Natalie Haynes

Natalie is a guest contributor for The Independent and writes. She was a guest contributor for The Times from 2006 - 2010. She has also written for The Guardian, The Observer, The Sunday Times, Sunday Telegraph and The Big Issue. She writes a monthly film column for The Reader's Digest magazine.

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The Amazons: Lives & Legends of Warrior Women Across the Ancient World by Adrienne Mayor, book review

There are myriad myths surrounding the Amazons, but which are based on truth?
The relief, once known as the Elgin Marbles, are now housed in the British Museum

The Elgin Marbles: Could returning them be the thin end of the repatriation wedge?

Returning ancient art to its homeland would certainly set a risky precedent

There has been a boom in ticket sales for female comics, according to an industry survey

She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

The number of people buying tickets has increased by 700 per cent since 2009. But stand-up Natalie Haynes explains why it’s still a tough gig

Augustus: From Revolutionary to Emperor by Adrian Goldsworthy, book review

More images of Augustus survive than of any other human being in the ancient world. Rome's first emperor ruled for over 40 years, establishing a quasi-monarchic system (in place of the fading Republic) which lasted for centuries. He and his adoptive father, Julius Caesar, have given their names to our summer months, and he has been played onscreen by no less an actor than Brian Blessed.

Martin Freeman as Richard III

Martin Freeman, Richard III, and theatre etiquette

Martin Freeman’s Richard III is attracting a new - and rowdier - audience, theatregoers complain. Don’t shush them, says Natalie Haynes, this is how theatre should be

Introducing the Ancient Greeks: From Bronze Age Seafarers to Navigators of the Western Mind by Edith Hall, book review

A new guide to the ancient Greeks details many neglected, diverse achievements. Sci-fi, anyone?
An advert for Pantene ad showing how men and women are judged differently

Adverts for women: The gender agenda

A new marketing campaign by Always is the latest to stress the importance of a woman's appearance. Natalie Haynes looks at whether this is a positive strategy – or exploitative

How To Manage Your Slaves by Marcus Sidonius Falx with Jerry Toner, book review

Worldwide slavery is a very contemporary problem, but what was it like for Romans?

Laughter In Ancient Rome: On Joking, Tickling, And Cracking Up by Mary Beard; book review

Why so serious? asks Heath Ledger’s Joker in The Dark Knight as he describes how his laughing, drunken father took a knife to his face to create a smile. We don’t know whether he’s telling the truth, but we do know, immediately and completely, that this joker is one who will terrorise us at least as much as he makes us laugh. It’s a moment which can’t fail to come to mind when Mary Beard describes an almost identical, though self-inflicted, scene from Les Chants de Maldoror: the misanthropic Maldoror cuts his own face open to try to replicate the laughs which he can see all around him but can’t feel himself. As she tartly observes, no laugh is created, only a bloody mess.

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Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London