Money

Smaller companies have been a lucrative, albeit higher-risk, area to invest over the long term. The Numis Smaller Companies Index has, since 1955, achieved an annual return of 15.8 per cent compared with 12 per cent for the broader UK stock market.

At the Tomb of the Inflatable Pig, by John Gimlette

Utopian experiments and terrible dictators

Racing: Camera favours Culhane

The Scar, by China Miéville

Cactus men, mosquito people and a disdain for heroic quests

Letter: Faith restored

Sir: It was good to see the Beano and Dandy annuals billed as non-fiction in the latest Independent best-seller list (11 December).

People and Business: Beware of rats

DRAGONS, TIGERS and monkeys are leaving a trail of destruction across the country, according to CGU Insurance

Cook's ex-wife: I regret the book

ROBIN COOK'S former wife says she did a "dreadful thing" in writing her memoirs about their life together and if she met him she would say "sorry".

Letter: God or the fairies

Sir: What a dreary letter from Maurice Hill ("Fairy stories", 24 June). Apart from his elementary error of confusing religious beliefs with fairies and Father Christmas, he seems unaware that while there is no irrefutable proof of the existence of God, neither is there any final proof of his absence. At the end of the day we have to look at the balance of evidence and make our own choice.

It makes you want to dye

There's only one problem with a Marks & Spencer fashion moment: you'll see your star purchase on every street corner. Unless...

Cash crisis may force Britain's oldest children's theatre to close

THE OLDEST and best-known children's theatre in Britain is on the brink of collapse.

Threatre: Wilde's wit falls victim to a singing spectre

The Canterville Ghost, Northcott Theatre, Exeter

Here be monsters - and they may not be so far fetched

The Unicorn's eye fell upon Alice ... "What is this? he said at last.
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Denny Miller in 1959 remake of Tarzan, the Ape Man
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Arts and Entertainment
Cheryl despairs during the arena auditions
tvX Factor review: Drama as Cheryl and Simon spar over girl band

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Piers Morgan tells Scots they might not have to suffer living on the same island as him if they vote ‘No’ to Scottish Independence
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i100Exclusive interview with the British analyst who helped expose Bashar al-Assad's use of Sarin gas
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Angel Di Maria celebrates his first goal for Manchester United against QPR
Football4-0 victory is team's first win under new manager Louis van Gaal
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art
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newsIn short, yes
Arts and Entertainment
Rob James-Collier, who plays under-butler Thomas Barrow, admitted to suffering sleepless nights over the Series 5 script
tv'Thomas comes right up to the abyss', says the actor
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Calvin Harris claimed the top spot in this week's single charts
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BoxingVideo: The incident happened in the very same ring as Tyson-Holyfield II 17 years ago
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona from £949pp
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro from £799pp
Provence from £599pp
Apulia, Lecce and Vieste – Undiscovered Italy from £899pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples from £759
Classical Spain from £539pp
Prices correct as of 12 September 2014
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week
The fall of Rome? Cash-strapped Italy accused of selling its soul to the highest bidder

The fall of Rome?

Italy's fears that corporate-sponsored restoration projects will lead to the Disneyfication of its cultural heritage
Glasgow girl made good

Glasgow girl made good

Kelly Macdonald was a waitress when she made Trainspotting. Now she’s taking Manhattan
Sequins ahoy as Strictly Come Dancing takes to the floor once more

Sequins ahoy as Strictly takes to the floor once more

Judy Murray, Frankie Bridge and co paired with dance partners
Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Alexander Wang pumps it up at New York Fashion Week
The landscape of my imagination

The landscape of my imagination

Author Kate Mosse on the place that taught her to tell stories