Snuff hit Britain at the beginning of the eighteenth century. Ben Duckworth discovers that it never really left.
What can fantasy tell us about the ways in which we perceive reality? Terry Pratchett, A S Byatt and Terry Eagleton discuss fantasy as a vast and powerful mode of thought.
The king's actions in the summer of 1483, when he unexpectedly put aside his twelve-year-old nephew and became King of England, are considered to be out of character. Could a food allergy have triggered the series of events that lead to the fall of the Ho
Why do we find free time so terrifying? Why is a dedication to work, no matter how physically destructive and ultimately pointless, considered a virtue? Jenny Diski urges you to down tools while you can.
In our Nature column, poet Ruth Padel considers the tortoise - the animal which refuses to be read.
A tsunami-sized wall of cash is heading to Morning Lane, a shabby thoroughfare in Hackney - but who will benefit from it?
Over the course of the 20th century, children became more of an active choice than a post-marital expectation. Rachel Bowlby explores the influence science has made in offering a new range of parental types.
People from Tiger Woods to the Obamas are routinely denounced for their narcissism. But what does the word really mean and are there good as well as bad types of self-love?
Who needs the politics and mindset of “jam tomorrow”, asks Will Self, when you can adopt a sensibly pessimistic attitude and live by the principle of “shit happens, but until it does, make hay”?
Helen Lewis talks to Katie Roiphe, columnist and author, most recently of <em>In Praise of Messy Lives</em>.
The ability to ask the question "What makes us human?" is what makes us human, argues P D James.
The global peak year for births was 1990. Now the number of babies being born is falling. What does this mean for the world as we know it?
"We have brought it about ourselves—by a Ruhr occupation, by an English nullity, and by a German false will. We have done it ourselves. But apparently it was not to be helped."
George might be the favourite name for the new royal, but how about a Eustace, Alfonso or Arthur? He wouldn't be our first.
Amy Licence reminds us of the royal children who shaped the course of history, only to recede into obscurity.
Elizabeth Norton looks back to another highly-anticipated royal birth - that of Queen Victoria's eldest child.
Almost every time I speak to teenagers, particularly to young female students who want to talk to me about feminism, I find myself staggered by how much they have read, how creatively they think and how curiously bullshit-resistant they are.
In 1934 H G Wells interviewed Joseph Stalin in Moscow. The fallout from the meeting led to a battle between three intellectual powerhouses - Shaw, Keynes and Wells - each of whom argued for their own vision of socialism in the UK.
Filofaxes, crushed-velvet miniskirts and supermodels: the 1980s have long had a pretty poor reputation. But the further away we get, the more interesting and complicated those years seem. It's time for a reassessment.
It’s a delusion to believe, as the western powers do, that law can ever supplant politics. And in politics, achievable and worthwhile ends justify the means.
Continuing our What Makes Us Human series, Alain de Botton attacks the notion only skills, not wisdom, can be taught. This is a mistake, he argues. Philosophy, literature, history, art and film can prepare us for life's most difficult challenges.
In a few places, Bentham's vision was realised. Then it became commonplace.
Continuing our What Makes Us Human series, Alexei Sayle reflects on the time Paul McKenna planted a suicidal post-hypnotic suggestion in his brain, and how our restlessness has been exploited to devastating effect.
Martha Gill's Irrational Animals column.
Norman MacKenzie, who died this week, was the last, cherished link with the old world of Orwell’s London and Kingsley Martin’s <em>New Statesman</em>.
Continuing our What Makes Us Human series, the Right Reverend James Jones, Anglican Bishop of Liverpool, explores our moral and spiritual instincts, our need to love and our spontaneous expressions of reverence.
This week, in our series in partnership with BBC Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine show, Ireland’s former president Mary Robinson argues that our shared responsibility to each other and to future generations is what distinguishes us.
Cardiologist Hywel Davies describes the origins of the syphilis claim from Paul Kildea's biography of Benjamin Britten, which began as an "ordinary conversation" in a colleague's house in the late 1980s.
Martha Gill's "Irrational Animals" column.
Dead by the age of 28, Anne Neville didn’t leave much of a paper trail. Who was this woman who stood so close to the king, yet seems so distant today?