing, a work of genuinely popular history.

The poisoning of King John: one of Magna Carter's terrible kings. Photo: British Library
Tom Holland: Magna Carta was forged from royal failure
By Tom Holland - 11 June 8:18

No coincidence that the most celebrated of all the waymarks on the road to freedom under the law was sealed by England’s most appalling king.

Inscrutable and rootless: the Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Photo: Rex
Condemned to death, Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev remains inscrutable
By Nicky Woolf - 11 June 8:06

That evil is banal has been observed. The route to it in the case of the Tsarnaevs was a meandering path to which hindsight can bring little meaningful insight.

The coronation of King Henry III: is the Magna Carter a warning to radicals? Photo: British Library
Not so radical: Jesse Norman on Magna Carta's conservatism
By Jesse Norman - 11 June 8:02

Here, as so often in our history, it is property rights that secure individual freedom.

Cousins Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus founded the Cannon film company. Photo: YouTube screengrab
The Cannon Group: the most disreputable duo in cinema?
By Ryan Gilbey - 10 June 16:35

Looking back at the exploitation enterprise of Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus's cinematic output.

The poet Craig Raine, whose "Gatwick" started a twitter storm. Photo courtesy the author
"Of course, the stupid are always with us": Craig Raine defends his Gatwick poem
By Craig Raine - 10 June 16:13

I realise the purpose is to make me feel like a war criminal. Sorry, tweeters, I don’t.

Joshua Oppenheimer: "Non-fiction cinema is doing what journalism should be doing"
By Yohann Koshy - 10 June 15:31

The US director is continuing to expose the stories of Indonesia's past atrocities, and sees film as a conduit to subjects investigative journalism no longer has the resources to reach.