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.

Dawn Upshaw / Emanuel Ax, Barbican Hall, London

It is something of a paradox than Chopin could make the piano sing like few others in musical history but on the evidence his meagre collection of songs could not unlock that effortless facility in the human voice.

Peter Sutcliffe wins right to ruling on release

High Court to decide on minimum sentence tariff for serial killer

Ged Bailes: Some fears cannot be overcome

Comment

Mother of Khyra Ishaq who starved to death cleared of murder

A mother was found guilty today of starving her daughter to death in a flat with a well-stocked kitchen and despite visits from social services who failed to notice that the child was being abused.

James Lawton: Brave Rochette causes Canada to examine values

Rochette showed a moving combination of grace and guts. She gave the best of herself

Why autism is different for girls

We may think it only affects boys. But the female variant is often much harder to spot – and that means thousands of girls may be going undiagnosed. Jeremy Laurance reports

Prescription written by George Osborne's brother 'sparked concern'

The younger brother of shadow chancellor George Osborne acted "outside his competence" when he prescribed anti-psychotic drugs to a friend, a disciplinary hearing was told today.

The schizophrenic genius whose worst fears came true

Walter Sartory made a fortune in the markets, but it never made him happy and was the motive for his murder, writes Guy Adams

Best teenage fiction of 2009: Abduction, deceit, dead bodies. This isn't kids' stuff

To begin, a couple of debuts. It's rare to find a first novel as assured as Helen Grant's The Vanishing of Katharina Linden (Puffin, £6.99). Set in the small German town of Bad Münstereifel, it begins with the disappearance of a 10-year-old local girl, which sets the whole town on edge. Told by a half-English, half-German girl, Pia, who takes it upon herself to investigate, it is a perfectly plotted thriller from its great opening sentence to its hurtling conclusion. Lucy Christopher's Stolen (Chicken House, £6.99) is another nail-biter. This time, our narrator is Gemma, a teenager kidnapped from an airport and taken to a nowhere place in the Australian Outback. Tautly written and hard to put down, Stolen asks some troubling questions, too. Gemma's kidnapper is charismatic; this book is her letter to him and it makes for sometimes uncomfortable reading. Gripping, but definitely not for younger readers.

Legitimacy worries 'hit Iraq post-war planning'

Officials at the Department for International Development were inhibited in post-war planning for Iraq because of concerns about the legitimacy of military action, the official inquiry into the conflict was told today.

Killer son stabbed 'witch' mother 21 times

A divorced father of three stabbed his mother 21 times after becoming convinced that she was a witch and had put a curse on him, a court heard today.

Henri-Georges Clouzot's Inferno (15)

Henri-Georges Clouzot's reputation is founded on The Wages of Fear (1953) and Les Diaboliques (1955), and it might have been enhanced if he had completed his 1964 project, Inferno, about a jealous husband driven towards insanity.

Letters: Prostitution and the law

Why prostitution must be decriminalised

Revealed: why children of older men are more likely to have health problems

Oxford study identifies mutant cells affecting sperm
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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
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Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
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File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
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Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
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Billie Whitelaw was best known for her close collaboration with playwright Samuel Beckett, here performing in a Beckett Trilogy at The Riverside Studios, Hammersmith
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Mark Wright has won The Apprentice 2014
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Darrell Banks’s ‘Open The Door To Your Heart’
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Detective Tam Bui works for the Toronto Police force
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X Factor winner Ben Haenow has scored his first Christmas number one
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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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

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
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?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

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
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
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'