Life and Style

The international puzzle that requires knowledge of steganography, Aleister Crowley and the darknet is back again, and the internet is just as confused

The loss of happiness: Giacomo Leopardi

Book review: Zibaldone, By Giacomo Leopardi, eds. Michael Caesar, Franco D'Intino

This extraordinary 'mish-mash' opens up the creative workshop of Italy's great Romantic poet

Paperback review: The Carbon Crunch, By Dieter Helm

Jim Thorne's first love is an inflatable dolphin named Dilly. But he's quite fond of pillows, too.

Franklin D'Olier Reeve

F D Reeve: Poet, novelist and Russian translator

In the early stages of his career, the poet F D Reeve found himself best-known as the translator who accompanied Robert Frost on his 1962 visit to the Soviet Union, the man in the middle of Frost's showdown with Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. Years later, having established himself as a poet, novelist and translator, Reeve would find himself overshadowed again – by his eldest son, Christopher, who achieved fame playing Superman in the smash 1978 movie hit.

Bank's bumper send-off for Sir Mervyn King

Sir Mervyn King received a £10,000 portrait of himself and other retirement presents worth £3,000 from the Bank of England last month, it emerged yesterday.

Album review: William Sweeney, Tree O' Licht (Delphian)

The cello is key to the music of William Sweeney, something that becomes luminously apparent in these works showcasing the skills of Robert Irvine, either solo or partnered by pianist Fali Pavri or second cellist Erkki Lahesmaa. Inspired by Gaelic psalm-singing, the title track features the two cellists' lines intertwining like a double helix: the effect resembles a lower-register "Lark Ascending", until a pungent dischord appears, prompting more disparate progressions. "Sonata for Cello and Piano" offers an intriguing combination of exploration and introspection. But "The Poet Tells of His Fame" is the standout performance, Irvine playing over pre-recorded cello samples treated to give a series of tonal washes, whines and textures.

Lucy Porter and friend see the joke

Edinburgh Festival comedy review: The best jokes by a royal mile

Edinburgh guffaws from end to end as four fine acts return with some sparkling new material

Google poetics: predicting a new world of poetry

Google Instant is the sometimes illuminating, sometimes bizarre feature of the search engine that provides four predictive results as you type based on frequent searches by other users.

Paperback review: John Keats, By Nicholas Roe

Roe’s focus on Keats’s early life challenges many of the things we think we know about the poet, bringing to the fore instead the sudden death of his father when he was very young, his mother’s indecently hasty remarriage, and the family’s social and financial decline.

Crash course: France's Bastille Day

Raise the Tricolore for France's most important public holiday - 'La Fête Nationale' - when all things Gallic are celebrated with a day off work. Quel dommage that it falls on a Sunday...

Video: Film trailers for the latest releases

Watch the videos below for a selection of trailers for the latest releases:

Album review: Robert Zuidam, McGonagall-Lieder (Challenge Classics)

Dutch composer Robert Zuidam believes bad poetry may be a better spur to musical creativity than great verse. And when it comes to the monumentally bad poetry of William McGonagall, Zuidam clearly knows what he’s taking on, brilliantly describing how “a limp sense of meter wanders, seemingly clueless, through an unhinged linguistic landscape”.

Video: Film trailers for the latest releases

Watch the videos below for a selection of trailers for the latest releases:

The Queen's Birthday Honours refuseniks: The alternative list of those who said 'thanks but no thanks'

About 20 names are missing from this year’s honours list because the people concerned did not want to be on it.

Album review: Mark Padmore, Morgan Szymanski, Alec Roth: Sometime I Sing (Signum Classics)

Best known for his Schubert lieder, tenor Mark Padmore here performs Alec Roth's arrangements of songs and poems for voice and guitar, ranging from a sequence of Thomas Wyatt poems of love lost, to the more reflective, crepuscular tone of modern verses on nocturnal themes by Vikram Seth.

One to watch: Sophie Robinson, Poet, 27

One to watch: Sophie Robinson, Poet, 27

There was a reason Robinson went into poetry. “I'm no good at anything else,” she says. The north-London-born poet writes about sex, love and politics.

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
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Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?