Cousins in Arms

Posted on by Jonathan Beckman

Frances Welch has a sharp eye for a quote. ‘Man’s sensitivity to little things and insensitivity to the greatest are the signs of a strange disorder’ (Pascal), printed on the opening pages of her book, might have been written with Tsar Nicholas II in mind. Nicholas seems to have had little grasp of the major […]

Great Game Changer

Posted on by Jonathan Beckman

Over the last few years, books on the Great Game and the First Afghan War have not been in short supply. William Dalrymple’s monumental Return of a King has won the contest for public attention, but this is just one of a score of good recent works. With so many writers engaged in this field, […]

Transatlantic Tussles

Posted on by Jonathan Beckman

Kathleen Burk opens her book with the line ‘Britons have a problem with their Empire.’ So do Americans, though some of them question whether they ever had one. Ruling territories outside a nation’s borders has become an increasingly contentious issue in our contentious age, with empire builders widely condemned, their monuments attacked and their portraits […]

From Kensington to Kathmandu

Posted on by Jonathan Beckman

In his masterly Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory and the Conquest of Everest, the Canadian writer Wade Davis re-envisaged attempts to climb Mount Everest in the 1920s as a response to the despair and carnage of the trenches. The book deservedly won the Samuel Johnson Prize in 2012. Deborah Baker’s no less accomplished […]

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

RLF - March

A Mirror - Westend