Keys to the future: An Enigma machine at Bletchley Park

Turing's Cathedral: The Origins Of The Digital Universe, By George Dyson

Who invented the computer? This turns out to be a far more complicated question than you might imagine. There is no doubt that it was mathematicians who first conceived of a universally programmable machine, but which mathematicians?

Picture preview: Lucian Freud drawings

This week an exhibition of British painter Lucian Freud's drawings opens at the Blain|Southern gallery in London, staged to coincide with the major exhibition of his work at the National Portrait Gallery.

Simon Kelner: The badge of honour that is refusing a royal gong

All around us, we see the evidence that we are a much more open society than we were, say, 20 years ago. It is in the everyday things, like, for instance, the information we are given on public transport.

Nude Woman in a Red Armchair, by Picasso

Heads Up: Picasso & Modern British Art

How the master of Modernism taught the Brits a lesson

The essence of Bacon on menu at Bonhams

A painting of, rather than by, Francis Bacon takes pride of place at the first sale of Irish art by the auction house Bonhams. Louis le Brocquy's watercolour, entitled Image of Francis Bacon No 18, is estimated at £60,000 to £80,000. Penny Day, the head of Irish art at Bonhams, said Le Brocquy painted Bacon several times, "trying to capture the Bacon-ness of Bacon". One of the smallest, cheapest paintings in the sale is also attracting attention, however. Entitled Roundabout Ponies, it is by Jack Butler Yeats, the brother of the poet William Butler Yeats. He gave it to the matron of his nursing home and it is being sold by her heirs. Ray Tang/Rex Features

London Calling, By Barry Miles

It is apt for a feted London bohemian (who has written extensively on the Beatniks, music and the 1960s) to turn his sights to London's post-war bohemia from which he arose as co-owner of the Indica Gallery (a famed haunt for the 1960's avant garde).

Denis Wirth-Miller: Bohemian artist who enjoyed a close association with Francis Bacon

Denis Wirth-Miller was one of a group of artists who for many years injected the spirit of bohemia into the life of Wivenhoe, a small shipbuilding and repairing town on the Essex coast. The jollifications of Wirth-Miller, his partner, the James Bond illustrator Richard "Dickie" Chopping, and the painter Francis Bacon remain the stuff of local legend.

Album: Simone Dinnerstein, Bach: A Strange Beauty (Sony Classical)

Simone Dinnerstein's title derives from the 16th-century philosopher Francis Bacon's contention that "there is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion", which she illustrates with interpretations of Bach's Keyboard Concertos Nos 1 & 5 and several of his solo piano pieces, of which Kempff's fastidious arrangement of "Nun Freut Euch, Lieben Christen Gmein" offers the most dazzling display of her virtuosity.

Tom Lubbock: Passionate and erudite chief art critic for 'The Independent' and 'The Independent on Sunday'

It is the habit of art critics to review from the inside out, starting with the object and adding bits of history and context to suggest a kind of omniscience.

Contested Will, By James Shapiro

Who wrote Shakespeare? The most famous literary whodunit of all has generated thousands of books and articles, shrill TV documentaries and even a (moot) trial in the US Supreme Court. In Contested Will, James Shapiro sensibly asks what all the fuss is about.

The South Bank Show: Final Cut, By Melvyn Bragg

"They've killed the show", moaned Melvyn Bragg when ITV brought down the kibosh on the arts programme that had become a revered institution over its 32-year (and 110-award) lifespan.

Tanztheater Wuppertal / Pina Bausch, Sadler's Wells, London<br/>Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Barbican Theatre, London

These are unquestionably giants of modern dance, but what contrasts these performances reveal

Encounter, By Milan Kundera

Although this cluster of essays on his favourite pioneers (translated by Linda Asher) does not offer the overarching theorem of a treatise such as The Curtain, Encounter proves that Kundera the critic bracingly matches Kundera the novelist.

Brian Clarke

In last Saturday's article, 'We had a private conversation. I was moved by his modesty', we described Brian Clarke's meeting with the Pope and the item was labelled 'First Person'. We should have made clear it was based on an interview given by Brian Clarke to our journalist rather than being written by Brian Clarke himself. Brian Clarke did not introduce the names of Paul McCartney or Francis Bacon but merely responded to questions put to him by the journalist. We are happy to make this clear.

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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