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Charlie Chaplin: London's greatest son

On the 125th anniversary of Charlie Chaplin's birth, Peter Ackroyd talks about writing the biography of a great Londoner.

Music at Midnight: The Life and Poetry of George Herbert review

John Drury has written an exemplary biography of the influential religious poet

My Crazy Century - Ivan Klíma

More than a memoir, My Crazy Century explores the ways in which the epoch and its dominating totalitarian ideologies impacted the lives, character, and morality of Klíma's generation. Klíma's story begins in the 1930s, in the Terezin concentration camp

Music Night at the Apollo: A Memoir of Drifting - Lilian Pizzichini

What you've got to understand is that here in Southall, everyone's up to something. In 2006, Lilian Pizzichini swaps life on dry land for a narrowboat on the Paddington arm of the Grand Union Canal. The Adam Bonny, moored between Newlocks and Shackleto

My Crazy Century: a Memoir by Ivan Klima, review

Keith Lowe enjoys a Czech dissident's witty account of life in the shadow of totalitarianism

Music Night at the Apollo by Lilian Pizzichini

Helen Brown is gripped by a writer's odyssey into the murky depths of London's underworld

Charlie Chaplin review a man condemned to journey alone

By his mid-twenties, Charlie Chaplin was the most famous man in the world, recognised by admirers in every one of the markets reached by the new, language-free medium of silent film. In Modern Times the unhoused tramp says that he lives "anywhere", and th

Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls review recollections of a resolute outsider

A secretly gay child's memories are captured with exacting candour David Sedaris's voice is familiar to listeners of This American Life or Radio 4's Meet David Sedaris : arch, insinuating, slightly world-weary as it winds itself around childhood

Whistler: A Life for Art's Sake review

A vain and unpleasant man - but what pictures! Daniel Sutherland is dazzled by Whistler's work, and takes the artist at his own estimation It is one of the great unfairnesses in life that bad people sometimes produce great art. That is certainly true of J

Parliament: The Biography review 'Westminster's corruption is rooted in history'

Chris Bryant's vigorous historical account of parliament tries to restore the reputation of Westminster, but fails to embrace the complexities of its chequered past Oh, for a book of the kind this one might have been. There are plenty of narrow studies of