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
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Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones