Armando Iannucci recently said that the UK falls behind the US  when it comes to female comedy writers. Do you find it to be a male-dominated industry?

Between The Covers: 13/11/2011

Your weekly guide to what's really going on inside the world of books

Invisible Ink: No 91 - Charles Dickens

There was once a comedy sketch from the Monty Python precursor At Last the 1948 Show in which the annoying bibliophile Marty Feldman tried to buy a copy of Rarnaby Budge by Darles Chickens.

What the...? Dickens to get unwanted statue

The design has been chosen for the United Kingdom's first-ever statue of its greatest novelist, Charles Dickens, in spite of his request, made at his funeral, that there should be no monuments in his honour.

Letter from the editor: Great Expectations

The BBC is expected to begin filming the opening scenes of its adaptation of Great Expectations today, on the marshlands of Tollesbury, near Maldon (where the salt comes from).

Thackeray, By D J Taylor

The forgotten Victorian man of letters

Bicentenary of Dickens's birth sparks off a battle of the bonnets

Such is the frenzy of filming activity surrounding the bicentenary of the birth of Charles Dickens that two of Hollywood's best-known actresses, Helena Bonham Carter and Gillian Anderson, find themselves in a battle of the bonnets as they both prepare to play the role of Miss Havisham in Great Expectations.

Hard Times, Library Theatre, Manchester

To get to the performance of Hard Times you have to traverse a long brick gallery in Murray’s Mills in Ancoats on the Victorian industrial area of Manchester. This was a working mill from 1798 until the late 1950s and a textile temple of the rapacious capitalism which is the subject of Dickens’ scathing satire. In it you now pass a tableau of everyday 1850s life.

Hazel Dickens: Pioneering bluegrass singer whose songs championed the working class

The singer and songwriter Hazel Dickens was one of the women who changed the face of American country music. From this petite, wiry frame came an unexpectedly powerful voice. She sang harrowing tales about the lives of working-class Americans, the human cost of capitalism – particularly in the mining industry – in songs such as "Black Lung", "Coal Mining Woman", "The Yablonski Murder", the soundtrack to the Oscar-winning documentary Harlan County, USA (1976) and the coal-strike feature film Matewan (1987). She sang old folk songs, honoured ancestors of choice like Sarah Ogan Gunning, Nimrod Workman and Florence Reece – source of the strident anthem "Which Side Are you On?" – in "Freedom's Disciple (Working-Class Heroes)", as well as singing women's anthems like "Don't Put Her Down, You Helped Put Her There".

John Sullivan: Writer who created the classic sitcom 'Only Fools and Horses', as well as 'Citizen Smith' and 'Just Good Friends'

If he had only ever written Only Fools and Horses...John Sullivan would have ensured his place among the creators of classic television sitcoms.

G K Chesterton: A Biography, By Ian Ker

A voyage around GK's Father is only half the story

Harry Lloyd: The man who would be king

Once touted as the next Doctor Who, Harry Lloyd's time has come with roles in HBO's new fantasy epic and Jane Eyre.

The Brontës - Cinemagoers have had their fill of this sister act

Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre return to the screen in September. Today's film-makers are too obsessed with the Brontë sisters, argues Geoffrey Macnab

Cultural Life: Patrick Wolf, musician

Music: I have been re-listening to one of my favourite albums called 'Winter in the Belly of a Snake' by Venetian Snares, the performing alias of Aaron Funk. It's a beautiful concept record with an amazingly futuristic, electronic sound. It really puts so-called dub-step to shame. To de-stress I always turn to Stephan Micus. His contemporary take on classical, renaissance and medieval music often builds on peaceful sounds of the wind. Whenever I am feeling mental or tense I escape to Cornwall with Stephan Micus and Meredith Monk's records.

The Cookbook Collector, By Allegra Goodman

A sisters' story that's big enough to take on its literary forefathers
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War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all