Volume 70 Issue 9 September 2020

The First Svengali

Svengali appeared as a character in Trilby, released as a book in the US on 8 September 1894.

The Lives of Others

To imagine the beliefs and desires of our fellow beings is fundamental to the pursuit of history. Such empathy is needed now more than ever.

The Jellyfish Problem

Plant, animal or other? The struggle to categorise jellyfish mirrors the desire to impose a hierarchy on the natural world.

Frankenstein: Between Two Worlds

Mary Shelley’s great novel is not a commentary on the Industrial Revolution, nor is it a simple retelling of the myth of Prometheus. It is far more original than that.

Colonial Mentalities

A culture war on race and empire divided the intellectual classes of Victorian Britain.

Museum or Mosque?

Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia has been a monument to selective readings of history.