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Pardon? That's practically a swear word
I’ve been asked to write a long article on the English aristocracy,’ wrote Nancy Mitford in 1955. ‘Can’t quite decide, but if I do, it will contain volleys of teases.’ That essay, which brought the terms ‘U’ (upper class) and ‘non-U’ into the British...
The Daily: September 15
The World's First Selfie A self portrait take by photographer Oscar Rjenlander, dated back to the1850's, has been sold at auction for £70,000 in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. The photograph was discovered within a leather-bound book which consisted of a...
The Daily: August 1
Siegfried Sassoon war diaries to be digitalized The war diaries of Siegfried Sassoon are to be published online for the first time. Cambridge University Library bought the collection of 23 journals and two notebooks of poetry in 2009 and has been...
The Daily: July 8
'Essence of Australia' wins Best Show Garden at Hampton Court The annual RHS Hampton Court Flower Show is underway, and as of yesterday the highly anticipated Best Show Garden was announced. The award went to Jim Fogarty, who created 'Essence of...
Book Reviews: 16 May
OUT NOW SO MANY MOVING PARTS by Tiffany Atkinson (Bloodaxe Books, £9.95; offer price, £9.45) The award-winning poet’s new collection explores with originality the intrusions of the spiritual into everyday life. These poems are close-ups of ordinary...
Readers who have ever succumbed to the dubious charms of eBay will doubtless have received follow-up emails suggesting that ‘You might also like…’ Someone out there in the ether is reading your mind. Scary. Rightly so according to James Graham’s...
Book Reviews: 14 November
OUT NOW ALL THE DAYS AND NIGHTS by Niven Govinden (The Friday Project, £12.99; offer price, £11.69) Anna Brown, obsessive and successful artist, absorbs herself in her final portrait, while John, her husband and muse, is away on a quest to find Anna’s...
The works of the great gardeners
The harshest aspect of living on site while my house undergoes a major refurbishment has turned out to be the loss of access to my books. I am surviving happily pro tem without serious cooking facilities in a kitchen that is a work in progress. I can...
The Daily: January 2
London Zoo conducts annual animal census The start of the year offers us the chance to sit down, organise our lives and list our resolutions. However London Zoo has a truly hands on approach to the New Year. Today the Zookeepers will take note of every...
The Daily: August 16
Mary Beard argues for more academics on TV History professor Mary Beard is calling for more history programmes to be fronted by academics. Writing in an article for the Sheffield University website she argues that television history programmes have...
The Daily: March 15
The Great Gatsby Opens Cannes Film Festival 2013 We are all eagerly anticipating Baz Luhrmann's new film, The Great Gatsby, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan and Tobey Maguire. The 1920's exudes elegance; the fashion, the hair, the music. It...
Bestselling behaviour
I had an idea for a book based on an obscure moment in history and, frankly, it looked as if it was going to stay that way. Most literary agents ignored the idea, a few replied (to reject it), one or two bought me a coffee but disappeared like the...
The Daily: 13 September
English Breweries on a 70-Year High There are now one-thousand breweries in the UK; the highest figure for seventy years. With one-hundred and fifty-eight breweries opening last year, the boom has been attributed to the rise of micro-breweries which...
YOUR HEALTH Dr James Le Fanu: 25 May
Every year our Queen dispatches more than 2,000 congratulatory telegrams to centenarians, a 10-fold increase on the 200 when she first ascended the throne – reflecting the astonishing increase in life expectancy during the 60 years of her reign. The...
Rocking Out!!
Music halls in the past used to encourage attendees to dress up in the style of whatever show they were going to see. This week I went to see Rock of Ages and standing in front of my wardrobe trying to decide what to wear, trying to make the effort to...
Pride and joy
At all times, in public, I try to maintain a critical distance from Kitty. If she is ever paid a compliment, I suck my cheeks in, raise one eyebrow and say: “She’s okay ” as if I am talking about a mid-priced pair of trainers or a last-minute hotel...
Radio Review: 19 October
Due to freakish atmospherics or something similar, the digital radio in the kitchen of my new home can't receive any of the local stations I'm supposed to get. Instead of the BBC's Radio Bristol or Radio Gloucestershire, I've ended up an avid listener...
The Diary of Miss Darcy Bustle: 13th October
MONDAY Lyra the Labrador wrote to me today from her home in Poole to say that she thought I had become something of a bighead. Why, she wanted to know, did I think I should be treated any differently to anyone else just because I am The Lady office...
The Lady Guide to Modern Manners: 8 September
Dear Thomas Can you please tell me what to feel and how to react? We recently held a luncheon and invited several neighbours. We paid (a lot) for an outside caterer, and the food and drink were superb (no ‘bring a bottle’). It’s now more than a week...
Moshing, Skinny Dipping and Karaoke: The Things Brits Consider 'Living Dangerously'
36 per cent of the population claim to be 'living dangerously', many consider not paying for a plastic bag at a self-service till or even taking a new route to work as the height of adventure. Paying a bill on the last day its due, sneaking your own...

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