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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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
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz