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The Independent Culture
The Redress of Poetry: Oxford Lectures by Seamus Heaney (Faber, pounds 15.99). The best lectures by an Oxford Professor of Poetry since WH Auden's 40 years ago.

The Oxford Companion to Philosophy edited by Ted Honderich (Oxford, pounds 25). The most authoritative single-volume work on philosophy yet published.

The Virago Book of Women Gardeners edited by Deborah Kellaway (Virago, pounds 16.99). Gloriously fertile compendium full of witty, entertaining snippets.

Blake by Peter Ackroyd (Sinclair-Stevenson, pounds 20). Magisterial portrait of the poet-artist as a Cockney visionary.

Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson (Doubleday, pounds 15.99). The best- selling travel writer turns his searching eye on Blighty.