News

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
Career Services

Day In a Page

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
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
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