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

They bear menaces rather than gifts - but new Labour is welcoming their ideas

THE NEW ESTABLISHMENT: Day eight: Think-tanks

Letter: The need to fight for animal rights

Sir: Roger Scruton concludes (3 July) that animals have no rights. He is certainly at odds with some of the greatest philosophers of our time who were all concerned at mankind's brutality towards animals. To name a few: Benjamin Franklin, Gandhi, Tolstoy, Voltaire, Wordsworth, George Bernard Shaw and many more. They all happened to be vegetarian too. What is needed is a charter of animal rights.

Travel: Britain/ Ridge over untroubled water: a walk in the Malvern Hills

You don't need an anorak and climbing boots to enjoy the vast open spaces around the Malvern Hills. Much of the 3,000 acres of common land is grassy sward on the lower slopes of the nine-mile chain of hills, around which six settlements cling as if glued to the rock.

LETTER : BSE: science is doing all it can

Sir: The response from scientists and laymen to your leading article on BSE and science reminds me of the comment of that great cynic George Bernard Shaw: "Science is always wrong; it never solved a problem without creating ten more."

Silk tie and silver tongue

Lynne Curry meets the man who has brought a touch of elegance to IT education

Phil Hammond's

funny old ward

Doors to wisdom

DUBLINES ed Katie Donovan and Brendan Kennelly, Bloodaxe pounds 10.95

Are critics fair game for artists?

There's enough evidence to drop the charge that all critics are failed artists, says Kevin Jackson. Which will be of little comfort to the critic-cum-savaged-author, DJ Taylor, as he told Robert Hanks (below)

The labours of Hercule

David Suchet, sans moustache, talks sleuthing with James Rampton

BOOKS: All of a piece throughout

Christmas reading is often a matter of dipping into some thing light, and there is a huge range of anthologies available. Ben Rogers gives his verdict on some of the most enjoyable

'New Statesman' charter torn up

Magazine crisis: Staff told to put up or shut up as 'absentee landlord' returns to take control

TORY LEADERSHIP ELECTION: Is this the most political street in Britain?

Chris Blackhurst goes behind the closed doors of Lord North Street, whe re Michael Portillo has set up his campaign headquarters

That Shakespeare: what a character

Syphilitic and suicidal or watchful and detached? No one knows what Shakespeare was like for sure, but many playwrights have taken an educated guess.

OBITUARY : Nancy O'Neil

Petite and pretty, Nancy O'Neil was one of the many delightful ingnues who decorated British films during the 1930s. Like so many of this group, she seemed to disappear from sight once the warring 1940s began, remaining but a faded photograph in The Film Star Who's Who of the Screen. She died at the age of 87, although those same issues of the Who's Who would claim she was four years younger.

Where there's a Will there's a free-for-all

SOMEWHERE in the world the curtain rises on a Shakespeare production every 12 minutes. At least, so it was claimed in The Irresistible Rise of William Shakespeare (BBC 2), itself the curtain-raising programme of 'Bard on the Box' - a celebratory festival of Shakespeariana which seems determined to put a dent in the playwright's batting average. In a two- month season of documentaries, films, animations and readings there will be only one new production of a Shakespeare play. You can have Mel Gibson as the Dane (Mad Max, the prequel), Prue Leith cooking Elizabethan food, animated Shakespeare, plays in rehearsal and celebrities like Damon Hill and Eartha Kitt reading appropriate passages - but you won't get much Shakespeare that hasn't already been cut up into small pieces just in case you choke.
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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
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General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions