The Saturday miscellany: Feminist classics; Anna Wintour; Clerkenwell Design Week; Curiosity: Art and the Pleasures of Knowing; Louis Vuitton


Culture clash: Feminist classics

The Bell Jar vs The Golden

By Holly Williams

Sylvia Plath's slim, single novel The Bell Jar was highly autobiographical, telling the story of an intelligent college graduate who suffers a mental breakdown, and feels stifled by the limited options for young women in 1950s America. Compulsory reading for ennui-ridden teenage girls since its publication in 1963.

Doris Lessing's whopping 600-page novel is formed of five notebooks belonging to one Anna Wulf, another woman suffering a breakdown.Ambitious in scope and experimental in form, the 1962 tome manages to be a deeply personal, politically expansive, and fiercely feminist.

Although it sure is heavy-handed at times, The Golden Notebook takes the prize for its fearless determination to tackle the issues of the day.

The winner: The Golden Notebook

The deleted emails of... Anna Wintour (as read by John Walsh)

From: Anna Wintour
To: Maxine Truelove, production director
Date: 10 May 2013, 5.07am
Subject: Gwyneth Paltrow shoot

Maxine. I'm changing the production schedule. We are altering the GP shoot in the September issue. If Si has a problem with this delaying things he can leave a message with my assistant.

I have additions to make to the artwork – the main shot of Paltrow in her pink Valentino rag at the Met Ball. Photoshop some conspicuous sweat patches under the bitch's armpits. And introduce beads of sweat on to her botoxy-poxy ickle forehead. And make the mascara run. Not right down to her chin, we needn't go the full Alice Cooper, just enough to be disfiguring.

Since she told the papers about my Ball, "It was so un-fun. It was boiling. It was too crowded. I didn't enjoy myself at all," we should obviously reflect her feelings visually.

On my way to the tennis court to meet Roger now. I want to see the book with the amended pages (but not you) when I arrive in 37 minutes.

That's all.

Instant ethics

By Ellen E Jones

Dear Ellen

My cousin's Facebook status updates really annoy me. Can I defriend her?

The tech-savvy solution is to untick 'show in newsfeed' from the dropdown. If you want to send a stronger message, defriend. Just make sure it's a message you can justify over Christmas lunch.



By Charlie Cooper


Four years old and firmly established, Clerkenwell Design Week returns to beautify our homes. 21-23 May,


Margate's Turner Contemporary's Curiosity: Art and the Pleasures of Knowing is a blend of art, curio and artefact. 24 May to 15 September,


Something rather nice from Louis Vuitton – travel books illustrated by artists discovering cities for the first time. Japan's Natsko Seki reimagines London., £38

Indy Index

By Charlie Cooper

* 23rd: where the UK ranks in the Mother Index of the best countries to be a mother

* In Finland, which came first, mothers report having 8 hours of free time to themselves

*  In the Democratic Republic of Congo, which came last, one woman in 30 dies of a maternal cause

*  In England and Wales, nearly half of births were to women aged 30 or over

* The most expensive nursery place in the UK costs £42,000 per year

* A year’s schooling at Eton costs £32,870 (including registration and entrance fees)

* 55,000: the number of nursery places the Government still needs to find for disadvantaged children

*  The average UK mother of children aged 2 to 10 is asked 288 questions per day

* 60 per cent of women in the UK say they wanted more postnatal support

* Odds that the royal baby will be named Diana – 6/1, or Charles – 25/1


1. Surviving the first day: state of the world’s mother 2013, Save the Children

2. The changing face of motherhood in Western Europe: Finland, The Social Issues Research Centre 2012/P&G

3. Surviving the first day: state of the world’s mother 2013, Save the Children

4. Statistical bulletin: Live Births in England and Wales by Characteristics of Mother 1, 2011, ONS

5. Childcare costs in 2013, The Day Care Trust

6. Eton College

7. Free nursery scheme '55,000 places short', BBC

8. Mothers asked nearly 300 questions a day, study finds, The Telegraph

9. WI and NCT report finds women unsupported and midwives pushed to their limits, The National Federation of Women’s Institutes and the National Childcare Trust

10. Names of Will and Kate’s first child, Paddy Power

Arts and Entertainment
Nick Hewer is to leave The Apprentice after 10 years

TV review Nick Hewer, the man whose eyebrows speak a thousand words, is set to leave The Apprentice

Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says

film George RR Martin owns a cinema in Santa Fe

Arts and Entertainment
Clued up: John Lynch and Gillian Anderson in ‘The Fall’

TV review

Arts and Entertainment
The Baker (James Corden) struggles with Lilla Crawford’s Little Red Riding Hood

film...all the better to bamboozle us
Arts and Entertainment
English: Romantic Landscape

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

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Mark, Katie and Sanjay in The Apprentice boardroom
Arts and Entertainment

Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites

Arts and Entertainment
Frances O'Connor and James Nesbitt in 'The Missing'

TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations

Arts and Entertainment
Joey Essex will be hitting the slopes for series two of The Jump


Who is taking the plunge?
Arts and Entertainment
Katy Perry as an Ancient Egyptian princess in her latest music video for 'Dark Horse'

Arts and Entertainment
Dame Judi Dench, as M in Skyfall

Arts and Entertainment
Morrissey, 1988

Arts and Entertainment
William Pooley from Suffolk is flying out to Free Town, Sierra Leone, to continue working in health centres to fight Ebola after surviving the disease himself

Arts and Entertainment
The Newsroom creator Aaron Sorkin

Arts and Entertainment
Matt Berry (centre), the star of Channel 4 sitcom 'Toast of London'

TVA disappointingly dull denouement
Arts and Entertainment
Tales from the cryptanalyst: Benedict Cumberbatch in 'The Imitation Game'

Arts and Entertainment
Pixie Lott has been voted off Strictly Come Dancing 2014

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

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

    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

    Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

    As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
    The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

    The Interview movie review

    You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
    Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

    How podcasts became mainstream

    People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

    Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
    Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

    A memorable year for science – if not for mice

    The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
    Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

    Christmas cocktails to make you merry

    Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
    5 best activity trackers

    Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

    Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
    Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

    Paul Scholes column

    It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
    Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

    Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

    2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas