Revealing Wilde letters sold for £30,000

A series of rare letters in which Oscar Wilde appears to proposition the editor of a ladies' magazine sold for more than £30,000 today, an auction house said.

How I learnt to love musicals: Michael Bywater on the purest form of theatre

Don't be a snob, says Michael Bywater – musicals are the purest form of theatre, and they're booming. But why? Could it be, simply, that they cheer us up in these recessionary times?

For sale: letters from a love-sick Wilde to the object of his affection

Correspondence reveals the burgeoning homosexuality that would land writer in prison

Poisoned Pens: Literary Invective from Amis to Zola, ed Gary Dexter

From Aristophanes, who attacked Euripedes in his play The Frogs (Euripedes was safely dead by that point), to the critic Harold Bloom, who recently consigned Harry Potter to the "vast concourse of works that cram the dustbins of the ages", Gary Dexter's book compiles pithy put-downs and waspish jibes from writers.

1065 and all that: Dave's Book of Dates

David Cameron has been criticised for a string of factual errors – from the date the US entered the Second World War to Iran's nuclear capability. David Randall imagines how the PM might tell the story of the past 2,000 years

Studies in the History of the Renaissance, By Walter Pater

If he is remembered at all, Pater is known for his influence on Oscar Wilde. In his introduction to this "incendiary" text of 1873, Matthew Beaumont describes it as being seen in the "bourgeois imagination" as "the literary equivalent of Zuleika Dobson".

Funny business: Henry Normal explains why his new project is no joke

Forget sitcoms and skits. It's product placement and new technology that will save British comedy, he tells Ian Burrell

Album: The Divine Comedy, Bang Goes the Knighthood (Divine Comedy Records)

Another Divine lesson in the art of elegant outsiderdom

Brown makes gay rights justice pledge

Gordon Brown pledged to stand with gay people until "justice was achieved".

DVD: Dorian Gray, For retail & rental (Momentum)

This slickly scripted new interpretation of Oscar Wilde's novel stars Ben Barnes as the handsome aristocrat who will never age as long as his portrait does it for him, and Colin Firth as the ultimate bad influence.

Econoblog: Treat estimates as estimates

Rather like Oscar Wilde’s talking dog, the wonder of the Office for National Statistics’ work is not that it is done badly, but that it is done at all.

Free Independent drama: Death In Genoa, featuring Simon Callow as Oscar Wilde

In the week of the 109th anniversary of Oscar Wilde’s death, The Independent is giving you an exclusive chance to listen to and download a new drama by Made in Manchester/Dark Smile, written by Thomas Wright, about the 19th Century writer, wit and raconteur.

Mrs Gaskell gets her place in the sun

The once neglected creator of Cranford is to be commemorated in a window above Poets' Corner

Dorian Gray (15)

For Oliver Parker to have made one Oscar Wilde adaptation (An Ideal Husband) could be considered a misfortune.

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