Royal Assassin - Roderick MacLean

Queen Victoria scarcely turned a hair when on March 2, 1882, Roderick Maclean became the seventh person to try and kill her (“ Mad poet who shot at Victoria”, Nov.27). “He had fourteen bullets on him”, she noted calmly.

Who invented the dinner jacket?

The DJ was not invented by New York’s Tuxedo Club in 1886 (letter, Nov.14). One of the club’s members, James Potter Brown, was introduced to it in England by its creator, the Prince of Wales, later Edward VII. The aim was to enable him to dispense with full evening dress while at sea during the first royal visit to India in 1875. There was no relaxation of other formalities. Sweating in temperatures of 100 F, the party rose to toast Queen Victoria at the end of each meal while the band played the National Anthem.

Telegraph: Putin's rewriting of history

President Putin claims that "Britain and France had destroyed any chance for an anti-fascist front with the Munich Agreement"("There was nothing wrong with the Soviet Union's pact with the Nazis,says Putin", Nov.7). He flagrantly falsifies history.

The Times: Andrew Lansley

Andrew Lansley’s talent for acting foolishly without regard to the financial consequences first became apparent when, as Director of the Conservative Research Department, he changed the Party’s manifesto for the 1992 election behind the back of John Major’s advisers while it was at the printer. It cost some £50,000 to return it to the condition that the cabinet had approved. If the kindness of the party hierarchy had not saved his career at that point, the NHS budget today would be in a better state.

Heed Churchill's advice over the European Convention

In a letter (attached) in The Daily Telegraph on October 6, he recalled Churchill's strong conviction expressed in a speech in 1949 that individual countries should always decide how  judgments of the European Court of Human Rights should be put into effect. Europe must go back to that original Churchillian vision, he stressed.

Deep Blue Boris

My friend Mark Field doubts whether Boris was a Tory at Oxford (NS Profile, 26 September). He was sufficiently interested to apply on graduation for a job in the Conservative Research Department where his father had once worked--rather by accident, it is true--as its first environment specialist.

How Balfour Chillaxed

Adrian Wooldridge ('The Cameron Way', 27 September) refers to one of Arthur Balfour’s hobbies—golf –but omits two others that were no less important to him: tennis (he played on Wimbledon’s Centre Court in his sixties) and being spanked by his mistress, Lady Elcho. He was the greatest prime-ministerial exponent of ‘chillaxing’ in British history.

What kind of Tory is Boris Johnson?

The question was posed by Andrew Gimson in an article entitled ‘Boris the Tory’ which was published in the issue of the New Statesman that coincided with the 2014 Conservative Party Conference. The article includes the full answer to the question given by Alistair Lexden, the Conservative Party’s official historian.

Lord Lexden presses for greater public recognition of the tercentenary of the Hanoverian monarchy

Very little has been said or written so far about the tercentenary of “the arrival of the German Georges on the British throne”, to which John Jungclaussen referred ( “ Germany has moved on. Why haven’t you?”, Sept.27). The centenary of World War One has inspired many books; not one has appeared to mark the Hanoverian succession 300 years on. It was not even mentioned in the brief history of Anglo-German relations which you published on September 23.  This neglect is extremely regrettable.