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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Clare Balding
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fashionThe Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
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Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible
Look what's mushrooming now! Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector

Look what's mushrooming now!

Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
Neil Findlay is more a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

More a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

The vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Tenderstem broccoli omelette; Fried eggs with Mexican-style tomato and chilli sauce; Pan-fried cavolo nero with soft-boiled egg

Oeuf quake

Bill Granger's cracking egg recipes
Terry Venables: Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back

Terry Venables column

Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back
Michael Calvin: Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Those at the top are allowing the same issues to go unchallenged, says Michael Calvin