Arts and Entertainment

Mohammed Ali  used to boast that when boxing,  he would float like a butterfly and sting like a bee. So it is with Germiane Greer. She writes lightly, gracefully even when agitating for a cause. But the words still sting. And unsettle. Here she consciously creates a quasi-religious epic out of a part of her remarkable life when she decided to restore a small, wrecked rainforest in Australia, her homeland. The tone is apocalyptic, themes existential and critical: (wo)man not against, but ardently for wondrous, pitiless and predatory nature. She, the Lionheart, is awed, meets devastation, fears cataclysms, intuits prophecies, bears historical and biological guilt,  seeks redemption and takes stupendous, fervent  action. It really is some story.

Emma Thompson arriving for the National Board of Review Awards in New York

Emma Thompson fancies playing Sherlock Holmes: Actor in favour of gender-blind casting

The actor Emma Thompson has spoken out this week in favour of gender-blind casting, admitting her particular desire to play the role of Sherlock Holmes.

Google's tribute to French philosopher Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir’s 106th Birthday: Google Doodle celebrates French philosopher

The French writer, intellectual, political activist and feminist would have been 106

Australian Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Scott Morrison was sent tampons and sanitary pads by an Australian feminist group.

Tampons and sanitary pads sent to Australian Immigration minister Scott Morrison in protest over supplies for refugees

Minister Scott Morrison has reportedly been sent sanitary products after his office was accused of sanctioning products to women in detention centres

In a new interview bound to stir up fresh feminist debate, the TV presenter claimed that all women who work take pleasure in their household duties because it keeps them sane.

Kirstie Allsopp: ‘Women enjoy doing household chores because it keeps them sane’

In a new interview bound to stir up fresh feminist debate, the TV presenter claimed that all women who work take pleasure in their household duties

Beyonce has been called insensitive by NASA representatives for using a clip from the 1986 Challenger tragedy in which seven astronauts lost their lives

Say no to 'Blurred Lines' this New Year: 10 politically correct party jams

10 songs that you can get down to in socially conscious fashion

The British actress started off her online experiment by setting up a fake account under a fake name

Keira Knightley joins Twitter for 12 hours, deletes it because she felt like she was in a 'school playground’

The British actress started off her online experiment by setting up a fake account under a fake name

Robin Thicke's 'Blurred Lines' sparked so much debate over gender inequality that it has inspired a new National Theatre play

National Theatre to tackle sexism in new play 'Blurred Lines' named after Robin Thicke's hit

The controversial chart-topper is the inspiration behind the production

Sam Swann as Peter Pan, held by the Shadows

Wendy and Peter Pan, theatre review: 'Warm, irreverent humour surges through this saga of empowerment'

Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon

Opponents claim the bill would stop performers such as Beyonce and Madonna appearing on TV

Uganda bans miniskirts as MPs pass anti-pornography bill

Opponents claim it would stop performers such as Beyonce and Madonna appearing on TV

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his annual press conference in Moscow; he later announced the surprise early release of the former Yukos oil tycoon

Mikhail Khodorkovsky pardoned: Russian President Vladimir Putin to free former political nemesis after 10 years in prison

The former oil tycoon is to be pardoned after as part of an ‘amnesty project’ by the Kremlin ahead of the Sochi Winter Olympics next year

Billie Jean King, tennis player

Page 3 Profile: Billie Jean King, tennis player

Why is she back in the news - not out of retirement surely?!

Everyday Sexism blog reaches milestone of 50,000 posts

Laura Bates started blog less than two years ago to document accounts of discrimination 'so niggling and normalised that you don't even feel able to protest'

Review: 'The Pleasure’s All Mine: A History of Perverse Sex', By Julie Peakman (Reaktion, £25)

"The Pleasure’s All Mine" is an odd title for an academic study of perversity: it sounds as though perverse sex is greedy, self-indulgent and possibly non-consensual. I picture Boy George in his flat in Shoreditch in April 2007, with a male escort chained to the wall. But there is a bigger question raised by the title – by whose definitions are these practices perversions?

Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Education

'We should not pander to extremism': Michael Gove warns over segregation of men and women in university lectures

Education Secretary Michael Gove has urged university leaders to withdraw guidance endorsing the segregation of men and women in debates and lectures featuring Islamic speakers.

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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
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James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond in the Top Gear Patagonia Special
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Claudia Winkleman and co-host Tess Daly at the Strictly Come Dancing final
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Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
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Elton John and David Furnish will marry on 21 December 2014
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A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
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J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick