News

Item believed to have been cut from stuffed head in Cork mansion safari room

Hearst mansion price cut by $70m

The seller of what was once thought to be America's most expensive home has knocked $70m (£45m) off the asking price after filing for bankruptcy protection.

'Haunted' manor house fails to sell

A manor house that is claimed to be one of the UK's most haunted properties where security guards refuse to work alone at night failed to sell at auction today.

'Most-haunted' manor to be sold

A manor house thought to be one of the UK's most haunted properties is to be auctioned later this month. Security guards refuse to work alone at night at Wymering Manor in Portsmouth.

UK's oldest person dies at 111

A woman believed to be the oldest person in the UK has died at the age of 111.

'Scandal tour' at Profumo country house

The country house associated with one of the greatest political scandals of the 20th century will later this month offer its hotel guests a special package that will include a "scandal tour".

A Midsummer Night's Dream, Garsington Manor, Oxford

Garsington Opera's final show in the gardens of the Oxfordshire manor, which has been its home for the last 21 years, will forever glow in the memory: no other production of Britten's masterpiece that I have seen – not even Peter Hall's much-loved one for Glyndebourne – could rival this show's visionary sure-footedness.

We Are All Made Of Glue, By Marina Lewycka

Georgie Sinclair's life is coming unstuck. Her husband, Rip, has left her for flicking Cappuccino froth over his precious Blackberry. Her "slightly-too-serious" 16-year old son, Ben, spends his nights surfing the "the world-wide waves." And now her neighbour, Naomi Shapiro, an eccentric elderly Jewish emigrée, decides they are related.

Florence and Giles, By John Harding

Gothic tale with mystery appeal

Businessman Arran Coghlan faces court over mansion shooting

A businessman will appear in court today charged with murder.

Lord Ashcroft

On 20 November 2009 we reported that Lord Ashcroft had denied that in 2007 the British Caribbean Bank had lent $5m to Michael Misick, the then Prime Minster of the Turks & Caicos Islands. In fact Lord Ashcroft's denial related to the allegation made in our report of 19 November that he or his companies had made loans to Michael Misick in connection with the construction of his mansion or to fund his lavish lifestyle. Lord Ashcroft has made no other comment in relation to any alleged loans and we regret this inaccuracy.

Boyd Tonkin: Dust off these books and find imperishable gold

To find that a shift in the rules of submission excluded a whole year of fiction from Booker eligibility is like the discovery, in some tale of the uncanny, of a secret room in a Gothic mansion. As the heavy door swings open with an ominous creak, what can lie inside? Hidden treasures, ghastly remains – or just a pile of dusty, dated bric-a-brac? In the event, the long-list of 22 titles from 1970 devised by Peter Straus and the Man Booker team contains much more imperishable gold than quaint period dross. The wisdom of hindsight does play a part in the range and robustness of this list. It stretches from high-carat modern classics (Patrick White's The Vivisector, Muriel Spark's The Driver's Seat, Shiva Naipaul's Fireflies, J G Farrell's Troubles), through youthful works by now celebrated names, to a formidable hand of top-flight historical novels. In scope and style it runs all the way from a late work by a literary child of the Thirties, HE Bates (creator of much else besides Pop Larkin and his tribe), to rebel playwright Joe Orton's foray into fiction.

Extreme luxury: The country-house experience (plus quad-bikes and karaoke) is now open to all

If you've ever wanted to play lord or lady of the manor but don't have quite the correct amount of disposable income, help is at hand. The Wow House Company has all kinds of sprawling stately homes on its books, all available for you or me to rent for a weekend or longer. Just add friends or family, lashings of food and drink and, perhaps, a special occasion to celebrate, then let the good times roll...

Album: You Me at Six, Hold Me Down (Virgin)

From the action-packed band name to the obligatory long song titles, from the witless blare of the vocals to the compressed blandness of the guitar sound, this is bog-standard emo ordinaire.

An American Werewolf in London (15)

An American Werewolf in London also does milieu well. When you think of the hamfisted way most American directors handle Englishness (anyone for Match Point?), Landis's sure sense of the social strata, from creepy Yorkshire pub to yuppie London mansion-flat, is remarkable.

Rush for Regal's £12m mansion

City bankers, Indian business moguls and a celebrity or two are among potential buyers already chasing the £12.5m Kelly Hoppen-styled mansion at London's exclusive 100 Clifton Hill which is being put on the market this week by developer Regal Homes.

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The Sumatran tiger, endemic to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, is an endangered species
voicesJonathon Porritt: The wild tiger population is thought to have dropped by 97 per cent since 1900
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Story line: Susanoo slays the Yamata no Orochi serpent in the Japanese version of a myth dating back 40,000 years
arts + entsApplying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
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Popular plonk: Lambrusco is selling strong
Food + drinkNaff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
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Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
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Shake down: Michelle and Barack Obama bump knuckles before an election night rally in Minnesota in 2008, the 'Washington Post' called it 'the fist bump heard round the world'
newsThe pound, a.k.a. the dap, greatly improves hygiene
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Graham Fellows as John Shuttleworth
comedySean O'Grady joins Graham Fellows down his local Spar
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Ross Burden pictured in 2002
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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
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried