Arts and Entertainment

I wish I could give this sublime marrying of the art and the life 10 stars. This is very much a writer’s biography, and an absolutely gorgeous demonstration of how to frame a narrative begins, appropriately enough, with the framing by Gorra of the author, Henry James: “Many years later he would remember the way the book had begun. He was old then, and in England ....” It’s a description that mirrors beautifully the framing by James himself of the entrance of his great heroine, Isabel Archer, in The Portrait of a Lady, as “the girl in the doorway”.

Beware patriots and purple prophylactics

As the late Sir John Betjeman might have written:

Rattle of a Simple Man, Comedy Theatre, London

The programme notes for Rattle of a Simple Man quote Philip Larkin's poem "Annus Mirabilis" - "Sexual intercourse began/ In nineteen sixty-three / (Which was rather late for me)..."

Never mind the bus pass, where do I park my bike?

Giving up work doesn't have to mean giving up on life. Developers are working overtime to match the changing expectations of last-time buyers

Phil Bowen: Generosity and power in poetry

From a talk by the playwright at the Dylan Thomas 50th Anniversary Festival in Swansea

Maeve Brennan

Librarian whose romance with Philip Larkin won her an unusual niche in 20th-century literary life

Bold Eriksson replaces doubt with expectation

Victory over Turkey has eased pressure on England coach but captain's failure to keep his head still raises questions

The Invention of Dr Cake, by Andrew Motion

Jonathan Bate is moved by the beauty and truth of Keats reimagined

Toast the Immortal Memory in style

Larkin with women, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds

Too much Larkin around

Books: Not a recluse in the pub

Poems by J H Prynne Bloodaxe pounds 12

The Sunday Poem No 35: Thom Gunn

Every week Ruth Padel discusses a contemporary poet through an example of their work. No 35 Thom Gunn

Words; aestivate, v.

"SUMMERTIME AND the cotton is high." Du Bose Heyward did not pun in his lyric for George Gershwin's song, but it comes to mind as such amid the matted T-shirts on outstretched limbs in London's ramshackle Tube. One longs to aestivate; that is, to spend the summer in suspended animation - from Latin for summer, the equivalent of hibernation. As Bacon wrote, with an alternative spelling, "a grotto is a place of shade, of estivation".
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The Sumatran tiger, endemic to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, is an endangered species
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Performers dressed as Tunnocks chocolate teacakes, a renowned Scottish confectionary, perform during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
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Shake down: Michelle and Barack Obama bump knuckles before an election night rally in Minnesota in 2008, the 'Washington Post' called it 'the fist bump heard round the world'
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La Roux
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Graham Fellows as John Shuttleworth
comedySean O'Grady joins Graham Fellows down his local Spar
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
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Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
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Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
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The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
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Jokes on Hollywood

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