Arts and Entertainment

For a long time, the mentally ill were dumb and mute in literature. Inarticulacy surrounded those lumped together as Bedlamites: Jane Eyre’s classic “madwoman” in the attic, for instance, served as little more than a plot device, a thing to fear and loathe that got in the way of a Gothic romance.

Paperback review: Breakdown, By Sara Paretsky

A group of teenage girls holds an initiation ceremony to the Vampire Society in a Chicago cemetery at midnight.

Anti-social neighbours are the main dealbreakers for homebuyers

Meanwhile, second report shows less than half of the UK trust their neighbours

Postcard from... Düsseldorf

Not all Germans show unwavering respect for authority. “Court Case Dieter” as he is nicknamed, has spent nearly half his life actively loathing it. The 77-year-old  retired sports teacher has been in court  a record 230 times for insulting establishment figures.

Genetic tests may help bipolar disorder patients

Scientists have identified a group of patients with a genetic predisposition to mental illness, opening up for the first time the prospect of personalised medicine in psychiatry.

Review: The Gamal, By Ciarán Collins

The idiot's guide to Irish love stories

Handwritten notes of 10 and 11-year-old boys who plotted to rape and kill their 'really annoying' classmate read to court

Note was found in one of the boys’ backpacks after the pair had been caught with a knife and a semi-automatic handgun at their elementary school

Smoking could be a sign of psychiatric illness

Smoking may be a sign of psychiatric illness, says report, after a third of smokers are found to have a mental disorder

Doctors advised to refer patients who smoke to mental health services after major medical study

Former BBC reporter, Russell Joslin, who is believed to have killed himself

BBC apologises to family after sexual harassment 'suicide'

Corporation will set up a confidential helpline for workers worried about harassment

Dale Cregan is accused of four murders, including those of PCs Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone

'The night I shot David Short I had the best sleep of my life': One-eyed police killer Dale Cregan fantasised about decapitating victim, court told

A man who admitted killing two unarmed female police officers fantasised about decapitating another of his victims, a court heard.

Are universities doing enough to support students with mental health problems?

Statistics show students are struggling with mental health more than ever. Is your university doing enough to provide for your welfare?

Classical: The sound of the underground

Steinway & Sons' London showroom has long been a mecca for piano virtuosos. Now its previously hidden rehearsal rooms and workshops are being opened for a unique immersive experience. The Memory Of WT Stead has been devised by London-based artists Christer Lundahl and Martina Steitl and pianist Cassie Yukawa, who will play György Ligeti's Etude No. 16, Pour Irina and Bach's Fugue In A Minor for six visitors at a time.

Questions raised over ‘truth serum’ interview for suspected Aurora shooter James Holmes

A Colorado judge has given permission for James Holmes, the suspected Aurora shooter, to be interviewed using intravenous injections of so-called "truth serum" if the defendant pleads not guilty by reason of insanity.

Beautiful people are seen as good looking even if they distort their faces into grimaces of disgust, surprise, fear or anger - or that's the theory. Judge for yourself with Pink, Bill Clinton, And Murray and Mila Kunis

Does real beauty even shine through a grimace?

Or doesn't even a smile help unattractive people? Portsmouth university researchers say they have found the answer

Screen chemistry: Jude Law and Rooney Mara in ‘Side Effects’
Craig Bellamy has been on Olympics duty

Craig Bellamy wants to be 'one of the greatest managers to have ever lived'

The Cardiff City striker is looking beyond his playing career

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Independent Travel
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
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

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Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

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Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
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Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all