Arts and Entertainment

Tom Hooper's quasi-operatic mega-musical is loaded with major historical events, weighty themes, tragic deaths and symbolic rebirths, so it's no wonder that the film version of Les Mis gets so exhausting, especially in the static, unspectacular second half.

BOOK REVIEW / Kydding about with Marlowe: Tush. Gadzooks. James Woodall on a new addition to the expanding line of attempts to mimic the voice of the past: Christoferus, or Tom Kyd's revenge Robin Chapman: Sinclair-Stevenson pounds 14.99

YOU COULD say it began with the Romans and became a habit. The publication in the 1930s of Robert Graves's Claudius books, about the first-century Roman emperor, heralded a new genre much favoured since by modern novelists: narratives that inhabit the minds of famous figures from history, or, put another way, a kind of literary ventriloquism.

BOOK REVIEW / Will well done by his wife: 'Mrs Shakespeare' - Robert Nye: Sinclair-Stevenson, 14.99

ROBERT NYE writes the unauthorised version. In the past he has given us brilliantly subversive glosses on Malory, the New Testament and the virginity of the Virgin Queen. Now he brings us Shakespeare, through the merciless, uncomprehending gaze of Shakespeare's wife.
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