Arts and Entertainment

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

It's Woodstock, a celebration of writers and their words

More than 100 leading figures from the literary world will take up residence next month amid the majestic surroundings of Blenheim Palace for The Independent Woodstock Literary Festival 2010.

Authors welcome halting of paedophile database

Philip Pullman, the children's author, has accused the Labour government of using the murders of two Soham schoolgirls in 2002 as a "scare story" to persuade the public that it was necessary to create a database of adults who work with minors.

Who chooses the set-texts our children study?

As pupils do some last-minute swotting up ahead of their English GCSE exams, former teacher Susan Elkin examines the changing nature of the syllabus

Nevin's Notes (05/05/10)

>An alternative take on the election

Cultural Life: Fatima Bhutto, writer

Books: Haifa Zangana's 'Dreaming of Baghdad', a lyrical and chilling memoir of imprisonment, activism and torture in Saddam's Iraq. Also tucked into my bag, which now weighs a ton, are 'Listening to Grasshoppers' by Arundhati Roy and Philip Pullman's 'The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ' and Alba Arikha's work, which I'm discovering and loving.

Sarah Sands: Marriages founder on trivia but are immune to the Pope

The initial reluctance of Miriam Clegg to campaign with her husband was cited as evidence of her down-to-earth modesty. She had "got real" about the everyday demands of a working mother. Since then, there have been clues that the balance of power is elsewhere in this relationship.

The Week In Radio: What would Jesus have made of it all?

There's a saying they have in America that is used to fit all occasions: What Would Jesus Do? What Would Jesus Drive, for example, or What Would Jesus Vote? One programme this week asked What Would Jesus Eat?, and the suggestions, according to painters of The Last Supper, included grilled eels, crayfish and guinea pig. This prompted me to wonder what Jesus would listen to, and to hope it wasn't Monday's Start the Week.

Jesus Christ, superstar: Still the biggest – and most controversial – name in art

Philip Pullman's new novel is the latest creation to court controversy over its depiction of Jesus. Paul Taylor looks at how the artists, from Martin Scorsese to Rufus Wainwright via Monty Python, deal with the subject

The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ, By Philip Pullman<br />The Four Gospels

To get hold of Philip Pullman's book from its Edinburgh publisher, I had to sign a legal undertaking that made me liable to penalties "under the laws of Scotland" should I dare to breach its terms. Like all of us, Pullman needs and uses the force of traditions and institutions (what he names here as "custom and authority") to protect his dignity and his interests. You might hear from other sources that this re-telling and re-interpretation of the Gospel narratives for Canongate's "Myths" series sets the spontaneous, impulsive goodness of Jesus against the power-mad, repressive apparatus of the "church", which Pullman embodies in the figure of Jesus of Nazareth's sinister twin brother, "Christ". In fact, this story about the meaning of stories is open to quite the opposite interpretation – and Pullman knows it very well.

Boyd Tonkin: A velvet revolution on the shelves

The Week In Books

Album: The White Stripes, Under Great White Northern Lights (Third Man/XL)

As the notion of concert performance retreats ever further into the pre-programmed bowels of a computer, the great live album is virtually a thing of the past.

E Jane Dickson: You don't need to teach kids about advertising

Teach a child to count and he&rsquo;ll soon get the hang of commercial constraints

Mary Dejevsky: It is not only the young who suffer

The plight of innocent children is used as a way to infiltrate hearts &ndash; and wallets

Climbdown over plan to vet contact with children

Nationwide outrage kills off scheme that could have criminalised millions of innocent helpers

Traveller's Guide To: Lapland

Santa may be the big draw in this vast wilderness, but there is culture, wildlife and a magnificent light show to enjoy too, says Harriet OiBrien
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War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece