Kathryn Hughes

Once Upon a Time: A Short History of Fairy Tale by Marina Warner review – wide-ranging and wonderful

From forest hut to Brothers Grimm to Harry Potter, this scholarly survey explores the force, flight and fantasy of fairy stories.

Belles & Whistles: Five Journeys Through Time on Britain's Trains review

What happened to our trains? All aboard the Golden Arrow for an enjoyable nostalgic journey conducted by eminent 'railwayac' Andrew MartinAmong "railwayacs", which is the polite word for someone who is crazy about trains but doesn't spend their Saturdays

Victoria: A Life by AN Wilson review

Bad behaviour, pan‑European politics and a rich, inward life – a queen is reinterpreted in this shimmering new biography.

A Strange Business: Making Art and Money in 19th-Century Britain by James Hamilton review

This is a gripping story not of artistic movements but of practicalities: who bought the art, who copied it, and how much difference did new paint colours make?James Hamilton has written the story of early 19th-century art with the talent left out. In oth

Penny Loaves and Butter Cheap: Britain in 1846 by Stephen Bates review

Robert Peel's repeal of the Corn Laws is one of the great set pieces of British constitutional history and the contemporary parallels are clear 1848 may have been a year of revolution in Europe, but in Britain not so much. The Chartists did indeed gather

Folk art: 'Does it include your nan's knitting?'

Pub signs, toby jugs, ship figureheads and a giant leather boot ... Tate Britain's exhibition of folk art blurs the boundaries between high and low, art and artefact One of the glories of Tate Britain's new summer show is a single, massive leather boot, n

Servants: A Downstairs View of Twentieth-Century Britain by Lucy Lethbridge - review

Throughout the 20th century a veritable bustle of young middle-class women went under cover to investigate life as a domestic servant. Donning caps, dropping their aitches and secreting a small notebook in their pinnies, these journalists and social inves

Diana Vreeland by Amanda Mackenzie Stuart - review

The self-styled empress of fashion who told American women how to dress was a plain girl who re-invented herself There's an early moment in Funny Face , the 1957 Stanley Donen musical, when Kay Thompson, playing a New York fashion editor, bursts into

Fanny and Stella: The Young Men Who Shocked Victorian England by Neil McKenna - review

A world of 'lush longing for embroidered handkerchiefs and soft kisses' is interrupted by a police campaign to achieve the downfall of the cross-dressing pair Fanny and Stella in pictures In 1870, two tatty-looking girls were hauled before Bow Street m

Manet's forgotten muse: Victorine Meurent

Spotted by Manet in the street, this woman became the face of a radical new aesthetic. Kathryn Hughes tells the story of Victorine Meurent, the red-headed muse.