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

24-Hour Room Service: Château La Chenevière Normandy

Heading up the tree-lined gravel driveway to La Chenevière, my first impression is of a very elegant and very formal French chateau hotel. But while this four-star property falls into both categories with poise, it certainly isn't formal to the point of being stuffy.

This Night's Foul Work, by Fred Vargas, trans. Siân Reynolds

Another hit from the supreme exponent of the picaresque policier

Overlord, (15)

This deeply affecting movie, first released in 1975 but almost forgotten, distils the run-up to the Normandy landings of June 1944 into a lyrical, black-and-white dream of stoicism and sacrifice. Stuart Cooper made this docudrama in collaboration with the Imperial War Museum and ace cinematographer John Alcott, who uses period lenses and stock to blend with archive footage of aerial bombardment, blitzed streets and military manoeuvres.

Back to Normandy (NC)

Nicolas Philibert scored a huge hit with his previous documentary about a French schoolmaster and his pupils, Etre et Avoir. One suspects that his latest will not have anything like the same impact, despite (or maybe because of) its deeply personal subject matter. In 1975, the 24-year-old Philibert worked as an assistant director on Rene Allio's feature I, Pierre Rivière..., about the true story of a mysterious triple murder in a peasant village of the 1830s. Thirty years later he returns to the same Normandy backwater to seek out the original cast, mostly locals.

Spanish win BAA with £10.3bn bid

The Spanish construction giant Ferrovial was poised last night to win the takeover battle for the airports operator BAA with a bid worth £10.3bn.

Bird flu deaths spark human infection fear

Seven out of eight members of the same family who contracted bird flu have died from the disease in what the World Health Organisation describes as the "most worrying incident so far".

George Russell

National Trust for Scotland lawyer

The battle of Brittany vs Normandy

Northern France is an obvious choice - but a dilemma remains, says Graham Norwood

Buy Of The Week: Normandy

It took two years to breathe new life into a 17th-century manor house near Cherbourg. Mary Wilson reports

Two Thousand Years, Cottesloe NT, London

Leigh's latest play is tight, but not altogether kosher

Letter: Island story

Sir: Your correspondent Michael Clarke (letter, 5 February) has failed to research his subject. The Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey together with their associated islands are not and never have been parts of the United Kingdom.

We shall not remember them

I spent quite a lot of the weekend reading rival papers - though whether that is an accurate description of editions that predated The Independent's existence I'm not sure. It was fascinating, anyway, to browse through facsimile editions of daily and Sunday papers printed at the time of the Normandy landings - part of last week's D-Day commemorations. Who would have thought that the Manchester Guardian would devote quite so much front-page space to the German News Agency's version of events? And didn't readers get a little weary of all those commercial promises of better tomorrows? "Whenever I see hands in a stocking, I think: 'Ah...' ", read the copyline on one small ad. "Sigh no more lady", it continued, "The fruits of victory will include a plentiful supply of lovely, clinging Aristoc." Comforting to know that the sacrifices were in a good cause, I suppose.

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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
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