The Diary: Byron and Shelley; Earl Spencer's new painting; e-readers; Abbas Kiarostami; Barack Obama's mother

Rubbish poetry

Two shabby looking volumes which were recently found in a skip in France have turned out to belong to Lord Byron and Shelley. The rare books, believed to belong to the Canadian collector, Beccles Willson, who settled in France and died there in 1947, were spotted in the skip in the south of France. One is a well-thumbed Italian book of poetry by Guarini, in which Shelley has written his name, and the other a book of Italian poetry by Pulci, belonging to Byron, which has the imprint of his signature and pencil marks in the first canto of the poem "Morgante Maggiore". Byron translated this, and eventually used its rhyme scheme for his masterpiece, "Don Juan". "Neither of them look very smart. Someone obviously had a house clearance and these books happened to get rescued," said a source. Having narrowly escaped the rubbish heap, they will now be sold for thousands of pounds by Peter Harrington Rare Books at the Antiquarian Book Fair from 4 June.

On the hoof

Earl Spencer, the brother of Princess Diana, has bought a controversial image from an exhibition by Wolfe von Lenkiewicz, at the All Visual Arts gallery space, which may give away his views on the monarchy. The drawing shows the head of Queen Elizabeth I superimposed on to the body of a skeletal horse that apparently symbolises "starved Britain". The horse is seen stamping on top of the crown of Queen Elizabeth II, Earl Spencer's very own godmother.

Reading room

The days of stretched arms holding newspapers on crowded Tubes and trains may well be numbered. Unconfirmed reports from across the pond suggest that Amazon may be preparing to unveil a new version of the Kindle with a bigger screen, designed specifically for newspapers and magazines, following hot in the footsteps of the trend for "e-readers" that appears to have taken off in America.

No visa, no travel

Abbas Kiarostami, the award-winning Iranian film director who is unable to be at the opening night of the ENO's 'Cosi Fan Tutte', which he directed, due to "visa problems" at the British embassy in Tehran, is now believed to have cancelled all media interviews relating to the London premiere of his latest film, 'Shirin', showing on 26 June at the British Film Institute. The BFI said that he had not planned to fly in for the June premiere but that he wanted to kill two birds with one stone and talk to the media about his film, based on the reaction of a group of women who are filmed watching the Iranian version of 'Romeo and Juliet', at the end of this month. Both his opera and his new film will now have to speak for themselves, sadly.

Like mother, like son

Barack Obama's late mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, died after having completed an anthropology dissertation about the lives of Indonesian village workers. Sadly, she neither lived to see her son become the first black president nor to see her dissertation published. Now it is rumoured that her study, which culminated after 14 years work in Indonesia, is to be published this autumn. Sources suggest that Duke University Press plan to call the book 'Surviving Against the Odds'. So it may well join her son's two books on the bestseller list...

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment

film
Arts and Entertainment
Chvrches lead singer Lauren Mayberry in the band's new video 'Leave a Trace'

music
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Home on the raunch: George Bisset (Aneurin Barnard), Lady Seymour Worsley (Natalie Dormer) and Richard Worsley (Shaun Evans)

TV review
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Strictly Come Dancing was watched by 6.9m viewers

Strictly
Arts and Entertainment
NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton

film
Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dormer as Margaery Tyrell and Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones
Arts and Entertainment
New book 'The Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep' by Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin

books
Arts and Entertainment
Calvi is not afraid of exploring the deep stuff: loneliness, anxiety, identity, reinvention
music
Arts and Entertainment
Edinburgh solo performers Neil James and Jessica Sherr
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
If a deal to buy tBeats, founded by hip-hop star Dr Dre (pictured) and music producer Jimmy Iovine went through, it would be Apple’s biggest ever acquisition

album review
Arts and Entertainment
Paloma Faith is joining The Voice as a new coach

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Dowton Abbey has been pulling in 'telly tourists', who are visiting Highclere House in Berkshire

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Patriot games: Vic Reeves featured in ‘Very British Problems’
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
film review
Arts and Entertainment
Summer nights: ‘Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp’
TVBut what do we Brits really know about them?
Arts and Entertainment
Dr Michael Mosley is a game presenter

TV review
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

    A nap a day could save your life

    A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
    If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

    If men are so obsessed by sex...

    ...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
    The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

    Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

    The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
    The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

    Rolling in the deep

    The bathing machine is back but with a difference
    Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

    Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

    Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
    The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

    The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

    Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
    House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

    The honours that shame Britain

    Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
    When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

    'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

    Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
    International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

    International Tap Festival comes to the UK

    Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
    War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
    Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

    'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

    Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
    Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

    BBC heads to the Californian coast

    The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
    Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

    Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

    Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
    Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

    Car hacking scandal

    Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
    10 best placemats

    Take your seat: 10 best placemats

    Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory