Daniel Defoe

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Portrait of Francois Xavier De Maistre (1763-1852), French writer and humorist. Photograph:  DeAgostini/Getty

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues, many people have sought in literature a balm for current fears and anxieties. In Japan, a translation of Albert Ca(...)

 Daniel Defoe:  It’s probably just as well he  didn’t live to see WhatsApp. Photograph: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Investigating the strange situation London pubs found themselves in on St Patrick’s Day, a Guardian reporter visited The Tipperary on Fleet Street, on(...)

Nicolas Poussin’s The Plague of Ashdod in the Louvre in Paris. Photograph: Getty Images/DeAgostini

“The warm weather has brought sweating sickness to London, and the city is emptying. A few have gone down – and many more are imagining they have it, (...)

 Ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.  Photograph:  Lizabeth Menzies/Centers for Disease Control and /AFP via Getty

Since the coronavirus appeared a couple of months ago we have been hearing a lot about measures designed to contain its spread. One of the most popula(...)

  Mimolette is noted in France for the role of cheese mites in creating its distinctive rind and flavour. Photograph: iStock

The late Maeve Binchy used to make an art form of eavesdropping in restaurants, at home and abroad. One day in 1978, she was having lunch in the Frenc(...)

 Modern blue cheeses have a fungus added to produce the veining. But historically, insect larvae were part of some cheese-making processes.

You might remember a British politician named Shailesh Vara, the Conservative MP for North West Cambridgeshire. Or maybe not. He briefly threatened t(...)

Britain’s prime minister Theresa May with England’s captain Eoin Morgan holding the World Cup trophy after beating New Zealand the final. Photograph:  Niklas Halle’n / AFP/Getty Images

If there were to be a new referendum on Brexit in the UK, what should the slogan be for the Remainers? Last time out, the Leave campaign owed much of(...)

Éilís Ní Dhuibhne: speaking at the Islands of the Mind conference in June.   Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

If you’re looking for a respectable excuse to visit Greece this summer, a conference in Corfu in late June may be just what you need. It’s called “Isl(...)

Even after she found her husband, Christian Davies continued  her soldier’s life until she fractured her skull at the Battle of Ramillies.

Historical stories of cross-dressing never fail to fascinate. Ideas of what constitutes “normal” sexual identity have shifted over the centuries. Chri(...)

The city was a magnet for the talented and desperate from all over the country and for enterprising immigrants like George Frideric Handel.   Artwork: Painting by Thom; Photograph by Erich Auerbach/Getty Images

Dwarfing every other town and city in Britain, it was the greatest metropolis in Europe, richer and more populous than Paris, Naples or Amsterdam. The(...)

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