Tom Hodgkinson: I'm dreaming of a medieval Christmas

The medieval culture as a whole was less work-oriented, and the whole point of Christmas was to follow the injunction in Ecclesiastes to "Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we may die", and work was cancelled for a full 12 days or more, from 25 December until Plough Monday, which next year falls on 12 January.

Conan Doyle, By Andrew Lycett

Son of a talented, though alcoholic, artist and nephew to Richard Doyle, the great Punch cartoonist, Conan Doyle hid his considerable literary energy behind the bluff exterior of a medical man.

MGMT, The Forum, London

Of all the Brooklyn exports to the British music scene, MGMT span the most musical generations with their blend of Sixties synth-fuelled psychedelia, Bowie influences and rock. That tickets for tonight sold out in June and touts are selling them for £100 outside is testimony to their meteoric rise.

'His readers loved him, and they needed to tell him that'

For the late, great Alan Coren, laughter was the key to moving his audience, say his children Victoria and Giles

Punch scraps its dividend but claims fall in sales is slowing

Punch Taverns scrapped its final dividend yesterday "to conserve cash" in the face of ongoing economic uncertainty, putting stocks across the sector on the skids.

Jeremy Warner's Outlook: Recessionary forces are bringing the oil price back to reality, despite China

Punch axes the dividend to conserve cash; Scandal of Britain's energy crisis

Why Jaime Winstone's latest movie will upset parents everywhere

It may not please the parents but it's reality for her generation, she tells James Mottram

Pinot Peach Smash

Serves 10-12

Margaret Thatcher &ndash; The Long Walk to Finchley, BBC 4<br />The Making of the Iron Lady, BBC 4<br />The Victorian Sex Explorer, Channel 4<br />Imagine, BBC 2

It took an iron will to become a female parliamentary candidate in the 1950s, and a masterful biopic to make viewers urge her on

Boxing: Hatton rumbles on but is fat lady warming up?

Ricky Hatton won every round on Saturday night, 55,000 people traipsed out of this stadium smiling and a glorious fight in New York is planned for October.

Miles Kington: The last tapes

Just before he died earlier this year, The Independent&rsquo;s beloved humorist granted an extraordinary interview to his friend Tony Staveacre

M&amp;B considers Punch deal

Embattled pubs group Mitchells & Butlers today confirmed talks to buy the managed pub business from its rival and former takeover suitor Punch Taverns.

A Prayer for my daughter, Young Vic, London

Thin blue lines in a dated drama

Jeremy Warner's Outlook: Olivant throws in the towel on the Rock

Ryanair's O'Leary warns on profits; Punch tilts at Mitchells & Butlers; China's velvet-glove approach to Rio

Michael Bywater remembers Miles Kington

Humorous columnist, broadcaster and the inventor of Franglais
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
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Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen