Invisible Ink: No 129 - Arthur Ward

He seemed an ordinary working-class fellow with an interesting middle name (Sarsfield), born in Birmingham in 1883, where he grew up to become a civil servant. Early photographs are unassuming, but compare them to his later pictures, when he appears in a silk dressing gown, puffing on what looks like an opium pipe: what happened to transform the conventional Mr Ward?

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century 2009, By Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen arrives in the present, and surveys our contemporary culture with dismay

Tom Hodgkinson: Why Shakespeare's pain is pure poetry

Do we need poetry? Last week, appearing on a Radio 4 programme, I praised the poets for making our lives bearable with their words, for adding meaning to our world. Another of the guests, a hard-working businessman wearing a gold watch, attacked me for promoting poetry, and therefore idleness: "People need food!" he raved. "You can't eat poetry!"

The Baroness: The Search for Nica, the Rebellious Rothschild, By Hannah Rothschild

A tantalising portrait of a British society beauty who became the ‘crazy friend’ of Thelonious Monk

Graham Coxon, HMV Forum, London

Boyish Blur guitarist Graham Coxon is clearly multi-talented.

International Conductors’ Academy of the Allianz Cultural Foundation, Royal Festival Hall

A showcase for three young conductors, a malfunction at the printers, and for the first time in my experience no programmes for the audience and the prospect of blind-tasting their talents.

Melisande! What Are Dreams? By Hillel Halkin

Hillel Halkin's touching novel about love and friendship opens in New York in the 1950s and ends on a remote Greek island in the 1980s.

Alice Jones: What the new Sgt Pepper cover tells us about modern Britain

Where once stood Marilyn, now stands Delia, in a Norwich City scarf. HG Wells has been ousted by JK Rowling, Marlene Dietrich bumped by Kate Moss. As for John, George and Ringo – they're nowhere to be seen.

One Minute With: Tim Lott, novelist

Where are you now and what can you see?

Jean-Pierre Delord, Bugarach's mayor, with a postcard of a UFO hovering over a local peak

Hippies head for Noah’s Ark: Queue here for rescue aboard alien spaceship

Thousands of New Agers descend on mountain they see as haven from December's apocalypse

Even a candid, generous Emma Bell in the title role - here with Anthony Jackson of the dance troupe Soul Mavericks - can't save Miss Fortune

Miss Fortune, Royal Opera House, London
The Barber of Seville, Hackney Empire, London
Eugene Onegin, Hackney Empire, London

Judith Weir's rare failure is an inner-city Cinderella story that never lifts off ... unlike the kebab van

Jack White premiered his excellent new song Sixteen Saltines on last week's 'Saturday Night Live'

S.C.U.M., Bush Hall, London

Bob Geldof leans, stony-faced, against a wall as his daughter Peaches’ fiancé Thomas Cohen performs.

A Dangerous Method, David Cronenberg, 100 mins (15)

Do go through, Fräulein Knightley – the doctor will undress you now

The Heresy of Love, Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon

Eight years ago, in their excellent Spanish Golden Age season, the RSC presented the English premiere of House of Desires, a surprising event on several levels.

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Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine