Arts and Entertainment

Julian Fellowes, DVD

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie/ The Girls of Slender Means, Assembly venues, Edinburgh

Muriel Spark wrote of her most enduring creation, Miss Jean Brodie, that she was "an Edinburgh festival all on her own": vibrant, bursting with culture and a touch overwhelming, you might infer. This year, it is Spark herself who is a festival all on her own with two large-scale theatre adaptations of her novels and a book festival event dedicated to a new doorstop biography of the Edinburgh author by Martin Stannard.

First Night: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Odeon, Leicester Square

It's dark – but at least there's a kiss

Carry on laughing: Kenneth Williams was glad to be gay

Newly discovered letters show a very different man from the lonely and repressed figure of legend

Revealed: the eight-year-old girl who saved Harry Potter

J K Rowling's new adventure is sure to be another mammoth bestseller. But, reports John Lawless, the first Potter manuscript was destined for oblivion - until the publisher's young daughter read it

Tait lacks Smith's conviction

Leicester 83 Newcastle 10

London Pride helps cheer sales at Fuller pubs group

Fuller, Smith & Turner, the pubs group with a major presence in the City, has heralded an upsurge in drinking activity in London's financial district.

The homecoming of Dame Muriel Spark, a writer in her prime

She may be a little deaf, and kneeling for prayers in the Catholic church may now be a tricky manoeuvre, but no one thought Scotland's greatest living writer, Dame Muriel Spark, was in anything but her prime yesterday when she made an emotional return to Edinburgh, her home town.

Swedish Reflections Ed. Judith Black & Jim Potts

To Sean French, Anglo-Swedish usually relations mean slaughter more than sympathy

Swedish Reflections Ed. Judith Black & Jim Potts Arcadia £11.99, 277pp £11.99 (plus £2.25 p&p per order) from 0870 8001122

To Sean French, Anglo-Swedish usually relations mean slaughter more than sympathy

Horribly successful

A kids' history magazine that tells of 'monks chopped into chunks' is a surprise hit. Is this a good thing? Virginia Matthews reports
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Joining forces: young British men feature in an Isis video in which they urge Islamists in the West to join them in Iraq and Syria
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Residents of Derby Road in Southampton oppose filming of Channel 4 documentary Immigration Street in their community
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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
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes