Arts and Entertainment

It's worth remembering that fairy tales were not originally thought of as children's stories.

Sarah Sands: The first wonder of my universe is Brian Cox

The most bea-yootiful star on television is Brian Cox, who is winning every award going and every parental heart. He is a wonder of the television universe: for years, the medium has been run by highly educated people infatuated by popular culture. Cox is the reverse, a pop star who reveres education.

Read-in turns into night of protest

Protesters occupied a library overnight after a national day of action over threatened closures. A group of about 40 people from the Save New Cross Library Campaign opted to continue their earlier "read-in" until noon yesterday.

Overnight protest held at library

Protesters occupied a library overnight after a national day of action over threatened closures.

Goodnight Mister Tom: Escape to the country

On the 30th anniversary of its publication, the popular wartime tale Goodnight Mister Tom is to hit the stage. Arifa Akbar celebrates the rebirth of a children's classic

Skins, E4, Thursday<br/>Laura Hall: My Battle with Booze, BBC3, Monday

The British show whose American version was described as 'legal kiddie porn', makes a muted return &ndash; and film star Dakota Blue Richards doesn't help

Chalk Talk: Musicians - now it's your turn to make a stand against the cuts

The message to emerge from the Department for Education over the Christmas break appears to be one that resistance to the scale of public spending cuts may not be futile after all.

Government U-turn over book scheme cuts

The Government said today it will continue funding a scheme providing free books for children to encourage a love of reading following a furious backlash from authors over plans to scrap state support.

Books of the Year: Teenagers

Harsh reality is balanced by a slew of fantasy tales

Harry Potter and the death of an industry

The wizard has cast a spell on British film. But he vanishes soon

'Writing really can change lives'

A project that brings authors into inner-city schools, inspired by the novelist Dave Eggers, is empowering young people &ndash; and writers themselves &ndash; in ways they never expected.

Northern Lights: A magnetic attraction in the night sky

It's a natural light show that has long dazzled travellers &ndash; and the heavens will be at their most colourful just now. But where are the best places to enjoy the Northern Lights? Harriet O'Brien reveals all

My life in travel: Ade Adepitan

'I thought Thailand's islands were beautiful'

Steven Berkoff: Rise of an 'up and coming nobody'

Steven Berkoff may be among the most acclaimed playwrights and actors of his generation but he revealed he would much rather have been a tailor, like his father, given a choice between the two.

Leading article: An autumn feast

There was a Woodstock before Woodstock, and there is a Woodstock after Woodstock, and this is where the Independent Literary Festival opens this evening, with the renowned scientist and atheist, Richard Dawkins, discussing his take on Darwin's theory of evolution in the splendid surroundings of Blenheim Palace. During the past 20 years, festivals of all kinds have become jewels studding some of the most picturesque corners of the UK, tapping into a growing public appetite for a closer acquaintance with the arts, especially with books and those who write them.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future