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)
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