The latest on books and the arts
Stewart Lee likes to play with the character of “Stewart Lee”, who says things he wouldn’t personally. Photo: MJ Kim/Getty
Stewart Lee: “I don’t mind causing offence when I intend to, but I don’t like causing it accidentally”
By Rob Pollard - 28 November 17:05

He doesn’t do panel shows or tour massive venues, but Stewart Lee has still become one of the UK’s most popular comedians in the last five years. Rob Pollard talks to him about work, politics and “the Ukips”.

Soul survivor: Robert Wyatt in 2009
Rock bottom and back: the rough-edged career of Robert Wyatt
By Ian Thomson - 28 November 16:57

Over the half-century of his career as a musician, Wyatt has belonged to no musical coterie; at his home in the market town of Louth in Lincolnshire, he has simply ploughed his own furrow.

Mother courage: Vita with her sons in 1924. Photo: Sasha/Getty Images
Between desire and dynasty: the dual identity of Vita Sackville-West
By Rachel Holmes - 28 November 16:55

Energetic and confident, the heir to the Sackville dynasty always felt comfortable in her own skin. Being Vita wasn’t the problem – patriarchy was.

Flashback: Gary McAllister and Paul Ince in 2000. Photo: Getty
Penalty kicking: A gloomy assessment of English football
By Leo Robson - 28 November 16:36

David Goldblatt is one of a loose group of football writers, all of them men born in the 1960s, for whom the sport since the summer of either 1989 or 1990 has been a slightly poisonous let-down.

A bicorne hat belonging to Napoleon awaiting auction in Paris in October. Photo: Getty
Boney’s bungles: Napoleon the Great by Andrew Roberts
By Andrew Adonis - 28 November 16:34

Roberts brings Bonaparte brilliantly to life as a military leader and public administrator of immense skill, energy and resourcefulness, yet one who was fatally flawed, writes Andrew Adonis. 

The go-between: Jonathan Powell in 2007, when Downing Street chief of staff. Photo: Getty
The enemy at my table: how Jonathan Powell talked to terrorists
By Anthony Loyd - 28 November 16:25

Founded upon his experience of successfully negotiating with the IRA, the book is an enthralling, case study of the art, in which Powell carefully establishes his argument for why dialogue with terror groups is usually necessary.

View from the chair: one of Theroux's stories concerns a cursed dentist. Photo: merri/Flickr
Furies unleashed: the sinister short stories of Paul Theroux
By Jeffrey Meyers - 28 November 16:04

Theroux’s lively imagination ranges from Hawaii to Alabama to the Amazon, and often portrays the disintegration of love and the disappointment when a promising sequel leads to bitterness.

Tutu much: detail of an image from Richard von Krafft-Ebing's archive of sexual "deviation"
Doing it by the book: the eccentric pioneers of sex studies
By Erica Wagner - 28 November 15:00

From Marie Stopes to Alfred Kinsey, we can still learn from the masters of sex, as new exhibition “The Institute of Sexology” at the Wellcome Trust illustrates.

Students at the art school of the Royal Academy of Arts in London, 1932. Photo: Fox Photos/Getty
The rear-view mirror is no basis to reflect on the future of education
By Nigel Carrington - 28 November 11:53

Britain is globally famous for its creative education but people who prematurely mourn the death of art school are missing the real threat.

In the Frame: One Hundred Per Cent
By Tom Humberstone - 28 November 10:39

Tom Humberstone’s weekly comic.

Smart set: Kate Reardon and staff at Tatler
Rah to the people: the mad world of Tatler brought to life
By Rachel Cooke - 27 November 16:11

A magazine peopled almost entirely by those who think Debrett’s New Guide to Etiquette and Modern Manners is full of genuinely useful advice.

Sleazing on a sunny afternoon: Bill Murray shows Jaeden Lieberher how to do it in St Vincent. PHOTO: REX/WEINSTEIN COMPANY/COURTESY EVE
Return of the slacker: the scuzzy appeal of Bill Murray in St Vincent
By Ryan Gilbey - 27 November 16:02

Murray plays Vincent, a crabby, pasty-faced soak whose days are spent mooching around his neighbourhood, frequenting dive bars and canoodling with a pregnant prostitute.