Sir David Cannadine: master of the Honours list
Congratulations to the great historian and TLS contributor, David Cannadine, on his knighthood in the New Year Honours list.
But it must be a long time since that title - or any title - went to a recipient with so much knowledge of the system's murkier past.
Sir David is a man of many 'special subjects'.
Lloyd George's abuse of the honours system to finance his politics is famously one of them.
How British aristocrats first gained their coronets is another one.
Sir David has written extensively on the subtle symbolism of the monarchy - and how politicians and palace use one another in good times and bad.
And one of his main contributions to recent public debate has been his insistence that Prime Ministers - whether planning ID cards or Iraqi invasions - should pay a more knowing heed to the lessons of the past.
When the subject is 'cash for honours' or catstrophes in the Middle East, Sir David has a pointed way with precedent.
Gordon Brown has long been an admirer.
It is always good to see due recognition for scholarship - especially a TLS writer's scholarship.
But in this submission for a knighthood, our Prime Minister may be showing a little bit more than mere admiration for a fine scholar and man.