Philip Hensher

Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Exeter, Philip Hensher was among Granta 20 Best of Young British Novelists in 2003. The author of six novels, a collection of short stories and an opera libretto, he has won numerous prizes including the Somerset Maugham Award and the Stonewall Journalist of the Year. His 2008 novel, 'The Northern Clemency', was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Commonwealth Prize. A regular presence in the British media, alongside his Wednesday column for The Independent, he writes for The Spectator and Mail on Sunday.

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It’s a miracle that any opera ever gets performed

Opera is an extraordinary thing, and its triumphs rest, like no other art form, on the physical and musical capacities of very rare individuals

Google Glass complainers are concerned about the loss of privacy. Isn't it a bit late for that?

Plus: Who let Sebastian Faulks do a new Wodehouse? My envy is unconstrained

As Iceland says no to pornography, will the rest of us follow?

Iceland’s interior minister is drafting legislation to stop access of online porn through computers, consoles and smartphones

University for the over 60s? It should be available at any age

David Willets has said that higher education can benefit an older generation in the workplace, but there are better reasons than that one might want to enrol

Bangladeshi activists participate in a candle light vigil demanding the execution of Jamaat-e-Islami leader Abdul Quader Mollah and others convicted of war crimes during the nation's independence war in 1971

The war Bangladesh can never forget

The guns fell silent more than 40 years ago, but the scars of Bangladesh’s short, bloody struggle for independence still burn to this day

Oscar Pistorius launches out of the blocks during last year’s Paralympics

Oscar Pistorius: Look up to anyone – just not sportsmen

Tell your children to admire their dentist, their teacher, a lawyer, even a banker

Why don’t more politicians wax poetical like Winston Churchill?

There are one or two who would probably contribute to the public good much more effectively by writing poetry

Equal marriage: We've come a long way, and in 20 years' time we won't recall what the fuss was about

There is still stigma and shame, but this step says you're allowed to fall in love with whomever you like - no matter their gender or your own

We've come a very long way - and in 20 years' time we won't recall what the fuss was about

Being able to describe themselves as married will help gay couples to challenge ignorance

David Beckham's move to Paris is a chance to reflect on the modern ease of international travel

Plus: Mamma Mia, La Lolla! Screen goddesses aren't what they were

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From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
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Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?