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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Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine