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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A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice