Arts and Entertainment

For a long time, the mentally ill were dumb and mute in literature. Inarticulacy surrounded those lumped together as Bedlamites: Jane Eyre’s classic “madwoman” in the attic, for instance, served as little more than a plot device, a thing to fear and loathe that got in the way of a Gothic romance.

Prepare to die all over again as Dark Souls 2 announced

From Software's follow-up out to 'surprise and delight' its fans

Dan Lydiate has been named player of the Six Nations

Exodus continues as Wales flanker Dan Lydiate announces switch to France

Wales flanker Dan Lydiate is to continue the player exodus to France after it was announced today that he will leave the Newport Gwent Dragons at the end of the season.

Editorial: An imperial past that the French can't quite escape

France has not lost its love-hate fascination with Napoleon Bonaparte, if the furious competition to buy one of his wartime letters is a guide. In the letter, written in code in 1812, the French Emperor, signing himself "Nap", reveals his bitter frustration with the failure of the Russian campaign and his intention to blow up the Kremlin on 22 May at 3am. It was expected to fetch up to £12,000 but, following some fierce bidding, instead went under the hammer to the Museum of Letters and Manuscripts in Paris for 10 times that amount.

The best Christmas gifts for the bookish

Main image: 'Civetti' book ends by Fornasetti, £300, Liberty; 'Object Lessons: The Paris Review Presents the Art of the Short Story', £20, Random House; reading glasses by Pedlars, £25.50, Selfridges

British children should learn about Christianity - it's our history

Christianity is part of our history so should be taught to children - it's not indoctrination.

Not such a green and pleasant land after all...

New film Sightseers shows rural Britain at its creepiest, says Ellen E Jones

Not such a green and pleasant land after all...

New film Sightseers shows rural Britain at its creepiest

Postcard from... Milan

For those who aren't thrilled by the thought of avant-garde light-fittings, Milan's Triennale design museum is providing a winter show with a bit more bite.

Merlin to be axed after five years - but epic two-part finale planned

The family show has 'run its natural course' according to actor Colin Morgan

Bethesda release Skyrim Dragonborn DLC screenshots

Prepare to journey off the coast of Morrowind.

Caught in the Net: Holy Fire! It's an album from Foals

Foals follow up their excellent 2010 album Total Life Forever with a new record called Holy Fire in February. This week, the Oxford five-piece offered up the first track from the new album in the shape of a video for "Inhaler". The video of youthful hijinks probably isn't safe to view at work. The song itself is a good opening salvo, beginning with a spiky post-punk sound echoing their previous work before adding a harder rock edge on the chorus.

Fjord focus this winter

Matt Carroll heads to a little-known Norwegian wonderland for perfect powder on the pistes

Barack Obama addresses a rally in Madison, Wisconsin, yesterday (right) and Mitt Romney greets supporters in Sanford, Florida, yesterday

Three Republican excuses for an Obama victory exposed

Nervy Democrats may want to touch wood before they jump into this piece. Samuel Popkin, a political scientist at UC San Diego, has written a "pre-mortem" of the election, working on the assumption that all goes to plan and Obama wins without the need for lengthy recounts and legal battles.

Skyrim Dragonborn expansion confirmed with debut trailer

You didn't think you were the only Dragonborn did you?

Are you man enough to go vegan?

As we enter World Vegan Month it's time to reconsider the vegan stereotype

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral