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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As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links