Arts and Entertainment

I hadn't realised – until I read this book – how much work Henry VIII's marital problems caused the stonemasons of Hampton Court. After years of carving the letters H&C all over the place, Henry got rid of Catherine of Aragon, so the Cs had to be reworked as As. But, no sooner was the last A in place than Anne Boleyn was executed on Tower Hill and the As had to become Js to suit Jane Seymour, who promptly died in childbirth. And there were still three more queens to go, so, lots more chiseling, presumably.

Ben Miles as Thomas Cromwell and Lydia Leonard as Anne Boleyn in Wolf Hall
Mike Figgis: 'I'm taking a deep breath before committing to the Dostoevsky biography'

Cultural life: Mike Figgis, film director

'I'm taking a deep breath before committing to the Dostoevsky biography'

Fiction and fact: According to historian Susan Bordo, Natalie Dormer's portrayal of Anne in The Tudors came closest to the real Boleyn girl

'Anne Boleyn was no soap seductress,' says US academic Susan Bordo

American historian urges a rethink on David Starkey and Hilary Mantel portrayals

'I was set up as a hate figure': Hilary Mantel defends criticism of Kate Middleton

Award-winning novelist says she has "absolutely nothing to apologise for"

Hilary Mantel has called the Duchess of Cambridge a bland, manufactured, personality free mannequin princess

Hilary Mantel attacks 'bland, plastic, machine-made' Duchess of Cambridge

The double Booker Prize-winner compared princess Kate unfavourably to Anne Boleyn and said she had a 'plastic smile'

The Cromwell steamroller triumphs

"There are no endings. If you think so you are deceived as to their nature. They are all beginnings." So (almost) ends Bring Up the Bodies: a final flourish that now applies to their creator too.

Gregory says: 'I always wanted a safe home'

Phillippa Gregory: 'My husband doesn't particularly like my orphan ducklings'

All my novels are essentially about falling in love and getting a house Well, that's what my husband told me a few years ago. It sounds like a very material view of the world but the house symbolises so much of where our fortunes are sited. For me, growing up, I always wanted a safe home, which was hard for my mother to provide after she was widowed and left with two children to raise on her own.

Bring Up the Bodies, By Hilary Mantel

The sequel to 'Wolf Hall' is a striking account of one of English history's most shocking episodes. But it can be hard to navigate such austere prose

Arnold Wesker

Natalie Cox: Learning should be for its own sake, not to get a job

It has been announced by the Government that 3,100 vocational qualifications will have their value cut, meaning schools can no longer use them to bump their way up league tables. From 2014, students will no longer be getting into university based on their "horse-care" abilities, which is one of the courses worth the same as four GCSEs.

Sarah Sands: The Tudors are the seasoned beams of British history

The historian Niall Ferguson once complained that schoolchildren are taught only about Henry VIII and the world wars. Yes, but let's face it, these are the blockbusters of British history.

The BBC is planning to adapt author Hilary Mantel's Booker-winning novel Wolf Hall into a mini-series

Cromwell marches on TV

The BBC is planning a television mini-series adaptation of Hilary Mantel's Booker-winning novel Wolf Hall.

Anne Boleyn, Shakespeare's Globe, London

"I will be a new Queen for a new England," cries Spooks star Miranda Raison as King Hal's spooky spouse Anne Boleyn, with her head tucked underneath her arm; you just wonder, on the evidence of this spirited and enchanting portrait, how great she might have been, outshining even her own daughter, Elizabeth I.

Graven With Diamonds, By Nicola Shulman

When I first began to read poetry seriously at school, "practical criticism" still held sway. This approach promoted the idea of an unmediated dialogue between the reader and the text – a sort of naked encounter session, free from the deceiving clothes of context. And it so happened that one of the poems stripped from its history that I enjoyed most delivered the electrifying delight of déshabillé. A masterpiece of petulant erotic longing (hence, perhaps, its allure for teenage readers), this lyric by Sir Thomas Wyatt begins "They flee from me that sometime did me seek". It goes on to recall a rejected lover's tryst with a fickle lady who "When her loose gown from her shoulders did fall/ And she caught me in her arms long and small/ Therewithal sweetly did me kiss,/ And softly said, 'Dear heart, how like you this?'"

Finding good in bad girls

Everyone from Anne Boleyn to Kate Middleton is supposed to have used their wiles to get ahead. But, argues Harriet Walker, the tactic should be understood rather than condemned
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz