Philip Hoare

Philip Hoare is a writer and cultural historian.

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Obituary: Daniel Farson

Daniel Negley Farson, photographer, broadcaster and writer: born 8 January 1927; died 27 November 1997.

Letter: Stritch magic

Sir: In his engrossing interview with the fabulous Elaine Stritch (22 November), David Benedict states that Noel Coward wrote Sail Away for her.

Thursday's book; Cleopatra's Wedding Present: travels through Syria by Robert Tewdwr Moss

Within the first few pages of this book its languidly English author has learnt the secret of violet-scented tea from a Syrian cloth- seller called Aladdin, met Boy George, and encountered the corpulent figure of photographer Dan Farson, who pounces on Tewdwr Moss at a restaurant, accusing him of all manner of calumny while helping himself to a plate of roasted sparrows, "stuffing them into his mouth - little ornithological corpses, sliding down into the maws of hell".

The big book of revenge

When a woman reveals the dark secrets of her marriage to a famous but domineering husband, is it kiss 'n tell, or important biographical source, asks Philip Hoare

Into the heart of the hero's homeland

Three years ago today, Transkei's favourite son was inaugurated as South Africa's president.

Secret life of knobs and pillys

Philip Hoare does a little muck-raking on our plant life; Flora Britannica by Richard Mabey, Sinclair Stevenson, pounds 30

Liars on a grand scale

Philip Hoare investigates the tricky business of film biography The Real Life of Laurence Olivier by Roger Lewis, Century, pounds 17.99 Rosebud : The Story of Orson Welles by David Thomson, Little, Brown, pounds 20

Obituary: Rose Williams

The troubled life of Rose Williams haunts the works of her brother Tennessee. Like a faded Southern belle eternally deserted, she is the model for the withdrawn, disabled "Laura Wingfield" who seeks refuge in her collection of glass animals in The Glass Menagerie. Her brother Tom declares, "Oh, Laura, Laura, I tried to leave you behind me, but I am more faithful than I intended to be!"

Obituary: Robert Tewdwr Moss

Robert Tewdwr Moss was a consummate journalist who would appreciate the finer details of his own obituary. Like some ghost of the fin de siecle past, he moved through literary, journalistic and cafe society, clad in velvet and brocade, surreptitiously passing on a morsel of gossip here, imparting some arcane piece of knowledge there.
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Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

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Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

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Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
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Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

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Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

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Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

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There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

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It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little