Life and Style

Using astronomical measurements a team from the University of Texas were able to work out the exact date that Monet sat down to paint the sunset above

Travel: 48 hours in; Le Havre

It's a gateway to Europe. But don't be fooled. It's a worthy destination too. By Gerard Gilbert

A good idea from ... Flaubert

LEAVING the cinema after seeing a romantic film can be traumatic. For a couple of hours, you're allowed to inhabit a sublime world where heroes and heroines fall passionately in love with each other and surmount great obstacles in order to live happily ever after. Then the lights go up, and it's time to take the bus home and rejoin a reality where people never call and the supposedly most intense moments always have something banal about them (the phone rings, someone burps).

Obituary: Roy Howard

ROY HOWARD was one of the first Allied troops to enter France on D-Day, 6 June 1944. As part of the largest and most spectacular airborne invasion of the Second World War, Staff Sergeant Howard piloted a Horsa glider which landed with two others in Normandy a little after midnight to spearhead the capture of Ranville Bridge over the River Orne some six hours before the seaborne invasion. Three other gliders were to land 200 yards away at Pegasus Bridge over the Caen Canal.

24-Hour Room Service: La Ranconniere, Normandy

THE MINUTE you sweep through the Ranconniere's crenellated stone gateway it becomes clear that this is not going to be a holiday down on the farm. The Ferme de la Ranconniere is really a manor house, dating from the 13th century, with a few converted farm buildings added on. The first impression is of a large, rather grand country mansion but inside there is an overriding sense that you are staying with old friends. The hotel is family-run, and the reception area appears to be a desk in the family sitting room.

Obituary: Major John Howard

IN THE opening minutes of D Day, 6 June 1944, Major John Howard led his men of the 2nd Battalion the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry in a spectacular airborne assault on the bridge over the Caen Canal. The capture of this bridge and the one over the River Orne was critical as the road they carried was the only supply line from Sword Beach for the 6th Airborne Division, due to land later that day to protect the left flank of the Allied invasion force.

Hans hands over hams to pay debt

AMID THE slaughter and confusion of the battle of Normandy, it was a trivial enough episode: the kind of incident that most people would have forgotten decades ago.

Slave, mother of 10, genius

CHARLOTTE SMITH: A CRITICAL BIOGRAPHY BY LORAINE FLETCHER, MACMILLAN PRESS, pounds 47.50

Design: Lovers come and go but a linen cupboard is forever

More than just a piece of furniture, a linen cupboard is an almost forgotten way of life

A new take on 1066 and all that - courtesy of the MoD

New information has been released about the Battle of Hastings that may interest historians...

European Times Rural France: The village that lives for lunch

YOU CAN tell this is an authentic rural because it has white plastic tables outside and plastic flowers inside.

Food: Ambrosial delights

Rice puddings are delicious hot or cold, and the best can be as good as what comes out of a tin. Photograph by Jason Lowe

Pegasus bridge to be rebuilt as D-Day memorial

WORK WILL begin in the next few weeks on a new memorial at Pegasus Bridge - the site of the first Allied action of D-Day and one of the most celebrated British actions of the Second World War.

Countdown To The Euro: View from France - Europe united by apathy and ignorance

THE EXCITED children aged nine and 10 were learning about the euro in the school car park. They were also trying to stand on one another's feet when Madame was not looking.

Historical Notes: Dog boats in the battle of the narrow seas

THERE SEEMS of late to have been an increase of interest in the events of the Second World War. But most people born after 1945 are unlikely to recognise the acronym MTB - and the letters MGB probably conjure up only a distant memory of a sporty car.

Historical Notes: William, Harold - and Harald - and all that

TEN SIXTY-SIX is the most famous date in the English historical calendar, and rightly so. Without the Norman Conquest, England would probably have developed as a Scandinavian rather than European culture, and the English language might not have developed to global linguistic hegemony. But how much do we know about the stirring events of 1066? From the viewpoint of the professional historian the answer must be very little. Even the old chestnuts - such as that Harold Godwinsson died from an arrow in the eye - are based on very dubious sources.
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable