Arts and Entertainment

From 18th-century caricaturists to Desperate Dan, the art of talking in picture-form has a long and (mostly) distinguished history

Charles Nevin: Some more reasons to love Mondays

Start the week...

Pacific's last king gives power back to his people

The South Pacific nation celebrates the election of a 'commoner' as prime minister

Versace's stolen art returned to its real owners – in Dorset

A painting of an 18th-century English major which once graced the walls of Gianni Versace's opulent Villa Fontanelle on the shores of Lake Como has been reunited with the British family from whom it was stolen more than 30 years ago.

Longleat Estate: From little acorns, mighty oaks grow

One of my favourite areas of woodland is the Longleat Estate in Wiltshire, near Warminster. It is probably better known for its safari park, but that's not for me. Since January 2009, Longleat has also been home to 200 oak trees planted as a growing monument to the evolutionary thinker Charles Darwin.

Letters: Coalition cuts

A challenge to the bleaters

Royal 'cuts' could make Charles the richest king in British history

The Queen is set to become one of the wealthiest crowned heads in Europe after the future of the British monarchy was secured in a historic deal with the Government that will give the House of Windsor a share of the £210m profits from government estates relinquished by George III.

One room, nine politicians, Britain's future on the table

In the shadow of Cardinal Wolsey and George III, the Star Chamber is deciding how the spending axe will fall

Edmund Burke: How did a long-dead Irishman become the hottest thinker of 2010?

As the Tories prepare for their party conference, Amol Rajan argues that the Big Society would be lost without philosopher, pamphleteer and disgruntled ideologue Edmund Burke

Unusual illnesses: Curiouser and curiouser

Imagine waking up with a foreign accent. Or feeling you're shrinking like Alice in Wonderland. Sounds funny? Not if happens to you, says Samuel Muston

Manituana, By Wu Ming

First known as "Luther Blissett", Bologna's fiction-writing collective return with a stylish, atmospheric and provocative saga set in British America in the years prior to the white-settler uprising of 1776.

Watching the England game, with the German ambassador to Britain

"At least we got a few beers down at the German taxpayers' expense," was the verdict of Phil Hudson, one of a small handful of Englishmen who, a little foolhardily in hindsight, accepted an invitation to watch yesterday's match at the German Ambassador's Residence in London.

How Britannia came to rule the waves

History has it that a clockmaker beat the scientific establishment to crack the longitude problem. But did he really?

Dangerous Talk, By David Cressy

Aimed at someone else, a finely honed insult is one of life's undoubted pleasures. Even its victim can, in time, value such pungency. As such, any ruler's job description should require a bemused smile. Yet such oratory, through several centuries in England, brought grumblers the loss of ears – or, worse, of neck. As is made clear by David Cressy's study of "scandalous, seditious, and treasonable speech", many a monarch unleashed a bloodbath upon those who had taken it upon themselves to "have their say".

Dave Brown: We've only just begun to value his genius

Cartoonist's view

The Gillrays that were too rude for the Victorians

Cartoons that fell foul of 19th-century censors are put on display
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Independent Travel
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
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own