Culture

Bookish cakes: from Proust to Barbara Pym

Cakes in literature have come to symbolise everything from memory and sex to decay but there are also cakes that, whilst a staple on the page, have been lost from our baking repertoire – Fuller’s Walnut cake being the prime example.

27 May 2020

Home school club: can you get this Bill Gates maths joke?

Six subject-based facts to liven up your lockdown learning.

27 May 2020

There’s nothing normal about getting nude on set

Emma Watson’s body double reveals the realities of undressing on screen.

26 May 2020

A break from the football is what die-hard fans like me need

Following a club in the age of social media is gruelling and relentless, especially when it’s Brentford.

25 May 2020

Weekly trivia: how did ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club’ get its name?

And what nickname was Prime Minister William Pitt given on account of his svelteness? Mark Mason brings you a fact for each day of lockdown.

23 May 2020

Word of the week: Experts

Spectator Life’s satirist Andy Shaw brings you a dictionary of era-defining words.

22 May 2020

From Hamilton to Hiddleston: the best theatre to watch online

The theatres may be closed but don’t miss the array of plays popping up online.

21 May 2020

Village thrills: 10 films that will put you off rural living

In the world of film, villages after often foreboding, secretive places where plots take a dark turn.

21 May 2020

Home school club: who coined the word ‘pandemonium’?

And which composer made his coffee with exactly sixty beans? Mark Mason livens up home school with six subject-based facts.

20 May 2020

The dark side: 8 TV shows with great villains

Sometimes it’s not the heroes that keep us watching.

19 May 2020

Traffic-free streets are a utopia worth striving for

Lockdown gave us a glimpse of carless cities – now it’s time we made it a reality.

19 May 2020

There’s nothing more socially distanced than a game of cricket

Cricket clubs remain closed but the game could easily be adapted for the Covid-19 era.

18 May 2020

Singles are worse off without Guardian Soulmates

The “You’ve Got Mail” build up of words offered something deeper amid the instant meat market of online dating.

16 May 2020

Weekly trivia: why was Mambo No.5 vetoed as a Democrat theme tune?

And which famous singer gatecrashed the Live Aid stage? We bring you a fact for each day of lockdown.

16 May 2020

Word of the week: ‘R number’

Beware of the intellectual viruses spreading through the West.

15 May 2020

How to write a realistic lockdown bucket list

Forget reading The Complete Works of Shakespeare, it’s winning the family Zoom quiz that matters now.

15 May 2020

Seven family films to keep the kids entertained

If home school has driven you round the bend, try these lockdown family favourites.

14 May 2020
Credit: Photo by Fox Searchlight/New Regency/Le Grisbi/Kobal/Shutterstock (5885850i)

Six superhero films with a highbrow edge

Even as we experience a momentary hiatus from the onslaught of superhero films, it is hard not to feel that…

13 May 2020

Home school club: why did the Apollo 11 flag “flap” on the moon?

And what is an ampersand? Mark Mason livens up home learning with these subject-based facts.

13 May 2020

Five fighting films to see you through lockdown

Ease those quarantine tensions with a good old fashioned on-screen punch up.

12 May 2020

How to get hooked on fly fishing

A beginner’s guide to tackling fly fishing for the first time

12 May 2020

Weekly trivia: why does Big Ben display 3 o’clock on the £5 note?

And which famous crooner was buried with a bottle of Jack Daniel’s in his pocket? Mark Mason brings you a fact for each day of lockdown.

9 May 2020

Word of the week: Herd Immunity

Like a herd of bison the government has ‘followed the science’ in the hope it will be immune to criticism.

8 May 2020

That’s Life with Toby Young

Social commentator Toby Young joins Spectator Life’s satirists to take a sideways look at the news.

7 May 2020

Seven classic sitcoms to revisit during lockdown

From Frasier to Yes, Prime Minister, now is the perfect time to revisit golden oldies.

7 May 2020

Why are we ignoring our impending economic doom?

All our bluster about self-improvement will vanish as soon as our new economic reality starts to bite.

6 May 2020