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
Voices
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
News
Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
Voices
Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
voicesDJ Taylor: The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a worker's rant to Russell Brand
News
Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
News
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Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
News
Xander van der Burgt, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
scienceA Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
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The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick