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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Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen