Arts and Entertainment

There is a certain pleasure (however smug) in being ahead of the curve when spotting a particularly gifted writer, and a certain regret when the masses catch up with your discovery. The latter, of course, is the state desired by author and publisher, and Peter May has now made the transition from connoisseurs’ taste to popular bestseller.

Michael McCarthy: If your wish is for the wild, St Kilda will fulfil it

FreeView from the editors at i

Five-minute Memoir: Susan Fletcher goes to Jamaica in search of a long-dead relative

As a child, there were words that I knew were part of me, and had resonance. My name, of course; 'red-headed', too; also, the word 'April', for while it meant Easter eggs and school holidays, it also meant my birthday – so it was a special word, to me.

Senior Government officials to face cross-examination over Wikileaks cable

A top judge has taken the unprecedented step of ordering two senior Government officials to face cross-examination in court over a classified US document leaked by WikiLeaks.

Special Resort: Some cruise lines have created their own model islands, such as Coco Cay in the Bahamas

Something to Declare

You won't find authenticity in a model village

Flash floods kills at least 15 in Japan

Heavy rain has triggered flash floods and mudslides in southern Japan, causing at least 15 deaths and leaving 18 more people missing.

Judge lifts Costa Corcodia captain Francesco Schettino's house arrest

An Italian judge lifted the house arrest order for the captain of the shipwrecked Costa Concordia cruiser liner today, but said he must remain in his hometown near Naples during the criminal investigation regarding the accident off the Tuscan coast that killed 32 people.

Slowly Does It:
The death of
Lonesome
George
highlights the
fragile ecosystem
of the
Galápagos

Book of a Lifetime: Collected Poems, by Derek Walcott

In 1976, when I was 14, my family migrated to Britain from the Caribbean. We had landed in a cauldron of bitter rhetoric about race and immigration. Unemployment was rising, and a vociferous minority demanded that "coloured" migrants be sent home.

Call for Jersey's independence

A senior Jersey politician has called for the island to "be ready to become independent" in the wake of a slew of political attacks and crackdowns on its tax schemes.

Lonesome George was the last remaining tortoise of his kind

Lonesome George, the rarest creature on Earth, dies at 100

It may be a curlew or a kakapo. It may be the baiji, or a bat. But no one knows for sure, now, what is the rarest creature on the planet.

Famed Galapagos tortoise Lonesome George dies

The giant tortoise Lonesome George, whose failed efforts to produce offspring made him a symbol of disappearing species, has been found dead, officials at the Galapagos National Park announced.

Alex Hales hits out during a brilliant innings of 99 at Trent Bridge

Hales storm shows there is T20 life after Pietersen

West Indies 172-4 England 173-3

Deals of the week: Burgundy; the Azores; Med cruise

Under £200... Cresta has a week-long family holiday in Burgundy for £189pp. The price is based on two adults and two children departing on 25 August, with P&O ferry crossing from Dover to Calais and a self-catering chalet at Le Grand Bois near Nevers, with kids' club. Crestaholidays.co.uk

58 people missing after boat capsizes in eastern Indonesia

At least 58 people are still missing after a boat capsized in eastern Indonesia at the weekend - a far higher potential death toll than authorities initially thought.

Falklanders to hold referendum

The Falkland Islands are to hold a referendum on their "political status" - hoping to bring an end to the continuing dispute with Argentina over the islands' sovereignty, their government said today.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick