Arts and Entertainment

Where are you now and what can you see?

I’m at the BBC recording Front Row and apparently I’m looking at a brass bust of Henry Wood. The statue is in the foyer.

News Corp results disappoint market

News Corporation, Rupert Murdoch's media conglomerate, disappointed the Australian market after posting lower than expected results for the year to June, But the company softened the blow by announcing a good performance of some of its key UK and US operations and its intentions to buy back some of its preferred limited voting stock. One analyst said the results were "very disappointing".

The Major Years: a memoir in the making

Yesterday morning on the Today programme they were discussing why it is that political biographies sell so badly. It seems that new books on Tony Blair and William Hague are currently on the worst-seller list, and Julian Critchley and Tony Howard were being asked to explain why.

Peace breaks out in Middle Earth

It Has been a four-year-long feud for hobbit devotee David Day. His guide to the elves, dwarves and magic of Middle Earth is to be published this week after he took on his very own fire-breathing dragon - in the guise of the Tolkien estate - and finally won.

Making history

The Gunpowder Plot by Antonia Fraser (Weidenfeld, pounds 12.99) The Jacobean Catholic laity had been suspected of treason for so long that they decided to commit it. Fraser's even-handed account, informed by her upbringing, makes clear that a plot was encouraged by agents provocateurs and discouraged by the Jesuits, who still died for it.

Books: The don with voluminous prose

Robert Hanks finds little sense in an erudite history of silly verse

Audiobooks

Books

Letter: No sale

Sir: Your report "Lobbyist offers his memoirs for sale" (13 February) is wholly inaccurate insofar as your references to HarperCollins are concerned. HarperCollins decided not to publish Ian Greer's book because we could not see any commercial justification for doing so. In short, we did not think it would make money.

OBITUARIES : Tristan Hawkins

Tristan Hawkins wrote by day and went home to write by night.

Enduring spell of a trilogy that leaves the critics cold

The story goes that, when JRR Tolkien read a newly-composed passage of The Lord of the Rings to his fellow Christian writers in the Oxford of the 1950s, his friend and colleague C S Lewis muttered: "Not another fucking elf." Sceptics still feel much the same.

Preface to 1997

Boyd Tonkin looks ahead to the new year's lead reads

Books: The books you listen to

Brush up on your Conrad, next year's most fashionable classic author, with a reading of The Secret Agent (HarperCollins, 3hrs, pounds 7.99), his tale of revolutionary terrorism inspired by the bombing of Greenwich Observatory in 1894. Joss Ackland's voice is mesmerising.

Happy endings hard to find for destitute writers

Book world: Once-successful novelists and biographers look to literary charities as publishers cut advances by up to a third

Write-off and costs send News plunging

News Corporation, Rupert Murdoch's master company, saw third- quarter profits plunge 69 per cent to $59m (pounds 39m), and blamed higher costs at satellite broadcaster Star TV and a $152m write-off following the sale of HarperCollins's educational publishing arm to Pearson.

Maxwell seeks ban on 'inside story' book

JOHN WILLCOCK
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
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Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project