Arts and Entertainment

Mohammed Ali  used to boast that when boxing,  he would float like a butterfly and sting like a bee. So it is with Germiane Greer. She writes lightly, gracefully even when agitating for a cause. But the words still sting. And unsettle. Here she consciously creates a quasi-religious epic out of a part of her remarkable life when she decided to restore a small, wrecked rainforest in Australia, her homeland. The tone is apocalyptic, themes existential and critical: (wo)man not against, but ardently for wondrous, pitiless and predatory nature. She, the Lionheart, is awed, meets devastation, fears cataclysms, intuits prophecies, bears historical and biological guilt,  seeks redemption and takes stupendous, fervent  action. It really is some story.

Sailing: After six days on land all I want is to return to sea

Part 4: Emma Richards, the skipper of Pindar, yearns for the restart of the Around Alone single-handed round-the-world yacht race

Desire, decadence and death in Lahore

The legendary feuds of the Mughal Empire underlie this teasing novel of love and corruption.

Do dendrologists ever get a hangover?

`Long John Silver, not John "Long" Silver; Sugar Ray Robinson, not Ray "Sugar" Robinson. Why is this?'

BROADCASTING: PETER YORK ON ADS No 290: BUDWEISER

Frogs are like chimps - they've got good verbal skills, they are nicely syncopated and they're good to direct. People like them; they feature as princes in fairy tales and as wooing frogs in nursery rhymes. We don't think of them as jumping green slimeballs and, most Brits anyway, don't think of them as square meals either. They're engaging and lugubrious, like the old judge in Ally McBeal.

Television Review: Deadly Dragons with Steve Irwin

IT ALL comes down to shorts. When David Attenborough goes questing after exotic beasts, he wears shorts, but they look sensible and practical, proper tropical kit. When Steve Irwin goes hunting, his shorts look like something out of Just William - turn out his pockets and you'd expect to find a broken pen-knife, some string, a couple of conkers, and the odd white mouse. Irwin is the Peter Pan of herpetology, an excitable, overgrown Australian schoolboy who has made a career out of going around the world bothering reptiles who were just sitting around trying to mind their own business.

Obituary: David Coombe

DAVID COOMBE was a Fellow of Christ's College, Cambridge, for over 48 years and its Vice-Master from 1980 to 1984. An outline of his academic career gives no indication of the diversity of his interests or the breadth of his reputation - he has been accurately described as the leading botanical ecologist of his generation.

The land of milk and honey

Not to mention Brazilian rhubarb, Koi carp, bamboo glades and Tarzan's Camp - can this really be Cornwall?

Scottish fossil lizard may be the first land-dweller

A SMALL lizard-like animal whose fossilised remains have been found in an ancient Scottish lake bed may have been one of the first creatures to live on dry land, scientists reported yesterday.

Elusive `alligator' is an imitator

A COUNTRY park may have unwittingly stumbled upon a novel way of pulling in the crowds thanks to a rare North American salamander.

Biological spot-the-difference

How do scientists compare one species with another? Richard Dawkins explains

Two-inch lizard to solve long-distance mystery

A TINY lizard less than two inches long may help to solve the mystery of how quickly early human explorers managed to colonise the remote islands of the Pacific Ocean.

In the Sticks: Luck and the lost lizard

YOU KNOW those September storms you get some years when the clouds erect a modesty board between you and the sunshine, and you think: "Oh no, that'll be the summer going then." I got the same feeling about Offa's Truck smacking our car. "Oh no, that'll be the good luck going then." I felt a chill, the sort of draught you get from guardian angel wings when they nip off to the beach for a couple of millennia of celestial surfing. And for a few days it looked like I was right: here came the first little ripples of an advancing weather front of Bad Luck; a season of lost keys, exploding boilers and vengeful ex-husbands.
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering