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It's one of the oldest newspapers in the world, dating back to 1665

Pale skies, bare trees and frosty landscapes

Gina Cowen on the most magical winter gardens to visit

Letter: Lib Dems must seize their chance

Sir: The danger of Paddy Ashdown entering a coalition with Tony Blair is that the Liberal Democrats could face the same decline into irrelevance as the Free Democrats in Germany. The electorate would always blame a small partner for mistakes while handing the credit for success to a larger one. Further, there could be a loss of members who joined the party because it is distinctive - a radical party which has none of the nanny-state baggage of Labour or the Tories' materialistic fear.

My favourite thing

Raindrops on roses, whiskers on kittens, brown-paper packages tied up with string - everyone has their favourite thing. Here, Antonia Fraser, Martin Scorsese, Tina Turner, Max Clifford and others reveal theirs. Compiled by Louise Levene and Scott Hughes

Books: Impotence in Arcadia

THE SECRET LIFE OF APHRA BEHN by Janet Todd, Deutsch pounds 25

Crimplene headscarves and high street grotesques

Charlotte Cory's tale of small-town greed doesn't hit the jackpot for E.Jane Dickson; The Guest by Charlotte Cory Faber, pounds 15.99

CAPTAIN MOONLIGHT : Devilled Blairs ... Labour's weeds ... gym knickers

MY FRIENDS at Conservative Central Office seem rather taken aback at all the fuss generated by their poster depicting Tony Blair as the Devil. Seems a legitimate enough tactic to me. After all, as my colleague Alan Watkins is fond of pointing out, politics is a rough old trade. And a man who will pose naked with an Irish wolfhound for a dog-lovers' calendar, as exclusively revealed on this page last Sunday, is hardly likely to balk at a little Satanism, is he? However, a word to the wise, Dr Mawhinney: change the tune now and then! The central theme of the campaign is spot- on: the Blair fellow is clearly an impostor. But you must sow seeds of doubt in the voters' minds as to the nature of his, er, imposting. The Moonlight dirty tricks department has designed this new series of posters (right) that will explode the Blair image once and for all: 1) The "Creature from the Black Lagoon" - The Thing They Call Tony Blair is actually a man-eating fish-human, from a primordial swamp, eager to snap up floating voters. The Tories, in contrast, are tough on slime, tough on the causes of slime. 2) The "Lone Ranger" - subtly questions the Labour leader's sexual orientation and family man image: he'd rather hang out with Tonto than Cherie. 3) The "Ned Kelly" - Blair is really an Irish-Australian bushranger; if he is elected he will steal all your sheep and shoot you. And the Queen Mum, given a chance.

Royal divorce is a trade for mugs

Divorce: it's a mug's game. Or soon will be, if demand for the one marked "Charles and Di Divorce" is anything to go by.

Women beware women

LA CEREMONIE Claude Chabrol (15) RESTORATION Michael Hoffman (15)

Major brands Labour's plans to reform Lords an 'irrelevance'

Inside Parliament

Six of the best: Purcell tercentenary events

The Fairy Queen Barbican, Silk St, London, 7.30pm tonight (0171- 638 8891) Based on A Midsummer Night's Dream, Purcell's semi-opera is a series of exotic masques set in a magical world - the original stage directions called for swans dancing with fairies, huge fountains and peacocks. What this performance may lack in fantastical excess is more than made up for by the Sixteen Choir and Orchestra, Jeremy Sams's narrative and wonderful lighting and visual effects.

The King's new clothes to be sold after 320 years hy

The honeysuckle-embroidered wedding suit of James II, the younger son of the executed Charles I, is to be sold at auction next month. The brown wool jacket and breeches will go under the hammer at Sotheby's on 2 November for an estimated pounds 200,000 to pounds 300,000.

Not in front of the children

RADIO

Letter: History of the undemocratic City

Sir: I read with interest your article on the way the City Corporation is using its undemocratic powers to block the legitimate election of an alderman dedicated to the much-needed reform of the City of London ("Aldermen accept blackball ruling", 20 September). The City of London has long been run by a small clique of rich City financiers in their own interest.

History in a day and all that

"THE FIRST date in English history is 55BC." So opens that model of scholarship, 1066 and All That. And so, give or take some rough verbiage, opens This Sceptr'd Isle (R4), a series that will fill the sacred 15 minutes after the Morning Service throughout the next year, offering us Memorable Dates and Bad Things aplenty. The rounded, nay spherical, tones of Anna Massey give spurious orotundity to Christopher Lee's bumpy script, filled out, so far, with solemn readings from Winston Churchill and extracts from a remarkably bad translation of Tacitus.

LETTER : Commemorating the millennium

From Dr Richard D Ryder
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
TV
Life and Style
Apple showed no sign of losing its talent for product launches with the new, slightly larger iPhone 6 making headlines
techSecurity breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Oliver
filmTV chef Jamie Oliver turned down role in The Hobbit
News
The official police photograph of Dustin Diamond taken after he was arrested in Wisconsin
peopleDownfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson, left, and Richard Hammond upset the locals in South America
tvReview: Top Gear team flee Patagonia as Christmas special reaches its climax in the style of Butch and Sundance
News
people
Sport
Ashley Barnes of Burnley scores their second goal
footballMan City vs Burnley match report
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca alongside Harrison Ford's Han Solo in 'Star Wars'
film
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Man of action: Christian Bale stars in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
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
A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?