A tale of two Dickenses: The author was a champion of the oppressed but at home he was a cruel bully

The Mystery Of Charles Dickens By A.N. Wilson (Atlantic £17.99, 368 pp) Like all the best mystery stories, this true one starts with a death. On Wednesday June 8, 1870, the small, punctiliously neat, whiskery 58-year-old Charles Dickens, having told friends he was on his way to London on business, took a train to Peckham, … Read more

Jenny Colgan, Lily King, Susie Steiner and Shubhangi Swarup: This week’s best new fiction  

From Jenny Colgan’s latest to Writers & Lovers by Lily King, a mystery by Susie Steiner and Shubhangi Swarup’s debut, this week’s best new fiction By Madeleine Feeny and Hephzibah Anderson and John Williams and Max Davidson Published: 22:01 BST, 23 May 2020 | Updated: 22:01 BST, 23 May 2020 Five Hundred Miles From You … Read more

I just wish Hitler could hear the cheering! That was one little girl’s take on VE Day

HISTORY LONDON 1945 by Maureen Waller (John Murray £12.99, 560pp) Twenty-four hours of manic rejoicing flanked at both ends by years of queuing and hardship: that’s the overwhelming impression given by Maureen Waller’s superbly well-researched and detailed portrait of London in 1945, reissued in paperback to commemorate today’s anniversary of VE Day. It really happened: … Read more