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.

For the victim trials can be a second ordeal

Frances Andrade is believed to have killed herself during the trial of Michael Brewer

The Saga Zone website today

Saga Zone: Social website for elderly shut down over 'racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic' comments

An online forum for elderly people has been shut down because of “racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic comments” – proving that you’re never too old to become an online troll.

'Total victory' for Iceland over UK in saga of Icesave depositors

European court rules that Nordic nation does not have to compensate Britain for bailout

Review: The Great Train Robbery, By Nick Russell-Pavier and Stewart Edwards

The night we all switched tracks

Manti Te'o broke American hearts with the sad story of how his girlfriend died - but it turns out she never existed

American Football: The linebacker and the fantasy girl

One of the brightest young talents in American sport, Manti Te'o broke fans' hearts with the sad tale of his girlfriend's death. There's one problem: she never really existed

An Indian holy man, or Sadhu, smokes at the banks of Sangam in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh

In Pictures: India's Maha Kumbh Mela festival

The Independent picture desk selects the best images from India's Maha Kumbh Mela festival

Get yourself fit for a year of challenges ahead

It's hard to stay focused on internal goals, when the external world intrudes so awkwardly

Most women’s magazines are actually diet-lite

No, Minister. It's stick-thin celebs you should target

Jo Swinson is wrong about magazine 'fad' diets

The Outsider: A History of the Goalkeeper By Jonathan Wilson

This winning account of football's troubled sentinels covers the park, from myth to tactics

Editorial: Today's fish and chip paper?

The danger that the newspaper will be out of date before it hits the nation's doormats is, of course, a perennial problem for the press.

Editorial: A gift of hope for Africa's child soldiers

Each year, in the run-up to Christmas, when people have present-buying on their minds, this newspaper asks our readers to set aside some of their festive spirit to help those less fortunate than themselves. This year, we have chosen to focus all your generosity in a single place, and that is a Unicef project to venture into the African bush and negotiate with ruthless killers and rapists for the release of some of the child soldiers they have pressed into combat. The charity then provides shelter for the rescued children, with intensive psychological rehabilitation to help heal the mental scars.

Sword at Sunset, By Rosemary Sutcliff

This anniversary edition of Rosemary Sutcliff's 'Arthurian' adult novel proves it was her 'odd one out'

Page 3 Profile: Hans Christian Andersen, writer

Experts have found an undiscovered work?

POSH:
One of the highest grossing shows in the Royal Court's history, Laura Wade's hit is now at the West End's Duke of York's Theatre. It features the elite Oxford student dining society, the Riot Club. The fictional body echoes the Bullingdon Club of Cameron, Osborne, and Boris Johnson fame.

The real Oxbridge delusion: Deny it all you want, the red trousers and rich kids stereotype fits perfectly

Our writer, an Oxford graduate, slams his elitist alma mater

After withdrawing her application to Magdalen College Elly Nowell told the university not to try to ‘reapply'

The Oxbridge delusion: why the more we talk about these two great universities, the less we know

Our writer, who graduated from Oxford two years ago, says the degree of ignorance and nonsense around Oxbridge is now harming those we ought to help

Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
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