News

Money could be spent on events marking 800th anniversary of Magna Carta and the centenary of Dylan Thomas's birth.

Invisible Ink: No 178 - The Vanishing Fantastics

What do the following names have in common? Winston Churchill, Raymond Chandler, John Lennon, Muriel Spark, JB Priestley, F Scott Fitzgerald, John Steinbeck, Daphne Du Maurier, Noël Coward?

One Minute With: Cerys Matthews, musician/writer

Where are you now and what can you see?

Donald McCain was pleased with Ballabriggs’ Aintree prep run

Flat converts promise to fulfil aim to prosper at Festival

Doing something different is trending at racecourses, it seems. It was good to see Kauto Star strutting his new stuff under event rider Laura Collett in the parade ring at Newbury on Saturday, even if his so-called dressage display – a few basic flatwork moves at walk, trot and canter – has as much to do with top-level grand prix work as the Shetland pony grand national franchise that does the rounds of summer horse shows has to events at Aintree. The 13-year-old, though, apparently enjoyed being the focus of adulation as much as he ever did when with Paul Nicholls.

Invisible Ink: No 128 - Pamela Hansford Johnson

By the start of the 21st century it seemed that readability had become a liability; surely award-winners lacked complexity if their books were too accessible? Happily this attitude is now passing, and lucid writing is once more being recognised as a desirable literary trait, which may partly explain why Pamela Hansford Johnson's work is coming back into print (the other reason is that ebooks provide an affordable route to republication).

Wills to be published online

The wills of millions of famous Britons including Florence Nightingale and Winston Churchill are being published online for the first time.

Thomas says: 'When I look in the mirror I see a person that has been through a lot. My face tells a story, and I see a guy who can stick his chest out and think 'I'm an honest person, who can hopefully help other people be honest'

My Secret Life: Gareth Thomas, 37, rugby player

'I cry quite a lot'

Party in the Blitz by Elias Canetti, trs Michael Hofmann

The monsters that stalked Hampstead

LPO / Jurowski, Royal Festival Hall, London

It's a paradox, but Vladimir Jurowski made Rachmaninov's The Isle of the Dead a place of irresistible allure. As ferryman of this compact masterpiece, he fought the Festival Hall acoustic and won. It was almost as if he created his own acoustic.

Johnson continues to glory in ferocity without fuss

Leicester's captain is aiming to impose his unique brand of authority on tomorrow's Heineken Cup tie against Wasps

Phil Bowen: Generosity and power in poetry

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

Beware men with sheds

It comes as no surprise that Hemingway wrote in a wooden cabin or that Roald Dahl, Dylan Thomas and Shaw were shed enthusiasts
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