Arts and Entertainment

Some authors vanish in plain sight, recalled by their most successful work, which comes to define an entire career. A friend of mine has written mytho-logies, Victoriana, crime and magical realism, but publishers are unable to mention her without inserting the title of her greatest success into her name, in the way that pantomime stars are bracketed by their TV shows. Typecasting is a problem that afflicts most successful writers.

The King by Kader Abdolah; book review

A boy enters a palace of a hundred rooms where an assassin may lurk behind every door and shadowy figures are reflected in a Hall of Mirrors.  An astonishing treasure lies at its heart, but powerful enemies are at the gates.

Glory and B*llocks, By Colin Brown - paperback review

Colin Brown investigates 10 defining events in British history – such as the signing of Magna Carta, the Battle of Agincourt, Queen Elizabeth I’s pre-Armada speech to the troops at Tilbury, and the Falklands war – and explores the truth behind the myth. Magna Carta was not a charter for individual liberty, but a concession wrung from King John to protect the privileges of the barons. Our view of it owes much to the way it was used in the 17th century by Edward Coke to challenge Charles I’s claim to rule by Divine Right, and the fact that it was an inspiration for the American Declaration of Independence.

The Dolomites in South Tyrol, Italy. Millions of years ago the pale peaks and pinnacles of the Dolomites lay on the seabed; now they are among the world’s most distinctive mountainscapes.

Breathtaking images from the 'Lonely Planet's Beautiful World' book

The Lonely Planet has published a new book showcasing beauty from across the globe. From a cityscape of Manhattan, New York to a sprawling aerial shot of the Lake District, the Lonely Planet's Beautiful World has a selection of amazing images celebrating the vibrancy and diversity of the world.

Thomas Cook seeks new heartland

Travel group Thomas Cook today unveiled a new “sunny heart” logo and the simple message “Let’s Go” in a major rebranding, but some observers warned that it looked “bland” and could lead to confusion.

My next book: a dog in a bag, and me. Can’t fail

Slowly, and almost indiscernibly, the taboos of my youth are being shed. The other day I caught myself thinking about attaching some sort of strap to my reading glasses.

Fishing boats in the harbour of seaside town, Brixham

A fishy business: TripAdvisor falls victim to fake Brixham seafood restaurant Oscar's

Here’s an idea for an online start-up: TrapAdvisor, warning online travel operators about possible fake reviews. It might have helped the folk at TripAdvisor realise there was something fishy about Oscar’s.

BBC headquarters at New Broadcasting House

Lord Patten to leave after true scale of ‘dark days’ laid bare as BBC admits pay for top bosses soared by 60 per cent

Chairman of Trust to stand down in 2015 after ‘chaotic’ year of vast redundancy payouts and failure of £100m digital project

Mishal Husain will join presenters on BBC Radio 4's Today programme

BBC announces Mishal Husain as new female voice for Today programme

Show's stalwart presenter Jim Naughtie has moved to work on coverage of Scottish independence referendum

On the spot: Safari visitors feel cheated if they don’t see a leopard, one of the Big Five, on an African safari

Something To Declare: Africa’s wildlife A-listers go far beyond the ‘Big Five’

Our obsession with “Big” doubtless has some Freudian explanation. And scholars will probably explain how “Five” is hard-wired into our cultural psyche, from the wounds of Christ to the pillars of Islam. But why must this expression become the raison d’être of the African safari? Big Five experience, Big Five lodge, Big Five tea towel: it’s everywhere.

MI5 officer tells court of her secret date watching spy film

Two MI5 officers disobeyed instructions to stay apart from each other and held a secret rendezvous to watch the espionage film Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, a court heard.

The 50 Best travel websites

Whether you want to know where to go, how to get there, the finest places to stay or what to avoid at all costs, Sarah Barrell has a treasure-trove of information for the trip of a lifetime

Despite the high menu prices, room service isn’t very profitable

Room service: The final call on a luxury that is just not profitable

At the New York Hilton, you will soon have to make do with a 'grab 'n go' cafeteria

Travel Agenda

From coffee tours and festival checklists to the Grand Canal and the pyramids

Green scene: Clouds shroud the woods of Motovun in Istria

Independent on Sunday travel writing competition: Write your way to an inspirational week in Croatia

We have once again joined forces with Bradt Travel Guides  to offer readers the chance to win our travel-writing competition, with a top prize this year of a holiday for two to the Croatian region of Istria. PLUS have your winning story published in 'The Independent on Sunday' and Independent.co.uk

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us