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PD Smith

Englishness: Politics and Culture, 1880-1920, ed by Robert Colls and Philip Dodd review

This collection of essays first appeared in 1986 but it remains a relevant and fascinating exploration of the myths of a nationEnglishness is not a fixed quality but one that is periodically reinvented. As the contributors to this book argue, many of our

The Food History Reader review a rich celebration of our love of food through the ages

From Aztec etiquette to Victorian cookery books, food historian Ken Albala presents a truly global collection of recipes and writingAs the renowned food historian Ken Albala rightly says in the introduction to this remarkable collection, "everyone has to

Horace and Me: Life Lessons from an Ancient Poet by Harry Eyres review

Drawn to Horace by a mutual love of wine and poetry, Eyres celebrates the importance of poetry in an age that, like Horace's own, values money above all elseAs a schoolboy at Eton, Harry Eyres didn't warm to the Roman poet Horace. He was "too suave, too c

The Appian Way review an evocative history of Europe's first great road

The classicist Robert Kaster is a knowledgable and engaging guide as he journeys along the queen of Roman roadsThe via Appia was hailed as the "regina viarum", the queen of roads, by the Roman poet Statius in the first century. For the classicist Robert K

Sherlock Holmes edited by Tom Ue and Jonathan Cranfield review

A fascinating volume of interviews and essays about the reinvention of Sherlock HolmesThis well-designed collection of interviews and essays is part of the Fan Phenomena series, which explores how icons of popular culture have been reinvented by their fan

Euro Noir by Barry Forshaw review

Euro Noir offers an exhilarating, whistle-stop tour of Europe viewed through its crime fiction.

Engineers of Victory by Paul Kennedy review

A masterly analysis of grand strategy that focuses on the vital contribution of the middle personnelIn this impressive historical study of five campaigns in the second world war, including the Battle of the Atlantic and Operation Overlord, Paul Kennedy's

Philosophy Bites Back review

The second book to emerge from the podcast series Philosophy Bites is a stimulating introduction to thinkers and themes for students and general readers alike This is the second book to emerge from the immensely popular podcast series Philosophy Bites

Two Girls, One on Each Knee: The Puzzling, Playful World of the Crossword by Alan Connor review

A joyous paean to the history of puzzlement and an essential guide to decrypting cryptic clues Alan Connor 's delightful celebration of crosswords and the history of word-play is itself playfully designed like a crossword, with chapters that can be rea

Song of the Vikings by Nancy Marie Brown review a remarkable insight into a lost world

A wonderfully evocative biography of the Icelandic writer Snorri Sturluson, who created the Viking world we are familiar with today JRR Tolkien thought his students should read more Snorri Sturluson than Shakespeare . The 13th-century Icelandic write