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Writer and philosopher whose work, beginning with ‘The Outsider’, searched for the meaning of man’s existence

Classical & Opera: England's master symphonist

Unlike almost anywhere else in Europe, on these shores the symphony never really caught on as a primary musical form, at least not until this century. Few British symphonies dating from before 1900 exist; of those that do, only a couple by Parry and Stanford are ever played these days. In fact, the history of the British symphony does not seem officially to start until 1908 with Elgar's magisterial first - the prototypical and quintessential English symphony. It is a tremendously vibrant and superbly structured piece, described by its first conductor, Hans Richter, as "the greatest symphony of modern times, and not only in this country".

Speight of the nation

Back in the 1960s, an MP in the House of the Commons once said that the only sensible political debate in this country was taking place in Till Death Us Do Part.

Classical Music: Sixth sense for Mahler

New Queen's Hall Orchestra Barbican, London

150 years for the guide to who's who and what's what

WHILE some of the most famous celebrities in the world partied the night away at post-Oscar bashes last night, there was a much more discreet gathering in London, attended by anyone who really is anyone.

Managers of the future are in need of the feel-good factor

Good managment comes from treating people as excellent performers, writes Robert Craven

The Agreeable World of Wallace Arnold: Revealed: my one and only encounter with Ms Lewinsky

WHAT a rumpus! President Clinton's hobby of undoing his fly-buttons, dipping into the murky depths of his trousers, sifting through his "Y- Fronts" (dread word!) and unleashing his "private parts" on the world is further proof, if proof be needed, that the Americans are a very different kettle of fish to us.

Photography: 98for98 The century in photographs: today 1905

Our series of photographs which capture the spirit of the century continues with a picture taken in 1905, a year when the likelihood of world peace seemed further away than ever, and countries had begun to mobilise for war. In March, a 30 per cent increase in spending on the Royal Navy was announced. By September, British troops were on manoeuvres.

Bishops, professors, MPs, Wallace, Gromit

The new 'Who's Who' reflects the rise and rise of media folk, says Glenda Cooper. Perhaps it's worthy of an Oscar itself

Theatre: Heartbreak House

Almeida, London

Theatre: Gross Indecency

Minetta Lane Theatre, New York City

One from the heart

David Hare explains why Shaw's 1921 state-of-the-nation play is due for revival

Theatre: Pygmalion Albery Theatre, London Kiss Me Kate Regent's Park, London

"I've grown accustomed to her face," sings Professor Higgins in My Fair Lady, the musical version of Pygmalion. With three changes of director and Emily Lloyd's replacement, as Eliza, by a newcomer straight from drama school, simply recognising each other must be counted an achievement for the cast of this latest staging of the original Shaw play. Now steered into the West End by farceur Ray Cooney, the show is not as bad as you might expect and not as good as you have a right to expect. It's the kind of production for which the word "serviceable" might have been invented.

Election where nobody voted

George Bernard Shaw once wrote: "An election is a moral horror, as bad as a battle except for the blood: a mudbath for every soul concerned."

Girl who wanted to be bad makes good

Raising her eyebrows seductively at the camera and smiling through a haze of cigarette smoke, the actress Carli Norris last week told the Independent she preferred playing "bitch-baddies to lollipop-sucking goodies".
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment