Travel

Mons is embracing the future as it prepares for its role as next year’s European Capital of Culture, but it’s also steeped in intriguing history. Philip Sweeney explores its two sides

Invisible Ink: No 197 - The other Sherlock Holmes writers

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s consulting detective inspired many other authors to tackle stories beyond the accepted canon. Adrian Conan Doyle picked up his father’s mantle, accompanied by John Dickson Carr (who I imagine did most of the heavy lifting) for The Exploits of Sherlock Holmes, based on 12 unexplained cases mentioned by Holmes, but these tales are now out of print.

Invisible Ink: No 195 - Roland Quiz

Victorian children’s stories were often the stuff of nightmares. As a child I inherited my grandfather’s books and was haunted by an illustration, “Karik And Valya Trapped In The Lair Of The Water-Spider” – which showed two miniaturised Russian children being wrapped in slimy webbing by a gigantic eight-legged multi-eyed horror at the bottom of a pond – from The Extraordinary Adventures of Karik and Valya, by Yan Larri.

Free press? Cameras follow Barack Obama at the White House

Truth is the first casualty of 'transparency'

Out of America: Despite President Obama's promises of openness, leakers are pursued as never before and it's harder for journalists to do their job

Nigel Harman as visiting valet Mr Green, who attacked and raped Anna Bates in Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey: Nothing gratuitous about this harrowingly accurate rape scene

On his fourth series,  Julian Fellowes is bound to want to keep his plotlines interesting

Jeremy Paxman blasts David Cameron over WWI centenary comments

'What on earth is he talking about?' asks the Newsnight presenter

Bob Geldof at the One Young World summit

Bob Geldof: The world could end by 2030

The Boomtown Rats star gives doom-laden climate change prediction

Invisible Ink: No 193 - Harry Graham

A talent for frivolously cruel humour is not something one expects from a man with the following heavyweight CV: Jocelyn Henry Clive Graham, nicknamed Harry, was the son of Sir Henry Graham and Lady Edith Elizabeth Gathorne-Hardy.

Television choices: Rageh Omaar's timely take on the roots of modern conflict in The Ottomans

TV pick of the week: The Ottomans: Europe's Muslim Emperors

Former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Anna, Sir Richard Branson, far right, and Irish activist Sir Bob Geldof, second from right, during the opening ceremony for the One Young World summit

One Young World conference encourages new generation of leaders at world's largest youth gathering

The world is in a terrible mess. Global warming is causing irreversible damage to the environment, poverty and greed is stifling progress and corruption is rife. The solution? It’s time to hand over the reigns to the next generation. 

Plans to double number of army reserves will create ‘surge in mental health problems’

Charities say members of the TA are twice as likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder than soldiers in the regular forces

Invisible Ink: No 192 - Axel Munthe

It was said that in Axel Munthe’s one major book there were enough plots and short stories to fill the rest of most writers’ lives. It became a beloved classic, variously described as amazing, horrible, hilarious, romantic, pitiful, enchanting, and possessing that strange simplicity of mind which is often the attribute of genius.

Sean O'Grady: A tale of previous hits and misses – but I’m in for Royal Mail shares...

Once upon a time I was one of those people who refused to buy privatisation shares on the grounds that the Government (“wicked Tory” then as now being the usual adjectives attached to that phrase) was selling something that already belonged to me.

Paperback review: Servants, By Lucy Lethbridge

Frederick Daniel Hardy’s 1871 painting After the Party seems to strike more of the truth about a servant’s life than any Downton Abbey episode, and Lethbridge’s account of servant life at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th reinforces that impression.

Invisible Ink: No 190 - Arthur Upfield

Golden Age crime-writing was not the exclusive province of the British and the Americans. Arthur Upfield is an interesting case, because something very disturbing happened to him. Upfield was born in 1890 in Hampshire, but in 1910, after he fared poorly in his exams (he was planning to become an estate agent) his father shipped him off to Australia, where he eventually settled – if you can call it settling, for he led an itinerant life.

Brum deal: ‘Peaky Blinders’

Grace Dent on TV: Peaky Blinders, BBC2 – This is the least frightening crime gang name ever

This new BBC drama with a daft title is big, beautiful, Brummie... and a bit bloody slow

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Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film Ridley Scott reveals truth behind casting decisions of Exodus
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footballArsenal 2 Borussia Dortmund 0: And they can still top the group
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An unseen image of Kurt Cobain at home featured in the film 'Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck'
filmThe singers widow and former bandmates have approved project
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Andy Murray with his girlfriend of nine years, Kim Sears who he has got engaged to
peopleWimbledon champion announces engagement to girlfriend Kim Sears
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Jake Quickenden and Edwina Currie are joining the I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! camp
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George Mpanga has been shortlisted for the Critics’ Choice prize
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Albert Camus (left) and Jean-Paul Sartre fell out in 1952 and did not speak again before Camus’s death
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Roisin, James and Sanjay in the boardroom
tvReview: This week's failing project manager had to go
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Prices correct as of 21 November 2014
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

When two worlds collide

Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?