Churchill’s Great Contemporaries: Welsh Wizardry

On the anniversary of Churchill's death we pick out some highlights from his portraits of the era's great men. Here's how David Lloyd George's mysterious Welsh wiles confounded a very grand statesman... I’ve just finished reading Churchill’s Great Contemporaries, a collection of biographical essays. You rapidly realise how he managed to earn huge sums from ... Read More...

The Christmas Ghost Story

Professor Nick Groom explains the English tradition of the Christmas Eve ghost story... The nights are long and dark, the wind is bitter chill, the leafless trees are rimed with ice: winter has arrived with a sudden ferocity. What better than to lock the doors, curl up beside a log fire, ... Read More...

The knowledgeable Mr Sylvester Patridge

Frank is handing over responsibility for his correspondence to an 18th century chap called Patridge (or possibly Partridge - there's a fair chance he misspelled his own name)... I regularly receive letters from readers, both of The Dabbler and of my own Hooting Yard blog, imploring me to offer advice on ... Read More...

I Was Shackleton’s Extra Man

It has long been believed that Ernest Shackleton's glimpses of an 'extra man' on his Antarctic expedition were exhausted hallucinations. But Frank has discovered important new evidence showing that he may have been right all along... Who is the third who always walks beside you? When I count, there are only you ... Read More...