Arts and Entertainment Robert Downey Jr. and Benedict Cumberbatch backstage at the 25th annual Producers Guild of America Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel

Actors had 'a lot to talk about'

Conan Doyle's very suspicious seance with Harry Houdini

IT WAS the strange and momentous night when Arthur met Harry.

Flat Earth: Quote, unquote

MOST people probably know that Humphrey Bogart never actually said "Play it again, Sam," but I wasn't aware until last week that nowhere in the entire Star Trek canon does Captain Kirk say "Beam me up, Scotty." What is more, Arthur Conan Doyle never had Sherlock Holmes say "Elementary, my dear Watson." Apparently it was Hollywood which put the words in the detective's mouth.

Books: Independent Choice New British whodunnits

Pick of the Week: Freeze My Margarita by Lauren Henderson Hutchinson, pounds 10, 304pp

What a growing lad needs is a naughty book, says Blair

THOUGH HE was not much of a role model to inhabitants of Tolkien's Middle Earth, Gollum, the hissing, twisted jewellery thief central to The Lord of the Rings, is the key to encouraging more boys to take up reading, according to the Prime Minister.

Edinburgh Festival: Good heavens, they're alive!

Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson are more than 100 years old and still in the detective business.

Letter: Gays in the Bible... and in Baker Street?

Sir: Your report "The strange case of the missing gay detectives" (3 August) raises, once more, the proposition that Sherlock Holmes and John Watson were homosexual. Professor Stephen Knight seems to believe that they were, though there is no real evidence for that belief.

Books: Fun boys

Michael Arditti is far from enchanted with a rural romp

Travel: Home from Holmes

Deep in Conan Doyle country, something stirs. No hellhound, no mystery; it's a festival, writes Andy Bull

Books: Cartoon killer

Kim Newman gets on the couch with a Victorian shrink

A very uncommon man

Peter O'Toole has more than a few tricks up his sleeve as Sarah Gristwood discovers

Memories of a book for bedtime

Most parents agree that reading to their children is one of the best parts of being a parent. As National Reading Year was launched yesterday, celebrity parents reminisced about bedtime stories.

Tuesday's book: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: The Coming of the Fairies

Here is the fons et origo of all those fairy films. But the story behind this book is far more interesting than the sad and credulous tale contained within it.

Obituary: Air Commandant Dame Jean Conan Doyle

Lena Annette Jean Conan Doyle, air force officer: born Crowborough, Sussex 21 December 1912; OBE 1948, DBE 1963; AE 1949; Deputy Director, Women's Royal Air Force 1952-54, 1960-62, Director 1963-66; Inspector of the Women's Royal Air Force 1954-56; OC, RAF Hawkinge 1956-59; Honorary ADC to the Queen 1963-66; married 1965 Air Vice-Marshal Sir Geoffrey Bromet (died 1983); died London 18 November 1997.

Personal finance: Let the little folk carry you away

From now on, look twice at any painting or print with fairies, goblins or dragons in it, especially if it is Victorian. It could be worth snapping up. As John Windsor explains, the next collecting boom could leave you with a fairytale ending.

Film: Fairyland: a garden where Doyle meets Dali

Photographing Fairies Nick Willing (15)
world cup 2014A history of the third-place play-offs
Tommy Ramone performing at The Old Waldorf Nightclub in 1978 in San Francisco, California.
peopleDrummer Tommy was last surviving member of seminal band
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

The Mexico chief finally lets rip as his emotions get the better of him
world cup 2014
Spectators photograph the Tour de France riders as they make their way through the Yorkshire countryside
voicesHoward Jacobson: Line the streets for a cycling race? You might just as well watch a swarm of wasps
Life and Style
lifeHere's one answer to an inquisitive Reddit user's question
Life and Style
Several male celebrities have confessed to being on a diet, including, from left to right, Hugh Grant, Benedict Cumberbatch and Ryan Reynolds
...and the weight loss industry is rubbing its hands in glee
peopleDave Legeno, the actor who played werewolf Fenrir Greyback in the Harry Potter films, has died
Arts and Entertainment
'Eminem's recovery from substance abuse has made him a more potent performer, with physical charisma and energy he never had before'
arts + entsReview: Wembley Stadium ***
Mario Balotelli, Divock Origi, Loic Remy, Wilfried Bony and Karim Benzema
transfersBony, Benzema and the other transfer targets
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel Shop See all offers »
India and Nepal
14 nights from £2,159pp Find out more
Dutch Masters
five nights from £679pp Find out more
La Robla and Rioja
nine nights from £1599pp Find out more
Classical Spain
six nights from £539pp Find out more
California and the Golden West
14 nights from £1,599pp Find out more
three nights from £259pp Find out more
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice