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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Life-changing: Simone de Beauvoir in 1947, two years before she wrote ‘The Second Sex’, credited as the starting point of second wave feminism

International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of feminist Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day. But don't be put off by her austere reputation, says Natalie Haynes. She's such a wit – and still a whirlwind
The regulations could come into force next year

Why would plain packaging stop anyone’s craving for a cigarette?

If people can put up with having to stand out in the rain to smoke, they’ll put up with this

Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything and Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game are both nominated at the Bafta Film Awards

Posh men and suffering women – roll up, roll up to this year’s Baftas!

Hopefully next year, there might be a few roles for women that aren't so stereotypical

Pope Francis gestures during his audience with members of the Schoenstatt movement at the Paul VI hall on October 25, 2014 at the Vatican

God isn't 'a magician with a magic wand', according to the Pope, and there are non-believing vicars

Perhaps gods need to evolve to survive, just like the rest of us

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

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NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own